How someone I have never met changed my life, forever…
1 August 2015
This is not a suck up review for one of the most successful fitness programs the world has witnessed of late. You can read it as that. I’m too much of a dinosaur to care… ROAR! I first heard about Kayla Itsines from Jo of Social & Media – the same Jo who designed this site, the same Jo who is basically my link to anything really trending at any given time. She told me of a young entrepreneur from South Australia who is achieving phenomenal success on social media. Being an opportunist always looking to be inspired in business, I started following Kayla on Instagram and I was blown away. Why didn’t I think of that? Oh right, I’m not a personal trainer! LOL!
At this same time, I had just stopped breastfeeding my youngest daughter, and although I had tried to regain my pre-pregnancy body to an extent, I was plateauing. I was happy that I still had about 5 kgs to lose as I believe that your body knows what you need and when you are breastfeeding, it is not the best idea to go straight back to your pre-pregnancy weight. I’m no expert nor am I a medical doctor, but I just listened to my body. At around this same time, I had been eating pseudo-paleo then switching to LCHF (Low carb, High fat) for just over a year and I was happy to have finally found the right stuff to be putting in my mouth.
Anyway, having trained as a ballet dancer since I could walk meant that I have a reasonably strong core and lower body. My upper body was useless. Weak, double jointed and willowy… I was always praised for my gracefulness in ballet but honestly, my self assessment of how weak and useless my upper body was started to actually become a thing. For as long as I could remember, I identified myself as having “no upper body strength”. There were a whole host of activities that I believed I couldn’t do and I would frequently tell people that it’s because I have “no upper body strength”. My posture began to suffer, my back started to ache. I accepted these as a part of being a mum, as part of the ageing process. I am the girl with no upper body strength. Ok, so you are thinking so what, a lot of women think this?… Let me ask you this, how does one go ahead and try to achieve anything in life if one seriously accepted that at least 50% of the physical body that carries them around this sphere is utterly useless? Before I get a million comments about paralympians and amazing individuals who overcome physical disabilities every day, I want to clarify that I’m not talking about functional “uselessness” here, I’m talking about my self-limiting belief that my entire upper body has no strength and there is nothing I can do about it. In short, my own assessment of my upper body strength has become a self limiting belief that is stopping me from doing stuff and what is worse, is that it has become a large part of how I see myself as a person. I’m just weak. It’s just the way I was made. Sob. I can hear violins playing.
But the reason I went on Kayla’s Bikini Body Training Program was not for upper body strength cause I was made with none, remember? No, the reason I went on the program was cause I wanted to fit back into my size 10 clothes. We were heading to Fiji for our annual family adventure and I needed to look and feel ok in a bikini. And so, the stage was set, I was going to do this. Sign up to yet another weight loss program but this time it will be different. And you know what? This time it WAS different, so different from anything else I have ever done before. In short, if you commit, she delivers! The girl knows what she is doing. It is not just some pretty illustrations to look at. The results don’t stop coming.
The exercise program itself consisted of 2 sets of 7 min exercises that you repeat with a short break between each set so in theory, it should take you about 35mins to complete. It took me about 45mins as there was always a 2 year old on standby to jump on my back during push ups. Every other day, you go on a 30-45min moderate pace walk. This suited my lifestyle perfectly at the time. The entire program is a 12 week program but it took me about 15 weeks given that things happen and I had to miss a day or two here and there. The exercises are different each day and increases in difficulty as you build up your strength. What a word that is – Strength! She also includes a 4 week pre-training program which I completed. I did not follow her diet plan although I did purchase it cause I wanted to see her philosophy behind nutrition and I must say I was very impressed with what I saw. I follow the LCHF way of life because my body reacts to rice and bread and I’ve just decided that for me, it is not worth the pain but I can see that the diet plan with this program is very sound and would recommend it. Again, I’m not a nutritionist, I just know how to do my research.
So onto my results… Well, first and foremost, I went to Fiji and ran around in several bikinis after my little children and felt absolutely fabulous. Thanks for asking! I am in better shape than I have ever been in. I don’t weight myself so I can’t give you numbers but size 10 clothes hang loose on me now. Around 2 months ago, I bought a couple pairs of size 6 jeggings… Ok, they were Country Road size 6 but one shouldn’t get hung up on semantics! This is all amazing but I have yoyo-ed ever since I quit ballet when I was 19. How is this time any different? I will tell you how. I don’t want to be skinny anymore. Instead, I want to be strong. Before I started the pre-training, I could barely do a single modified push up from my knees, as the weeks progressed, I started to smash them… push ups are now just a daily thing for me. I love them. They are fun. (I hope my PT, Jess, is not reading this cause she will make me do more). I love my upper body strength. I feel strong. I can do things. I can give things a go. So, to Kayla, I want to say thank you. I don’t want to thank you for giving me a bikini body that I love but I want to thank you for teaching me to love myself, for teaching me that my body is just a series of muscles and that what was really holding me back was my mind, and all that I really needed was the right guidance. I want to thank all those amazingly brave, inspirational women who post their before and after photos on Instagram to show other women that it can be done. I still have a little way to go to actually get to my end goal but what has changed in my mind is that now I believe that it is possible. But now instead of seeing my flaws, I see working progresses and I am excited to see what else I can achieve. A wise yoga teacher once taught me that sometimes, you have to train your body so that finally one day your mind will believe what is possible. And now, I’ve learned that in fact anything is possible.
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