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Two Months of BBG

Fashion, Healthy, Lifestyle, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Three Heel Clicks - Two Months of BBG

Let’s do a little catching up. You may have already read my one month of BBG post where I shared a Q&A about starting BBG. Now that another four weeks flew by it’s time for an update. If you look at the first picture you will note BBG week 1 (pretraining) and BBG Beginner Week 3 (but I took the course twice - so I’m on week 8 but in BBG Beginner it’s the second time I’m did Week 3). Here’s the follow up Q&A for Two Months of BBG.

Why did you redo BBG Beginner?

I felt like I needed to get through more laps and push myself to do the full 7 minutes. The first time I went through the course my goal was just to get through one lap on each circuit.. This time I did close to two laps for most of the exercises.

What changes have you noticed?

First of all, I am a ton stronger than before. I am doing deeper push ups, I’m less sore than I was eight weeks ago after a workout. I’ve also increased my cardio. I’m logging an average o 12,000+ steps a day. This helps work out the soreness from the day before.

Have you adjusted your diet?

Starting at the beginning of October I removed alcohol, most dairy and am eating meat a couple times a week at maximum. Mostly plant based. I also removed as much sugar as possible and now am adding fruit back in. I did not cut out caffeine. I also take a few multi-vitamins, enzymes and probiotics every day. Finally, I am eating around a schedule as much as possible.

Have you lost inches?

Absolutely! You can see from the before and after picture that my waistline and upper thighs have slimmed down. There’s more work to do to reach ideal toning, but I am much further along.

How will things change for your lifestyle over the next four weeks?

First, I’d like to add HIIT cardio at least 1-2 days a week in place of my 12k LISS steps. I also am beginning BBG 1.0 next week and will look forward to what it has in store for me. Finally, I will start incorporating a medicine ball and weights.

You can read more about one month update for BBG here.

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One Month of BBG

beauty, Fashion, Healthy, Lifestyle, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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After constantly seeing the BBG hashtag all over Instagram for about a year now, I made the plunge into starting the BBG Beginner program. I wanted to share the first month’s results and feedback for any of you who are interested in learning more about BBG. First of all, what does BBG stand for? The program is by Kayla Istines from Australia and BBG is an abbreviation for Beach Body Guide. Her philosophy is that every woman’s body is different and a workout program should help contour the body to be beach ready but that beach body is unique to each individual.

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The beginner program is twelve weeks long which will be the longest program I’ve ever done (if I finish! Fingers crossed!) It consists of three low intensity workouts (walking, swimming and cycling), three high intensity workouts (legs, arms and abs, and full body) and finally a challenge each week. All of the workouts are 35 minutes or less plus a cool down if you want to take advantage of doing that part of the workout.

Before diving into the meat of this post, I wanted to share that I usually wear something really similar to what you see in this post. I’ve tend to get terrible blisters and lately I’ve tried so many brands from Puma to Nike and I happened to pick this pair up for $10. I have worn them 7 miles straight with no blisters! I highly recommend them. I was at my parents and yet again forgot my tennis shoes so ran to Wal-mart and grabbed these lightweight ones. Although I’m drinking a bottle of store bought water in these photos, I often bring along this one from Swell. It’s only $25 and will keep liquids hot or cold all day long. You can use it for coffee or water and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I rounded up a few more items at the end of the post for blush sneakers, black workout gear and a few yoga mats for you!

I figured this post might be easily digestible if I did a Q&A format… so here goes:

Why did you start BBG?

I began BBG because walking or running 4-7 miles a day was becoming inefficient. I wanted to increase my efficiency with exercise and overall tone my body. After seeing the 12 week transformations (like Rach Parcell) and reading tons of blogs and commentary on other people’s results I decided to give it a whirl. I also wanted to take the guesswork out of exercise. I am someone who needs help with creating structure and accountability so downloading an app and following instructions seemed pretty easy.

How active were you prior?

Prior to BBG I averaged walking or running between 100-150 miles a month (according to one of my favorite apps by Adidas called Steps). At least 15 days out of the month I hit over 10k steps. I try to walk everyday, but my goal is always 12k a day. Some days I only make it 3k and others I’ll do 20k but it averages 100-150 miles a month. I was doing no strength or weight training and just tried to walk as much as possible.

How hard are the workouts?

Although they are only 28 minutes long, they are HARD! The first week was really rough. But because it’s broken down into 7 minute circuits, it’s psychologically attainable. I started with each round with the goal of doing an entire lap (which is four exercises). I was completely out of breath and sweating ten minutes in. No joke and I’m not a crazy sweat person. Halfway through I realized there was only 14 minutes left and just pushed through. Each week it’s been easier and I can feel my body growing stronger, but be prepared to be ridiculously sore and exhausted.

Can you modify the moves?

Yes. There’s a ton of stuff on the BBG app which is free the first month and only $20 every month after (sooooooo much cheaper than Orange Theory, Pure Barre or most gym memberships) on how to modify exercises. From not having weights or a medicine ball to not being able to do what I consider an army push up, there’s a whole community and forum within the app to help out! And yes, I’ve modified a few of the exercises.

