The competition is hotting up and the fit factor contestants are all chomping at the bit and heading rapidly to the finish line with less than a week to go. They are all super determined and focused but I'm not sure the top prize of a luxury weekend in the beautiful Scottish Highlands is what the 6 (Brian the Journal editor can't win it...can he??) are really looking forward too!
Although a fab prize, I think the Fit Factors all have the one prize they will all get in their sights, a healthier future!
They have all made some huge sacrifices to take part in the Fit Factor and I have talked before about the bubble they have all placed themselves in, to achieve these results.
Some may feel that it's unrealistic to cut yourself off from 'real' life to lose weight but I say that for the sake of 12 weeks and the opportunity to lose upwards of 3 stone, it is worth it.
The average life expectancy in the UK is 81 years, so 12 weeks of that is 0.002% of your life spent being super focused on food and exercise. But as the fit factors will discover life doesn't just snap back after the 12 weeks are up. If they have been paying attention and absorbed what they have truly achieved, they will not go back to the old ways.
Some people who embark on this type of life changing event don't always 'get it' and although they seem to be doing well they are itching to go back to old ways, they soon discover the weight goes back on quicker than they lost it (which is canny good going) and realise that the enjoyment of eating and drinking is short lived. Then they go back to day dreaming about being thinner and trying to remember what it felt like to feel better and fitter.
Life after Fit Factor can be difficult, I've worked really hard to keep fit and to keep going and sometimes life can throw you curved balls and dealing with some of life's issues can push you over the edge and as a human being I feel the need to have a blow out once in a while.
The majority of the time (like many of the trainers and clients at DF Fitness) I live by the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of the time I follow the paleo plan but I have the 20% to use to my advantage, now this doesn't mean that the 20% is full of high fat, sugary and generally unhealthy foods, it means an occasional glass of wine, some sweet potatoes, brown rice or butternut squash with my meal or for a special occasion a meal out with friends/family. Plus, I'm not sure a sugar laden, chemical packed, toxic snack can't be classed as a 'treat'?
Following the 80/20 rule will help maintain the losses already made.
I haven't gained weight but I haven't lost much either as over time the 20% has slipped to 30% ok maybe 35%, but I'm only human, I'm still a fatty inside really, you don't get up to 18 stone by not liking chocolate, take aways and booze!
I will always be a foodie, I love food, I love good food and wine! The good thing about following Paleo is that I can still eat good food. So much can be done with natures larder. Adding spices and herbs can really make a meal. Losing weight doesn't need to be boring or tasteless, it's all about imagination. However the 20% does allows me to have some freedom but if I really want to shift these remaining pounds I need to get my self into gear and bubble up! That's when determination and dedication needs to happen!
All of the 7 Fit Factors have held on to this determination and dedication for the last 12 weeks, and thats tough! In a world driven by consumerism and advertising, temptation is never far away, resisting it is a major challenge in itself! The dedication shown by them all is amazing, Ash Cunliff managed to go on a lads golfing weekend to Spain and still lose 8lbs!!! Go Ash! They have all had personal issues of one kind or another but have overcome these to go on and lose weight. You see it can be done!
To do this, support is vital, I've talked about support in the form of family and friends, but having extra support in the form of a personal trainer helps enormously. The trainers at DF Fitness are all fantastic and very supportive! It's like having extended family as that's the feel in the private personal training gym, it's not open to the general public so everyone there has the same goal as each other. The care, attention and dedication given to each client is second to none and if you need help DF Fitness is the place to go.
I suppose you have all realised by now that I'm not much different to most overweight people (excluding those with a medical condition as I don't have anything wrong with me!).
I comfort eat, day dream about being slimmer, I whinge about the excess weight I have and how clothes don't fit and I can't find anything to wear, and the fact I love food and I can be lazy, but, I have on some level managed to glimpse how the other half live, (the naturally fit and thin half who seem to glide through life with no effort at all, seem to eat what they like and never put on weight that we chubby folk often envy)
I have felt and still have the feeling of being fit and being able to run, move and feel free, the surprise of fitting into smaller jeans, the happiness of salad and the joy of chicken (I eat lots of chicken) and I wouldn't swap it for all the chocolate in the North East. This is the feeling that reminds me to keep going, to keep on with PT sessions and to sign up for running events, this feeling can stop me from eating something I shouldn't (not always, but most of the time!)
What I'm trying to say is, life after fit factor isn't easy but it's way better than life before!
The Fit 7 need to grasp that same feeling and remember the path ahead isn't going to be easy but that they can all make a huge difference to their lives and general health. Life is about choice. We can choose to be a spectator sitting in the sidelines eating a hot dog or be out on the track crossing the finish line with pride, happiness and triumph and using that feeling to fuel the next choice we make. The competition was only the beginning. Hopefully they will all become the other half that we envy.
Fit Factor Finale
Kerry and all the Fit Factors will be at the Fit Factor Finale on Wednesday 4th June at the Hilton Hotel, Gateshead at 6pm. This event is to crown the Fit Factor winner. All the Fit Factor contestants will be available for a question and answer session followed by a Motivational Talk by David Fairlamb, Journal Fitness Consultant and Fit Factor Trainer and Mentor.
If you would like to attend this event please email your name and number of seats required to email@example.com there are limited seats available. There is an admission fee of £10 per person charged at the door. Part proceeds will be donated to the Bubble Foundation.