Last week I began my 12-week transformation journey with Ultimate Performance.

It began with a whole lot of nausea and delayed onset muscle soreness, and I'm happy to report that while the DOMS are still going strong, nausea has reduced with each day.

Every session, my trainer increases the weights that I'm using, so it's been exciting to see that progress throughout this week.

Nevertheless, this week didn't start so great.

Day 8 – Exercise is Medicine

I'm ill. I'm fed up of breathing through my nose and trying to eat smoked salmon in between gulps of air. Sipping a vitamin C drink and moaning has taken up most of my morning – and I'm not a big moaner.

Training time, and despite feeling awful, I pulled it out of the bag and smashed my session. I can honestly say I didn't expect to be feeling a million times better during my final set of pendulum squats, but what do you know – I'm feeling great!

It just proves that exercise is about more than just staying in shape. It's not just for fitness, it mentally shapes your whole mindset. That grit that gets you through a workout reflects throughout your day-to-day. That amazing feeling at the end of your final set lifts you for hours afterwards. 

post workout selfie
So cheers to me, nailing my session with a snotty nose. There's no time for excuses; there are only 76 days left to get this in the bag.

Day 9 – Dreaming of Deadlifts 

jenny training lat pulldowns

Last night before I went to bed, I was thinking about the upcoming session. I knew we'd be doing four sets of eight trap bar deadlifts, as we'd done during my first session and my third session. I'd increased the weights from 80kg initially, up to 95kg in my last session and I was lying in bed telling myself 'let's get 100kg tomorrow!'

So I told my trainer, 100kg it is, and for my final two sets I smashed 100 with strong form, no problem at all. It's such a seriously good feeling when you hit a target, and making progress this early on is motivating.

On the other hand, I didn't eat my meals early enough today, and this afternoon I felt pretty grim. Enter 'Grouchy Jenny'.

Definitely learning – do not let yourself get hungry again.

Day 10 – The Benefits of a Personal Trainer

jenny and her trainer

Well, I've made it to double figures (small goals remember). I have to say; my UP trainer has been exceptionally helpful 24/7 throughout this process – whatever the question he's always there with an answer.

Constant communication with my trainer keeps me on track and whenever I think about food that isn't on my plan – this week it's been peanut butter, a piece of fruit and dark chocolate – I ask myself whether he would be pleased with my question or disappointed. Usually, it's the latter, so I simply don't ask and I don't eat it. It's become incredibly simple to say no when your guidelines are so tight; it's satisfying, in a funny way.

The way I've worked with my trainer, has been to send photographs of each meal as I eat it, which has been amazingly useful for me. It keeps me focused and means I'm never tempted to add anything unnecessary.

I've been struggling with bad pains in my foot this week, so I'm booked in for a physio check-up tomorrow – hopefully, nothing to worry about, but it's important to resolve niggles before they become actual problems.

Day 11 – Hitting a New Low

So last night sucked.

training image

I fell from my ever-optimistic place to somewhere dark and miserable. I think it may be a touch of PMS, but usually, a little treat would do the trick to cheer me up. Today, however, no such treats.

My motivation dropped to zero; I missed my Thai boxing session, and all I wanted was some chocolate!

I woke up today with remnants of last night's mood hanging over my head. On Fridays, I have to check in with my body fat, so I was hoping this might cheer me up (or not!)

It turned out, my body fat had dropped a whole 2%, and I destroyed my workout.

Honestly, it made me feel a million, trillion times better than I felt this morning. Hitting small targets and all of those post-workout endorphins flying around my body really lifted me back to my happy place.

It just goes to show, when you're feeling a bit pants, a workout can be just the thing to lift you up.

You might want to just slob out and feel sorry for yourself, but just get off your bum and train, and you'll feel so much better for it. 

Day 12 – Physio

Rest Day.

Which for me means lying on the sofa, aching all over and occasionally moving to make and prepare food. I'm not usually lazy, in any aspect of my life, however, today I did nothing. I made some delicious meals from the comfort of my own kitchen, rather than a Tupperware (joy!) and I did some light stretching. 

I saw an amazing physio yesterday at Harris and Ross to discuss the ongoing trouble I'd been having with my foot. Since just before my challenge commenced, I had been experiencing a real sharp pain when walking, and luckily it hadn't had much of an impact on my training. My trainer checked in every session to ensure that each exercise wouldn't strain or further injure my foot, but ideally we wanted to know what the problem was before it became an issue.

It turns out that I have tendonitis and after being massaged (the pain!!) and taped up I was given some foot exercises and told to lay of the Thai boxing for a few days. 

So a day of doing nothing was a day well spent.

Day 13 

I know, I know. Lay off the Thai boxing. I am a scoundrel, but I went to my sparring session.

Lucky for me, the class today was 'light contact' only and lots of technique work. I did a little kettlebell circuit just to get my heart rate up, then back home for more salmon and eggs.

Can't wait to be back in the gym tomorrow. Itching to get back.

Day 14 – Feeling like a Novice

Just as I thought I was getting the hang of this training business, we started phase 2 of my programme.

Oh, good lord.

Squats, Pendulum Squats, Leg Press, Hyperextensions – when will it end.

Today made me feel like a complete novice again. 

I do, however, feel strong. My foot held out and (bonus) three people have now told me that my face looks a lot slimmer. 

I've started looking at the days now as 'Oh no, I'm running out of time' as opposed to 'Oh no, there's so much longer to go' – which I think is a good sign.

On to the next week of madness, for now, I'll leave you with a picture of my favourite meal – Spicy steak, sweet potato and vegetables.

steak, sweet potato and vegetables

I've compiled my top 5 meals that I've created on my transformation plan so far – you can find them all here.

If you're really looking to take your health, nutrition and training to the next level in this year, simple click in the enquiry box below to get started with UP…