4 weeks in.

4 Weeks into my cut and 5.5lbs down. So far my energy levels are still quite high and i haven’t really had any cravings.. YET.

This past week i have definitely noticed a lot of changes in my body. My arms, abs and legs are noticibly leaner and most of all my chubby bulking cheeks have gone.
I still have a long way to go on this cut and i know that it’s the next few weeks that are going to be the toughest but so far i’m feeling really good about it and a lot more
confident than i was last year while cutting.

This time last year i was in a very bad place mentally and i really think that had a massive effect on me while cutting, i was very self conscious and had no confidence in myself and found it very overwhelming when dieting. I think it’s important in this sport when bulking and cutting to make sure your mind is in the right place before pushing your body to extremes. It took a long time for me to realize i would never be happy with my results or the way my body looked until i was happy on the inside first and foremost.

Thankfully this year i am in a much better place, i have made a lot of changes in my life over the past few months and have people in my life who are very supportive and help keep me motivated, it really does make all the difference.

On saturday i decided it was time for a cheat meal, 4 weeks in i felt like a deserved one. My reward for no cheats the past 4 weeks was a Mcdonalds frappe, fries and quadrouple cheeseburger and it tasted sooooo good. Once is enough though, i don’t want to sabotage myself after i have been doing so well and pig out big time. If i do start getting cravings and wanting to pig out all i have to do is take a look at my progress pictures so far and i’m sure that will be enough to keep me focused.

As i have started leaning out a bit i can notice such a difference compared to this time last year. Especially in my arms. One of the main things for me during my bulk was to work on my arms a lot as i really hated them and felt like they were my worst feature.
Last year i had no shape in them at all and that has always been the area that i carry most of my body fat. So even during my bulk even though i could see my arms getting bigger and i could kind of see the shape there underneath i was so paranoid throughout my bulk that they were just getting fatter and weren’t going to have much shape. Since i have started leaning out a bit my arms are already looking so much better and it has made me feel a lot more confident in myself so i can’t wait to see how my body is going look. It’s been a long time but my abs are STARTING to make an appearance again.

Right now i am still on 2000 calories a day, sticking to 4 workouts a week and one or two yoga sessions. Plus i have been walking everywhere possible to get in some enjoyable LISS cardio. The bodyfat seems to be melting off me right now so i’m not going to change anything in my diet and training until necessary if/when my weight loss stalls. Of course i will be blogging and keep you updated.

Happy Easter everyone. Love and Light.1 ME 123.jpg

2 weeks in.

So I started my cut two weeks ago but haven’t really had a chance to blog anything about it yet I’ve been busy with starting my new job and training. Finally have a few spare hours today to get up to scratch with my blog and a few other things.

When my bulk ended I lowered my calories down to maintenance level for one week. After that I lowered them down another 200 calories just to see how I’d get on. I kept my intake of protein exactly the same and took away 200 calories worth of carbs each day. My macros are currently 40% protein 30% carbs & 30% fat. This worked out really well for me, the past two weeks I have kept my calories at this same level and have started walking home from the gym instead of getting the bus to add in some LISS cardio. Doing this I have lost 1lb a week for the past two weeks so this is right on target for me.

I don’t want to undo all of the work I have been putting in over the past few months to build my muscle so I’m aiming to lose 1lb a week steadily throughout my cut. At the moment I am on track so there’s no need to reduce my calories any further as of yet, if/when I hit a plateau with my weight loss I will then adjust my training and/or calories as necessary.

Training wise I am doing the exact same workouts I have been doing since January. The routines and exercises I have been doing during my bulk have been working really well for me so I don’t see any reason to change these just because I am cutting now. Since I will be in a caloric deficit I am not expecting to increase my weights at the same rate as when bulking but I am going to use this next few weeks to really work on and improve my form and mobility in all areas.

