Update: I finished all 12 weeks of the Bikini Body Guide workout!

#BBGprogress week 12 done!! I finished two days after my birthday and am super excited to start 31 healthy, strong, and balanced. It was a tough 3 months, but I really enjoyed the process and found it to be completely doable. I’m proud of my gains. Even though I didn’t shed tons of weight (2 lbs net loss) or get super crazy ripped, I achieved my goal to gain more tone and muscle definition and to feel better. There were some lows: strict calorie counting wasn’t helping me enjoy life; planning around workouts sometimes felt rigid; each workout always felt super hard and I’d want to rest longer or skip things – but I didn’t! The highs: straight up self discipline to work out alone and push myself each time; connecting with Andy on my progress and approach (he helped me learn to relax and have fun again); talking to others and sharing progress; feeling myself get stronger each week; learning to cook so many delicious and healthy meals! Next up: I started at a gym today and am giving weight lifting a try for something new and to see how weights help me get stronger! I will definitely try BBG round 2 at some point. And for sure for all you new moms, this will be my home workout post-baby! Big fat thank you to all my cheerleaders. Feeling GREAT :)

Do the work; you’re worth it

It felt tremendous to complete something I set my mind to and reap the rewards of my own hard work. One of the quotes Kayla Itsines (creator of BBG) always says is, “Don’t complain about the results you didn’t get from the work you didn’t do.” I started this journey as a complaint – a complaint that I didn’t feel as healthy, fit, and energetic as I used to. The best response was Andy telling me do something about it. Point taken. I have the choice, and I have the power; I just had to be willing. We only have this one life and this one body, so we must take care of it. I’m so glad I am.

Push past the excuses

After I finished, I’ve talked to lots of people who have either tried BBG before or tried it after seeing my post. Most people say it’s hard, that it requires discipline, and it’s difficult to keep going. This is all true. But we all make excuses when things get hard, and I wanted to show myself that I could push past it. Even on days I didn’t want to work out or felt tired, I would turn on my playlist, set the timer, and just start moving my body. By the end, the endorphins would be firing, and I’d be exhausted but happy.

A little goes a long way

This program taught me that it doesn’t take a gym membership, fancy equipment, or lots of time to get fit. I did 30 minute circuit training 3 days a week, and I walked in between or did yoga. That’s it. Lots of people spend 2-3X the time, money, and effort I did with less results. Sometimes less is more. Everything I needed was found in my home – a counter stool for bench jumps, a lower stool for box jumps, a yoga mat, a coffee table for tricep dips, dumb bells, and I spent $10 on a jump rope. In all honesty, I was first inspired to do this when I saw progress photos from new moms. I realized that my current workout schedule would be harder to maintain after we have kids. So I wanted an option I could do quickly and in the comfort of my own home. Soon-to-be mommys and current mommys, give this workout a try!

It’s not just for the picture

But my initial motivation was to show physical progress. I’ll admit, the ego in me wanted a great pre/post picture. I was so much in my head about this, that I actually felt depressed and embarrassed about my 4 week picture because I hadn’t made that much of a difference. I didn’t even post it. And then, I kept going and snapped out of the funk when I did jump lunges for the 5th week and realized I could actually do them without stopping. That little feat made me realize that even if my initial goal was aesthetic, the end benefit became this deep sense of empowerment, confidence, and joy for the strength of my body and mind.

A spark that started a fire

After I finished, Andy surprised me with a membership card at his gym and lessons with a personal trainer. I am grateful for his constant support and for opening me up to new things. I’ve never really gone to a gym except for in college (which honestly was a socializing activity rather than a workout) and when I used to spin and swim. I’ve never lifted weights and walking around the floor of large commercial gyms like 24 hour fitness was just a nightmare to me. I’m happy to say that I’m now a member of Ignite Fitnez, and I love it. I’m also happy to say that I am learning how to bench press, squat, and dead lift. It’s been fun to meet different trainers and learn from them; train with a community of women who have common goals; and continue to explore the possibilities of my own strength and mental capacity.

This wasn’t a traditional way to train for a 5 day hike, but I truly feel like my body and mind are ready for the trek to Machu Picchu. The sentiment I bring with me on this trip is a feeling of comfort in my own skin and a clear/open outlook. Starting from where I was at the beginning of the year to where I am now, is my definition of progress. I’m nervous and excited for what’s to come and can’t wait for the challenge. Bring it on!

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”

– Charles Reade

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