Kayla Itsines // BBG 1.0 Review

IMG_1601The week before last I finished Kayla Itsines BBG 1.0 for the first time! I cannot describe the elation I felt at finishing; I set myself a goal and smashed it!

I thought I’d provide a small review for anyone interested in starting, because I know when I first started looking into BBG, I wanted to read all the review I could to see if buying the guide was worth it. I’m not going to go into reviews of the exercises or anything like that, but more how I feel and what has changed for me over the last 12 weeks, as I think that is most important.

Let me start by saying that BBG is not a get skinny quick regime, or anything like that. It takes hard work, organisation, commitment and dedication – nothing in life that is worth anything is ever easy!

The guide is definitely worth the money; let’s break down the maths. $79.99 AUD BBG 1.0, x3 workouts a week for 12 weeks = 36 workouts in total. That works out to just over $2 a workout, and that’s just for the resistance workouts! Once you add in LISS and HIIT, you really do get your money’s worth.

IMG_0836In the beginning, I thought it was a huge amount to pay for an e-Book, but 12 weeks later I know it’s true value; I have changed my eating habits, I have learned resilience and stamina that I have never thought possible, and most importantly, I have learnt self love.

As women we are constantly barraged by avenues to think the worst of ourselves – all forms of media provide us with this idea of a perfect women, whether it’s looks, or attitude, or values, and it’s easy to be swept up in this when it is impressed on us from a young age.

My journey over the last 12 weeks to self love is mainly through the BBG community via Instagram for me mainly. There is a huge focus on all body types, on all stages of journeys, and most importantly, never comparing yourself to someone else’s body. It’s hard to explain, but the support, encouragement, motivation and inspiration I have drawn from other strong and healthy women is amazing. I’m not sure you quite understand this movement of empowered, courageous women until you start BBG – they know the sweat and pain that you’re experiencing, and they are there to help you, encourage you, and guide you! Nobody knows the feeling of having the burpees increase from 10 to 15 like your BBG sisters!

Before BBG I had an unhealthy relationship with food, and would often binge eat and then feel guilty for days. I have learnt during BBG that life is all about balance; healthy choices 80% of the time, and enjoying myself 20% of the time is my breakdown now. I don’t feel guilty about eating chocolate – I just pick dark chocolate instead which is better than white or milk chocolate. I snack a lot in order to keep hunger at bay, as I found that when I went longer than 2-3 hours without eating, I would make food decisions that were generally unhealthy.

BBG has taught me all of these things, I think because I’m working out so much. I want to fuel my body with good, healthy food to ensure it’s strong enough to keep working out. Now if I go more than 2 days without a workout, I really miss and crave exercise!

The journey of self-growth that I have experienced in the last 12 weeks is why I would definitely recommend the BBG 1.0 guide. It is what you make it, and the self discovery journey is worth it by itself. I’m sorry this review is a little all over the place; I’ve thought about this post for a few days and I can’t succintly write why I love BBG so much – I feel like it’s hard to adequately explain the emotional journey I’ve been on in the last 12 weeks!

I have restarted BBG 1.0 for a second time, and will be commencing another 12 weeks. I may pop posts up from time to time regarding Round 2, but I likely won’t be posting as much as I did for Round 1. Details of my journey can be found by clicking on Kayla Itsines – BBG  on my blog side bar >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you have any specific questions about experiences with BBG, I’d love to hear from you!

Erin x

Some progress pictures of my experience with BBG are below – check out my Instagram for more!

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Kayla Itsines // BBG Workouts, Home Equipment

If you’re just starting out in BBG, or you’re interesting in starting, working out at home and completing the BBG program at home is a completely viable option – how awesome is that?! Kayla has designed the guides so they are accessible to everyone – you don’t need a gym membership to be able to do the whole program.

A lot of the equipment is available for purchase at affordable pricing at stores like Kmart or Target. I’ve added links to all the equipment available from Kmart, and you can see it is affordable to purchase all the equipment you need. You could even check out Gumtree or eBay for new / used equipment!


Equipment List

Fitness Mat (Required) – You’ll use this for push ups, ab bikers, burpees, mountain climbers, and stretching. A requirement in my mind, as we spend a lot of time on the floor during BBG, and support and padding for our bums / backs is definitely a good thing!

