Breaking Bad Habits

12 month challenge

I failed and I’m proud!

  

So three months down and here are my Kayla Itsines BBG week 12 progress pics, already posted on Instagram & Facebook as that’s where I keep my progress up to date the most, but also where I draw the most inspiration and motivation from too.

 

In my caption on Instagram, I briefly wrote about how this simple 12 week programme, developed by the lovely Kayla Itsines, has set me back on course with my original mission that I embarked on at the beginning of 2014, to make fitness and healthy living the good habits in my life and to break all the bad ones within 12 months.

 

Looking back, I’m proud to say that I failed that original mission. Miserably. Several times over in fact. I know I may also fail again in the future but I’m okay with it.

 

Why proud? Along this journey I have come to accept that my failures will be my biggest and best assets when it comes to learning what not to do, all of which will make it all the more satisfying when I achieve my goals and power on to set and smash some new ones. Most of all though, I’m proud that I’m still trying 18months down the line, I’m still learning and I haven’t given up! 

 

I’ll admit that I succeeded for little period of time after completing Insanity programme and a couple of months worth of weight training. I looked good and thought I was happy, I got ‘comfortable’ but then slowly reverted back to old ways and shamefully strayed away from all the progress for the most part of 4-6 months. Sporadic and inconsistent bursts of half-arsed attempts to get back on track did me no good and I found myself almost right back where I’d started.

 

It took some time, but I’ve realised how to spot where I’ve made my mistakes and decided I don’t ever want to stay just ‘comfortable’ again. I set out my original goal as wanting to be the very best version of me that I can be. I truly forgot that somewhere along the way.

 

Kayla and the incredible BBG community of her followers have helped remind me of this one simple goal and seeing their relentless progress has struck a chord with my determination so strong, that I swear I have never felt as focused and as confident in the belief that I will achieve my goals and beyond if I continue on this path.

 

I wish I could tell you the secret to this feeling and why I have it. I also wish I could bottle it for the days when my motivation has taken a nap! Yes, it still happens occasionally and I accept that it always will.

 

In all seriousness though, maybe it’s just the realisation that when it comes down to changing my lifestyle habits, I have to stop over-planning, over-thinking and over-complicating things. Just keep it simple, pick something easy to follow and the results will come with consistency, time and patience (and a lot of sweat too!).

 

So I would like to say thanks to Kayla and her guides for truly helping me get a grip, thanks to all the BBG community who inspire and motivate me daily and finally, thanks to me for just-doing-it for once, instead of draining all my energy getting caught up in the failures and subsequent procrastination of trying to plan and dissect every part of how, why and what it takes to succeed.

 

I’m just getting on with it and starting BBG2.0 today, I’ll catch you up at weeks 18 and 24 for more progress updates and maybe, just maybe, some cheeky abs will be peeking back at me in my reflection by then too 😉 x

So, it’s been a while…

To be honest I almost completely forgot about this page until recently when I was Googling my name out of curiosity again (yes, I do that).

 

Reading back at my 12 month challenge I can see that it was a roller coaster, one which I am not ashamed to admit that I’m still on, more than 18 months later.

 

I have come to accept that ups and downs are just part of the road to achieving my fitness goals and I’m just learning to enjoy the journey rather than keep asking ‘are we there yet?’.

 

Reading my last post I had re-started Insanity again but as my absence of updates probably indicates, I only got part-way through month one before going on holiday. After returning to reality there was less than 2 months till end of the year and I all but gave up on my goal of transforming my mind and body by the end of 2014 and as a result I slipped back into bad habits for a while.

 

This defeatist attitude continued for the first 5 months of 2015! I lost sight of why I started this in the first place and that combined with a further promotion at work (yay!) lead to a crazy few months! I munched everything anything that would keep me going and any exercise was infrequent, inconsistent and unfocused to say the least.

 

Before I knew it, it was nearly halfway through 2015 and some of my less forgiving clothes were starting to cut off circulation! Feeling the panic rising, I began the process of trying to re-motivate myself and by the off-chance a friend of mine at work recommended a 12 week programme that her friend had been following for a while with great results.

 

Before then I’d never heard of Kayla Itsines  and her BBG (Bikini body Guide) or the #thekaylamovement, however I know that I respond well to challenges and this sounded less crazy than Insanity and more sustainable in the long term. So I figured why not?

 

I was sceptical at first and my initial attempt didn’t make it past week 2.


Then, as my best friend is getting married in November, she wanted to get in better shape and so we decided to be workout buddies to help keep ourselves accountable. 

