90 day SSS cycle 1, day 2 – thoughts so far

I just thought I’d squeeze a really quick post into my lunch-break as, what with all the food prep I’m having to do on the 90 day ‘shift, shape and sustain’ plan by Joe Wicks (AKA The Bodycoach), I haven’t had any time to blog about it yet.

The idea of the plan

The idea of the 90 day SSS plan is simple. You probably gathered it takes place over 90 days (three months as we know it). Each month is a different ‘cycle’ i.e., either shift, shape, or sustain. At the start of each cycle one of Joe Wicks’ (AKA The Bodycoach) employees sends a personalised meal and exercise plan tailored to your lifestyle and measurements.

Carb refuel dinner - homemade burgers, sweet potato chips, kale and asparagus
Carb refuel dinner – homemade burgers, sweet potato chips, kale and asparagus

Protein, carb refuel and HIIT

You’re supposed to exercise five days a week doing 25 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions. After you exercise you choose a meal from the carb refuel options, which include things like sweet potato, quinoa, or bagels to top up your energy levels. All other times you choose from the reduced carb section (lots of protein, good fats and veg).

So far so good…

It all sounds good and makes sense. No starvation, no meal replacements, lots of exercise encouraged — plus a few healthy treats in there.

Thoughts on the exercise plan

I’ve decided to opt out of the HIIT exercise regime as I already have my own thing going on and I’m confident that it’s intensive enough to be pushing my body and fitness levels to the maximum. As it stands, this is what my exercise regime looks like:

  • Monday – 1 hour boxing
  • Tuesday – 1 hour fitness bootcamp
  • Wednesday – Rest day (due to driving lessons – when they’re finished I may add another boxing class)
  • Thursday – 1 hour fitness bootcamp
  • Friday – Either rest or a run, depending on the weather and my mood
  • Saturday – 1 hour fitness bootcamp
  • Sunday – 3 – 5 mile hill run

It’s a lot, especially as I work full time, have a partially-written novel on the go, guinea pigs and a boyfriend to entertain. I imagine if exercise is a chore for you then this amount would be a little tortuous. That’s probably why the HIIT training is so popular – it takes half the time of a normal workout.

Thoughts on the meal plan

First thoughts: lots of cooking. Too much cooking for a person who sees every moment in the kitchen as a moment not spent writing my novel. Did I mention I’m writing a novel?

Lunch - cashew chicken and courgetti
Lunch – cashew chicken and courgetti

Second thoughts: the recipes are delicious and the ingredients aren’t too obscure (a trip to your local health food shop should nip that one in the bud). I’ve never owned chia seeds before now. I think this officially makes me a ‘twat’?

Third thoughts: this is a lot of food! I thought diets were all about cutting down on food. I thought, by the look of the down-turned smile of my tummy rolls, that I must be a horrific greedy pig who eats too much, probably to compensate for lacking self-esteem or something. But no. My new meal plan (based on my measurements) is telling me to eat more than I probably usually would. The main difference? I’m not allowed things like a Saturday night cheesy pasta bake, or a few pints down the pub, or the odd Friday night chocolate binge. It’s these (little joys in life) that are probably making me fat.

Breakfast - spinach, feta and sweet potato omelette
Breakfast – spinach, feta and sweet potato omelette

Final thoughts

I think I’m going to enjoy this cycle of the meal plan. As much as I protest about having to cook more, I’m quite enjoying these little kitchen experiments. It’s satisfying knowing that this delicious thing on my plate is a result of my own time and effort. Nothing to do with the people at the M&S ready meal factory.

Today I am struggling with the idea of having to eat lunch, even though breakfast was five hours ago. I’m still so full from my feta and spinach omelette. I just read that sentence back and laughed. First world problems eh! Too full from my feta and spinach omelette to have my cashew chicken lunch. I wonder how I’d fare in a refugee camp.

I know I’m not supposed to weight myself (Joe Wicks AKA The Bodycoach calls scales the sad step) but I did, out of curiosity. Despite it only being day 2, the sad step is telling me I’ve lost 2kg. It probably means nothing. I have IBS and I’m like a balloon full of air sometimes. I probably just let it all out in my sleep.


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