Week 10:

Week 10 done already! Who would have thought that I would get this far (I didn’t anyway)! I am proud of this, especially since I really had to push myself since week 9 because of some time constraints. Giving up would have been the easy way out…

Although I notice I get stronger and I have this little voice in my head that keeps me going by saying “I can do this” during the circuits, I also get a bit bored with them. Although exercises are different every few weeks, and it’s still very very challenging to finish them, they also get way more complicated than in the beginning. And with complicated I mean, more jumping, in all sorts of forms and on all sort of equipment. I feel like I can’t do them as they are intended to. You know these little toddlers that can almost jump, but not really? That’s what I look like during these circuits the last few weeks. Jumping on a bench has never been so hard… It may sound strange, but if jumping is combined with burpees, push ups, and what not more, you really go back to this toddler phase, where you are just stuck to the ground while making an effort to jump. My solution has been to simplify the more complicated movements, but then I think, I don’t get the maximum amount of exercise and muscle training that Kayla intends with the circuits. I might as well do the circuits of week 1 with full effort then? My conclusion is that the guide expects that you have exponential growth with regard to condition, strength and endurance. However, my progress seems rather linear… Ok, sorry, kind of a nerd approach, in other words, the guide went faster than I could have improved…

Next to this, I do miss to take my mind of things while going to the gym since my visits are just 30-45 minutes instead of the 90 minutes I was used to before I started the guide. I used to really focus on some resistance exercises, making sure the technique/form is correct, overthinking my day, doing some HIIT after this and listen to music, on my own passe, not having to perform within the 7 minutes… I also miss to lift some serious weights, compound movements such as deadlifts etc.. I feel like I miss working out mindfully while doing the BBG. I don’t find that possible with Kayla’s regime, since it’s so intense and short… Therefore, I will finish the 12 weeks, but I will not continue using the guides after that (or at least not for a while). I do want to incorporate some of the exercises though from the circuits. Especially the abb circuits really helped me to improve this area of my body.

Last point, I haven’t posted progress pictures yet. The reason for this is that I don’t see significant changes, that I feel comfortable showing. I blame this mostly on my food choices, since I was not that strict on it during the whole 12 weeks (I do think I improved towards the last weeks, and that I already eat healthy the majority of time, but I did not keep track nor did I count calories or used Kayla’s food guide). I do see some progress in my body myself, but it does not show on pictures. Also my weight has been the same as when I started… I don’t know whether I have burned fat and gained muscle mass, and I don’t want to know really… I just want to finish this guide, take away some valuable things I learned, and apply them to the work out regime I construct myself again (maybe in combination with some other training regimens I used before). Gym time has to become more mindfull again for me, because it relaxes me, and counts as real ME time.

Week 9:

Sleep, and actually time in general, is a luxury good! This is where I was really confronted with this week. I started a new job, and I like it very much luckily. However, it demands a lot of extra hours to get used to the new surroundings, new colleagues, new systems, new everything basically. This is not a bad thing, because if I love doing something, I don’t even notice that hours fly by. Adding to this, I think it’s normal that a new job demands some extra time in the beginning… Although I love what I do at work, and don’t mind spending more time on it, I decided that it can not become my new standard. The reason for this is that balance (and especially work/life balance) is key to being happy, and staying happy.

So this week was not a good example for a balanced yin/yang zen work/life time balanced week. I have spend 10 hours or more every day on work. Result: I was only able to do a BBG circuit on Monday evening, and I had to do the other two circuits on Saturday and Sunday… Let me tell you, two days of circuits in a row in week 9 is not a good idea… Also, I had to skip LISS days this week, because it was either sleeping for 6-7 hours, or going to the Stairmaster and then sleep less. Well, as you can image, I choose sleep (no surprise there). So I dissed my friend the Stairmaster. As you can image, this situation is far from ideal. Therefore two tips to manage your workweek better (I started doing this, this week):

1. Plan ahead: With planning ahead I don’t only mean work activities, but also your personal activities and ME time. Really, this sounds pretty basic, but it is very important in order to also get your personal time spend the way YOU want it. The pitfall is that you only plan work activities, and therefore your private activities get lower on your priority list. Don’t do this! ME time and social activities for instance outside work are as important as work (or maybe even more important). So also treat them like that, put them in your schedule, and stick to this. Make a commitment not only to do a good job at work, but also to be a good you, make time for this and plan accordingly.

