Finishing a Round of BBG
With the stress of moving to Ireland, and in the months before we left Berlin, I’d managed to put on loads of weight and I was really struggling to shake it. Every time I started getting back into exercising, I’d get sick and it would completely ruin my gym momentum. Or I wouldn’t see the results I was hoping for and I’d get discouraged.
But in December, right before the holidays, I was really fed up. I knew I was eating terribly and making loads of excuses and I wasn’t happy with myself or how I looked. I’d bought the BBG guides in 2015 and I’d given them a shot a couple of times, but the workouts were way too hard for me and I never managed to get through more than the first week of the course.
If you don’t know what the BBG is, it’s the Bikini Body Guide designed by Kayla Itsines, an Australian fitness coach. Basically you have 3 resistance and cardio high-intensity sessions per week and then low-intensity cardio twice a week. The high intensity workouts are only 28 minutes, divided into 4 circuits of 7 minutes each. I decided to give the course a go again, but I started right from the pre-training, which is designed for people (such as myself) who are starting from scratch.
However, even the pre-training workouts were so hard that I struggled through the first couple. I realised I needed to simplify them a little bit in order to make it manageable. I was really concerned when I started that I wouldn’t be able to make it through the full twelve weeks, but by customising them a bit, I managed. For example, you’re supposed to put a timer on for 7 minutes and repeat a circuit of four exercises as many times as you can. I didn’t use the timer and went through the circuit once. Because I needed breaks more frequently the time worked out to be the same anyway.
The workouts are really, really hard, which as I mentioned is what put me off the last time I tried, but they’re only 28 minutes. Last year, I met a really lovely girl who told me how she kept in shape, and she said ‘I do half an hour every day. No matter what, I always have half an hour‘. She had exercised right through her pregnancies, and immediately after, and she had an incredible figure.
That’s really been the thing that’s kept me going. Half an hour is 2% of my day, it’s less than an episode of suits, less than the fast cycle on our washing machine. Even when I have a really busy day, waking up half an hour earlier or working out while dinner is in the oven is totally manageable, and that’s the only reason I’ve managed to finish the four months. (It’s a three month course plus one month of pre-training).
I don’t have any incredible jaw dropping transformation pictures to show, but I must say I feel so much better. It will probably be a while (read: never) before you see actual before and after bikini pictures of myself, but I feel fitter and stronger. I think my clothes look better on and I even had the confidence to cut my hair, which I was worried about doing before because I used to like hiding behind it. I’ve also had the confidence to post pictures of myself onto social media, something I haven’t felt comfortable doing in ages.
At the end of the day, I’ve realised that working out is about how I feel way more than it is about how I look. Of course it’s nice if there’s an outward change too, but I really think that confidence is the most attractive feature in a person, and I’m so happy that I’m starting to feel that way about myself.
I didn’t think I’d be able to stick three months of BBG out, but I have, and I want to keep going. The biggest concern for me was getting sick, because it’s been what’s derailed me in the past. I did catch a cold last week, and I took it slow, but I still exercised. Marco and I went for a walk and then as soon as I was better I continued with my exercise. I realised that if I’m motivated and persistant, I really can do anything I want.
It’s easy to say if I can do it anyone can, and everyone seems to say that, but in this case it really is true. Just a couple of years ago I was called pudding abs and I couldn’t do 20 seconds of plank, nevermind anything else. I was the perennially-picked-last for netball and I couldn’t run around the field at school once without being completely out of breath. But I told myself that even if I had to work twice as hard as everyone else, I was going to push through, and now that I have I have even more reason to be proud. My whole life I believed that I could never finish anything, but the real truth is that I was always too scared of failing to really give it 100%, or I let self-doubt get in the way.
I really do believe that if we set our minds to it, we can do anything we want, whether its exercise, career, or relationship related. Persistence is really hard, but it truly does reap the best results in the long term! So if you’ve been thinking about trying the BBG, I say go for it! Adjust it to suit where you’re at and go for it! If high-intensity isn’t for you, walking half an hour a day is a good start. Remember, you always have half an hour!