 

That was the little push I needed and once I got my mind in gear, my lazy butt followed and I’m proud to say we’re coming to the end of week 8 in the programme, with just 4 weeks left to go before we can say we have completed bbg1.0!  

 

Apart from already seeing good progress and feeling great, the real motivation that keeps me going is seeing the incredible volume of success stories that women from all over the globe are achieving with the simple but effective guides. 

 

Once week 12 has passed there’s a bbg2.0 guide which takes you from week 13 to week 24 and the results of girls who’ve made it that far and beyond, are the results of my dreams!

 

Watch this space & follow more regular progress updates on my Instagram or search for Kayla  on there to see what the all the fuss is about 😉


X

 

Motivation is back, HERE WE GO AGAIN!

Right I’ve been slacking for way too long now. Not long till the end of the year and motivation is FINALLY back, body is cleansed after a 3 day juice detox and I’m ready to attack that Insanity challenge once again before the end of this 12 month journey :).

I have been fluctuating up and down with exercise and diet since June this year and I’m sick to death of this all too familiar pattern. Need to avoid my yearly tradition of stocking up on “winter insulation” around this time and will focus on shredding instead.

I want to bring in the new year in a few months time, already feeling like a new woman, rather than wishing I was.

The day one progress pic below, taken today (4th October 2014) not looking too bad considering I haven’t been doing much for last 3 months but now it’s time to SHRED! Will post progress in 4 week’s time…
Insanity Challenge Round Two Day One Progress Picture

I FINALLY DID IT!!

I think this achievement deserves a post all to itself…

This morning I managed to drag my lazy arse out of bed at 5.30am and do my very first early morning workout. For anyone who’s followed my journey they’ll know how much I struggle with this. I’ve been attempting to get up early enough for a morning workout for the last 6 months without success until now.

This is such a huge step for me and has given me the motivation to hopefully keep it up moving forward.

Progress Update
Since my last post I’d restarted Insanity on the 30th June and after the first week went well, I have only been managing to workout at least 4days out of the required 6 each week and now I’m in week three and barely noticing results.

Working late and mentally draining myself is a huge factor in this less than ideal progress so I’ve decided to switch it up and try a much less intense beach body workout programme, Focus T25 to see if the shorter workouts (25 minutes) will be more motivating than the thought of the gruelling Insanity madness (40 -60 minutes).

This is another one of Sean T’s creations, which came highly recommended by my friend Sarah, the one who made me wanna try Insanity because of her results. So now I’ve got myself the full set of Alpha, Beta and Gamma workouts and we’ll see how it goes!

Who knows, if I get my work life balance on an even keel again then I could even fit in gym a few times a week in the evening. Although that may be wishful thinking at this rate…

Will post progress pics when I’ve reached the end of the Alpha phase 😊 x

I’m still here

For any of you who follow my blog you’ve probably been wondering where on earth I’ve got to!?

Truth be told I’ve been here all along but just not doing very much in the way of my planned Round 2 of Insanity due to my work/life balance being a bit off in favor of my work for the last month. I’m enjoying it but as always, I’m sacrificing more and more time focusing on that when I know I should be drawing a line between work and home and not loosing sight of what I set out to do this year.

Now, this work thing is not an ‘excuse’ as I’ve made the choice not to work out after getting home from work late in the evenings and It’s my choice to not wake up early enough to make up for it in the mornings either. Granted, they are bad choices due to lack of energy and despite my head telling me a workout will make me feel better, sleep better and help keep the weight off, I still struggle to keep that thought in my head long enough to actually do something about it recently!

I haven’t gained anything but I also haven’t lost anything and the plateau is maintained – which I guess is better than going backwards! I still try to go to the gym at least once a week at the weekend with Scott and we normally have a good leg session so I’m hoping I’ve still kept some tone and still burning something at least once a week so my body doesn’t completely forget!

Me and Scott have just got back from our Holiday to Turkey and it was a much needed break! He’s been crazy busy at work and stressed with his College course coming to an end so he’s also been in need of some breathing space. For me it was great to have some good quality downtime where I felt i could re-charge & have enough head-space to re-focus my mind on the fitness goals I set out to achieve this year. See below for a glimpse of holiday snaps where I’m not doing too badly in terms of pulling off the Bikini;).
Holiday in Turkey 2014

I’m fairly confident I’ll still achieve my dream body, everyone who sets out on a long journey is bound to stumble across difficult times and this is what I’m classing the last month or so as – a hurdle that I will fly over and pick right back up where I left off. I still have another 6 months to work with and I’m not giving up yet, not by any means, so If I start slacking off again feel free to contact me and give me a kick up the butt!

