Eight week challenge

Eight week challenge

My lovely friend Nicola has launched an eight week group accountability “thing”, all about getting shit done in the run-up to Christmas.

I have decided to participate, largely for the accountability factor. I have some business goals I would like to achieve in the next eight weeks, alongside some physical changes – the latter of which are more relevant to this blog. By writing about these goals publicly, I can’t bail out.

I’ve been feeling a little blah lately, understandably so considering I ate like a pig in Italy (hey, my nickname is Pig for a reason). During the three months I was in Italy, I estimate I ate gelato at least 90 times (I didn’t have it every day, but I had it twice a day on enough occasions to make up for it!), nommed on pasta almost every single day, and consumed enough pizza for me to still be put off by the idea of it. I’ve never been a big drinker in my life, so I surprised myself by drinking wine almost every day.

So. Much. Gelato.

So. Much. Gelato.

I haven’t actually weighed myself since I was in Rome, because who needs that kind of negativity in their life? I know I have definitely gained weight, because my clothes are tighter and I’ve gone up a notch on my lifting belt. And I can see it! It’s likely only three or four kilos – all things considered, it could have been much worse!

I don’t regret the past few months for a second. I wanted to treat the first three months of my new nomadic lifestyle as a holiday, and Italy was a great place to start. As I’ve repeatedly said, I was never going to travel throughout Italy and not enjoy all the foods which make the country famous.

Pizza and pasta all day, every day.

Pizza and pasta all day, every day.

I’m finding it much easier to eat “normally” in Croatia, and I’m settling in to a more stable routine. As I’m staying put it one place for so long, I don’t need to eat out so often. I’m hoping that it will be easy to drop the extra weight I’ve gained.

You should know by now that I’m not going to do anything crazy to achieve this. This is the action plan that I’ve been following for the past week:

  • Stop eating so much crap! I’m not going to stop eating out, but I will try to limit my heavier meals to once per week.
  • No more gelato! I actually haven’t had gelato since Nic visited me. It’s just not as good here, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out if I don’t have it every day.
  • No more booze. I’ve actually found it surprisingly easy to quit my daily wine habit cold turkey.
  • Calorie-wise, I’m shooting for between 2000 and 2500 calories a day. However, I am not tracking macros – I will only do so if I stop losing weight. For now, cutting out pasta and gelato is making enough of a difference. I will share what I’m eating (roughly) in a separate post, but it’s generally three meals a day which all contain protein, carbs and fat – no low-carb malarkey over here!
The view from my hike!

The view from my hike!

  • Lifting will remain the same (I’m currently in the middle of a periodisation cycle, peaking in three weeks) but I’m doing more cardio, purely by coincidence, as I’ve joined a dance school here. I’m currently enrolled in one course which is three nights a week, but I may add a second, which will take me up to five nights a week. There is a gigantic hill behind my apartment which I’ve also been hiking up twice a week. I also walk about 1.5-2 hours a day, as it’s my only form of transportation. I’m not doing any of this with the objective to lose weight, but having a high energy expenditure definitely allows me to eat more.
  • I will have a short, three-day “diet break” next week when Em comes to visit me, when I’m sure lots of gelato will be consumed!

I have taken some before pictures which are, frankly, scary so I will wait to share them at the end of the eight weeks. Instead, you can have my “goal” pictures. I took these last year when I was in Australia.


What’s funny is that, when I took these photos, I remember feeling blah and I never shared them anywhere for that reason. Thank you, body dysmorphia.

dat ass

I have never been a fan of using other people for motivation. It’s all very well to appreciate a good physique, but the likelihood of me looking like a figure competitor is pretty slim. I would therefore prefer to use myself as motivation.

I know I can get this body back fairly easily. At the time I took those pictures, I was eating around 3000 calories a day. However, I was training events at least once a week, and that has always had a hugely positively impact on my physique.

Obviously, I am all for being happy in the skin you’re in, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself a little. Given that I also work in the fitness industry, I should at least look like I lift 😉 Finally, considering I’m not competing any time soon and therefore don’t need to worry about any potential hits to my strength levels, it seems like the perfect time to cut a little weight.

Who’s with us?

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