Two blog posts in two days? OH YEAH! That’s what you get when you go away by yourself, lots of thinking and writing time!
This time I decided to talk about something that up until recently I didn’t really pay much attention to… Nutrition! I mean, I’ve always loved food and anyone who knows me, knows this is true. But I never really paid attention to exactly what I was eating, or how it was going to affect my performance.
If you read one of my first posts (Honesty Post) you will know that last year was a bit of an up & down one for me, I won’t go into details again, but one thing that affected me a lot was the weight I gained & my body shape. Basically.. I was unhappy, and eating a lot, and then eating more because I was unhappy about gaining weight (crazy huh) Anyway… enough about that.
In January I started my 16 week training block for the London Marathon. I was including 3 gym sessions a week, was getting faster and felt stronger then ever, as well as losing some weight in the process, which was great! But what I did find was as my mileage was starting to creep up, so was my appetite, and I was starting to slip back into old habits – snacking on the wrong things too often, grabbing a quick fix & completely over estimating my portion sizes. I started to worry that I was going to undo all my hard work, so I decided to get some help.
I had been following Andi (@andiscottshaw) on Instagram for a while, and was seriously impressed by his own & his clients transformations. As well as training like a beast, his passion is nutrition and he would regularly post food, menu choices and weight loss results.
At first I will admit I was a bit sceptical and thought that like most diet plans you see online it just wouldn’t be achievable for the average person – countless expensive ingredients, having to spend HOURS prepping in the kitchen, and having to track every single crumb on MyFitnessPal (I mean seriously, who actually has time to do that?!) so for a while I just looked on, feeling slightly jealous that I wasn’t getting results like that even though I was working hard.
As I was getting further into my training cycle, I was seeing results I never expected and achieving PBs I thought were months & months away, and it really started to make me question my goals for the London marathon, and that if I took it a bit more seriously, I could potentially achieve something pretty special on the day. I knew that my nutrition could be the thing holding me back, so I bit the bullet, and dropped Andi a message.
I explained that my goals were not to lose weight, but mainly to ensure that I was fuelling my body correctly for the amount I was doing, and to hopefully drop some body fat so that I was in the best shape possible for race day – Andi has experience working with loads of different clients – whether that’s weight loss, muscle gain or lean muscle gain so this wasn’t a problem at all!
I was excited to receive my plan, but also nervous and apprehensive – I had tried and failed many times to stick to a plan, and I worried I was just going to be wasting both our time, although this time did feel different, as I had a real goal I wanted to achieve, rather than just ‘losing weight as quickly as possible’
When I got my plan, the first thing I thought was ‘OH MY CARB’ – there must be a mistake! My daily calories were high (approx 2,300) my daily carb allowance was high, and I was having carbs with every meal – surely I was just going to be bloated all the time & gain weight?! Because carbs make you fat? Right? WRONG!
My menu was simple.
Breakfast – Oats, Almond Milk, Peanut Butter, Blueberries.
Lunch – 2 x Wholemeal Wraps, Tuna, Cucumber, Crisps
Dinner – Wholemeal Pasta, Chicken, Pesto, Olives, Sundried Tomato (and whatever veg I wanted!)
Snacks – 0% Greek Yogurt, Strawberries, Almonds, Banana, Trek Bar
(NB – I am not including quantities as this was personal to me and my current weight & training. It is not a one size fits all plan I am afraid, but trust me when I say that portions are not small!!)
I honestly could not believe how much food I was eating! I felt satisfied after every meal and was genuinely enjoying what I was eating every day, but I still didn’t understand how this was going to help me get leaner.. well, that was until a few days into the plan!
I had lost weight, I couldn’t believe it – so guess what, my calories went up! When Andi sent through my revised plan it did panic me slightly – 2,600 calories! Again, I thought it was a mistake (apparently a lot of his clients think this when they first get sent their plan, we do trust you really!!) but I put my trust in it, and continued to follow it to a T.
I did also get sent a ‘B’ choice menu, but I was enjoying the food so much & got my prep nailed I couldn’t be bothered to change – so don’t panic if the thought of eating the same food everyday bores you to tears, you can always be flexible!
I genuinely surprised myself with how well I stuck to the plan. I definitely took the 80/20 approach though and have enjoyed a handful of meals out, wine, chocolate and office biscuits (why, oh why is there always biscuits!!) because sometimes life is too short, and you do need to have a little bit of what you enjoy now and then!
It’s now 11 days until race day, and soon enough my carbs will be going up (again!) but rather then being scared about it, I know it’s going to be the best thing for my body!
Although this was initially a plan to see me to the marathon, I am going to continue afterwards. Yes, I will relax it a little bit, but now knowing what a difference getting your nutrition right can make to your body & how you feel, I actually don’t want to go back to second guessing what I’m putting in and just hoping for the best. And then when it comes to Berlin Marathon later in the year I will be giving it 100% yet again.
If nutrition is something you have always struggled with, or you have tried many different diets (like me!) but not seeing the results, I highly recommend speaking to Andi (@andiscottshaw), whether you are an athlete, or just want to get in shape for a summer holiday, he will be able to help you.
As I have said before, marathon training is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, there are many pieces needed for it to all slot together and work properly, and I finally feel that now I’ve got my nutrition on track, along with my strength training & running, I am giving myself the best possible chance when I line up on the 22nd April!
Here are my results from just over 5 weeks following my plan. I am unsure what my current BF% & weight are due to being away, but I will be checking in when I get back next week.
Left – 11/04/18
Right – 06/03/18