Oh, how I miss the old days.
When I could get back from work, waltz into my kitchen for my evening snack binge, crash on my favorite chaise with a martini in hand with Felix, my cat cuddling up on my podgy tummy until I hit the sack.
Life was much simpler.
Wake up, eat hash browns, pancakes and bacon. Go to work, hit the street food trucks and sample everything from delectable Mexican to mouthwatering fusion cuisine, come home from work, hit the couch.
Gorge on pizza and a beer or two. Finish the day with a large milkshake with a healthy dollop of chocolate ice cream.
But as they say, nothing good lasts forever.
I have heard that love tends to make people do weird things. But I never expected that I’d have anything to do with such tomfoolery.
Then on a busy 4th of July, on a street bustling with a million people, Jonathan, the love of my life went down on his knees in front of the taco food truck and held the ring in front of me.
I still recall his face, the sauce flowing down his wrists. As I went all teary eyed, I had no idea what I was in for in the next six months.
My name is Andrea and this is my horror-turned-motivational story, which eventually changed my life forever.
- 1 Me Moby Dick
- 2 The Dare That I’d Never Expected
- 3 Getting Into Shape – The Challenges
- 4 Kayla Itsines & Her Millions Of Fans
- 5 Round 2 With Jen Ferrugia’s Bikini Body Workout
- 6 Closing Thoughts Before I Sign Off
Me Moby Dick
I have always cared a hoot about fitness. Some of you might be wondering what fitness has got to do with my story.
Hang on with me. It will be worth it in the end, I promise you.
So, where were we? Ah yes, fitness.
All through my childhood, then in school and later in college, I was miles away from any form of fitness.
Avoided it like the plague and hated it to the core. And I am proud to say that no amount of fat-shaming would affect me while other girls in class would weep at the slightest bullying.
Comparisons to Moby Dick and whatnot just fell on deaf ears. The guys and girls stopped eventually.
I had no plans to stop though. My tryst with food continued until it reached ginormous proportions.
I would fondly advertise myself as an ardent foodie. But that was just a fancy way of saying that I lived to eat.
I could eat anything and everything. But meat was my poison.
Any kind of meat in any form was palatable.
So were sweets to be honest. My midnight sweet cravings were legendary in the family.
But life just went on until the marriage proposal popped out of the blue and the girls decided to do an impromptu spinster party, months before the day.
I should have suspected that something is amiss right then.
The Dare That I’d Never Expected
The spinster party was exactly what I expected it to be. There were tons of food, mostly my kind.
Greasy, meaty and sweet. The booze flowed as well.
And after a few tequila shots, Ariel, my childhood friend decided that it was time for a stupid truth or dare game.
I was like, ‘are we seriously doing this shit? It’s childish for Christ’s sake. We can do better things with our time.’
But the girls wouldn’t relent.
So, truth or dare it was. What started as corny and funny dares, eventually started getting bolder and wilder.
Megan stripped and went skinny dipping on the beach as part of her dare. Valentina was asked gulp a concoction of booze, the ingredients of which remain unknown to me till date.
Luckily, I was spared well until everybody was done with their shenanigans.
And just when I thought that I’d sneak out unharmed, the dreaded bottle stopped spinning, pointing right at me. There were just two of us left.
And without even asking me, the girls decided to force a dare down my throat.
I was high. And I thought, how bad can a stupid dare possibly get?
And I agreed to it.
Then all of them in unison gave me the dare.
I had to get a bikini body in the next six months!
For a minute, I didn’t realize what they meant.
I would happily jump into a bikini at any given point of time. What the hell was a Bikini body?
So, April, that slimy little prick, she gave me a mini sermon on what the ideal bikini body meant.
In simple terms, I had to lose weight and look like one of those skinny ass girls on Instagram that pose in lingerie at the drop of a hat.
That was the dare. And I am sure that they had planned this even before they planned the spinster party.
Getting Into Shape – The Challenges
I had accepted the dare all right. I had nine months to achieve the goal before my wedding day. But there were some challenges:
I didn’t know where or how to begin. I was a rank amateur trying to lose a boatload of weight in limited time.
I had never exercised in my life.
Dieting was out of the question
I hate gyms. I feel claustrophobic
So I began looking up on the internet for ‘beginner friendly ways of fat loss’
I decided to do the gentlest one of them all, Yoga. My dietary habits remained unchanged.
