After 28 weeks of following the BBG program, I realized that that was it for me. I religiously followed all the workouts over the weeks. No lack of willpower for me, that´s not my style. I am an all in or all out kind of girl. But I got bored and my focus became unhealthy. Here’s why…
The BBG program features 4 LISS sessions, 4 strength sessions (including the challenge) and one stretching session each week. That equals 9 sessions a week, divided over 6 days (because one rest day per week). Many days, therefore, require 2 exercise sessions per day. I did all of them. I work a full days Monday through Friday so I got up extra early to do a session before work. Many a session was watched by or participated in by my toddler, who got quite adapt at push ups and mountain climbers over the last months. Then, after all evening rituals, I would do another session before going to bed.
In the first weeks and months, I felt very proud of myself. Of my discipline and of my regimented structure despite my already full schedule. But after a while, I stopped enjoying the sessions. The structure starting taking over my life. I love exercising and I exercise because I enjoy it, because it helps me relax, I love to sweat and I love to be outside and be active. The BBG program is not made for all of that. It is all about ticking off the scheduled session wherever it is done, about distracting yourself whilst doing it, rather than enjoying the process and the exercise itself. Also, because the exercises are so repetitive, your body doesn’t get more flexible but rather builds up tension from the repetition and lack of exercise diversity.
Did I start seeing results? Sure, I saw more muscle definition in my arms, legs and tummy. I started following loads of BBG ladies on social media and there were some truly inspirational and amazing transformations. But mostly all of it was limited to selfies of abs and thighs or post workout selfies with a little too much skin exposed. And to a great extent it was already skinny girls getting some muscle tone. This all focused mostly on the exterior and I definitely got dragged along in that: it was all about how I looked, not about how I felt. Progress over process. I caught myself checking for progress in the mirror more often than I used to, I caught myself looking for physical transformation, rather than focusing on feeling good and enjoying workouts. And I got fixed on ticking off the exercise sessions, rather than enjoying the very physically active life I was already having (if it isn’t measured as LISS, it doesn’t count right..).
So, I stopped. And decided to go back to what I love. The first weekend after I stopped, it was quite liberating. I actually focused on what I wanted to do rather than on which sessions I needed to get finished and what I could measure in my app. I managed to get one long trail run done, went into the water for a surfing session for the first time in forever and enjoyed a lovely yoga lesson that got loads of the tension I had been building up unstuck. I realized that made me feel so much happier and healthier. It made me focus on how I felt and it gave me relaxation and positive energy again. And relaxing and enjoying my exercises, made me run better too.
So, I will be sticking to running, yoga and being in the water for now. I have already registered for some trail run races and cannot wait to practice my surfing skills a little more intensively (and by “skills” I mean: lets get back to this standing up thing I used to be able to do once a while back). Once or twice a week, I will still schedule a BBG inspired full body workout to keep strong and help my other activities but my main focus will be on enjoying exercise, and being healthy and happy. And I want my kid to see too that it is important to do what you love; the path to being healthy and happy in life.
Be healthy and be well.