It was a rough start to the week for our Bikini Body Guide challengers Tina and Tessa.
Battling illness and wine tour regrets, have they fallen off the BBG wagon or have they managed to retain their dedication to Instagram fitness star Kayla Itsine's tough programme?
Here's how they're feeling at the end of week two.
Last week I was feeling pretty good about starting BBG, but I was waiting for a wave of pain to come.
That wave of pain is probably going to arrive this weekend, when I make up for lost time after a summer cold knocked me on my butt and rendered me unable to breathe smoothly through basically any activity. (Has anyone else been knocked out by this summer cold?)
Kayla says to listen to your body when you're sick. If it needs rest, then rest, which makes sense. My body wants rest. But it also wants pizza most of the time.
I tried to keep Kayla's advice in mind on Monday and Tuesday - without using it as an excuse to not exercise. I've been doing "neck checks" - evaluating my symptoms to see if I'm healthy enough to exercise. Most of my symptoms were above the neck, but sneezing through a strength circuit didn't seem like a great idea to me.
On Wednesday, I feared falling off the BBG horse and I didn't want to lose the progress I've made so far. (That progress consists of: 1. Being able to do burpees and 2. Being able to do a push up on my knees.)
So what do you do when you fall off the horse? You get back on. Yesterday, I threw on my headphones and just wandered around my neighbourhood for 40-ish minutes.
At the end of week two: Did I work up a sweat? Or did I work up a fever? I don't quite know. But I'm back into BBG. And I have the next few days to make up the strength workouts. Bring on the pain. I'm slowly getting healthy enough to deal with it.
Favourite sounds to walk to: BuzzFeed's Another Round podcast
Favourite exercise: Slow walks and coughing (a great - and disgusting sounding - ab workout)
Least favourite exercise: Sneezing
Remember when you were young and your mother would tell you how hard it is to juggle work, life, and family? Well, I'm beginning to understand where she's coming from now. Not on the family front yet (heaven forbid) but balancing a busy work schedule, social life, finding time to prepare healthy meals and getting fit in the gym alongside studying part time is certainly not a walk in the park.
I'll admit it, I missed a workout this week. It's not something I'm proud of but I'm happy to tell you all about it.
I felt like pushing myself to go to the gym would end up doing more harm than good. The one thing I like about Kayla's message behind her Bikini Body Guide is that she really emphasizes listening to your body.
Like in Tina's case, when you're sick rest and recovery is what you need, so that's exactly what Kayla suggests you do. I'm on the same page for those days when: you're exhausted, you've had bad news, you've pulled a muscle or you just know deep down you need to take a day off (this isn't because you're lazy but because you genuinely need it).
So yeah, I took a day off and for anyone that has an issue with that, you can go join my anti-McDonald's friends over in the boring corner.
The legs and cardio workouts for week two were definitely killer but, strangely, kind of enjoyable. It's gross that THAT would come out of my mouth, but skipping when I'm not tripping over or nearly knocking myself out on the gym bar makes it almost bearable. In fact, you do it for just two minutes in the second and fourth set so once that's over you already know you're five minutes closer to the end.
I've also decided that, if you squint when you watch it, the below video of Kayla kind of looks like me.
When I shared this with my best friend she laughed so hard she nearly wet herself - yes, rude, but maybe it is a bit far-fetched with her jump tucks like that. And because she's not completely dying in her jump lunges like I do.
I guess it doesn't really matter what I look like when I'm working out though. Even if I can't kill a set of 10 burpees in 23 seconds. Or if I create a massive pool of sweat. Or sound like a cow giving birth because I missed a workout and my fitness is already declining, Kayla's message is that everyone and every body is different, so listen to your body. Push the boundaries where you can and give yourself rest and recovery time when it's needed.
It doesn't matter how I look when I'm working out, as long as I don't look like this:
At the end of week two: I feel much stronger, toned and genuinely healthier. I'm happy to say that I am also sleeping much earlier and much better after being exhausted from workouts.
Favourite workout music: Lady Leshurr - Queen's Speech 5
Favourite workout: Skipping. Nothing like knowing you're two minutes closer to the finish line
Least favourite workout: Jump tucks - Do you know how uncoordinated I am? This is not a good mix for me
• Check in next Monday as Tina and Tessa power into Week Three of #thekaylamovement Bikini Body Guide
• Week one: Testing #thekaylamovement Bikini Body Guide
• Week two: Testing #thekaylamovement Bikini Body Guide