Three weeks later, I was a pound heavier. No difference at all.
I had already lost three weeks of the stipulated 36 weeks. And I was a pound heavier.
I reached out to Ariel and told her that I am about to quit. This shit wasn’t working for me.
She told me to check my inbox in five minutes. When I opened it, there was a link with a caption, ‘this will change your life.’
Kayla Itsines & Her Millions Of Fans
Ariel’s link took me to a website which was called ‘Kaylaitsines.com’.
It was a signup link to one of her programs called ‘The Bikini Body Guide’
It was supposed to be a home workout program that I could perform anywhere and anytime.
And, it would get me the dream Bikini Body that millions of others had achieved following Kayla’s programs.
I wasn’t impressed the least bit. So I did some due diligence on Kayla Itsines. She’s an Australian personal trainer and entrepreneur.
The first thing that I got was her Instagram handle. And to my surprise, she had 11.3 million followers.
To give you some perspective, Sylvester Stallone has just 9 million. How’s that for popularity?
The next thing I noticed was that she was working out when she was heavily pregnant. 36-weeks to be more precise.
The exercises seemed doable. If she could do it while she was pregnant, maybe I could pull it off. Rookie Mistake!
Then I read testimonial upon testimonial. There were thousands of success stories about women from all ages and weight groups who had used ‘The Bikini Body Guide’ and changed their lives.
So, I jumped in.
My First Week With Kayla’s Bikini Body Guide
As much as I hate restricting myself with a diet, everybody on Kayla’s Instagram was harping on the H.E.L.P (Healthy Eating Lifestyle Plan) and its importance in helping them achieve the Bikini Body.
So, I opted for the bundle, which contained the Bikini Body Guide and the H.E.L.P nutrition guide.
There’s also an app called ‘Sweat’ on iPhone that costs $243 for a yearly subscription. (Whistle)
Almost instantly, I received the download links to two eBooks and I was browsing through them in minutes.
The workouts looked very easy. And reading the transformation stories on her community can be really motivating.
So, all stoked, I got started with the 4-weeks pre-training module.
Pre-training? That might make you think that this is some sort of warm up workout. But you are in for a rude surprise if you expect this to be easy.
I could barely drag myself through the workout. My heart rate shot up to the point that I thought I was going to get a heart attack.
I was sweating. Breathless. But Kayla tells you without mincing words that this is going to be tough. Are you up for the challenge?
I was going to do this. 11 million people had done it before me. There was no way I was going to quit.
So, I bit my teeth and continued for three weeks, which had to be THE most difficult three weeks of my life.
I was sleepless. The pain in the joints were unbearable.
The 7-minute HIIT circuits were impossible to perform without taking multiple breaks. And I had to repeat them four times to complete the 28-minute workout.
I could perform Low Intensity Steady State cardio for three days of the week. But the HIIT workouts were so taxing that I could barely stand on the other days. So, I spoke to someone at the Instagram community who claimed that I could convert them into rest days instead.
So, I was working out three days a week only. The stretches were good. But I didn’t have a foam roller. So I did the best I could.
Despite all my attempts at trying to make this work, by week four, I was burned out to the point that I couldn’t continue anymore.
And I quit.
Why Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Didn’t Work For Me
Everything was too difficult for me. I expected it to start slow and ramp up allowing my body to adapt to the exercises. Not really.
The pre-training exercises are as good as HIIT workouts. What would the actual program do?
The exercises are severe on your knees. Burpees. Chair jumps. They look great on videos. But when you are 198 pounds and doing them for the first time in your life, they hurt you.
You need equipment. If you feel that you can do this at your home without any equipment, wait till the upsell hits you. Foam rollers, Skipping ropes, heart rate monitors, weighted ankle straps, there’s a lot of subtle upsell over here. You’d rather do this at the gym than invest in all this equipment.
Having said that, I really liked the nutrition guide. It helped me overcome my fear of eating clean. I learned how to measure calories and macros. And for what it’s worth, I lost 4 pounds. But it wasn’t enough.
Here’s one more individual I found who was also not happy with the program:
Round 2 With Jen Ferrugia’s Bikini Body Workout
Two good things came out of my maiden Bikini Body attempt.
I learned how to eat clean and I knew that I could exercise. I just had to find something that was better suited for my skill set.
