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Strength training challenge Week 5

thelmah headshot

This week our blogger Thelma fell off the wagon with Nigella’s cheesecake but is increasing the workouts for results

Friends, I have fallen off the wagon big stylee from a food point of view.  Clara has travelled abroad and in the back of my mind I seem to have granted myself a licence to chill and not stick to the food plan.  I am allowed a cheat meal once a week and this can comprise of a three-course meal, ‘fair dos’ I hear you say – well I decided to make the dessert part myself and that is where it all went wrong.   I had a pizza from Pizza Express and it went down a treat. I also made a lemon cheesecake, Nigella recipe, so it had every filthy, sugary kind of ingredient you can imagine – things like condensed milk in it, so you see where I am going with this.  Anyway, the plan was to make it, cheaper than buying right, and let the whole family share it, so I’d only have one slice.  That was the plan, however it was so delicious and gluten-free (I outdid myself) that I ended up having three fat-laden slices!

I don’t even know what possessed me. Actually I do. It was straight-up greed.  Before I started this transformation, I never ever kept biscuits or cakes in the house because I know that I am like that Pringles ad’ ‘once I pop, I can’t stop’. I also think that psychologically I was rewarding myself for making a bit of progress thinking that ‘a bit of extra cake won’t hurt’. Of course it damn well does and I am nowhere near my goal to be taking those kinds of chances.thelmacheesecake

I felt so guilty afterwards and boy did I pay the price. Clara had warned to watch how my body would react to sugary, starchy carbs after eating clean for so long. Over the next two days my tummy, which had noticeably gone down previously, ballooned to epic proportions and worst still, that ring-like layer of fat that has chosen to reside around my midriff reappeared bigger and badder than ever and with some friends! I was mortified but to be honest it serves me right.


As a result of my major food flop I got back on the wagon and trained my heart out to repair the damage.  I even started adding 2.5k increments to some of the exercises, like squats and bench press, to up the intensity when it became too easy.  I constantly berated myself along the way and when the fatigue kicked in I started mumbling ‘cake, cake, cake’ from that Rihanna song to remind myself why I was in this position in the first place.  I forced my way through my metabolic training sessions with little rest and you need to know that I hate anything HIIT related because I find it so hard but I had to do what I had to do to get that fat off all the while thinking that Clara is going to kill me.thelmameal

The napping hasn’t eased up five weeks in and I can literally fall asleep any time and any place I am that tired.  Also, alongside all the other things I have going on in my life – working mum, blogging, freelance stuff.  I’ve now got a lovely new personal training client that wants me to train her at 8am on Saturday and Sunday – great news for my business but not so good for any potential lie-ins.  This creates added pressure for me to complete all four training sessions on weekdays as I now can’t make them up on the weekend unless it’s the evening and that time is spent eating with my cheat meal – I cancel that for nobody!

The muscle soreness is still hellish and even more so now that I have increased the weight.  Sometimes general walking can be problem and those stairs I have to climb at Vauxhall Station on the way home from the gym…well let’s just say that I have missed many trains because my legs just won’t move fast enough to catch it. That said, I can still see some change in my body especially my upper body which is way more toned, I can even see some cuts and definition – woohoo.  It’s not fast enough, but I know I have to ‘trust the process’, Clara’s favourite saying, be more patient and most important of all not cheat.

Contact Thelma’s trainer Clara Mosha:

Clara on Facebook 

Twitter: @UPTByClaraMosha


Thelma Mensah is a personal trainer and founder of the uber-cool blog She is Healthista’s Kit Diva blogger.

Read more from Thelma’s strength training challenge 

What REALLY happens in a weight training programme- Week 1

Strength training challenge- Week 2

Strength training challenge- Week 3

Strength training challenge- Week 4

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