2. Get up early: I am not a morning person, nor will I ever be… However, getting up early is a really good way to make more efficient use of your day (Joyce can agree on this). I refuse to get up and train first thing of the day. So what I do is, start immediately working on job related stuff, and get those things done (tip: start with the most boring stuff first). Making use of the early hours of a day gives you an opportunity to get ahead of your planning, and even have more time left to do ME things. Also, in the morning, nobody will disturb you basically. So getting things done is way more easy when you don’t have distractions all the time (and excuses to get a coffee with that nice colleague instead of doing boring paperwork).

So what about the training itself this week? I must admit, I was not able to give my everything. I was just too tired, and too demotivated to really push it (therefore I also skipped LISS days). Although this is of course not a good thing, I am still proud of myself for at least finishing the circuits in a very busy week. It shows me that I need to work on time management, but also, that I am determined to make this work, regardless of demanding circumstances, and that I can do this! The circuits get harder and harder every week, and sometimes I have to switch to a more easy version of an exercise in order to finish the circuit (this is what Kayla also sometimes suggests, so I think that is ok). Also, some exercises get more complicated, and may look a little bit weird for other people in the gym. Prepare for some frowning faces when you start with week 8/9… Just saying… Foodwise it was a good week, because I didn’t even have the time to think about bad food, let alone eat it haha. Hopefully next week I can continue this food behavior, but I will also manage to balance out my ME time…

Week 7 & 8:

Ok, obviously I am stuck in some sort of holiday mood. I am in between jobs, had two weeks off after week 6, and BAM, I stopped planning and started doing nothing (kind of). At least, BBG blog wise, it is, because I did not miss any training! So, let’s catch up… The trainings went quite ok, although the circuits were rather hard again (they are the same in week 5 & 6, and I was not a happy camper then). I noticed that they were somewhat more bearable these weeks. By this I mean: I had the impression that I was not totally dying, although it was still some form of torment. A recap of the past two weeks:

Week 7 circuits:

  • Monday: Legs & Cardio circuit. I really like this circuit because it has a good balance between strength and lifting some weights, but also some heart rate intensifying jump exercises. Also, they are organized in a nice order, so you can catch some breath while lifting weights (ok, this sounds a bit weird but BBG girls and boys know what I mean). Confession: jump rope skipping… No can do, me no liky… I do mountain climbers instead because otherwise it takes the full 7 minutes for me to complete it. I totally look like a 7 year old doing a jump rope game (the game where other people turn the rope). And since I don’t have those two others turning the rope and singing a song to indicate my jump rythm, I stick to my mountain climbers (I do double the repetitions).
  • Wednesday: Arms & Abs. This circuit is one of the hardest for me because it has so much arm exercises in some form of push ups… Or even worse: commando’s… But, I am proud to say that even the decline pushups were done! Not fast, not pretty… But slow and pretty ugly haha…
  • Friday: Full Body. Joyce and me are a fan of the full body days. Mainly because you don’t try to kill all the strength in one or two muscle groups, but you distribute the pain evenly over your whole body (also this sounds weird, but again BBG girls and boys do know what I mean).

