Okay, so you might have seen my post a few weeks back about joining up to The Body Coach’s 90DAYSSS plan.
I explained in detail my reasons for doing the plan – and now I’m checking in with an update!
First of all – my reasons for getting healthy have remained the same. My body is good to me. It fights off disease, it takes me on nights out, it’s rad. I love it, and it deserves to be treated with the same care with which I treat my other loved ones. And I love me, and so I deserve to feel awesome and healthy.
Read: this was not about ‘getting skinnier and prettier’.
So I’ll start off by telling you two things about The Plan.
- I’m not on it anymore.
- I wouldn’t recommend it to others.
And here’s why…
When I mentioned on Facebook that I was starting the plan, a friend of mine added me to the an unofficial ‘support group’. The posts were, and are..disturbing. There is, and I don’t wish to overstate this, a cult-like worship of Joe Wickes (the douche who says BOSH a lot).
They call themselves Leanies.
There is a strictness among them – with weighing of macronutrients, which I get is important if you wish to stick to the plan religiously – but also with the group in general. People are in there all day, discussing what people can and can’t do. Buying the exact brand that Wickes promotes of EVERYTHING. It’s unsettling. I have a skeptical nature anyway, and this had all of my alarms buzzing.
Okay so when you sign up you’re given an adviser to email directly with questions and issues. When my plan came through, it explained that the only time I was allowed to eat carbs was after a workout. This…was interesting. So I did some research.
I found a couple studies suggesting that exercising in a carb-deprived state could fuck with your oestrogen levels (I had detailed in my questionnaire that I have PCOS and hormones can be an issue for me).
I emailed my adviser. He told me that ‘no-one has ever reported back’ a drop in oestrogen, and that I should continue working out in a carb-deprived state. Which wasn’t overly reassuring as, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never checked my oestrogen levels after a workout to report back to anyone.
A little more digging showed that working out before eating carbs can result in:
- decreased thyroid output
- increased cortisol output
- decreased testosterone
- impaired mood and cognitive function
- muscle catabolism
- suppressed immune function.
Not too hot.
Yes, I know HIIT is all the rage at the moment. Here’s the thing with that. I wasn’t asked when I started about my resting heart rate. I happen to know it’s above average. When I workout too hard on a treadmill for example, I get a warning telling me to take it easy, as my heart rate can get quite high.
HIIT is intended to raise your heart rate. Wickes says in his videos to make your heart pump so hard you “feel physically sick.” For a healthy person, that might be okay, maybe. Doesn’t sound it to be honest but I’m not a sports scientist, I don’t know. But for me? I know that shit’s dangerous. I know my physical limits. And this brings us back to the cult – sorry, I mean facebook group. They’re constantly bullying each other in to going ‘harder’.
OH MY GOD I have never seen anything so unrealistic! The 15 minutes thing is clearly something best saved for his books. All of the ‘macro measured’ recipes I was given consisted of about 20 ingredients, which required either a full day to prepare a week’s worth, or a good hour making dinner every day (and a shit tonne of washing up either way).
Working full time, going to screenings, being in bands, all this shit I fill my time with – there is no time left for me to spend my whole life on a meal that doesn’t even taste that great.
It’s not a life-friendly plan. I can’t carry a lunchbox everywhere I go and crack out salmon mousse in public.
I’ve done healthy living before. Regular runs and a lack of shitty foods, and seen results straight away. Three weeks on this and I didn’t lose a single pound, or a single inch – oh, and I felt no different.
Sorry, Leanies. But I’m not buying it. I think any extra amount of exercise and change in diet can show results, I’m not at all convinced your magic formula is what’s doing it. I feel I could quite easily eat healthier and exercise more (which is the basic idea, isn’t it?) without paying £150 for it, and get better results.
So on that note, I’ve joined a gym. I am already enjoying my new self-care a hell of a lot more than The Plan.