The Summer countdown begins!

Time to shred. The sun is making more regular, warmer appearances and I am only 6 weeks away from some much needed bikini bound beach time!

Which is not the perfect time for me to realise that I’ve hit a plateu! Anyone who’s tried getting in shape/losing weight knows that they are bound to happen at some point and usually is a sign that you have run out of steam without noticing!

I’ve finished my 8 week round of gym time and although I’ve seen some great progress in terms of muscle gain and toning with GVT, now it’s time to move onto some focused intrval training again to try and break through the lack of fat loss!

I am not going to lie to myself and say that I’ve done amazingly well to keep up my cardio, in fact I’ve slipped quite a bit in the sense that I have probably averaged only 1 cardio session a week for the last month. I’ve been lifting weights enough to feel the muscles building and firming undernieth the remaining fat but no where near enough cardio to strip it off to reveal any definition.

Although I’m a bit dissapointed in myself for letting my cardio and in all truth, some of my diet has slipped too, it hasnt discouraged me like it would have done in the past – now that I know well enough to expect a plateue when I dont push myself, it gives me the motivation to want to break through it and melt the last few inches away more than ever.

This week I am doing something a bit different to kick off my serious shred and it’s called the 5 day fast track! It’s taken from another beach body
programme called Focus T25 (which I will be doing at some point too). It’s main focus is on diet for 5 days and it involves only eating 1100 calories per day, as well as doing one of the T25 workouts each day to try and kickstart your body into fat melting mode. I dont have the Focus T25 workouts just yet so I’ll be using the Insanity workouts from Month 1 for my own adaptation of this kick start.

The principals are the same in terms of eating 5 meals a day and I’m ultra prepared this time round as I have my brand new Isobag lunch cooler system to help me, which is amazing! It has compartments for up to 6 meals and icepacks to keep it fridge-fresh all day long – perfect to sit under my desk for ease of access and to remind me when I’m supposed to start eating! Plus I dont have to take up loads of valuable fridge space in the office with all my containers!

I do have to get organised enough to prepare my food every night rather than risk buying it but like anything I’ve written about, it’s all about forming those good habits and I need to make a bigger effort to make this one stick! Once the 5 days are up I’ll go back to eating what i should be for Insanity. I’ll jump my intake back up to 1500 calories to keep the shred going without depriving my body too much.

As long as I get back on track I should be in decent shape for the main upcoming events this year:

1 month exactly till my Sister’s 21st birthday bash!

1 month and 7 days till my holiday to Turkey with scott

I have 3 months and 14 days till Reading Festival (Daisy Duke Shorts here I come!!)

6 months exactly till the family holiday to Dominican Republic (my inner beach goddess will be revealed!)

Why I love leg day

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There’s two reasons really, the first is because I feel like it’s the day that gives me the most intense and challenging workout. Secondly, I love it because when I feel that bitter sweet ache for a few days after, it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I’m one workout closer to those Daisy Duke legs!!

My favourite exercise has to be the squat, but I also love walking lunges and deadlifts too! All three of those I do with added weight, whether it’s with a racked bar or a weighted bag on my shoulders. They all involve using your core and multiple muscle groups at the same time, which as you should know, equals a higher fat burn!

My not so favourite exercises are the smaller more isolated ones like calf raises or hamstring curls. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy the burn they give but I find myself a bit bored when doing them that’s all.

Over the last 6-7 weeks I have noticed a difference in my legs, I’ve lost an inch on each thigh and starting to see some definition in my quads. My hamstrings and arse are tighter and calves are more shapely and defined. Overall my legs feel much firmer in general and I’m pleased with that so far even though I still have a way to go yet.

Even when I go back to insanity in a week’s time I will continue to go to the gym for leg days, as I don’t want to loose any progress made so far in terms of strength at least. Hopefully this next round of interval madness will strip away a lot more stubborn fat to reveal the hard work of the last 2 months 😊.

Month 4 Results and measurements in a week’s time so watch this space!

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End of Month 3 (month 1 of GVT)

Month 3 complete!

So I should have posted these results last week but the weekend flew by and it was Monday again before I knew it! So, albeit a week later than planned, here are my results after a month of GVT and the third month of my overall 12 month challenge…

This month I have:
– Lost 1kg/2lbs
– Lost another 2% body fat!
– Lost 3.5 Inches overall (mostly on my upper back and bum!)
– Gained an inch on each arm (Not sure how I feel about that just yet…)
– Booked a holiday to Turkey with Scott for June, 10 weeks to sunshine and counting!