Week 8 circuits:

  • Monday: Arms & Abs. Great circuit, I like it very much, and I also know why. Because it hardly has any pushups in it! This circuit mainly consists out of abs exercises, which will also give a burning feeling and produce some ugly facial expressions, BUT feels better (the term better really has a different meaning outside the BBG haha), and is easier to do (although the abs section is not showing major results yet).
  • Wednesday: Abs & Cardio. Another great circuit, seems like I start to appreciate the abs days.
  • Friday: Legs & Cardio aka jumping madness party. I can say I have pretty strong legs, but this crazy circuit is really tough! I have to catch breath after every exercise (or in the middle of them) and I can hardly finish because the legs decide to start shaking (thesame happened in week 5 with this specific circuit). Of course this is what this guide is all about, pushing it far, but adding the jump part to a leg circuit is a real killer! Therefore this thing happened: I only did three rounds instead of four…

Food mood in week 7 & 8

Although I still didn’t skip any training, the holiday mood has been very noticeable in my food behavior, especially in week 8. On the other hand I started off very good in week 7, because I procrastinated my promise about the juice recipes, and ended up with 5 liters of healthy juices at the beginning of this week. In addition most of my meals were pretty decent and healthy/balanced. In the end of the week I started to slip and had a little bit of a tosti/grilled cheese sandwich after party… Then came week 8: I ate cake (really delicious blueberry cake for which we drove to a small village more than 20 km from home, I do make an effort to eat my cake!), chocolate (high cacao chocolate with sea salt and caramel), chips, salted nuts, fries, and wine… I can go on for much longer haha… To be honest: I didn’t care that this happened, it’s not my regular diet, and there is no reason why I can’t do this every once in a while, as long as I get back on track.

So, to close this post off: let me remind you of my promise I made in week 6. I kept it partly, and I did make a nice list of summer slow juice recipes (which ones did you try?), check them out here. For the soup recipes however I failed. Not because I wanted to, but because I slightly underestimated the effort it takes to make a blog post like that, because I already had 5 liters of juice and I didn’t want to have liquid dinner all week long by making also 3 more liters of soup, and because I think it was way too hot to make and eat soup during these last nice warm summer days. So, I will still make a blog post about my soups, but I will save them for autumn… Now, off to the Preuvememint (food festivity in Maastricht) to catch some evening sun, and eat some more haha. Why not, week 8 was terrible anyway (foodwise), so let’s close it off with a bang!

Week 6:

Half way there, week 6 is finished! On one side I am really happy and proud that we have come so far already, on the other hand, there still is so much more room for improvement. This weeks theme was bread & breath, I will explain why:

Breath: Lordy lord, the exercises get tougher by the week, and getting short of breath is getting worse again (feels like week 1 all over agian). Looks like Kayla assumes that from week 5 and onward we have become some kind of powerwomen that can do every exercise with decline/incline, more weight, more repetitions and with jumps. Really, especially friday I was jumping around like a frog, breathing like a pug dog and sweating like the Niagara falls (luckily I had a private exercise room that day, so no one else had to witness this crazy session).

On the positive side: after six weeks of training with the BBG, I can start to notice some small body changes. Although my diet can be better (it’s a trial and error proces for me), I have noticed that some pants went from tight to somewhat baggy pants. I have made some progress pictures during the last weeks, but I didn’t think I could see major changes, however my pants tell me that there in fact are some changes there. So, yay for progress (babysteps also count!). Also my midsection starts to show some more lines, but I am not sure if this has to do with the sepcific day and the food and water intake that specific moment… Oh well, who cares, progress is progress right?

Bread: I ate a lot of bread this week. I love bread! It started with one grilled cheese sandwich, on tuesday. By the end of the week I ate 10, it became more like a grilled cheese sandwich party. Whoops! Next to that we went out for dinner on Sunday, and there was even more bread. Delicious grilled thick pieces of bread with home made herb butter. Paired with red wine, I totally forgot about Kayla, and just enjoyed this, with no regrets… My other meals where still pretty healthy this week, so luckily it’s not that bad in total. Let’s just say that for the coming week I will start using my slowjuicer more often and make myself some detox drinks. I also want to start making more homemade soups again, I love making my own soups. To REALLY keep this promise to myself, I will now solemnly swear that I will share 5 healthy slowjuice recipes and 3 homemade soup recipes for you to try in my next diary.

