Health

Getting a bikini body. (Maybe.)

So I hit reboot on this blog after a year-long battle with illness. I’ve had some lady problems, I’ve had some belly problems, and I’ve had a whole lot of stress problems.

I’m no stranger to chronic stress. I come from a warm, loving bunch of neurotics (sorry Mom and Dad), so I’d pretty confidently put my estimate at around 20+ years of being a Grade-A headcase. It’s had its ups and downs, for sure, but it’s never been more of a bummer than within the past six years, when I decided to start working in the nonprofit sector with urban youth. This work can be tough, and it’s become very clear that a) you really need coping strategies in life, and b) I have no coping strategies in life. GOOD TIMES.

Even now, on the other side of (most of) it, I’m still struggling with prioritizing my own health and happiness. And that’s important. (I’m also useless to the kids I work with if I’m burnt out and sick all the time. Right? Right.)

I was hanging out on Instagram one day recently (like you do), and I stumbled across Kayla Itsines’ feed. She’s a tiny, adorable youngin’ (aka: Not Past 30), so I was fully prepared to glance quickly and then move on. What caught my attention, though, was the sheer number of girls (women!) who seemed to be getting real results from her program. And these weren’t glossy, engineered testimonials – they were regular ladies posting all kinds of regular photos on their own Instagram accounts.

KaylaItsinesIG

(You can see more on Kayla’s website.)

I cautiously clicked “follow” and figured I’d wait and see. And fast forward a few weeks, guys, because I’m sold.

The Bikini Body Guide program asks you to devote 28 minutes, three times per week, to its sessions. Each session consists of two circuits that you’ll repeat twice, each for 7 minutes. While it’s still too early for my own “transformation,” I’m feeling better already, after just a week. I’ll be honest and tell you that I’m not even doing the workouts entirely faithfully yet; an unfortunate effect of last year’s Unpleasant Stuff is that my body is incredibly stiff and tense, and while I’d been attending barre and pilates classes somewhat regularly before the holiday, I am still super out-of-shape and huffing and puffing all over the place. The greatest thing about doing your “research” via IG and social media is that you have access to real, honest reviews, and the experiences of people at every level – so I knew that there were women out there just doing the best they could, and they were still seeing results. Everytime I’ve done these workouts, I’ve told myself to just get through what I can – and pushing myself through even the truncated version is making a world of difference already.

I don’t know if I’ll end up with a “bikini body” at the end of this, but I’ll keep y’all posted. I know it’ll keep making me feel stronger and help manage that unhealthy stress, either way, and I think that’s absolutely its biggest value.

In re-reading this, I’m realizing that it totally sounds like an advertisement. …It’s not. I’m so not that smooth. I really did just happen upon Kayla on Instagram and like the look of her program. For what’s it worth, I don’t think it’s perfect, and I’m currently one sore and aching human. So. Your mileage may vary, I’m not a doctor, blah blah blah. Check it out for yourself – that’s the beauty of social media!

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