So far I am feeling a lot more energised than I felt during the last few weeks of my bulk and really motivated, now just need to try and keep myself in this headspace I’m in and keep the ball rolling. So far so good but I’m only 2 weeks in, for me it usually comes week 4 or 5 when the mood swings and the tantrums start. Eyes on the prize though, feeling more motivated than ever.

Happy Sunday. Love and Light.

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Herbal treatments for sleep & anxiety.

My whole life i have suffered with anxiety. Last year it got to a level i never imagined was possible and it totally consumed me. I know already that when you suffer with an anxiety disorder it never just ‘goes away’. It comes in waves, it gets worse and gets less, but it never goes away. Unfortunately it’s all about learning to manage it.

Thankfully that dark place i was in has passed. I haven’t had a panic attack in over 1 month, which may not sound like a long time, but for me this is a record! I feel somewhat calm and happy and dare i say it… Normal?

Of course i still have all of the things that come with my anxiety disorder. The shaking hands, the self doubt, the lack of confidence, the worry and racing thoughts to name a few. But you know what? Right now these things are secondary. It feels so good to be able to say that. Right now these things are not in control of me.

Ahh.. So this is what it feels like to reclaim my power!

Anyway the purpose of this post is over the past few years i have tried so many herbal remedies to help ease symptoms of anxiety. Most of them were useless of course. But i have found a few that have been really beneficial to me.

Now don’t get me wrong these things to not ‘cure’ or ‘fix’ anxiety. But they can aid in easing the symptoms slightly while you work on controlling your anxiety yourself. I wish i had somebody to advise me of these things when my Dr was trying (unsuccessfully) to push xanax and antidepressants down my neck. For me personally that was not a route i wanted to go down so i started sampling different herbal supplements. Here are the ones i recommend below. Please remember though that everybody reacts differently to different supplements and aids so what worked for me might not necessarily work for you and vice versa.

  1. L Tryptophan. – Tryptophan is an amino acid and it helps regulate our mood as it has the ability to balance hormones naturally. It is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin so taking tryptophan increases production of these two neurotransmitters. It has a very noticeable calming effect. It can make you quite drowsy, if taken in a higher dose it is great for use as a sleep aid.
  2. Valerian root. – This is probably the best one i have found. If you can’t find valerian root from a health store, you can also buy it from any pharmacy sold under the name ‘Kalms’ which is just a tablet of valerian root. You can buy it in two different strengths, so one of them is low dose which can be taken during the day to ease anxiety and the higher dose can be taken an hour before bed as a sleep aid. Although i didn’t find valerian root helped me to fall asleep any quicker it did help me to stay asleep all through the night and to wake up feeling like i was well rested and fresh. Lack of good sleep always makes anxiety worse. This supplement really helped me to get my sleep pattern in order and to get some rest when i needed it.
  3. Chamomile tea. – Who doesn’t love a cup of tea? Chamomile is a very cheap and cheerful way to aid relaxation. It has been used for years in tea for the calming effect it has and i always find it helps ease my physical anxiety symptoms.
  4. L Theanine. – I only discovered this one quite recently but it has honestly been a god send. Theanine is a precursor to the neurotransmitter gaba. GABA is responsible for having a sedating and calming effect on the body. So by taking l theanine and helping increase GABA production in the brain you can really help to ease any tension in the body from anxiety and to relax. I find this one good because it really calms my body but doesn’t make me sleepy so it is a good one to take during the day. Theanine also has positive effects on cognition and is often used stacked with caffeine as a nootropic. My whole life i have always had extremely shaky hands and my full body trembles from anxiety but since i started taking theanine my shakes have been very minimal.
  5. Magnesium. – Old but gold. I have used magnesium for years and always find that it works great in helping to ease muscle tension in the body. For people who suffer with anxiety disorders their body is constantly in fight or flight mode, this causes us to walk around tensed up and on edge and can cause so much tension and aches and pains in the muscles. Magnesium is a great way to ease that. I have used epsom salts in my bath, magnesium sprays and also magnesium capsules. I find all work equally as well.

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