3 and 1/2 years ago I was at my fittest and probably my best shape ever when I was dealt the blow of being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. During treatment my weight dropped from 48kilos to 46Kilos (7stone 2lb), I did exercise during treatment but obviously I wasn’t able to train as intensely as before. As anyone who has Breast Cancer will know between treatment and surgeries there is basically a year of your life consumed by all of this. When I finished all of my treatment and was fully healed after surgery I started building myself back up and increasing my fitness at a steady pace. I have to take Tamoxifen and I felt that this made it difficult for me to get back to my pre Breast Cancer body and weight. Over the past couple of years I have tried many different ways of getting myself into a really good shape that I am happy with.
6 weeks ago I decided to sign up to the Kickstart Fitness-6 week programme. This programme consists of a 6 week food plan. 2 personal training sessions a week. A private facebook group where you get full support and access to all of the trainers, you can ask any questions you may have, you are kept encouraged and motivated not only by the trainers but also the other people taking part in the challenge. Access to all additional classes at Kickstart Fitness are free of charge for the duration of the programme.
So on the Friday evening before we kicked off week 1, there was a meeting held for all 60+ people who signed up. We were measured and weighed. Darren Dillon the owner / mentor / trainer at Kickstart spoke to us, letting us know what signing up to this programme meant, the commitment it required, what the benefits would be not only physically but emotionally. I was kind of scared but this was one challenge I felt I owed to myself to commit to and see what happened. On the night we were handed a shopping list and a food plan, detailing every bit of food to be consumed. The diet was tasty and varied, I went out that weekend with my kickstart shopping list and filled my trolley with lots of healthy stuff I’m sure people were looking at me walking aimlessly around Dunnes Stores with the list in my hand.
Week 1 began for me on the Sunday night when the food prep started. This was the part of the programme that I found most challenging. I was changing a habit of just grabbing whatever was close to me to actually preparing my food in advance. However for me getting into the habit of preparing my food and sticking to the plan was the biggest win. In my post Breast Cancer life I had been training very hard but not getting the results I wanted, I was always feeling bloated and I knew I should be in better shape but I got into a habit of thinking that Tamoxifen made it more difficult to maintain or loose weight. When I started the programme I wanted to prove to myself and you guys that it is possible to beat Tamoxifen and achieve a leaner body. It was my diet that was letting me down. Although I wasn’t the biggest eater in the world I was making wrong decisions and not fueling my body correctly. Here are the many habits I had fallen into :
- Eating out lots
- Getting takeaways more than once a week
- Having a biscuit / bar of chocolate (or 10) late at night
- Going on a night out and eating for an army the following day
- Not drinking enough water
- Skipping meals
- Exercising lots and wondering why I wasn’t getting results
- Not getting enough sleep – staying on social media until silly o’clock
- Being highly anxious/ stressed and using it as an excuse to grab a bar of chocolate
The way I am speaking you would swear I was a whale that is not the case but I was approx. 6lb over what I wanted to weigh and my weight was only going up. Also I am 4ft 11 with a small frame so I just can’t hold weight like a taller girl could. I will be 40 in April and I have no intention of letting Breast Cancer or Age prevent me for being leaner, stronger or fitter than I have ever been.
Each morning on a empty stomach we were told to drink a mug of hot water with a tablespoon of Cider Vinegar and lemon juice. It tasted funny at first but I persisted and I have to say I am glad I did as everyone has commented on how clear and fresh my skin is looking. It has just become part of my daily routine now. If there is one thing you take from reading this post take this.
After week one the food prep became second nature to me and it wasn’t as time consuming I had found my stride. The diet itself was so varied that I never felt I was missing out. Alcohol was a no no on the plan however my newphew was 21 and I did make an exception for one night but even then I was very sensible well at the very least I had my food for the next day prepped and ready to go.
Part of the programme requires you to do 2 personal training sessions a week, these sessions are not one to one there is a small group of 6 – 8 other people who are also taking part in the challenge. My slots were Tuesdays & Thursdays, my trainer was the lovely Gareth. He ensured that over the course of the 6 weeks everyone was able to lift correctly, he perfected our technique so we would avoid injury and become stronger. Everyone in my group were absolutely flying it by week 2. The training was challenging but enjoyable. As well as the PT sessions we had free access to any of the other classes held in Kickstart and boy was I spoiled for choice, there are so many to choose from and although with work commitments I didn’t get to go as much as I would have liked I went enough to have caught the “Kickstart Bug” and will most certainly be aiming for at least 2-3 sessions a week in Kickstart in the New Year. There is one more thing that I have to tell you about this gym and its their child care facilities, Darren Dillon has not only identified accurately what people want fitness wise but he has also made it possible that everyone can have an hour to themselves to do a bit of exercise and have a bit of me time. He provides a very affordable child care facility for people who want to train but don’t have someone to mind the kids. It costs just €5 to have a child minded while you do your workout. I think this is a service that is invaluable as I think everyone needs to be able to do something for themselves at some stage yet not everyone is luckly enough to have support in raising their children this is where Kickstart has stepped in and made it possible for people who normally would have to miss out to be able to take part.
During the duration of the 6 weeks I had my ups and downs, there were a few things that happened which caused me stress but I didn’t let anything give me an excuse to faulter. On week three my impatience got the better of me and I felt that I wasn’t getting any results (even though I was) so at that stage I stopped taking my weekly progress photo as I was annoying myself and also poor Tom nearly lost his life if he got the angle of the photo wrong I won’t lie tension were high.
6 weeks on last Thursday I had my weigh in – I knew I wasn’t going to loose a stone as I didn’t have that to loose. My perspective changed during the 6 weeks on why I was doing this, it went from purely wanting to drop weight and be smaller to wanting to eat better and feel better. My results well as you can see below not only did I drop 4lbs but I dropped inches off all of my problem areas 15. 5 inches to be exact and I also lost that horrible bloated feeling. I always knew that feeding my body properly was important and when I had Breast Cancer I ate brilliantly and was very conscious of my diet, but it shouldn’t take having an illness to look after our bodies and getting better shouldn’t be an excuse not to look after our bodies. Honestly this is one of the most rewarding enjoyable things I have ever done, I always say if you walk away from an experience having learned something then it was worth it, well I have walked away from this programme with a whole new mindset, feeling and looking better inside and out. So on that note I just want to thank the Kickstart Team for providing such a brilliant programme, there is no part I could fault, you prepare and provide so much support, motivation and advice that it is hard not to achieve results.
www.kickstartfitness.ie for more information on the programme or classes available
#fitness #health #healthymindhealthybody #results #kickstart