I think the picture results speak for themselves but I am absolutely over the moon with the outcome. Just in case there are any doubters out there, both the before and after photos were taken on the same iPhone and I have not altered the pictures in anyway, these are real changes to my body as a result of a strict diet and exercise regime over the last 19 days. Having finished the plan, I plan to continue with cutting out dairy and gluton from my diet, as I am convinced that I have an intolerance to these foods and have felt so much better, physically and mentally since cutting them out of my diet. I hope that I can continue with the 'clean' eating as much as possible although I will obviously allow myself a few treats, life is too short to deny yourself all the time and anyone who knows me knows how much I love to eat out!
The story of how I came to do the 19 day body started more than 18 months ago when I saw an interview with Wild At Heart Actress, Lucy-Jo Hudson on This Morning. I was amazed at how good she looked and how much weight she had lost compared to when I had last seen her on-screen as a teenager in Coronation Street and so contacted her on Twitter to ask what her secret was. She replied telling me to follow Mark Raynsford, her Personal Trainer based in Farnham, Surrey who had changed her life. I did and quickly found his blog and joined up to his newsletter 'Weight Loss Tips' which I have been receiving ever since. I first started to consider signing up to the 19 Day Body he runs online numerous times a year around 12 months ago but, I admit, I was a little sceptical as to whether or not I could achieve results without actually having someone help me face to face. I had a Personal Trainer who had done wonders for my fitness but had not managed to get me eating correctly, despite his best efforts, and I thought to myself if I couldn't even listen to my personal trainer who I was paying a lot of money to on a weekly basis, why would I follow the advice of someone who I had never met.
My only regret with this whole 19 Day Body journey is that I had not pushed aside my reservations sooner and done it a year ago. I can honestly say it has revolutionised my life. It has made me realise how so much of how we look is through choice and, despite working long hours, if you are really focused and want to achieve something you will make time to fit exercising and cooking in. Over the last four months I had used my long working days as an excuse to skip the gym or just snack on cheese on toast for dinner. In the last 3 weeks I had 2 parents evenings that went on until 7.30 pm as well as meetings and training sessions lasting until that time on top of my usual planning, marking and resource making sessions that often keep me working until late into the evening. I did not skip one exercise session or use being busy as an excuse not to rustle up a healthy and nutritious meal using the 'allowed' foods of proteins and super veg such as kale, broccoli and asparagus. I am hopeful that now I am in a routine from the last 3 weeks, I can continue to do this when I go back to work tomorrow and will be setting my alarm for 6.00 am as I have done the last 3 weeks in order to fit in a morning workout. I think the main thing I have gained through this experience is a re-energised mental strength, I know how to workout and eat healthy but now I have the mental power to discipline myself to follow that knowledge correctly.
I have to thank Mark for making me think differently and make the right choices when it comes to food and diet. I'm almost tempted to buy a car just so that I can drive out to Farnham and have him as a PT or join in on his bootcamps, but for now I shall make do with subscribing to the 'Tribe Fit' programme he runs which offers online food, exercise and general healthy lifestyle tips and ideas. If you are interested in finding out more of the programmes he offers you can follow him on Twitter at @MarkPT or visit his website http://www.theweightlosstips.co.uk/
Be warned though, once you have discovered Mark and his wonderful ways your life will be changed forever!