For 8 weeks anyway.
As anyone who has spent anytime on my blog would know I love the 28 by Sam Wood program. I think it’s realistic, doable and supportive. A conversation with me about weight loss (and they happen frequently because I’m a woman and that’s what women do!) usually involves me recommending the 28 program as a good place to start. It sets you up with basic exercises and a great meal plan that anyone can cook.
As ridiculous as it sounds the main issue I have with the program right now in my life, is the variety and actually having to cook. And this is simply because at my core, I’m a simple girl. I need routine, structure and most of all simplicity to have a stress free life. Of course I mix up these simple routines with other stuff and unplanned things like meals out, holidays, socialising and what not because life would be pretty fucking boring if I didn’t. But, at the basic day-to-day level I need simplicity. Me and Simple are happy companions.
So I want to strip back the effort I’m spending on shopping for and preparing meals…just for a little while. Which is why I have started on somewhat of an extreme eating plan for 8 weeks (or 8 minutes, I guess we’ll find out). I’m eating basic fuel food every day for 8 weeks, with the occasional side trip for social occasions (I don’t have that many because homebody!) and also life, because even the best laid plans need a get out of jail free card.
Before I kicked off this new simple eating plan I signed up to another program to investigate my options. I know – shocking, right? Actually it was liberating. I realised just how much I have learnt since being a 28er and this is despite being a self-confessed hopeless student and spending more time in detention than at workout school with Mr Woody. This ‘other program’ was supposedly aimed at mums and families and busy busy busy busy. To be honest, I don’t really buy into the ra ra fitness-nut lifestyle and in fact find it off putting – but here I was…investigating. I was looking for something new and simple. Don’t confuse that with ‘easy’ because committing to anything in life is always challenging, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it (except red wine, that’s easy!).
I spent about 20 minutes on the website of the ‘other program’ and found very little. Very. Very little. Except before and after photos of bikini body after bikini body and more ra ra…Again, 100% not my gig. I couldn’t care less if I never wear a bikini again. The last time was 1979 in a paddling pool with my sister (here’s a photo). So I googled researched the program looking for meal plan examples and reviews. I found more bikini body photos, some videos of TV appearances and not one photo or comment about the food (And visit my Instagram account and you’ll know…I’m ALL about the food!) So I emailed them directly. I specifically asked what I could expect to be eating for dinner tomorrow night if I signed up today. The response was the same vague key message as they have on their website:
“I am sorry I am unable to more specific with you. However if you were to start tomorrow you would be enjoying lean protein and green veggies for dinner….”
OK, that sounds simple. I can do that. The email I received also went on to rave about “people’s physical transformations” and the “secret Facebook forum…which is like nothing else out there…It is a forum that is 100% positive. It’s amazing.” Well I was very curious about that one because the 28 “secret” (give me a break!) forum of 20,000+ people is pretty fucking amazing!
This new program had a once-off sign up fee, which would give me lifetime access. And the fee was manageable. So I signed up very curious to see what was on the other side. And do you know what I found? Nothing I didn’t already know.
The website was terrible and if I was to actually do the program I’d have to sit through video after video to learn what I was supposed to be doing and what I should and shouldn’t be eating. Watching videos is not my thing (unless it’s a Kevin Spacey show and then I’m bingeing). It took me ages to actually find any sort of eating guide and when I did it was NOTHING I DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW. Seeing a pattern here?
I did sit through a few of the intro videos but turned off when the instructor said she wore her hunger pains with pride, that being hungry made her feel skinny (or words to that effect). I found this kind of statement as outrageous as it is damaging -especially if you don’t have an education on how best to fuel your body. And that was another thing that bothered me about this program. There was little to no information about how to actually cook the food (so I wouldn’t be recommending a program like this to a rookie) and it seemed the only place to find answers was to pose questions on the Facebook Secret Forum -which has about 3,000 secret members. Mostly supportive but nowhere near as warm, fun and real as our 28 page.
The exercise program was a whole other mess and had zero appeal to me. But it’s horses for courses so I know it appeals to many people otherwise this program would be out of business.
The point of this post is not actually to review another fitness program or compare it to 28 by Sam Wood. No, it’s to share with you the biggest thing I’ve learnt in my almost 12 months as part of the 28 community. And that is that I HAVE THE POWER.
The nutritional advice has equipped me to make my own educated decisions about simplifying my weekly food intake. So I have. I’ve made a bit of a mish mash 8-week vegetable and protein based diet that I’d call a light version of extreme dieting. Light because I 100% know I’ll be deviating from it here and there.
If you want to know what I’m attempting you can check out my self-devised eating plan HERE. This is a mix of 28 inspired foods and simple protein and veg eating. Like every fitness guru…I’m basically eating chicken and broccoli! My plan is to stick to this for 8 weeks to clear my mind and my body. But like I said in the beginning I have no intention of being militant. I will be deviating – but just not as an every-day thing.
Another crucial thing to know is that once you’ve achieved any sort of weight loss from eating like this you MUST go on to eat well to maintain it, which is where the 28 meal plans will resume in my life. I know them. I trust them. They work. I just want a break from actually cooking them.
Oh and one final thing…obviously I’m not a doctor, a shrink, a personal trainer, a nutritionist or a food expert by any stretch. I’m just a simple girl with a blog who writes about what she likes. Simple. Do your own research if you want to embark on something like this for the first time. Book a personal consult with 28’s super fab Nutritionist, Steph Lowe, she’s the one who DOES know about this stuff (I’m just a story teller). It’s your body and your life…and you’re actually pretty good at making decisions that will work for yourself.
Like Glinda the Good Witch said to Dorothy, “You’ve always had the power my dear, you’ve just had to learn it for yourself.”
PS…You should also note that I haven’t achieved any level of success with this plan of mine yet, I’m just giving it a good hard go and by posting about it here means I’m just that little bit more committed than I was yesterday…I guess.