They say a little progress each day adds up to big results. Now, I’m not sure who ‘they’ are or which one of ‘them’ said it, but it feels like an appropriate thing to say at the end of this body transformation journey with The Arrow Club.
For those of you who’ve been following along from the start, you’ll remember that we covered eating in the last post and a little about The Arrow Clubs approach to training in the first post. If however, you stumbled upon here after googling “How to lose weight while drinking beer” then I have good and bad news. The good news is, it’s totally possible, the bad news is you’ve started at the end and are in for a major spoiler alert. You might want to take a look at the first post here and the second post here before taking a look at the results below – otherwise, it will kinda be liking watching Star Wars and I’m still not really sure I understood what that was all about.
We have continued our calorie deficit diet with weekly reductions in calories for the last sprint to the finish line – To be honest, I barely felt the calorie reduction and some days didn’t even manage to fit them all in. We’ve also continued to follow the principles of mobilizing, activating, overloading and conditioning for our 3 training sessions a week. Now I know we’ve discussed training in the last few posts, so this time around, we thought we’de put together a quick video to give you a taste of what those training sessions look like.
So, what were the results after 11 weeks?… Yeah, quick disclaimer here. Unfortunately, our 12-week journey was cut short in the end with an unexpected overseas trip so we never managed to crank out those last few training sessions to see out the full 12-week journey. None the less below are the results. I’ve decided to put Day 1 and Week 8 side by side so that you can have a comparison from the first day as well as a comparison for changes in the last few weeks. Shooting these ‘before and after shots’ was a lot trickier than we had anticipated and although we had floor markings for ourselves and our tripod, the lighting on the day played a big role in the final image. I have tried my best to remove as much contrast as possible without messing with the pic too much for the sake of authenticity.
Okay, enough disclaimers. Go take a look already!
Now you understand why I opened with “a little progress each day can add up to big results”. I decided to put together a short little Q&A for Elzaan (her results up next) and I to answer as a way to recap our feelings on The Arrow Club experience.
What did you enjoy the most from the experience? The ‘diet’ was definitely the most enjoyable for me. The flexibility that comes with working to a calorie goal made it incredibly easy to stick to. I never felt deprived and could plan ahead for any treats I needed.
What did you enjoy the least from the experience? I don’t know that there was anything I didn’t enjoy from the experience but weighing your food at every meal can get a little tedious. When you’re hungry and all you want to do is eat, the exercise of patience requires a few reps. In the end, planning ahead is the best way to overcome this and the results far outway (no pun intended) the effort.
What was your biggest surprise/learning during the experience? Carbs are not the devil!! That’s right…we can eat them, all of them, rice, potatoes, bagels…ALL THE CARBS!! Understanding the caloric value of food was such a lightbulb moment for me. Not that I didn’t understand it before, I always got the principle but knowing that 10 peanut butter M&M’s carries the same amount of calories as 100gms of potatoes helped me make better decisions…or at least plan for less better ones.
What will you continue to practice on your own? There is loads I will take away with me from this experience, but there are 2 things that I have continued to practice after this journey ended and I will continue to practice forever. The first, in case you haven’t noticed, is not demonizing food, working towards a calorie goal is a lifestyle change that I will definitely adopt moving forward. The second would have to be mobilizing and activating my muscles before a weight workout. A couple of band exercises and stretches before training has given me such a great understanding of what muscles do and has kept me totally injury-free.
Do you think your body transformed? Completely! Putting these images together for this post really let me see the massive change from day 1 to day 91! My posture alone has transformed my body. Even without all the pictures, I could feel the difference in my clothes weekly! I’ve spent a lot of money at the tailor getting my slim fits slimmer!
Are you in the best shape of your life? I set out on this journey in the hope of getting into the best shape of my life and I think I came pretty close in 11 weeks. An 8Kg drop in weight and 10cm loss around my waist is a pretty big deal at my age. I think 11 weeks isn’t long enough to achieve the results I was hoping for in my head (think Brad Pitt in Snatch) but it’s also unrealistic to think those results will come so easily. Given another 11 weeks I may just be that much closer.
One more quick disclaimer. Elzaana and I did this questionnaire independently of each other and without discussing it beforehand. Interestingly (but not surprisingly) a lot of the answers overlapped.
What did you enjoy the most from the experience? I loved that I never had to think about what I was going to do at the gym – I’m not an exercise expert so coming up with workouts every day was often something that put me off going to the gym entirely. Having someone take all the ‘work’ out of workouts and guide me through each session (while keeping a strict eye on my form) was definitely a God sent.
What did you enjoy the least from the experience? Hmmmm… I really struggle to think of an ‘unenjoyable’ part to this experience but if I had to pick something I would say the effort of weighing and planning meals can be a little tiresome. Sometimes you just want a quick ‘grab and go’ without slicing, dicing and weighing everything beforehand. In the end, I quickly learned that failing to plan was planning to fail! So basically… planning is your best friend along this journey!
What was your biggest surprise/learning during the experience? My biggest surprise was learning that carbs are in fact NOT the devil and that you can eat carbs at every meal and still lose weight in the end. This literally went against everything I believed and practiced over the last few years. Another massive surprise was realizing that I didn’t have to get my heart rate shooting through the roof in order to have a good workout and burn fat – I can’t believe I ever trusted that ‘sweat is your fat crying’ motivational poster! : )
What will you continue to practice on your own? I will definitely be including carbs in my diet in the future! DEFINITELY! I realized that sustainability is the way forward and that following a sustainable eating plan is a far better solution than crash dieting every time bikini season rolls around.
Do you think your body transformed? My body has definitely transformed. I wasn’t even aware of how bad my posture was and what a difference it makes to my overall body! My bum is also looking better than it has in years… sooo… obvs happy about that!
Are you in the best shape of your life? I think ‘best shape’ is a relative term. If we’re talking purely physical appearance, then I would say yes. As mentioned above, I’m super happy with my posture and bum and I think my body has ‘shaped’ up really well, given a few more weeks I think I would be in even better visual shape. I don’t, however, know if I’m in the best physical fitness shape I’ve ever been. I feel as though I have been stronger and fitter before but not necessarily looking this good. Again, I do believe that more time could change all of this.
If you’re looking to put your body to the transformation test, just drop the guys at The Arrow Club a mail. If you’re based in Cape Town you can visit their studio in Vredehoek or alternatively, you can chat to them about their online coaching program if you’re…well, anywhere else in the world!
And there you have it! Our first ever body transformation. A massive thank you to The Arrow Club for giving us your time and dedication as well as Adidas for making sure we looked as good as we felt! Now that we’re stocked up with some badass training gear, we need to keep putting it to good use – just so we don’t end up with a ‘fat at 40’ blog post. So any suggestions? We’re both looking for new fitness challenges and would love some suggestions. Boxing? Yoga Challenge? Crossfit? Let us know.
Okay. Stay fit and fancy.