August 6, 2016 marked exactly one year since I decided to start (and stick to) Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide.

One year of circuit training, LISS, and HIIT, trying new fitness classes around Calgary, bruises, injuries, and sometimes tears.

Over the course of the past year I found myself again; my confidence, my inner beauty, and my strength. I learned that it isn’t all about the scale and its never-changing numbers. I lost 12 pounds this year, and while that seems discouraging, I take progress pictures and measurements, and I know my body has changed.

I created a “fitstagram,”, began following other women worldwide who followed the BBG program, and would often look to them for inspiration and motivation. I found women in Calgary and surrounding area. I decided to put myself out there and see if anyone would be interested in having our very own YYCBBG Meet Up. The answer? A resounding yes.

Since December, the size of the group has grown from 15 to 115. I run the meet ups monthly – gathering sponsorships, door prizes, arranging the location, advertising it, creating and leading the workouts. I’ve met some incredible women, all on their own personal journeys who demonstrate amazing strength and perseverance, and I am lucky to call some of them my closest friends.

If you had asked me a year ago if this is something I would ever do, I would have laughed in your face. Talk in front of people, let alone run a workout? I can hardly do my own exercises, how would anyone expect me to tell them what to do?

Now – I have confidence. I know what I’m doing. Is it perfect? Not always, but I do know how to properly perform movements, activate the right muscles, and most of all I know how to keep going even when my mind wants to quit.

I had some injuries and illnesses throughout the year – a popped rib, lung infection, flu, various colds, runners knee, etc. – I’m a bit accident prone. All of these things never stopped me though, they just slowed me down. I listen to my body – when I can tell my soreness is more than just normal DOMS, I take an extra rest day. It isn’t going to break me to have an extra break. In fact, I learned just how important rest IS.

Balance is key – I work out 5-6 days a week, and eat clean and healthy 95% of the time. It took a lot of trial and error to reach this point though. I would have weeks in the beginning that I just could NOT get through those circuits. I would half-ass the workout, and leave the gym to go sit on the couch. Sometimes I still do that, but for the most part I go give it my all for those 30 minutes, three times a week. The program works, Kayla has created something that has changed the lives of women worldwide, and it’s for good reason.

You can BBG at home, the gym, in a park, in a garage, alone, with friends. You can modify every single movement she gives you, you can increase/decrease weights when you need to. The point is, it’s manageable and customizable. She isn’t asking for much, just 3 resistance workouts, 2 LISS, 1 HIIT, and 1 rest/rehabilitation day per week. You can add more if you want to.

I like to mix things up – keep my body guessing, by adding in various fitness classes now. I try barre, yoga, spin, pilates, basically anything I will give a chance once. I find the ones I love, and keep going back. It mixes it up so I don’t get bored of doing 4 circuits, 3 times a week. I still do those, but it gives me a chance to get out and make other muscle groups work.

The best part of this year? I’m happy again. I’m not quite where I want to be body-wise, but I will get there. It doesn’t upset me anymore, since I’ve come leaps and bounds from where I used to be physically, mentally, and emotionally. I respect the journey, and I don’t plan on stopping.

 

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Financial compensation was not received for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way.

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