I’ve finished the 90 days! It took me longer due to holidays but total inch loss was 17.5” and about 1 stone in weight.
If you are interested in doing it yourself you might find my thoughts below useful:
It works! If you trust the plan and commit to it 100% (within reason) – life has to carry on too and holidays and evenings out need to be considered.
It is hard work but oh so worth it! Do not underestimate the time you need to commit to planning, organising, shopping and cooking. Once you get your head around it all then it becomes easier but initially you do need to allow yourself time to read, re-read and read the plan again again. The weekly shop will take a bit longer as you get used to the new ingredients and where they are in the supermarket. I shop online with Ocado which made it a bit easier.
If you want it enough, you can do it! If you want to change your body, get fit, eat healthy, give up sugar and cut down drastically on alcohol then you have to commit to the plan and that means giving up some things and putting 100% effort in. There is no point in moaning ‘oh I can’t possibly give up sugar in my tea’ or ‘I can’t manage without my glass of wine on a Friday night’ or ‘I don’t have time to exercise’. If you want it you will do it.
Ignore the scales! It is no longer about weight. Muscle weighs the same as fat but it takes up less space in the body. So you are burning fat but replacing it with muscle. If you have a lot of fat to lose then you will weigh less but this is not essential and not what this plan is about. The best measurements are: photos (before, during and after) and how your clothes feel – you will feel them getting loser and you will start to buy smaller sizes.
It blows your mind! It is overwhelming at times and especially the second cycle when you are ‘shaping’ which means you are doing a lot of weight exercises and eating a lot of carbs to build lean muscle. That means that you might bloat a bit or even a lot and not lose weight. This is where you need to TRUST THE PLAN as once you get into the last cycle it all changes suddenly and you will see inch loss and results.
You don’t have to love exercise but you do have to do it! I exercised 4 x per week through all three cycles. In Cycle 1 it takes about 25 minutes to do a HIIT session but in Cycle 2 and 3 you need to allow longer for the weights – up to an hour. No excuses. I did 2 x per week with my Personal Trainer and I would recommend getting a personal trainer if you can afford to (either for 1 x session per week or just to show you the correct form for the exercises so a one off session). Exercising ‘fasted’ first thing in the morning is best but not essential but I did find I got it done if I got up early and got it out of the way.
The plan teaches you how to eat! So how to eat properly to fuel your body and for me it was about putting eating and exercise together. You eat your carbs after exercise only as a ‘refuel meal’ so for me this was always breakfast or lunch. There are no gimmicks, no replacement meal bars or shakes. Just proper clean eating. Simple. You eat good fats and not sugar, good protein and lots of greens.
The portions are large and you don’t feel hungry! Yep I know, sometimes it is hard to get all the food in, but you must eat 3 x meals per day and 2 x snacks. Again, no excuses. But you won’t feel hungry so you won’t feel the need to binge on rubbish. I saved a snack each day for the evening and this was usually yoghurt (only Fage Total 0% or Skyr – these are the only brands that do not contain sugar).
You need to drink a lot of water and you will wee a lot! It is necessary and you just need to get on with it, I found this really hard but it does get easier, once your body gets used to the extra water then you will need less toilet breaks.
You can still go on holiday! I had two holidays whilst doing the plan. Firstly to Turkey and then to Dorset. I exercised during both holidays. I got up early and went to the gym 3 times in the week and did a 20 minute HIIT. Done. In Turkey the food was easier, it was fresh and healthy and I chose fish or steak with vegetables on the side. No chips! I did drink alcohol but in moderation (1-2 glasses per night), that was my choice but others on the plan choose not to drink at all (see below). The food choices were a little harder in the UK (holiday areas seem to serve everything with chips, very little fresh vegetables) but I used an app called ‘Sawday’s’ to located the better pubs and restaurants nearby and that really helped. And if you want to eat carbs then just do a HIIT before you go out.
Alcohol! Drinking slows down fat loss. It is that simple. If you want the best results don’t drink alcohol. If you accept that your journey to lean will take a little longer then have some alcohol in moderation. If you do drink (as I did) then go for gin, vodka or prosecco. But keep it sensible. As my journey progressed and the better I felt the less I wanted to drink, it just didn’t agree with me anymore. I have now pretty much given up wine and favour prosecco and then only 1-2 glasses when socialising.
What I found during this journey is that pretty soon you get into the ‘zone’ and you want to do this, you want to succeed and so exercising, meal planning and giving up alcohol becomes easier. It is what you want to do. This weekend I was mostly ‘off plan’ due to family staying with us, a party to go to etc and I felt pretty rough and was so glad to be back to healthier eating and exercising today.
There are lots of Facebook groups for support. The main one is The Body Coach 90 DaySSS Plan Unofficial Client Community and then there is A Big Girl’s Journey to Lean set up by Angela Cox who is an absolute inspiration with her dedication and fantastic achievements. There are other groups too, one specifically if you are following Joe’s books rather than the plan for example. And do take a look at Joe's own social media, the transformations are amazing and genuine and have really kept me going.
I totally love Joe Wicks! I love that he has created something that I have stuck to. I love that with his help I have changed my body for the better. I love that I am smaller again, back into size 8-10 clothes and no longer have an uncomfortable muffin top. I am still on this journey though and will be forever I hope. Why give up healthy eating and exercise when it is so good for you and I feel so much better? I have signed up to SAS which is the follow on plan from SSS and I still have some toning up to do and a bit more fat loss before I can maintain going forward.
And if you cheat? Well you are only cheating yourself. If you have one day where you didn’t make the best choices? Put it in the ‘F@@k it bucket’ and move on, just get back on it. But don’t give up.
Do I feel fab? Absolutely on my way there yes! Next goal is to rock a fabulous dress for my 50th birthday in December.
If you want to give it a go - find out more at The Body Coach Website.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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