Month 3 pictures & measurements:
90 day results
90 day results - measurements

So I’ve spoken a lot about how I care more about my BMI as the highest priority in terms of getting the numbers down (apart from inches maybe!) and so just to put everything in perspective for myself, I’ve done some calculations based on both the scales and my body fat pinch test results (BMI), in order to work out how my body has been changing on the inside over the last three months:

BMI Calculations

So from the above I can presume that I have actually lost about 4.5kg/11lbs/0.8stone of actual body fat over the last 3 months. The reason that the scales don’t show much movement in my weigh-ins, is because I have gained 2.5kg/4.5lbs/0.7 stone of lean body mass, which I’m hoping is muscle!
So now I can really see how much my body is changing on the inside as well as on the outside and I’m quite pleased with those numbers to be honest. Just goes to show that you can never fully rely on just the scales to tell you how well you’re doing.

I am aware that these figures may not be 100% accurate as I’m not an expert in all this and I don’t have the time or money to go and get myself measured from the inside out with all the fancy expensive equipment that’s out there. However, I do believe that from a mental and motivational point of view, just seeing a glimpse of how my body is positively transforming is definitely something that I will use to keep going!

Habits

“Bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with and good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.” motivational speaker Jim Rohn

Why I love Holidays

Living in England means that the sun is a rarity when it makes an appearance, even in the ‘summer’ months. (More like 2 weeks of sun and the rest is rain!) Growing up in Africa means I’m drawn to the warmth and light of hotter, sunnier countries which is why I book so many holidays each year!

I suffer from a form of seasonal depression – also known as SADS. This basically means winter REALLY gets me down sometimes! So, eventually I figured out that in order to counteract this I need to go on holiday, a lot.

So this year I have 2 planned, one is a week away in Turkey in June with Scott and the other is a 2 week celebratory getaway to the Caribbean in November with my family and Scott, to mark my Dad’s 50th and my sister’s 21st both taking place this year.

I have Lots to look forward to and of course, with holidays come the opportunity to showcase my range of holiday clothing which includes my many, many bikinis! Much to Scott’s disbelief, I still intend to buy more too! You’d think he would have figured it out by now, I’m a beach goddess in training, of course I’m going to want to showcase the results in the most gorgeously flattering way that I can and that turns out to be in a bikini on a hot beach somewhere tanning it up!

That’s another love of mine, seeing my normally translucent skin turn golden brown just makes me feel better out life for a few weeks at least. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to lay in a UV tanning bed all year round but I do like a good dose of natural vit D when I get a chance.

I think there is nothing more relaxing than laying in the sunshine next to a pool or the sea, reading a good book (or 10) for days on end! It drives Scott a bit crazy as he’s bored after a few days worth of sitting around – same goes for my dad too. That is why I’m really looking forward to the family holiday in November because the men can entertain themselves on deep sea fishing trips, whilst my sister, my mum and myself can indulge in the spa and lazy days around the pool without being harassed for being boring.

Of course I love day trips too because as much as I’d love to, I can’t spend a whole two weeks lazing about. It would be a waste of visiting another place in the world so I have a few favourite things to indulge in when I’m abroad.

I especially enjoy boat trips as I love the ocean and being at sea is something I find extremely therapeutic. Snorkelling is also something that’s always fun and transports me to a different world! I’m not a huge fan of generic sightseeing trips as sometimes it does feel like you’re being herded around like cattle just to see some ancient rock that’s been there since the dawn of time etc. I may be exaggerating there but having said that, it won’t stop me from going to see any famous attractions or must see locations that have played a part in my decision to visit a place.

Food! There’s nothing better than visiting a foreign land and trying something new, taste –wise in particular. I might not always like it but at least I can say I tried it. So far we’ve been pretty lucky with our holidays and have yet to come across a place that served un-editable cuisine. Most hotels that we book have good reviews about the food as when Scott and I go away, we tend to go all-inclusive, as it turns out cheaper than half board or self catering in the end. So the hotel grub has to be decent for us to consider booking a stay. Speaking from experience, the food at our last Caribbean holiday in 2013 was 5* and blew us away – it was a real selling point and made the trip even more memorable!

So basically, give me good food, a good book, some decent sunshine and a chance to buy more swimwear and I’m up for travelling anywhere :).

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