But I wasn’t gonna ask Ariel again. Instead, I took to the almighty World Wide Web looking for answers.
After spending a week on Reddit (Thank you redditers), I finally landed on Jen Ferrugia’s Bikini Body Workout.
I’ll let you do the background check on Jen yourself. The lady is Jay Ferrugia’s missus. And he’s a very reputed trainer in the bodybuilding circuit.
And you can instantly notice Jay’s inputs in the program when you read the description. There’s a lot of emphasis on muscle building rather than just hopping around until you faint.
After a brief talk with pre-sales support, I signed up for it.
My First Week With Jen Ferrugia’s Bikini Body Workout
Right off the bat, I loved that there were four full-sized workouts rather than small segments that you had to repeat four times.
The workouts are 45-minutes long, which was a bummer. But that’s not a biggie. And you can’t have it all can you?
You perform supersets of basic, muscle-building compound exercises. I didn’t know what supersets were until I looked them up.
It’s basically a sequence of multiple exercises without breaks in between them.
So, you perform back to back sets of Lunges, squats, bench presses, overhead shoulder presses and deadlifts.
And you not only burn boatloads of fat, you also build muscle.
More muscle = Less fat.
Now, a lot of you are probably wondering whether this is easier than Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide.
No. It’s not. It is probably a lot more difficult for someone who’s new to weight lifting.
But it’s less boring. At least that’s how it was for me.
Four different workouts in a week. Different exercises in all of them.
I just loved this approach to fat burn rather than just doing cardio, which I found extremely drab.
I mean, how many times can you perform burpees and keep repeating them?
Also, I could adapt to the exercises more than I could do to Kayla’s.
I started off with light weights and ramped it up easily until I was confident enough to lift more and more.
By week 3, I was 6-pounds lighter. A hint of muscle had started to pop out from that perpetual layer of fat that was now melting.
The body looked toned.
Week-8 – A New Me
Jen Ferrugia’s Bikini Body Workout is a 60-day program.
But those 60 days are a life-changer.
Apart from helping me lose 16-pounds (a lot of which was probably water that my body was holding on to), I gained muscle.
It introduced me to the fundamentals of bodybuilding and weight lifting. My life has changed for the better.
I don’t look like a skinny anorexic model. I look strong. Bad ass, if you’d like to call it that.
I am now a crossfitter and love lifting heavy weights. I hope to graduate into powerlifting someday.
For now, I am writing this blog entry before heading to the Bahamas with the girls. And yes, I won the dare.
As much as I hated the girls for putting me through the ordeal, I am indebted to them now.
I have a much better bikini body than any of them. And that’s coming from them. Not me being narcissistic.
What You Need To Know About Jen’s Bikini Body Workout
You will need to invest in a gym membership. That’s the easier way out. My averseness towards gyms is long gone. I love meeting new people and working out together. It’s a lot more motivating than working out alone in the confines of a room. But, if you prefer working out at home, you need to invest in some dumbbells, a foam roller and a barbell.
This will test your limits. If you have never lifted weights, be prepared for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Your booty will be on fire for the first few days. So will your shoulders and chest. Stick with it and you are in for the best looking body you ever had.
There’s an amazing nutrition guide that shows you portion control and macro nutrient balance rather than calorie counting. She also throws in a shopping guide so that you know exactly what to buy. No guesswork.
You can reach out to Jen. Oh yes, she responds to queries personally rather than on a random messaging board. I really liked this personalized approach that was lacking with Kayla.
You get some neat bonuses. The booty workout plan is a beast.
When you complete the 60-day plan, you can upgrade to Jen’s Level Two workouts. I plan to get started with them after the holidays.
This comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. You absolutely cannot go wrong with it.
You can read what others think about the program over here: www.bikinibodyworkouts.com
Closing Thoughts Before I Sign Off
In hindsight, both programs might work. With 11.3 million followers on Instagram, Kayla must be doing something right.
But I personally vouch for Jen’s program more than Kayla’s. It makes you stronger, toned, leaner and fitter.
I prefer a more athletic and muscular look than just looking skinny which is what happens with Kayla’s Bikini Body Guide.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at her Instagram handle and check out the transformations.
Now check the transformations at Jen’s. You will find the answers you are looking for.
If you need to ask me anything, feel free to write a comment below. I am all ears.