Tag Archives: DAMY

End of DAMY Bikini Body… on with Tough Mudder


I did it… 12 weeks on Bikini Body. 12 Thanksgiving-spanning, Department-lunch covering, three-time-of-the-month encompassing weeks. 12 weeks ago I squinted suspiciously at the impossibly-beautiful Amy Layne and debated whether she was another empty promise and short-lived lie. I sent her my $98. Best thing I ever did. Amy got me back ‘on track’, she taught me to care about overall food intake, not focus and obsess over individual macro- micro- whatevero- nutrients. I followed her workouts, stuck to her eating plan and watched myself change so much. For the first time, people really started commenting on how good I look. Not how slim (how skinny-fat), just how different, and how toned. AND, weirdly, for the first time I way relaxed about what I ate. I stopped dreading social occasions, I stopped fearing my own reactions to food. I think I have covered most of what I learned on this journey, but mostly it was;

-Never, ever resort to quick fixes

-Don’t obsess over the scales

-Stick to it through the ‘water weight days’

-Know that water weight days can last > 10 days in some (my) cases!

-Every time you “fall off the wagon”, just get right back on it, that SECOND. Not “tomorrow”; not “after the weekend” – right then.

-Make sure you do the exercises you HATE (hello squats). You probably hate them for a reason.

-Know that hungry before a meal is OK. Hungry all the time is not.

-Give up those artificial sweetners

-Chillax. Keep doing your best. Be proud of yourself for doing so.

40 mins; 1 weeks’ food to reheat and serve

The best practical tip that I learned was: Cook way in advance. Seriously. I would do a weekly shop, then make lietrally, 10 lunches and 10 dinners (5 for me, 5 for Wes). For example:a giant thing of whole wheat pasta with tuna and tomato; a tray of roasted veg and chicken, a large lasagne and tub of pre-cooked fajita mix. Then, portion out into single servings and store in the fridge. Wes and I could grab ‘n’ go as we liked, and it really only took ~40 mins to do the whole thing on a Sunday. Only one kitchen clean up too 🙂

And, I made my goal: a waist of 26″ without squeezing and pinching. I do have bikini-clad progress pics, but you have to email me for them as I fear future employers / students getting a gander 🙂 So you can have final stats instead:

Starting / after 2 weeks / after 4 weeks / after 6 weeks / after 12 weeks:

Weight: 143.5 lbs. / 138.5 / 135.5 / 137 / 134

Chest: 37 / 37 ” / 37 “ / 37″ / 37″ (good grief; no fecking change)

Waist: 30″ / 29″ / 28″ / 28″ / 26″ (wooooooo!)

Hips: 38″ / 37″ / 37″ / 37″ / 37″

What now? Well, a similar eating style + some wine in the evening, but slightly different workouts. Which leads me too:

Tough Mudder Training

So, for bikini body it has been all low weight, high rep ickiness. (I HATE that – let me move mountains, please!). Lots of interval workouts, and I did reach 15K (ever closer to my half marathon goal).

Now, I am switching it up, as my ADHD-like tendencies… OK, OK, my pure ADHD… does not allow me to stick at one plan too long. Here is a summary:

-Weights: 4 times a week, at a level where I fail on the 12th rep. Lots of ab work for the vanity.

-Interval training: Yes, OK, I will do it. At least 3 times a week. With lots of core work for the health.

-Running: Knee not coping so well. Twice a week: one long, one short run. With one elliptical session for the Chuck Bass ogling.

-Yoga: Twice a week, to help my fairly wrecked body. With one post-yoga glass of wine for the pain.

Finally. Pull up training. New (near impossible) goal: to be able to do a pull up (or four) by Tough Mudder. I’ll keep you posted. With videos for the voyeurism.

This week, I am entering the Lookout Mountain 10K. Kinda nervous about a full 10K on a trail… and how busy it will be. Also, I am in so much weight lifting / interval training pain at the moment, the thought of completing it is currently fairly inconceivable… but hey, this is just usual pre-race jitters, right? And, I have a new race to think about:

New Race!!

Woo-freakin’-Hoo. In January, I shall be running in the Canyonlands Half Marathon. Oh so pretty. Oh so damaging to my credit card. This is AWESOME news. But also quite scary. My goal? 2 hours 45. There. I said it. Wish me luck 🙂


DAMY Health week 5 & 6; Tough Mudder training week 6

Waaaaah. It has been a tough week on the old “slough off 15 of the 25 post American lbs in 12 weeks” attempt. But, while not making any great physical progress (in fact, there was somewhat of a back-slide), I made some good mental health progress. Huzzah.

