I DID KAYLA ITSINES’S 12-WEEK BBG WORKOUTS

Kayla Itsines is an Australian personal trainer, author, and entrepreneur. She’s the creator of the Sweat app, which includes the Bikini Body Guide. The Sweat app offers additional programs like a nutritional guide, post-pregnancy workouts, lifting at home, and more. I decided to do the BBG program because my friend had a lot of success with it and it was appealing during quarantine when gyms were closed. It isn’t something you should jump into without any workout experience, but is perfect with some experience under your belt and if you’re looking for guidance like I was. It’s suggested for women aged 16-40 who want to obtain “a state of mind where you are confident and feel good about you.”

BBG is a 12-week program that can be done as home with minimal equipment– I wouldn’t say zero. It’s made up of 28-minute workouts with two circuits each day that are to be done three times a week. The three rounds of circuits are focused around legs/cardio, arms and abs, and full body. How it works is you do each circuit for seven minutes, twice. So, circuit one for seven minutes, circuit two for seven minutes, and repeat.

Would I recommend BBG? Yes. Having the structure this program offers is perfect for someone who needs it because it makes you feel accountable to actually complete the days’ workouts. I took progress photos on week four, eight, and 12 as suggested in the e-Book and saw progress at every photo, even the first four weeks.

In total, I usually spent 32 minutes working out. I’d take one minute breaks in between the circuits, and the occasional break during a circuit if I had to stop, but I always stopped my timer to ensure I was working out for the total seven minutes.

The circuits get progressively more difficult every four weeks, and the last four were the hardest for me. I ended up repeating the first four weeks because I liked it so much and had the time available before returning to school for the fall semester.

All in all, I would recommend BBG to anyone. Home workouts are appealing because of the comfort and convenience of being at home, and especially because gyms aren’t necessarily an option for everyone. My greatest takeaway from BBG in addition to the physical changes is my confidence in “workout knowledge.” I have a better idea of what to do when I walk into a gym or want to work out and will continue to use it as a guide for workouts. I feel stronger and healthier and although I know I have farther to go to reach my goal, I’m so happy I completed the program.

VEGETARIANISM/VEGANISM

The meat industry largely contributes to climate change. It affects air and water quality, ocean health, and greenhouse gas emissions. Beef production, specifically, creates “28, 11, 5, and 6 times more land, irrigation water, greenhouse gases, and nitrogen, respectively, than the average of the other livestock categories” according to PNAS. Not only does the meat industry have a well established carbon footprint, it uses a catastrophic amount of water. More than 2,4000 gallons of water are required to produce a single pound of meat. For perspective, only 25 gallons are needed to produce a pound of wheat. According to PETA (calm down anti-vegetarian people, it’s just an organization), you can save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you can by not showering for six months.

The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all planes, cars, ships, and trains combined. A report from Our World by the United Nations University states that twice as many people believe transportation to be the bigger contributor to global warming, though we see that’s not true. The report’s lead author believes “tackling meat and dairy consumption” is dependent on preventing catastrophic warming.

The argument of animal abuse as support for vegetarianism/veganism doesn’t reach many people, but it reaches me, and is something I feel absolutely necessary to include. “Factory farming” is a term used to describe intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production. The goal of factory farms is to maximize production and minimize cost, at the expense of the livestock. They’re squeezed into cages and boxes so small they can’t move, are fed antibiotics to make them grow faster and be kept alive in unsanitary conditions, and usually face a cruel death while completely conscious. In the dairy industry, female cows are artificially inseminated and separated from their calves at birth. The second they stop producing milk, they’re inseminated again. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you don’t care about the environment and our only planet, or animal rights, then hopefully you care about yourself. A plant based diet, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center, has consistently proven over two decades that it reduces your risk for cancer. It’s important to note a “plant-based diet” doesn’t remove meat completely, but is focused around vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. This type of diet also supports your immune system, reduces inflammation, and can help you maintain a healthy weight. So, for anyone who is hesitant to completely cut out meat, this diet is still helpful to the environment because it calls for less meat consumption, but it’s also helping you.

As for dairy, it’s one of the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. An analysis published by the British Medical Journal found that most studies do not show any relationship between dairy intake and broken bones or fractures. Dairy consumption is also linked to lung, breast, and ovarian cancers.

I could speak a lot more on this topic, but I want to keep it short because I’m sure I got a lot of eyerolls. Moral of the story: the meat, livestock, and dairy industries are contributing to killing our planet. Meat is not necessary for a healthy human diet– there is protein in foods like quinoa, tofu, beans and legumes, vegetable, nuts, and so much more; and you definitely don’t need need to be drinking another animal’s milk.

I highly recommend documentary What the Health on Netflix. It digs into the relationship between diet and health and could be the inspiration you need to begin a vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based diet. Try cutting out an animal product one at a time or eat less of it– it all helps. And lastly, don’t hate on other people for their diet, whether it includes animal products or not. You’re only responsible for your actions, and I can guarantee unsolicited advice isn’t helpful. Love our planet!

I like this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxvQPzrg2Wg&t=185s

USE THIS TIME TO CREATE HEALTHY HABITS

It takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. And according to a study by health psychology researcher at University College in London, Phillippa Lally, it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 for a new habit to be formed, but this is all dependent on the person, their behavior, and circumstances.

The city I’m from ordered stay at home exactly a month ago, so I’ve been back home with my family away from my college town for what feels like forever. I’m not going to get into how COVID-19 has affected me and taken away opportunities and travel plans I had because it will seriously send me spiraling into a pit of despair and tears and that is not on today’s schedule. Instead, here’s how I think now is the perfect time to create healthy habits (because there isn’t else anything to do).

The “18 to 254” days part of the fact is not very reassuring or motivating, but the truth is that creating a habit, whatever it is, isn’t easy. However, I think we’ve been cut some slack because pre-COVID we were much busier people.

I know the first week or so of a new habit is the easiest because you’re feelin’ yourself, feeling motivated, but it gets harder as time goes now. However, now that we’re stuck at home, time management isn’t as much of an issue. Plus, I personally feel a lot more guilty about not doing anything physical after sitting around all day. Even if your healthy habit doesn’t have to do with working out, there is a good chance time management plays some sort of role in this habit or why you haven’t made it one yet. You can use this time to focus on it!

My hope is whenever this is all over (I pray it’s soon, stay home mofos!) working out has been made a habit or I can continue to work towards it making one. I know everyone is different and the ultimate test will be life after COVID-19, but it feels good to know I’ve taken this extra time to do some good for myself, and I encourage everyone to do the same. It makes all this uncertainty feel a little bit more bearable and makes me happy to know I’m working towards a goal I’ve always wanted to accomplish.

Hate you rona, you’re the worst xx