Dumbells (Required) – You’ll use this for weighted lunges, and weight knee ups. The weight of your dumbells will depend on your fitness level and strength – Kayla has recommendations in her guides for weights. If you’re unable to purchase dumbells, fill up bottles of water instead and use them as your dumbells. Convenient for hydration during your workouts too! :)

Kettlebell  / Medicine Ball (Required) – You could use both, or you could just use one – it is up to you and your budget. I personally don’t have a medicine ball, and just use a kettlebell in place of when the guide has medicine ball squats. Again, the weight of either or both pieces of equipment is dependent on your fitness and strength.

Foam Roller (Required) – Optional to some people, but definitely required in my mind. Aids in recovery, and has so many benefits. Also required to recover from #deathbykayla haha! :) You can either purchase this from a store like Kmart, or purchase from Kayla’s website as you receive her Foam Rolling e-Book for free (usually $14.95 AUD). I purchased from Kayla’s website and found the e-Book really helpful, as I was a foam rolling beginner :)

Bench (Required) – You’ll use this for tricep dips, knee ups, and ab work. Use whatever you have at home, or check out fitness stores if you don’t have anything suitable. The most important part is that whatever you use must be stable and strong – no injuries please! I use our outdoor lounge set for my workouts, and it looks like this.

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Skipping Rope (Optional) – This is optional as you can air skip instead, but I personally think it is required, only because I find I don’t ‘air skip’ very well, so I don’t get much of a workout if I don’t have an actual skipping rope.

Step (Optional) – You’ll use this for split squats and raised tricep dips (depending on your bench height). This is optional in my mind, as you could have an item at home that you could use. I found it quite hard to do my training without one though, so I’d recommend purchasing one.

Bosu Ball (Optional) – You’ll use this for bosu burpees and bosu push ups. I don’t have one of these and do a variation workout instead, so this is optional in my mind. I haven’t looked into pricing yet, but I’m going to look around as I think using a bosu would step up the intensity.

As you can see, buying equipment to start doing BBG at home is an affordable option, and best of all, you don’t have to have all this equimpent at once! If you’re just starting out, I would recommed buying first;

  1. Fitness Mat
  2. Dumbells
  3. Kettlebell
  4. Skipping Rope
  5. Foam Roller
  6. Bench (from home)

You can work your way up to the other equipment as your budget allows, but the above 6 items will give you a great start to working out.

Don’t let not having a gym membership get in the way of starting – the hardest part is taking the first step, but it won’t be long until you’ve made positive, healthy changes in your life, and the sweat will all be worth it!

Erin xx

Kayla Itsines // BBG Week 12

Yesterday was officially my last day of my 12 weeks Kayla Itsines BBG 1.0 journey! I am so proud to have finished .. I quite honestly didn’t think I would. To get to the end is an amazing feeling, especially when I look back on photos and realise that I have made progress, both physically and mentally.

Our Perth BBG meet up was yesterday, and it was amazing! Meeting so many supportive, inspirational girls was so motivating. They were all so lovely, and getting feedback on each other’s experiences and feelings throughout different stages of the journey is wonderful – it is nice to know that others hate commandos and bench jump burpess as much as I do!

Our singlets went down a treat and we all looked fantastic – if anything can inspire team spirit, it’s matching singlets! :) We got amazing weather and completed pre-training Week 4 abs and arms – a killler workout. My shoulders and arms are well sore today, and it feels great!

Perth BBG Squad

Perth BBG Squad

 Week 12 was pretty hard for me. I completed legs on Monday to start off my week in the right way, but I was lacking sleep due to late nights, and the trend seemed to continue throughout the week. My motivation was low, and I was having difficulty getting up early to complete my workouts. On Wednesday I realised why this was – I was getting sick again! People really should stay home from work when they’re sick so they don’t spread it around the workplace.

In Week 12 I completed;

Monday – Legs

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – LISS & HIIT

Thursday -Rest (Sickness)

Friday – Rest (Sickness)

Saturday – LISS

Sunday – Pre Training Abs & Arms

So I didn’t finish Week 12 as per the guide, and in the past this would’ve really bothered me. I’ve come to realise though, it’s never going to be perfect. I am not perfect, and I don’t have to be! Just getting up and working out, making changes in our lifestyle to ensure we are healthy is such progress – striving for perfection just means I will never be happy with the changes along the way, because I’ll always be focused on this huge end goal. One of the things I’ve learnt in the last 12 weeks is small goals are important. When you reach them, you’re inspired and motivated to continue. If you only focus on a huge end goal and not the small goals in the middle, it’s easy to lose motivation and feel like you have failed.

Here’s my progress for my 12 weeks on BBG 1.0.

