What Happened When I Tried The Model Method To Get In Shape Fast

photo: Urban Outfitters

I didn’t complete couch to 5k. I had a personal trainer but we could never find the time to train. I am probably the worst when it comes to working out. I try to be active, I eat well, but I am just not that great at it.

So I decided to change that. And scoured the web for something that I could easily do that wouldn’t take up too much time out of my day. That’s how I found The Model Method. The name alone sold me. I mean who doesn’t want to be like a model? I like to describe myself as a marshmallow, so the thought of getting in shape was really alluring.

The Model Method is a personalized fitness and food programme, created by award winning super trainer Hollie Grant. She’s the trainer of Deliciously Ella, btw. It’s an 8 week plan which combines video workouts, nutritional information, recipes and fitness testing. I think at the moment, it’s only UK based – but that may change. I paid £100 for 8 weeks. Which works out at £12.50 a week. For 6 videos a week. Plus an amazing box filled with goodies.

I bought it. And I’m excited. I must admit for the first week or so I didn’t have enough time to complete the routine because we were in the process of moving, but I am going to reorder my membership for sure. Here’s how I got on in week one.

My Lifebox arrived and I was amazed! It contains basically everything you need to be a-mazing. So a cookery book, a resistance band, a water bottle, pilates socks and a head band by Sweaty Betty, loads of herbs, spices, bamboo water, tea…just everything. It’s well worth what I paid for it. Love it.

A photo posted by Hollie Grant (@thepilatespt) on

So basically the days go like so:
Day 1: HIIT for 30 minutes
Day 2: Core (abs)
Day 3: HIIT full body
Day 4: Strength (arms)
Day 5: Sweat (legs)
Day 6: Pilates

I’ll be honest, I skipped and swapped a few just because I’ve been too busy to find the time (and we had no internet for the first few days) but here’s what’s happened to my body so far.

I have muscles where there have never been muscles before. My ribs have muscles. Obviously they aren’t visible but I can feel them. I really look forward to working out because Hollie is a dream. She makes the exercises easy to complete and when they start to get hard, you move on to something else. I don’t look any different, but I certainly feel different. I’ve realized that fitness isn’t just a fad to ‘get in shape’ but something that I want to continue to do as often as I can.

I’m quite healthy in that I eat a variety of meals and love to fill my plate with vegetables. The only thing I did diet wise was cut out soda and sugary snacks (saving them for the weekend!) Here’s my meal plan for week one:

Breakfast: Yogurt and granola or eggs. (On Wednesday and Friday I usually have poached eggs on sourdough toast with or without chorizo for breakfast.)
Lunch: Salad and a sandwich (preferably on brown or grainary bread)
Dinner: Protein and vegetables.

I’d have chicken parmigiana with green beans, eggs with asparagus, peas and green beans, chicken in white wine sauce, courgetti with pesto.

Simple, easy to make meals. I tried to keep it relatively the same every day – just to give me some routine. For me, it’s not massively about making changes to what I eat but trying to undo the damage of sitting at the office all day (yes even through lunch!) and these exercises (although I take a long time to complete them) are really good for you. They don’t make you hate yourself while you’re doing them like running does…

My absolute favorite meal of the week was coconut chicken. While I’m waxing lyrical about this I may as well mention my favorite part of the Lifebox. Harissa & Rose spice mix. I literally put it on everything now. It is the nicest spice mix I’ve ever tried. Chicken, lasagne, eggs, whatever. In goes a teaspoon of harrissa & rose spice mix and it instantly tastes like heaven. Mmm. Without further ado here is the recipe for the coconut chicken:

300g skinless, boneless chicken breast
Milled flax & chia seeds
Harissa & rose spice mix
1 egg
100g coconut flour
100g desiccated coconut
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Garlic clove
Salt, pepper and chilli (optional)

1. Cut your chicken into goujon like strips
2. Whisk the egg in one bowl while adding the coconut flour, desiccated coconut, spice and milled flax in another.
3. Dip the goujon in the egg, then coat it in the ‘batter’ mix
4. Place them on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes on 200 degrees (high heat) until golden.
5. Serve with your favorite salad or veggies.

Literally. You will never think of chicken nuggets the same way again. I love them with mango salsa. Mmmm.

A few things I’ve learned:
Stretch properly. After waking up at 2am with a cramp in my calf that almost made me cry, I realized that yeah…the stretch sequence is important.
No matter how many times you look in the mirror, you’ll still look the same. The same applies for standing on the scales. One week of exercise does not make you thin, but it will change your mindset. That’s all that matters.

What keeps me going is actually extracts from Hollie’s blog. She has such a refreshingly normal attitude to everything I never feel any self-hatred creeping up. Usually if I miss one day I’m unlikely to go back because I am just so guilt-ridden about it. But Hollie is so clear that it’s okay to be human. Here are a few of the most inspiring pieces of writing I’ve been re-reading in times of self-doubt:

Start to think about what your body can do, not what it looks like. We often judge our bodies on aesthetic markers such as dress size when really we should judge it on it’s ability to perform. What does our body need? What pressure is it under physically, mentally and emotionally and how is it coping? Once we start to check in with how our body is performing we are kinder, more nurturing to it and the positive benefits are wide reaching. Aim for a strong, healthy, functional, injury-free body rather than simply a skinny one.”

“Some of the best bodies I know are not perpetual dieters, they may not exercise everyday, and they definitely don’t deny themselves a croissant…So if you fancy a croissant and aren’t in the mood to go to the class that you were ‘supposed’ to go to, sod it. Don’t go. Go tomorrow when you’re in the mood and actually nail the class, or on Saturday when you have a free morning. It’s not a rush, there’s no deadline. It’s life and you fit exercise and healthy eating in when you can.”

Let me know if you want to hear more about my journey with The Model Method and I’ll update next week with how it’s going! X

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