BEST SELF PROJECT // the beginning

This the beginning of my Best Self Project where I share my starting stats and how I’m getting started basically. So without further ado here is my starting position:



Date: 31st December 2017

Age: 30

Height: 5’3 (160cm)

Weight: 9 stone 7.25 (60.4kg)

Body Fat %: 27.3%*

Maintenance calories: 2300

My calories and macro aims will be:
1900 calories (a 400 calorie deficit on my maintenance)
Protein: 30% = 143g
Carbs: 40% = 190g
Fat: 30% = 63g
My macros were worked out using this calculator. I am also aiming to stay under 50g sugar per day.

*this was the measurement taken from my crap cheap scales so I don’t trust it one bit, but I’ll keep recording it and see what happens – hopefully I’ll be able to prove a point that scales are sh*t.



This for me is the scary part. Here is how I look now, post-Christmas:




Recently I have been battling a tendency to overeat. Quite regularly I eat upwards of 2500 calories per day, with the majority of it being in the afternoons and evenings. A typical day for me looks like this:
Breakfast: Protein pancake with peanut butter, berries and honey
Snack: Coffee & Apple
Lunch: Leftover curry, chilli or stir fry
Snack: Protein bar
Dinner: Chicken, sweet potato and vegetables
After dinner: sometimes alcohol, sometimes ice cream, chocolate or both
As you can see it sounds delicious but truth is the calories are just too high for me as a 5’3 female. To maintain my weight I have to exercise 6 days per week for an hour and walk over 40 miles. Turns out I have been what the bodybuilding community call ‘dirty bulking’ for several months, which is where you are in a calorie surplus, and the extra calories go to building muscle. On the positive side, this has been great for my strength; I hit PRs on Olympic lifts pretty much every week. I am proud of my body and all it can do.
Sadly, this is not sustainable. I am now in a position where I am reaching the limit of muscle growth without gaining too much fat – I would like to be able to actually see my muscles. I am a vain lady, (who am I kidding?) but am in great company. Being happy with one’s appearance is one of the main reasons people exercise, let’s be honest. I’d also like to improve my cardio fitness and gymnastics, and carrying extra weight doesn’t help – try doing a pull-up before and after Christmas, you’ll see what I mean 😉



The short of it is, in order to achieve what I am after I will need to lose the layer of fat covering my muscles. Ultimately the only way to do this is to be in a calorie deficit, to undertake a ‘cut’ in the fitness industry. This can be done in a few ways:
  1. eat under maintenance calories*
  2. burn calories through activity
  3. a combination of 1 and 2
*this can be worked out using a calculation tool such the one mentioned above. I also use my FitBit Charge 2 HR data to see what my average calorie burn is.
A combination is more preferable to me, as it will lead to better body composition and means I can eat more therefore remain sane. However as long as you’re in a calorie deficit consistently, you will lose weight.



I will need to eat less albeit not too little so as not to lose strength – need to feed those muscles. I will favour recipes which are voluminous without being too high in calories. Think heaps of vegetables, high protein (which is shown to improve satiety), lots of water and a few ingredients which bend the rules such as:
  • Protein powder; curently eyeing up Awesome Supplements vegan protein
  • Sugar free squash; because honestly I drink more water when it tastes like summer fruits
  • Pre-mixed spices; for ease when cooking and making everything taste great
  • Non-alcoholic beers; Blue Becks is only 38 calories a bottle
  • Hot chocolate; lower in calories than proper chocolate but more filling

I have ambitions to keep food enjoyable and interesting this month, by trying out some new healthy recipes from cookbooks, blogs and Pinterest. Top of my list is to make some healthy portable snacks, and my own bread. To see what I eat in a day, check out my Instagram and add me as a friend on MyFitnessPal.



One thing I’ve been struggling with for the past few years is eating mindfully. Without sounding all airy fairy, what I mean by that is that I eat and also scroll on my phone or watch a YouTube video, so I am not really paying attention to what I’m eating. Before I know it it’s gone and I forgot to enjoy it. The same goes for eating too quickly, which causes me to overeat as my brain doesn’t get the message that I’m full until it’s too late!

If this sounds like something you struggle with, I have been given a few tips which I’ll be implementing:

  1. Use smaller plates as it tricks the brain into thinking you have a ton of food to get through. A small plate piled up is more appealing than a large plate with the same amount of food (source).
  2. Think before you munch. Are you bored, stressed, or sad or are you actually hungry? Learn to recognise real hunger pangs, rather than just cravings.
  3. Often, we are already preparing the next morsel with our fork and knife while we are still on our previous bite. Try putting down your utensils after each bite, and don’t pick them back up until you have enjoyed and swallowed what you already have in your mouth.

I am also going to try intermittent fasting a few days a week, whereby I’ll skip the morning meal and condense food into the latter part of the day. Often I am not hungry in the morning, and I like to workout on an empty stomach for comfort, so it is easy to do so. This also has the benefit of saving your calories for later in the day so bigger meals can be enjoyed.

Of course I’ll let you know how I get on! I don’t expect to be perfect at all, but all we can do is try our hardest, make ‘better’ choices rather than ‘the best’ and learn as we go 🙂

Speak soon,

Elly x


Part 1, Part 2Part 4, Part 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *