There's more strength in you than you think

Week 1

I commenced the challenge by completing the Turkish Get-Up Workshop at Box33 Adaptive Strength. It was a fantastic morning that reinforced proper technique, and I realised I had become sloppy with some of my moves which is not helpful (or safe!) for advancing to heavier weights. I'm working on a review!

Following the Squeaky Clean Keto plan, by the end of the week I had dropped 3kgs, shedding the last of the 'covid kilos' and returning to the weight I started the year at (I'd lost another 3kgs doing 'lazy' keto over the 6 weeks prior).

Week 2

The second week continued strong, holding myself accountable (with the help of the cheering squad at home and work) and being organised. Organisation - that was the big learning of the week, as while I'm on top of the getting ready in the morning such as having protein in my shaker, bags packed, and my outfit selected the end of the day has been disarray for years: what's for dinner?!

Having a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) has been invaluable; while I'm practicing in the evening my partner is popping chicken and veg in the pot with some stock, so a healthy hot meal is ready when I get home. However - a pressure cooked meatloaf disaster has put him off cooking altogether and by Week 3 I was back to hold habits of trying to figure out dinner at 8pm.

On writing about 30 day challenges, Blaz Kos shares the insight that "After the first few days, the crisis occurs. The motivation perishes and the only thing left is willpower."  I managed the first 15 days superbly, mindset on point and plan on track. Then, hormones kicked in and it was my time of the month.

Hormones and I, we go way back and the relationship ain't a rosy one - but things are much better, with minimal pain and impact. However, in the context of this challenge, I felt mentally weaker and in that weak moment knowingly agreed to an energy-draining activity that left me wiped for five days.

I broke plan, and went on a low-carb chocolate bender.

Well, at least it's not the worst thing one could do! While I'm knocked out of ketosis and haven't lost kilos, I stuck with my regular practice and my body fat percentage reduced, so I'm not too far off target.

I also listened to some fantastic podcasts, particularly enjoying this Sparta Chicks Radio interview with Dr Stacey Sims who's battlecry is that women are not small men (LOVE IT!):

Even the common training program structure of 3 weeks of training followed by 1 week of recovery is - you guessed it! - based on research done on men, without any regard for the hormonal changes experienced by women throughout each month.

Listen to the episode below and learn more here:

This episode came at just the right time for me, as the hormones plus eating the 'wrong thing' could have thrown me straight back into old beliefs and habits throwing arms in the air shouting I can't complete anything, etc etc.

As someone who has experienced trauma from dysfunctional hormonal and menstrual cycles, I thought it vital that I learn more. It's too long a story for now, but a few years ago as I received treatment to address hormonal imbalance, I suffered terrible depressive episodes and it took several cycles to realise it was a cycle and, as per the adage, "this too shall pass". As I learn more about fitness, developing a strong body, and understanding what it takes to be a fit person, I thought it vital I learn early from science on female physiology which will help me immensely.

I'm now reading Dr Sims book, Roar: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health and a Strong, Lean Body for Life and will write a review when read.

Week 3: back on track

With these insights, I have used Week 3 to get on track. Food has not been perfect, but that's fine - my practice has been on point, strong and complete. This is the first week where I have trained on all 6 days that I had planned. I'm particularly proud that I finished Friday's hard S&S session feeling better than when I started, which is progress!

To get food on track, I have meal prepped this week, with breakfast, lunch and dinner for half the week already made along with some chocolate fat bombs - recipe coming when I've perfected it!

I have just heard about a challenge called 75Hard which has some fantastic principles that foster mental toughness, resilience, learning that the environment is not always perfect, no excuses and other great practices for body and mind. I have 77 days to go in 100 Days of Simple, and so learning more about the ideas behind 75Hard will be beneficial as I move forward.