BBG Diaries: 12 Week Challenge Recap
So this blog post might be my most HIGHLY requested post to date. I honestly don't blame you guys at all because when anyone goes through a fitness journey I'm always interested in seeing the end results! I'll be honest with you though, sharing my journey is definitely not easy because showing photos of my postpartum body makes me feel SUPER vulnerable. I will say that if it weren't for others that have shared their journey's and photos I probably wouldn't have been motivated to start. I'm happy with the progress that I've made (I still feel like I have ways to go) but it's important to celebrate milestones and share the process in hopes that it will inspire someone else. I honestly don't think I would have pushed myself through this if it weren't for a few blogger mamas I follow on social media (Rachel Parcell, Sazan Hendrix ,and Courtney Shields)! I appreciated how real they were during their 12 week challenge and I felt like I could relate to their journey since they are moms as well! Although I'm not a mega blogger like these women, I truly hope that by sharing my process it will help at least one person out there feel like they can do this because YOU CAN!
The nitty gritty...
I wrote a blog post when I was in the early stages of starting BBG and I talked about how I started the program around 7 weeks postpartum. I worked out throughout my entire pregnancy and was enthusiastic about jumping back into fitness. However, I ended up stopping BBG around 5 weeks because I had a health issue I needed to handle and it was too hard to juggle during the newborn stage. After the holidays passed and the new year rolled around I decided to pick it back up and see it all the way through!
There were so many times when I thought I wasn't going to finish, but I promised myself that for my 28th birthday I would get through it and I did! I'm not going to sugar coat any of this and say it was easy because it wasn't and there were so many times where my sleep deprived self was like "WHY AM I DOING THIS?". I kept telling myself that 28 minutes is nothing and there is no first time mom excuse in the world that I could come up with that would justify NOT spending 28 minutes on myself. I got to the point where I wasn't eating the best, had no energy, wasn't sleeping well, was not feeling like myself AT ALL, and was just in this total fog that I desperately wanted to clear. I needed a fitness outlet that was practical and I really wanted to do this for ME.
Below are some FAQs I wanted to help answer for you guys!
How did you handle working out with being a new mom? When did you find the time?
I'll be honest, this was very challenging for me in the beginning because Amira wasn't sleeping well at night and wasn't napping well during the day so I was VERY tired! However, once I started I made a promise to myself that I would see it through no matter how exhausted I was. I found that doing my workout first thing in the morning when she was less fussy or during her first nap was the best for me and still is! As the day progresses my energy level plummets so if I don't start first thing I simply won't do it. I also had to hype myself up A LOT and continuously say it's only "28 MINUTES AL" haha.
What was your fitness level prior to starting BBG?
Prior to being pregnant my fitness level was at a zero haha. I was the type of person that never really prioritized working out. Pregnancy changed that for me and really motivated me to start living a healthier lifestyle! Since I started BBG postpartum, I made sure to EASE into it and took advantage of the 4 week pre-training before jumping into the 12 week challenge.
Did you do your workouts at home or in the gym?
99.9% of the time I did the HIIT workouts at home on my living room floor! If I had to complete a LISS workout and the weather was bad I would go to the gym when my husband got home from work and walk the treadmill. Normally, for my LISS workouts I walked around the neighborhood with Amira and our dog!
Have you lost weight or inches?
Both! I didn't have any intentions of loosing more weight once I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I ended up loosing 7lbs and noticeable inches around my waist.
Did you do the printouts or app?
I actually did the PDF printouts because I had them collecting dust for a LONG time! I think it was easy to follow along but I absolutely plan on purchasing the app since I hear AMAZING things about it.
How did you handle your diet? Did you count calories?
I did not follow a meal plan of any kind. I really enjoy cooking and eating healthy meals so it wasn't a struggle for me (I talked about it more here). I would make sure Monday- Friday I ate a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and enjoyed a snack in between each meal! However, I also made sure I wasn't too restrictive because I enjoy my relationship with food. So if I indulged in a piece of dark chocolate or a small scoop of ice-cream to take the edge off of my sweet tooth the world wasn't going to end for me. I didn't count calories at all, I personally don't find that helpful or sustainable for me.
**Side note: These workouts made me really hungry so I listened to my body and fueled up more when I needed to.
Did you have cheat meals?
YUP! Like I said previously, I love my relationship with food and I think you should enjoy all things in moderation. I used weekends as an opportunity to have cheat meals! I didn't go off the deep end at all but I wasn't freaking out if I had waffles and bacon for a Sunday breakfast. However, I do believe that if you want to see the maximum results possible you should fine tune your diet! I probably could have seen better results if I buckled down more but I wanted to be realistic with my lifestyle.
When did you start seeing results?
I started seeing noticeable results around 7-8 weeks!
Did you modify these workouts at all?
I did! If I didn't have a piece of equipment I would modify slightly. Also, I strained my wrist in the middle of the challenge so I had to modify to avoid putting too much pressure on it. However, I made it a point to try not to modify a lot so I could get the most out of the workouts.
Did working out negatively impact your breastmilk supply?
Not at all! I didn't notice any changes and I'm still breastfeeding.
How did you stay motivated when you didn't want to workout?
Progress photos and having an accountability buddy (virtually or a best friend)! I would put my progress photos in the notes section of my iPhone and keep looking at them when I didn't feel like working out. Also, as mentioned before I was following a bunch of bloggers that were doing BBG and they would share their completed workouts on Instagram stories. I would come across these while scrolling Instagram and I would immediately think to myself "UGH now I have to do this" haha. I'll be honest, I hit a slump around week 9 and was having a hard time pushing through but I kept telling myself I'm almost at the finish line. Not every week was perfect and there were some missed workouts here and there but I still showed up.
Were you disappointed at all with your results?
Nope! I mean I'm not going to lie, I thought I would see more abs poking through haha but I'm honestly very happy with the results. I'm so much stronger and I notice that strength in my upper body which I NEVER had before (I couldn't do a push up when I started this). I also toned up my legs a lot!
Do you plan on continuing with BBG?
Absolutely! It really just fits my lifestyle and is so practical for me. I started BBG 2.0 this week!
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start?
Listen to your body and ease into it and once you start don't look back KEEP GOING! You get what you put in!
Before and After Picture!
LET ME JUST SAY THAT THIS IS SO OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!! I also want to say that I'm so proud of my postpartum body because it carried and delivered my baby girl but I'm also VERY proud of my progress so far. The left photo is me at 6.5 weeks postpartum (this is when I first started BBG!). The right photo is me present day! (Sorry mom for the cleavage!! haha).