Officially muscle building … and growing out of clothes!

I’m now 2 months into my build and I’m thinking it’s time for an update. Possibly going to add some before and after pics here if I dare … I said I’d keep it real with documenting  my progress as having a heads up in terms of the changes physically and mentally I think is really helpful if you’re considering going into a build. When I was looking into doing this I couldn’t find much info about what to expect, the mental part of it and how to cope with the scales going up and clothes getting tighter. So here’s a run down of where I’m at …


Weight: I’ve put on about 11lbs since July 2015, but at least 5lbs of those were actually whilst I was in maintenance mode between August and October, which my coach said was to be expected with the increase in carbs etc.

Measurements: I’m currently sitting at 4lbs over my starting weight when I joined CWT in January 2014 , yet all of my measurements are significantly less (apart from my damn calves) than they were back then (see pics). So that does show me that I’ve definitely made improvements over the last 24 months in terms of body composition. And also helps me care less about the numbers on the scales.


Clothes: I’m in one dress size larger in clothes, but I’d say I’m in between sizes with my old size (10) and the size (12) I’m wearing now. The size I’m wearing is still too big on the waist. My legs and bum fill them out more, but then this is the area where I put on my weight in the first instance.

Cellulite: Ok, yes this has got more noticeable, on all of my problem areas but as it’s winter and I’m covered in clothes most of the time it’s not bothering me too much. If it were the summer and I was going on a beach holiday ..maybe I’d be more bothered.

Muscles: I am actually seeing changes in my upper body – shoulders, back and arms. It’s possibly just the muscles filling out as opposed to growing muscle but seeing changes like this keeps me pushing on and motivates me if I’m having a ‘fat’ moment.

Strength: Has increased really good so far. I feel so much stronger in the gym, am always trying to go heavier when I can. Having someone to spot also makes a big difference. Shoulders, back, legs and glutes have all increased in strength which I’m loving and again outweighs any negatives of this process.

Hormonal: This may be TMI but … something has definitely kicked in hormonally since going into maintenance and the build. My skin now breaks out like crazy at certain times of the month – I keep hoping that I’m having a flood of testosterone and so the positive side is muscle making machine.  In truth I’m not sure that’s what’s happening at all, but it makes me feel better.


I’m actually handling the psychological side of it all better than I’d expected – most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, some days I’ll have my moments – if clothes are feeling tighter or if I catch a dodgy image in the mirror lol. But so far, so good …. I have 2 motto’s throughout this build. To see change you have to do something different (and if I want the shoulders I want, I have got to grow), and secondly – if this was easy, everyone would do it. I remind myself of these almost every day.

Biweekly weigh-ins: These are probably the most challenging times to be honest, even though I know that the scales should go up, and sometimes the measurements will increase. Monday mornings when I need to weigh in, take measurements and pictures still fill me with some dread, and it’s actually the measurements increasing that’s the hardest part. I can cope with the scales to an extent … but seeing the measurements slowly increase is a hard one to get my head around. Especially on my trouble spots such as legs and hips. But my coach is amazing and I trust her completely. If she comes back with ‘we’re good for now’ or ‘you’re doing great’ then I know she means it.  If / when the fat gain gets out of hand I know she’ll let me know.

Will I manage to lose all this fat????? This goes through my head sometimes. What if my hormones, age and body decide there’s no way it’s gonna shed this extra fluff … well that’s the gamble I’m taking, but I think it will be ok.

What are other people thinking about me? “OMG look at her she’s let herself go”, or “wow she’s packed a bit of weight on”. This was constantly on my mind to start with … but less so now. If you can get your head around this part and get to a place where you start caring less about what other people think, you will find doing a build a MUCH happier process. Because what does it matter what someone else thinks? You know why you’re growing, and that there’s a method behind it all – so as long as you’re happy with that then who gives a damn about other people!

Clothes: One thing that definitely helps or hinders your mental state during this process is wearing the right clothes. Don’t continue to try and fit into the clothes you were wearing when you were at your leanest!!! It will continue to give you negative thoughts and upset you. As soon as I got a size larger clothes, it helped loads. I felt comfortable and confident again. Find clothes that work for your changing shape too. I’m living in skirts, dresses and tights – shirt dresses are a godsend for me. These all work if you gain weight around your legs and bum. I still wear jeans but definitely more comfortable in dresses etc.

So I hope this helps anyone who’s considering doing a build or just gives you some insight into my progress. I’m not sure how long this build will last for, I’m in the hands of my coach at the moment but I do know I’d like to lean off for my holidays and festival in Croatia in July 2016. So thinking that would need to start at the end of March really … but we’ll see what my coach thinks as we progress in the New Year.