So, weeks 5/6. Along with fighting an incredible amount of lethargy I was also dealing with insane hunger and sugar cravings.  Hunger that made me feel unfocused and dizzy. Hunger that left me unable to play table tennis for more than 30 mins (although it WAS dinner time, and I HAD just workout out for 50 minutes and I DID steal some points off my victorious hubby). I gave it a few days and then emailed Amy of DAMY Health, seeing as I was especially concerned about my drop in athletic performance. Wow, I thought I would just get some quick “21 tips to break hunger”, but she responded within 48 hours, making me list everything I was eating and all my workouts. She went through my meals & snacks one by one, and either OK-ed them, or fixed them. In essence we got: A LOT more protein (some 30 g or so), which makes sense as the weight training is up to 4 days a week, and if I lift… I lift pretty heavy. Not quite the ball buster days of yore, but not too shabby either. We also got way less sugar – she switched out my beloved frozen peas and put in green beans, zucchini and broccoli (yeach! I did not follow that last one!). Oh, and she doubled my lunchtime whole grain carbs, and pretty much ordered me to have a pre-bedtime snack (Oh, you want we to force down delicious delicious chocolate pudding or peanut butter on celery eh? Oh go on then…). Immediately I felt better and Amy emailed me both the following days to check in and make me write down my diet. Not bad for a one off $98.

My hunger immediately decreased. As I swapped a lot of the fruit for protein / WG combos I immediately craved less sugar. In fact, I was back to the miracle start of the beginning of DAMY where I was not literally counting down the seconds to each meal. Good stuff. My recovery also increased tonnes – I completed every workout on DAMY (and there are a lot, and they are tough. Think 4 weight sessions, one plyo session, 2 steady state sessions, 1 HIIT and 1 HIIT + plyo, OUCH) and even got my HIIT to be hill sprints (why? why do I do this to myself) and threw in an extra 12K. Banging. Did it all… loved it all… felt great.

Then, week 6 and weigh day came. 1.5 lbs more. Really? Really? I waited a day and weighed myself: same. Waited another day: .5 lb more? Life hates me. And no shift in inches. And if I was brave enough to post the progress pics I take for Amy… you’d see some lack of definition. Gah. But, DAMY made me define non weight related goals at the beginning of the program, and I focused on these instead. Some of these were:

-To stop the endless restrict-stuff myself cycle.

-To stop living my day by the scale. Bad scale day = bad day must end.

So, with that in mind, I just soldiered on with the corrected diet, smiled and tried not to let it get to me. I didn’t have any other ‘treats’ that week at all. When I emailed Amy with my weekly check-in I explained this to her, but said it could be water weight, and yay! I was sticking to my other goals and wasn’t life great and that’s the end of that.

Amy is not so cavalier with her clients. While yes, she was pleased that I seemed to be developing more stable, sustainable eating habits, she wants me to email her all my food from yesterday (on a Sunday! Sneaky!), and is upping the intensity of my workouts a little. I am supposed to break them into 2 and do cardio in the am and weights in the afternoon (or vice versa) rather than one long session. I also have to skip between weight reps to keep my heart rate up. Bleurgh. I was in a happy rut groove, which may explain the lack of progress 🙂 But, I am glad to be working with Amy. She is a cheerleader and very positive, but not going to take sloppiness for an answer (nor not eating all your fibrous veggies it would seem. Ick). I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

So… those stats. Boo. I look forward to better news next time (although next time is slap bang at time of the month, so it may take a few extra days…):

Starting / after 2 weeks / after 4 weeks / after 6 weeks:

Weight: 143.5 lbs. / 138.5 / 135.5 / 137

Chest: 37 / 37 ” / 37 “ / 37″

Waist: 30″ / 29″ / 28″ / 28″

Hips: 38″ / 37″ / 37″ / 37″

Onto Tough Mudder week 6

This was an awesome week of training. I completed everything, ran the furthest for me yet (ha!), recovered like a rockstar ready to get at it the next day, and generally loved it. I didn’t really dread any workouts, just the first steady state as I was saving my knees so did it on the elliptical.

Friday – DAMY weights A, 35 mins steady state – DONE

Saturday – 5K, DAMY weights B  – DONE

Sunday – Steady state 7 mile jog – DONE (7.5 hahahahaha)

Monday: DAMY C (weights); Interval B – DONE

Tues: REST – Changed, long jog completed.

Weds:  DAMY D (legs); interval A – done, hill sprints DONE. Y-e-e-e-e-e-s

Thurs: Kickboxing (this is a good proxy for DAMY’s 6th ‘functional’ workout – lots of core stuff). Oh, I missed this. Boo. Had too much work with a grant due to UAB the next day. Changed.

Week 7 plan:

Friday – DAMY weights A, 35 mins steady state

Saturday – Hill sprints, DAMY weights B

Sunday – 8K run (+ hills)

Monday: DAMY C (weights); Interval B

Tues: Hill sprints; DAMY D (legs)

Weds:  Functional training (plyos)

Thurs: Kickboxing (maybe; have a 5 mile (8K) race on Saturday so may be fixing to rest).