Week 5:

Theme of week 5: I hate Kayla! I remembered why week 5 was the week I quit this guide before… It get’s harder at week 5, A LOT harder. Exercises get more intense, more difficult and sometimes not even doable (for me)… Like for instance the abs & arms circuit on wednesday. I totally messed it up because I mixed exercises from one round to another, I lost track of time and I forgot how many rounds I did because of those mistakes. Next to that, push ups are hard anyway, but declined? NO WAY Kayla! I cursed, looked very mad and frustrated while sweating like a dog (at least there is that is something that stays consistent during all these trainings). Dogs don’t sweat, do they? Anyhow, my tongue was hanging out also, so there you go… Then I took it out on Joyce and Danielle on facebook messenger (thanks girls for sharing the pain!). Also, the full body circuit on friday was all about that burning feeling in the abs section, it hurt! I died multiple times… Funny to say this week I felt extra good when doing LISS exercises. I practiced my golf swing a lot, since the weather was very nice outside this week, and I improved. Also, with some nice music (my favorite: slow R&B like Ciara) and new bestie the stairmaster, there was luckily some time to clear te mind, get back to zen mode, and forget about the torture of those circuits.

To close off this weeks diary: This week I saw Kayla wearing a top with the line “burpees don’t like you either” on social media. Well… I wish burpees where my only problem. But I am afraid that “burpees, declined push ups, mountainclimber + push ups, jump lunges, commandos and  jack knifes don’t like you either” will not fit the t-shirt… Let’s see if next week me and Kayla can become friends again…

Week 4:

Yes, week 4 is done! One third of the BBG has been completed and I am proud of Joyce, Danielle and myself for sticking to it, and not giving up! In general I feel good about it. I noticed that exercises get a little easier (one step at a time) and I am developing strength. Body wise, I don’t see major changes yet, but that is also due to too many bad food choices mainly in week 1 and 2. I found out (trial and error process), my food needs to be in a certain balance. After the bad start during week 1 and 2, I try to have a healthy diet 75-80%% of the time, the other 25-20%% I allow myself to eat food (and wine) that’s good for the soul. I can’t restrict myself to 100% clean food, and calorie/macro counting. It simply does not make me happy, and therefore  I also accept the fact that body progress is not going as fast as it could be. I have great respect for my boyfriend, who is 100% committed to his clean food and fitness, it shows great dedication and perseverance. Also his process shows me that working towards a specific fitness goal and body like his, does not come for free, and it is certainly not for everyone! So a big shout out for you honey! Conclusion: it’s all about the goal you WANT to set yourself and work towards. If you don’t want it, if it doesn’t make you happy, just simply don’t set that goal…

To conclude, some thoughts and things I noticed during the first 4 weeks:

  • People and friends are really supportive and interested when I tell them about BBG training. After reading the journals, some friends even want to start the training themselves! Yay for motivation!
  • 7 Minutes can seem like an eternity… I think every person that does this guide has found themselves looking at the timer during a 7 minute interval, and mentally falling apart when seeing there is still 3 minutes and 25 seconds left…
  • It took me some time to realize that week 1 & 3 and week 2 & 4 are actually the same exercises, have you noticed yet?
  • Training itself will not make you look pretty. During the circuits I sweat like crazy, but I mean really cray-cray crazy. Also, the faces and sounds I produce are also not very ladylike, let alone my face after finishing a circuit. Positive point: I feel kind of badass after doing the work-out: don’t mess with me!
  • Sticking to the program becomes more fun and easier when you share the experience. For motivating yourself I really recommend to for instance join a facebook group, start a whatsapp group, go training together or keep up a journal with friends. Doing it is one thing, but being able to share the experience is what is keeping me going. The BBG is not only a guide, it’s also a motivation community.

Week 3:

Recap of week 3! Time flies! This week started with a tough leg and cardio work out. I really had a hard time to catch my breath, however I did get the circuits done a little more than twice. On Wednesday I had a really bad headache, but I still managed to get the abs and arms workout done. However, I would not recommend doing these circuit trainings when you have migraine like me. During the workout is was just a minor headache, but later that day the real migraine pain set in… The last circuit training of the week, the full body workout, was nice! A lot of sweat still (it’s a given), but I felt strong! For LISS I made friends with the Stairmaster this week and I even tried a dance class to keep things interesting. The latter I won’t be doing again anytime soon, because I look like a spider doing the Macarena when dancing… I am not that coordinated…

My food behavior this week was much better compared to last week. It helped to make some new recipes: I made a delicious pumpkin soup and a healthy pizza with a cauliflower crust (recipe by Rens Kroes). Also, I had a lot of chicken, eggs and tuna complemented with veggies to incorporate some more protein into my days. Overall, a good food week, except for one big cheat: white chocolate wedding cake. But hey, it’s all about balance right?

