As Ali’s Accelerator Journey draws to a close we take a moment to reflect and delve into what life on the other side really looks like, what it feels like and what behaviours it takes to really make a change.
Join us on Ali’s 6 week journey: Week #1 of 6
“Slightly rounder than usual from the Christmas festivities (no regrets on that account), I waddled into the Accelerator induction. I was eager for some direction on starting a new routine, that I assumed would not sign-off on eating a chocolate orange for breakfast (some regrets on that account). I left, optimistic and ready to start the new year with a plan that I hope will last longer than the six-week programme.
Previously, I have always struggled with overly restrictive and complex regimes, mostly because I passionately love to eat but also because I am in a deep, meaningful and committed relationship with wine. Given that, I was pleasantly surprised with our first session with TIF trainer, Adam. The principles are pragmatic, simple and based on a ‘calories in, calories out’ philosophy, with an emphasis on tracking what you eat, good days and bad.
What is different about the Accelerator programme is that the recommended calories are based on what your body needs, which the trainers figure out from a fancy machine. They make you ceremonially wipe your feet before you use it, they say it’s to give a better reading, I think it’s because dignity weighs a couple of pounds. This machine also figures out how much protein you need to eat, which is another element that is new to me.
My daily target is 1750 calories and 120g of protein, pretty reasonable. Strangely I’ve really struggled mentally with being okay with eating such a high amount during the week, not because I usually eat less, but because of the psychology of being a long-term ‘yo—yo’ dieter. The most important thing I have learnt in my first week of the Accelerator programme is that previously I’ve been using diets as punishment for over indulging. It’s become an unhealthy response to being unhappy with my appearance, and that needs to stop. Being given permission by trainers I trust to eat a healthy number of calories has really changed my mindset – This is not punishment, but a positive change I can already see embracing in the long term.
Getting in the protein has taken careful consideration. Meal prep has been key to ensure I can get in as much protein as possible throughout every meal, rather than relying on evening meals. The more protein I eat, the fuller I feel and the more energised I feel before a workout.
But life does get in the way. I had one bad day in the first week, due to a meeting that ran late and forgetting to take a meal out of the freezer, which meant heating up a leftover prawn frittata for tea. Little life tip; warmed up eggs and prawns are not good. But maybe that’s obvious. I stuck to the programme that day, but I felt really, really sad, because I genuinely need to enjoy the food I eat for my own sanity. For the week ahead I intend to plan a bit better, and generally have store cupboard emergency supplies (tuna, baked beans etc.) so if the worst happens, I know I can get in the protein, and not end up hating the experience.
I do feel like I’ve had a successful first week, I’ve kept to plan, but I am very aware that the wave of optimism tends to carry you through initially. I’m sure there will be slip ups, but for now I’m feeling very positive and looking forward to the next week.”