Friday, April 16, 2010

Final Thoughts

There is so much to say about an experience so intense as this one of going through a PCP. I decided that a good way to write about the different aspects of this adventure would be as an "interview" with questions I have asked myself and questions my friends have asked me.

Why did I sign up for PCP in the first place?
Because I needed to try an effective method to achieve some goals. Patrick's own blog of his PCP and subsequent participants' stories and photos made me give it a try. What I read in those blogs made sense to me and I wanted to know if I was able to accomplish something similar.

What were my PCP goals?
First, to go through a test. I needed some discipline to shake up my anarchic lifestyle.
Second, I have always admired lean, muscular, healthy and gracious human specimens and I was determined to get as close to that ideal as I could. So I needed to get rid of some unnecessary fat and work on my muscles.
Third, I was stuck in my yoga practice and gaining some weight in spite of it. It was necessary to do something radical to gain strength and vitality to advance in my yoga practice.

Which goals did I achieve?
All of them!! I learnt so much from working constantly and progressively with a method. It showed me how much I can accomplish with discipline and constancy. I feel I can apply this method to other aspects of my life.
I'm close to my physical ideal, with only a few details to improve. I lost a lot of body fay. Patrick says I should be around the 15%. My initial weight was 54 kg and now it's 52,5 kg. I used to wear pants size  28 and now I fit perfectly in size 27.
My skin is smooth and even, not puffy as it used to be in some places.

And the most rewarding part is that I feel energized, awake and strong. I used to feel sluggish and down, sleepy after the meals and didn't want to move so much. I'm ready to try this new body with some advanced asanas.
Aplauso, por favor!

What did I learn from the PCP experience?
That nutrition defines you, your body, health and energy. It is true that you are what you eat. So it is very important to educate yourself in terms of what a good nutrition is and practice what you learn.
That there is no such a thing as an easy fast method to get a lean healthy body while watching TV.
That your body expresses its gratitude in vitality and great muscles if you feed it clean food and challenge it with exercises.
That your body functions according to some rules. If you know them you can apply them to get the results you want. It's not a miracle, it's science and it's beautiful.
That to be in Peak Condition all you need is a great nutrition, regular challenging exercises and motivation.  You don't need machines, gyms or pills.
That starving yourself works against you.
That cellulite won't disappear with expensive creams.
That constant and progressive work pays.
That you need to have faith in what you're doing. Faith will help you in the dark days.

What was the hardest aspect of PCP?
Incredibly, not the work out, it doesn't mean it was easy either. The hardest part was getting used to plan, buy, prepare, clean and store the food needed for the day and doing it every single day. The kitchen time.
Also to get the discipline of eating several times a day.

What was the must fun during PCP?
Rope jump!
To be free to choose when you work out, with your music.
To have a new challenge every day: new exercises or more reps.
Patrick's daily e-mails.
To think a topic for the blog.
To comment and get comments from fellow PCPers.
The perplexed look in the faces of the people when you tried to explain what you were doing and for how long.
To eat a lot.

Which exercises you can't live without from now on?
Rope jumps! :)
Lunges and squats.
Crunches and v-sits.
Oldies and unpretentious but effective!

What did I learn from myself? Positive and negative.
That I can if I want, but I have to really really want.
That I can be disciplined.
That I'm strong and have the potential to become even stronger.
That I need to move my body regularly to keep my engines working.
That I can inspire people around me to eat better and exercise more.
That 2 glasses of wine are enough.
That I tend to take it too easy on myself.
That my passion for an idea can cloud my ability to question it.
That I need to work on managing my anger.

What are my future goals regarding food and exercise?
To keep a natural diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, wholesome carbs and lean protein. 
To get less protein from animals.
To eat enough food several times a day.
To begin again doing yoga with the second course of this book: Yoga, The Iyengar Way 
To jump every day and continue with a maintenance program of PCP exercises.
By the beginning of summer I will be totally satisfied with my flexibility, strength and leanness.

What was gratifying during PCP?
Sore muscles.
A heavy profound sleep almost every night.
Lots of energy during the day, feeling less tired, not being sleepy after lunch.
Understanding how important good carbs are and being able to enjoy them without fear.
Acquiring a nice posture automatically because my muscles were getting strong and flexible.
Choosing new styles of clothes that now look good on me.
New lines from muscles appearing every week. 
Pablo's compliments.
Noticing how this new lifestyle improved Pablo's.
Day 90.

Did PCP affect my daily routine?
Totally. It changed my morning coffee and mail reading for rope jumping. 
I had to find enough time to get and prepare food.
It divided my day in 8 moments, 1 for jumping, 1 for exercising and 6 for meals.
I didn't spend as much time as before with my friends.

Is it weird to open your weekly photo and blog to anyone who wants to read it?
Yes, at the beginning. The weirdest moment is posting the first photo. You feel vulnerable and ugly. You hope your friends won't see it. But with time and after so much effort you fall in love with that changing person in the photos and become very proud, almost exhibitionist.
I always considered the blog a transparent instrument to share an experience with people around the world, maybe it could inspire someone like me to take a challenge. The blog was very important to share the experience with the PCP team, I felt less lonely and they cheered me up. The blog will be great to read sometime in the future when I have to do something that looks hard to accomplish.

Did my perception of other training methods and fitness products changed after PCP?
Definitively. Fitness DVDs, gyms and diet movements give you just one aspect of the solution to getting fit, but working on just one aspect won't get you far. 

Any suggestions for future PCPers?
Yes, It really makes your life easier if you get a quality kitchen scale. The bigger your bamboo steaming set or machine the best.
Don't struggle with egg whites. You will learn to eat them without any spices at all.
Get used as soon as you can to prepare all the day's food and egg whites first thing in the morning or the night before. That way you won't skip any meal and you can devote to your daily affairs.
Believe in the process, even on those dark days when you're tired or don't see results.
Enjoy it. It's your challenge and your victory.

Finally, a big hug to Patrick and Chen. Thank you so much for creating this beautiful project and for the hard work you have put into it. Patrick, thanks for being honest, helpful, graceful and a good teacher.
To my fellow PCPers a big hug, congratulations for an excellent work and thanks for the camaraderie and support. I will miss you.


  1. Woo-hoo!! You totally rocked it! Welcome to the finish line!

  2. Congratulations, Lili! Thank you for leading the way!

  3. Awesome post Lili! Congratulations - you look lithe and svelte - and I love your "interviewer" method of summing up you PCP experience, what a good idea!

    Yay Lili!

  4. New body, and most importantly, NEW MIND! Go kick those asana's butt! Fantastic job!

  5. Thanks for posting this at such a timely moment. As I start the PCP I've been asking myself these very questions!
    I'm also encouraged by your ability to get the fresh fruits and vegetables you need and avoid the oily, cheesy, saucy things there are in Germany. I'll be referring back to your blog for inspiration from Bavaria!

  6. I'll miss you, too Lili! Thank you for your constant support and encouragement! You look fabulous and I know you'll only continue to get "peakier." Un abrazo!

  7. Congratulations Lili! You look terrific. I loved your Q&A. No doubt you will carry your peak-tastic findings into the future.

  8. Lili, congrats on the impressive results and the great final post! Very complete and a definite must-read for anyone thinking of doing PCP. Thanks for the positive vibe you brought to your posts and comments! All the best!