Do you need equipment?

The BBG Beginner program uses a medicine ball, 5 pound weights, and a yoga mat. I have a yoga mat, 1 pound weights and a beach ball. The workouts are still tough without the actual equipment. I figured at the end of the twelve weeks if I still like doing this, I’ll buy new weights and a medicine ball. I would recommend buying a yoga mat at bare minimum.

Did you change your diet?

Nope. Not yet. I still eat cheese, drink wine and don’t count calories.

What are the results so far?

So far I’ve noticed my bra bands are fitting looser and my stomach is starting to flatten and get more toned. I’ve also noticed more arm definition as well. Although the app tells you to “weigh in” I don’t own a scale (nor want to) and have made note of how my clothes are fitting. I’m currently a size 2-4 looking to end up at the end of the twelve weeks at a 0-2. I’m also only 5’0 feet tall so take that into consideration.

What are some helpful tips if interested in BBG?

First of all, buy a yoga mat and download the app. Take your pictures weekly so you can see the results. The first two weeks were really hard for me to get all the way through each seven minutes. Sometimes I only made it five minutes so I would take a two minute break and then start the next round. If your body is hurting, be careful not to over exert to the point of injury. Many gals do multiple rounds of BBG Beginner. Take your time and make sure you work on doing the exercises properly instead of rushing. Also, walking helped my sore muscles so I recommend on non-BBG days to take a half hour stroll.

I hope this helps! I’ll post a two and three month update if I make it that far but my overall feedback is nothing but positive about this program! Please leave a comment if you have a question!

If you’ve tried BBG, what have your results been like?

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Tips and Tricks for a Juice Cleanse

Healthy, Lifestyle, interior designCrystal JacksonComment
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Health has always been a priority and for most of us we want to look and feel our best. I decided after a few months of toying with the idea to go ahead and take the juice cleanse plunge. It was not exactly what I expected, however I think everyone's body reacts a little differently. Sharing with you guys my own experience may help if you are looking to do one in the future or even considering one right now. There were pros and cons, but in the end it was a good restart for my body.

Here's video talking all about it the experience:

Talking about my experience doing a Jus by Julie 5 day juice cleanse. It includes the things I liked, the things I would change and what worked best.

First of all, I'd like to preface this with the fact that I'm hypoglycemic and at that a 3 hour one. That means my blood sugar spikes after eating so my body produces extra insulin. Then, my blood sugar plummets. This causes a variety of issues from constantly carrying small snacks if I'm not intaking enough calories or sugar through beverages. It also can make me overwhelmed, fatigued and sometimes even shaky. Obviously not the best feeling nor do most people around me appreciate this hangry side. 

Juicing was a little bit of a stretch for me due to the fact that my body processed the juices quickly and I was feeling pretty hungry within two hours or so. For the first day, I chose to start them around 9am and finished all 6 bottles around 8pm that night. Day one was too terrible, but I wished I had eased into the process by swapping a few meals out a few days before with a few juices. 

Day two and three were tough. I ended up eating salad and soup on both as an extra meal. I stayed away from dairy, meat, and gluten. I still woke up every morning hungry and although I usually eat breakfast, I usually eat after I workout. By day four I decided it was time to start incorporating food back in. I still stuck with vegetables and fruit, but had a couple of servings and cut back to four bottles. Day five was similar to day four. By day six I started adding protein in. I did finish all six bottles for each day (30 total) but decided moving forward I would need to do a mix of juices and solids so my blood sugar wouldn't spike.

So now let's talk about a few pros. The best part is by day three my skin was really clear and had a slight glow. I also felt like I lost a ton of bloating. It did overall reduce bad food cravings and instead replaced it with the desire to put selective things back into my body. 

Here are a few tips for a juice cleanse:

  • Start with intention on why you are choosing to cleanse. If it's just to lose weight, I wouldn't recommend. I was choosing it for a body reset, so when some of those cravings happened I had more water and tried to push it off for an extra thirty minutes.

  • Be prepared to drink tons of water. It's recommended to help the juice cleanse.
  • Slowly start introducing food back into your diet and just go with one food group at a time. It took me about 10 days to consume meat (which was chicken) from the day I started.
  • Go light on exercise at the beginning until your body adapts. I didn't start exercising until Day 3 and by Day 5 was back to running.
  • Have a juice instead of a snack every day leading up or following to help your body maintain.
  • Finally, take magnesium. This vitamin helps replenish what's needed if you regularly eat meat. 

Hope these tips help. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to do a juice only diet for a few days, but I am making really big strides to incorporating at least one smoothie every day. As for future changes, I've made the decision to try a (mostly) keto diet to assist with my blood sugar issues. After doing a lot of research I can still have a mostly plant based diet with natural fats and lean proteins occasionally. I'll be posting more about this in weeks to come!

I'd love to hearing about your experiences around this topic and what nutrition plans you have for the Summer?