After spending 10 months trying to figure out how to get to where I wanted to be, I threw in the towel and decided it was time to bring in a professional. I will admit, my financial situation was already very tight, but my health mattered more to me than another expense.
Once I looked over my expenses and tried to budget, I was on the look out for a coach. I wanted to fully rely on my future coach/trainer and let him/her tell me what was the best route to take to achieve what I wanted to achieve. My goals were simple:
- Lose weight
- Compete in a fitness competition
Finding the right fit
In October 2015, I started looking around for a personal trainer who would fit my every need. I felt (and I still feel), very needy when it comes to my goals. I was looking for someone who had a lot of knowledge, someone with a successful track record, someone who was compassionate and trustworthy and someone who would essentially be available to me 24/7. Those qualities were incredibly important to me in order to achieve what I wanted to achieve.
I frantically searched the internet looking at dozens of portfolios and websites. Nothing screamed out at me. Nothing really appealed to me. Then…it dawned on me. Back in my first year of college (2009), I had the opportunity to train with one of my friends, however that didn’t last long. I simply wasn’t ready. But now, I was ready more than I could have ever imagined.
I messaged this guy (his name is Kevin), and we discussed possibilities. He reassured me that his approach was one that I wasn’t familiar with, and he preached a scientific approach. I had NO idea what he was talking about, but he had all the qualities I was looking for in a trainer, and because he was trust worthy, I was willing to put faith in him and his approach.
I started training with Kevin in November 2015. My starting weight was 147lbs (something to keep in mind for future posts). Kevin provided me with a training plan, where this consisted of 6 days in the gym (as that was my current routine) and he provided me with a meal plan. I was about to enter a whole new world. Everything I thought I knew about “fitness” and “health” was going to be thrown out and replaced with his scientific approach – following a style of fitness called If It Fits Your Macro’s “IIFYM”.
Here’s a short list of things that were proven to be myths in November 2015:
- Carbs aren’t good for you
- Carbs make you fat
- You can’t eat past 7:00pm
- You can’t have fruit
- You can’t consume sugar
- Cardio, Cardio, CARDIO
I know, I know….carbs are GOOD FOR YOU?!?!? Like what? Ladies and gentleman, let me tell you this…this is a game changer, but you’ll learn more later on!
When I started training with Kevin, he had me eating 1733 calories. That immediately stood out to me as a mistake, and I approached him about it. Kevin briefly explained to me that my body required energy, and after careful review (body weight, time in the gym, what I was currently eating…my output), etc., 1733 calories was going to be okay. Like most uneducated fitness wanna-bee’s, I was panicking. I felt as though I had made a huge mistake in choosing this guy, but I stuck it out.
In November and December 2015, things were going, but I wasn’t giving it my all. The whole concept of IIFYM, is a flexible and well balanced lifestyle. IIFYM allows you to eat what you want, when you want, as long as you stay within your macro’s. Of course, there are other variables and factors (i.e.: consuming enough fibre).
Don’t know what a macro is?:
plural noun: macronutrients
a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, in particular.
a type of food (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the human diet.
a chemical element (e.g., potassium, magnesium, calcium) required in large amounts for plant growth and development.
In order to achieve your goals, whatever those are, you need to figure out what your macro count should be. Example: how much protein, fat and carbohydrates you should be consuming on a daily basis in order to succeed. My starting macro’s were:
- Carbs: 192g
- Fat: 50g
- Protein: 131g
For a total of: 1733 calories. Here are some of the things that were on my meal plans during the months of November and December:
- Smoked Ham
- Cheddar Cheese
- Red Potatoes
- Rice Cakes
- Cheerios (post work-out)
- Chocolate Chips
- Full eggs
- Peanut Butter
- English Muffins
Okay, you get the point. If I wanted to divert from my meal plan from time to time (which I tried to do so only once a week), I would essentially save my lunch and dinner, tally up my macro’s, and replace them with similar macro’s. Either I would make homemade pizza, go out to a restaurant, make pasta…it was the right fit for me!
In December 2015, near my birthday, I came across a day where I just couldn’t help myself. I remember this day like it were yesterday.
Like most jobs, we are usually tempted with sweets in the kitchen. Where I use to work, it was normal to have a spread of sweets laid out on the kitchen tables about twice a week. Giving into every temptation, I barged into the kitchen and I started eating everything I could put my hands on. I had chocolate, a total of 6 cookies and about 3 handful of chips. My co-workers knew I would instantly regret that, as it wasn’t in my personality to eat these types of food. Within 30 minutes, I regretted that decision. I told my coach about it, and he wasn’t very happy. The whole point of IIFYM, is you get to enjoy foods you love, in order to avoid binging episodes.
These episodes happened another THREE times in the month of December and I was very discouraged. The holiday season is already so difficult. We are surrounded by treats, surrounded by good food and great company, and let’s be honest…if you want to be social, you have to be prepared to be around food.
I traveled back to Ottawa on New Year’s Eve, and I weighed about 6lbs more than I had going into the holidays. That was discouraging. I spoke to a friend of mine and was seeking advice. The advice I received was the following:
There come’s a point where you need to make a choice. Stop wasting yours and your trainer’s time, and decide whether or not you’re in, or you’re out.
That resonated with me…so I chose that I was in! My goals for 2016 were the same goals as entering 2015, but I wasn’t going to allow myself to finish 2016 in the same spot that I found myself in December 2015.