I lost 6.5 cms in total, but gained SO much more. My progress isn’t just physical – so many mental changes have taken place and that’s what I am most happy with. I know that I wasn’t big before, but I had an unhealthy relationship with food, and my view of my body was warped. These last 12 weeks have taught me to love my body for what it is. They have taught me that I am capable of so much more than I ever realised. I am confident, healthy, and strong – that is the best kind of sexy there is!

I will be posting a review of my experience and thoughts of BBG shortly for anyone interested.

Meal Prep & Fridge Organisation

In an effort to clean up our eating habits, I’ve turned to meal prepping which has been all the rage for awhile. I’ve done a fair bit of research, and want to first of all note that meal prepping means different things for different people. For some, meal prepping is;

  • Cooking big batch meals in one day,  and splitting into containers ready for the week, or;
  • Cutting up veggies and fruit, and storing in the fridge so they’re ready to use straight away, or;
  • Making a menu plan and ensuring all the ingredients are bought on a bulk run.

I think it’s important to use whatever method suits you best. For us, options 2 and 3 work best for us. I took a lot of inspiration from the Organised Housewife during this whole process.


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Clear plastic, airtight containers

So first things first – in order to meal prep, I had to organise our fridge to store the fruit and veggies that I cut up. I decided to keep all the fruit and veggies in clear plastic, airtight containers so I hopped online and found some for a bargain price.

Making sure the containers could be stacked, could store within themselves when not in use was a big factor for me, as I hate taking up space with containers just because they don’t store well.

Once I had our containers, I gave our fridge a clean out. I wiped all the shelves down, gave it a good clean out of items that were past their expiry, and rearranged – did you know the fridge door is the warmest area? 

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Fridge Before Photo

Here’s what our fridge looked like before I started organising it. It was actually in worse shape than this, I just forgot to take a photo before I began its makeover. I moved all of our sauces, spreads and condiments to the fridge door, as I didn’t realise this was the warmest area, and moved our defrosted meat to the bottom shelf. Unfortunately our fridge is quite small, so we’ll have to keep our milk in the door because this is the only place it fits!

Once the fridge was freshly cleaned, I started thinking about what I wanted to chop and what I wanted to keep whole. I had to decide what I wanted to access quickly and easily – this list might change depending on your personal preference.

 

Chopped vs Whole

  • Cheese – chopped, squares
  • Broccoli – chopped, florets
  • Cauliflower – chopped, florets
  • Carrot – chopped, blocks and sticks
  • Celery – chopped, sticks
  • Capsicum – chopped, blocks
  • Sweet Potato – chopped, blocks
  • Snap Peas – chopped, lengths
  • Zucchini – chopped, blocks and zoodles
  • Lettuce – chopped
  • Spinach – loose
  • Cabbage – chopped
  • Watermelon – chopped, blocks
  • Kiwi Fruit – chopped, lengths
  • Pinapple – chopped, blocks
  • Oranges – chopped, segments
  • Tomatoes – whole
  • Mushrooms – whole
  • Apples – whole

The above is what I decided to chop and keep whole, based on our eating habits. We always add broccoli, sweet potato and cauliflower to meals to steam or stir fry, so having these prepared in florets would make life a lot easier for us. I also cook zoodles as a healthy alternative to pasta, so having this ready to go would save precious time in the evening. I had a huge focus on healthy snacks, so anything to make the decision easier when we’re ravenous is great – that’s why I chose to have carrots and celery cut up into accessible sticks!


 

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Fruit and veggies waiting to be chopped

Once I had everything decided, it was time to begin the chopping process. I had just completed a bulk shop of our fruit and veggies for 2 weeks. It took me about an hour to chop and store everything, but I think this process will be quicker in future because the containers will already be organised.

I kept a bag to place all the scrap in, and just kept chopping until everything was done and in it’s container. This hour straight after shopping will make life so much easier this week – it’s worth it just for that!

 

 

 

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Fruit and veggies all chopped

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Fridge – After Photo

So the end result of our organising is our fruit and veggies and all chopped up ready to go, and accessible in these clear, airtight containers. Using clear containers means we can see exactly what each container holds, and how much is left.


Meal Prep

I broke down the organisation of our meal prep into meal times; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I plan on meal prepping on a Sunday, and will cook some healthy snacks (dips, bliss balls) and store in containers in the fridge. I’m a little concerned we won’t have enough space to store hehe!

