Eating Paleo and Training with Kayla Itsines…

November 18, 2015

Over a year ago I was reading Daily Mail and came across an Australian trainer called Kayla Itsines.  Her clients transformation stories were inspiring but if I’m honest the Daily Mail association made me a bit sceptical. So like any of my friends I followed Kayla on instagram and watched her post transformations, inspirational quotes and pictures of her beautiful dogs TJ and Ace!

Quite quickly I bought both guides, printed them, bound them into beautiful booklets and then watched them collect dust!  I did try one week, but my mindset wasn’t into it and I was struggling to stay awake during the day let alone exercise.  Turned out I had wheat and dairy intolerances that were hindering my day to day which given every meal had a wheat product in it and I’m addicted to cheese it isn’t surprising I was suffering.  At the time I did boot camp twice a week and ran three times but wasn’t really seeing any changes.

I’m a firm believer that when you know what you want or are looking for something in life the universe provides.  Scrolling through my Instagram feed Sweaty Betty was promoting an after work session where Maria from Barrecorre was talking about how to become a paleo eater.  I decided it wouldn’t hurt to go and as Maria spoke it was like she was describing me, energy bursts with lots of fatigue, not overweight but clothes not fitting one day and fitting the next, exercising lots but still in a fog haze.  For the next six weeks I worked with Maria increasing my overall food intake whilst decreasing my wheat and dairy.

Kayla’s guide still sat perfectly bound until a couple of weeks ago.  I’d been watching the Instagram feed and telling myself I will do this when I move into my new flat in the new year.  But something snapped the other day and I worked out I have eight weeks until Christmas in Australia with my family so why don’t I just for for it now?!  I’ve now done two weeks of Kayla’s program and here are my tips to get started and some initial thoughts on the program.

COMMIT your mind and schedule the time.  Running up to Christmas the next two months are really busy with parties, theatre outings and last minute ice skating invitations!  Given that I schedule life on my work calendar it made sense for me to add in the times to workout with Kayla.  I’ve found the program is really home friendly so you don’t need to go to the gym.  However, I know myself and there is a risk here that I sit on the couch and slide Kayla’s guide underneath with my big toe!  To balance my schedule I have also added in ‘me time’ to the diary.  It might seem a bit over the top to pop in time to read or have a relaxing bath but this works for me as then I’m not just staring at a packed calendar of must to do’s, but a balance of fun and challenges.  I even colour code all my calendar invites so at a glance I can see how balanced work/life/fun is that week.

PREREAD and SETUP the night before.  In an advertising break whilst I watch one of my favourite shows or before I tuck myself in I read through the next days exercises.  I don’t have every piece of equipment yet so it’s good to think ahead of a substitute exercise.  I don’t do this to remember all the exercises the next day.  Trust me, having just rolled out of bed my mind is not in gear!  I do it to set my mind positively that I can do the task ahead.  It’s the girl guide in me being prepared!  I also lay out my workout gear including a hairband so when I’m dressing in the dark I’m not scrambling for clothes or tempted back into bed!

GET GOOD FOOTWEAR.  I wear Asics as my feet are narrow, most people’s are, and Nike’s though cool don’t give enough support to train in.  Currently I have two pairs on the hop; runners with heaps of support and lighter cross trainers.  In theory the lighter cross trainers fit the type of exercise of Kayla’s guide but for me the support was not enough.  Midway through my workout my feet hurt so I swapped to my thicker runners and felt the difference straight away.  Don’t get the wrong equipment stop you from completing a work out or giving up.

So how do I feel about the bikini body workout guide now that I am two weeks in?  I love the pace and quickness of the workouts but it is a real challenge getting up early to train.  Week three is going to be punishing as I have three after work activities.  Eek!!  I’m sweating my butt off so I know something is happening and I definitely feel the muscle’s the next day.  No huge changes yet in the photo’s but that doesn’t worry me as it has only been two weeks.  I can see lots of people start to have changes at week four so I’m holding out for these before and after before I share with you all!

Kayla – I better get some abs!

PF xo

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  • Sian May 2, 2016 at 15:13


    I am thinking of mixing a Paleo diet with BBG workouts! What was your overall experience and did it make you feel unusually hungry? I find I’m hungrier when not eating grains so I’m wondering if this will be exceptionally tough?

    Thank you!


    • PretentiousFringe May 2, 2016 at 20:05

      Hi Sian. First of all good luck with the BBG workouts and eating Paleo. You should be eating 5-6 meals a day as a Paleo (every three hours or so) and you won’t find you are hungry without grains. Most people I know who try Paleo attempt to stick to conventional eating (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and this does not work at all. Check out Nom Nom Paleo for recipes and tips. Also be kind to yourself and follow a 70/30 or 80/20 rule so that you can still have treats and grains when you are out with friends but just not in every meal. If you eat enough doing BBG is fine and you will get results. PF xo