So, next week is up. To prevent further migraine attacks, my doctor prescribed me beta blockers. It’s mainly used as a medicine for high blood pressure and heart patients, but it can also help with migraine apparently. This medicine brings down heart rate frequency, so I am curious how this will work out during the circuit trainings… To close off, my tip of the week: don’t eat soup right before a cirquit training!

Week 2:

Ok, let me start about my food fail this week. I ate too much non-Kayla approved stuff. First there was this day long meeting on Tuesday where we had muffins and cake, so I got hungry, they were in front of me, aaaaand I ate them. Then there was a company BBQ on Thursday. With the sun out, and some former colleagues around, catching up with a beer and hamburger happened before I knew it (doesn’t take much to convince myself to say yes to food related events anyway, maybe I need to work on that?). To top this week of, I shared a pizza with Joyce and ate a sweet desert (by myself) after a day of shopping…

On the other hand, the work outs went quite good this week. I finished all of them, and I even managed to get some circuits done more than twice in 7 minutes. The Monday circuit, ‘legs & cardio’ went well. I didn’t expect I would consider burpees to be doable without catching my breath any time soon, but they were this time (yay!). However, all the jumping exercises made me sweat even more than normal, so afterwards I looked like Gollem from ‘Lord of the Rings’… Not a pretty sight… ‘Arms & abs’ on Wednesday were quite heavy duty, but I managed to finish them. The Friday ‘full body’ circuit was the hardest, due to warm weather (even more sweat), and a combination of challenging exercises.

So, next week: Let’s see if this Bikini Body Gollem can also say no to crappy food…

Week 1:

Since I already knew what to expect from Kayla’s circuits (e.g. sweat, pain and mental despair), the shock wasn’t as big as the first time I started. My experience this week was that the circuits were manageable but still hard, 7 minutes seem like an eternity, and I still sweat like a mad woman when doing the circuits! Also, I could feel my legs hurt 2-3 days after the legs & cardio session on Monday, which hopefully means it’s working… The other days went ok too, although I still have some weak points, like for example push-ups, that I hope to improve on in the upcoming weeks. I found some extra motivation in the fact that Joyce and Danielle are going through the same program, and we share our daily sweaty selfies, which is hilarious (sorry, not suited for publication). With regard to my food I behaved quite good, except for the weekend where I cheated for a bit (shh, don’t tell my boyfriend!). Anyway, bring on week 2, I am starting to like this again!

Pre-training:

I already had some experience with the BBG by Kayla Itsines, since I started it in February/March this year. However, in April I went on a vacation to Mexico, where they had lots of good food (really, it was food heaven there), sun, beaches, cocktails and no obligations whatsoever… So, I found myself surrounded with the perfect circumstances NOT to do any form of training (didn’t feel bad about it whatsoever though).

After that vacation, it felt wrong to just start with week 6 of the program, so I gave up the BBG circuits. I did start again with another program that I found online, that consisted out of weight/resistance training 4-5 times a week. It felt good to get back to the gym, especially because my fulltime job is 40 hours a week working mainly behind a computer. So, 2-3 months before my second shot at the BBG, this was my pre-training. Not bad at all, if I may say so myself.

Food wise I pretty much got back on track after the vacation. I am planning to continue to do this during the 12 week program. My diet will be based on food advise from a health coach I went to a while back. However, I need some form of cheat meal every once in a while to stay mentally sane (what good are abs if you behave like a crazy person, right?). I might also incorporate some of the recipes that Kayla suggests in her food guide, to try some new healthy things, and keep it interesting.