Breakfast

I meal prep vanilla chia seed pudding (recipe here) in glass, airtight mason jars. This allows us to easily add fruit and museli just before we eat it. Adding it before might mean it spoils, or goes soft. Once I do our grocery shop, I’ll split yoghurt into containers which we can grab and go easily in the morning. We also have smoothies with protein powder in the mornings (especially after a workout!), so my next plan is to bag smoothie ingredients into seperate ziploc bag, kind of like this. They’ll stay in our freezer, and will have the ingredients that need to be added on the bag – this should save us some time each day as we usually race around trying to find everything in the mornings!

Lunch

I’ve ordered some wide mouth mason jars in order to make mason jar salads for lunch. If you haven’t heard of mason jar salads don’t worry, I hadn’t either until I started researching meal prepping. Basically you strategically put everything into a jar including dressings, and store until ready to use. Provided they’ve been packed correctly, you can keep salads fresh for 4 to 5 days, so it’s the perfect solution for lunch times. Our pre-cut veggies will help when creating these salads. I haven’t received our jars yet, but I’m planning to do a post of meal prep + mason jar salads once I’ve received them.

Dinner

Mr A & I are blessed to have a Thermomix, so dinners are pretty easy for us. Meal prep will be assisted with the pre-cut veggies – all I’ll need to do is make sure whatever protein I’m using is defrosted. Our menu plan will help by giving me an overview of what meat needs to come out the night before.

Snacks

We plan to have carrots, celery and snap peas for healthy snacks. I’m indecided if we will use containers, or ziploc bags for these snacks. For us, it will depend on space – ziploc bags take up less room! :) . By having everything ready to go, all we have to do is pull and go in the mornings. I’ll also be boiling some eggs up so they’re all ready to go for snacks at work.


I’ve only just completed the chopping as of last night, and my meal prep is definitely a work in progress – it will be a moving target based on what suits our lifestyle best, and what plans we have on during the week. The important thing to remember is meal prepping is supposed to help you, so if you’re stressing about it, don’t bite off too big a bite at once! If you’ve never thought of meal prepping before, try using a menu plan for a couple of weeks. Once you’re used to this, you can try different ways of prepare meal items to help you save time. I’ll be posting more once we receive our mason jars, and once I’ve done a grocery shop to show you how things are all stored.

I wanted to share a list of some of the items I’ll be preparing on the weekend – dips, bliss balls, and baked treats. Healthy snacks is the biggest factor for our lifestyle change for us, because I usually end up grabbing something unhealthy only because it is quick and easy.

Avocado & Hommus Dip – serve with veggies for a healthier alternative

Guilt Free Chocolate Bliss Balls – recipe is for Thermomix, but any food processor should work! I use chocolate protein powder instead of cocoa for some extra punch

Quinoa Muffins

 

 

Etsy Cross Stitch Patterns

It’s been a long while since I’ve completed a cross stitch, and I’m yearning to do one as a bit of down time during the evening. I’ve previously posted about designing cross stitch patterns with Excel, but I quite honestly have not had the time do that lately.

It takes time to design in Excel, so I’ve been putting off completing any cross stitches until I had the time to create my own. However I’ve come to realise that I probably won’t have time to design for a long while, so instead of shelving a hobby that I love, I’m going to purchase some patterns instead – hence the Etsy cross stitch patterns.

As a craft lover, I love Etsy. I purchased items from Etsy for my wedding to support independent sellers, and I absolutely adored these items, so I have faith in Etsy and the people who sell on there. It is a goal of mine to open my own, ‘Crosstitchery,’ store shortly, once I have photographed my items.

Generally cross stitch patterns on Etsy are for digital downloads, which means once you’ve made payment, the seller will either e-mail you PDF patterns, or they will be available for instant download. In order to get access to these PDF patterns, you simple need Adobe Reader (download here), and either a tablet if you want to keep the pattern in digital format, or a printer to print the pattern to hard format.

Just by searching,’ cross stitch patterns,’ on Etsy you’ll be able to discover a whole range of patterns to create. I generally look for patterns that I love, check the seller’s feedback, and have a quick squiz at a preview of the pattern to make sure it’s suitable – I once purchased a pattern and it was 30 pages (!), even though it really could’ve been put on 10. Needless to say, I’ve never cross stitched that pattern, so from that experience, I always make sure the pattern is a manageable size for what I want to create.

I purchased 2 patterns to stitch and I can’t wait to get started! I am planning on turning both of these into cushions, because let’s face it, I love to sew!

Harry Potter Parody 

Unique Wedding Wreath