I feel I am getting closer and closer to Tough Mudder fitness (sadly also to the race – eeeep). My core is getting a lot stronger, and I am completing more and more of the push ups (even when doing them immediately after lifting weights for shoulder training). My jogging / running is better and I am using the same weights for 15, rather than 12, reps. All I need to learn is those darned pull ups. Soon. Overall: super fitness progress (for a non-sporty person like me). And in 4 days time: Georgia trail race: wooooo 😀

The lies we tell ourselves… and a new diet: The Amy Layne Paradigm (DAMY health)

“It will never happen to me”. A dangerous thought; this reckless abandon for oft-well known facts and data often accompanies smoking, not having a savings account and unprotected sex. Or, in my case, weight gain. Known ‘risk factors’ for the fairer sex (either anecdotally or empirically): moving to the US, moving to the Southern States, turning 30, moving in with a MAN, getting married, taking birth control, owning a car. I did the first 2 two years ago, and the latter 5 all within the period of June-August. But of course, it wouldn’t happen to me, I wouldn’t get fat.


I had heard, heard of the excuses people can make as their BMI shuttles ever closer to ‘I’m not fat, its glandular’ zone, but I would not make them – surely? I mean, I absolutely believed that as my newly instated husband-housemate had started doing the laundry that he was shrinking my clothes. And I honestly believed that because I do a fair amount of sport, if I was fairly cognizant of what I ate; I’d be OK. And I believed that the ever increasing numbers on the scale were ‘muscle gain’ (although I haven’t lifted a weight, unless 1.5 litre bottles of champagne count, for 4 months). And I absolutely believed my friends here who said “you look no different to me”. Until I hit England, when my British friends jaws literally dropped. Not fitting back into my wedding dress was one thing, and my friends kindly said (before they saw me) “you were very thin at your first wedding – now you are just thin’. But, not being able to even do up the jeans that were too big when I left for the US was another. Jaws literally dropped. Concern reigned. More than one person really pushed the ‘are you pregnant?’ issue. In fact, my mother was so worried, that despite me having my period at the time, I took a pregnancy test, leaving me with no choice but to wail “I’m not pregnant! Just fat!”.

I took it fairly well, I think. I cried once – for about 20 seconds. Then I smiled, borrowed my Mum’s elasticated-waist pants for the journey home (seriously we could not even get any of my trousers to do up) and enjoyed 2 weeks of alcohol, cider, pic n mix, meringue, fish n chips, chips, more chips, and some chips. Oh, and wedding cake, Colin the Caterpillars, M&S mini bites and more than a few Almond Croissants. But now, now something must be done. All my yo-yo dieting of the past year has clearly not worked (go figure). And while I have enough nutrition knowledge to sink a battleship, I am no good at following it. I do thingds like panic and try to live off lemon juice and salt water for 10 days. Atkins is tempting, but was not enormously successful last time, and despite the experience of just about everyone else, low carb does not stop me troughing vast portions of anything allowed (a whole chicken for dinner? SURE). Plus, Atkins (and Primal, which is low-ish carb) make it hard for me to keep up with my 1/2 marathon training, zumba, kickboxing and long hikes. The Zone was good, but too hard to stick to long term as I couldn’t come up with more than a couple of recipes. Plain old low calorie effective, but… eh…. I cheat. I need a plan. Somethign simple that I can be held accountable to. So, I am giving Amy Layne’s DAMY Bikini body a go.

I can’t reveal the details of the plan, as Amy charges $98 for the food and exercise plan (+ plus 3 months support and newsletters). But basically, diet wise it is portion control, healthy fats only and no carbs after dinner. There are a few finer points, she tapers the diet and exercise over 12 weeks, has prescribed snacks and eating timings and so on. But, it is not rocket science, I doubt that there is anything here that people don’t ‘know already’. Having said that, that is why I chose the plan: I need something to help me lose weight in a sensible fashion. No tricks, no ‘quick drops’, no easy-outs, no severe restrictions. And  needed something simple; here I just pick foods from 2 / 3 out of 5 lists for each meal. Done.

Oh, and I have to check in each week. Which necessitated ‘starting’ weights and measurements. Where my 30″ waist came from I have no idea (scene this morning):

Lekki: “Wes will you measure my waist for my journal?”

Wes: “Sure… 30 inches”

Lekki: “No, not there, the thinnest part”

Wes: “It says 30…”

Lekki: “Give it here! Measure it here! See! It says…. 30…. dang”.

But I am game, and happy to stick to it. So far (one day!) I am pleased:

-The food is fairly filling

-The food is varied

-Even Wes said the food looked tasty

-My grocery bill wasn’t too bad

-I get a pre bed snack! I so need snacks.

-Amy has responded to every email really quickly, and even interacted with me on facebook! So, I feel good that she will help me tweak it if it isn’t working. She seems super supportive, and is very jolly and positive.

-The newsletter recipes are yummy.

So, aside of throwing in my 1/2 marathon training for the Tough Mudder race in Feburary, I am following it to the letter. Even the things I don’t believe… Amy says no diet coke (HOWL)? Then no diet coke. Amy says 8 hours sleep? I am off to bed early now. Amy says fake tan? I am actually using it!! Jergens healthy glow… smells good. I am not fussed about my end weight, but my goal is to get my waist to 26.5″ in 12 weeks. And the longer term goal is to develop healthy eating habits (that I had before I moved I think, but seem to have lost along the way) that stop this yo-yo dieting.

Wish me luck!! I’ll report back weekly!

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