One of my goals for 2020 was to get into better shape, especially after recovering from a double jaw surgery. Because of the dietary changes that happened after surgery (first having to be on a liquid diet, barely eating anything because of pain and fatigue, to slowly introducing solid foods) my body experienced a lot of stress and I began collecting more fat on my body than I was used to, especially around my waist.
Then I saw a YouTube video pop up in my recommended feed, about Chloe Ting’s 14 day ab shred challenge. I gave it a try with some friends, and wow, was I ever pleased with the results! I lost roughly an inch on my waistline, my endurance levels improved, and my balance became a lot better.
And most surprisingly, I really enjoyed doing the workouts!
As a kid I was never very sporty or active, and I didn’t improve much on that up until recently. To be honest, I just never really enjoyed working out. But something about Chloe’s ab challenge video was just fun to do each day. So after I finished it I decided to jump straight into her 26 day hourglass program. And here’s how the first week went:
I was already pretty happy with my starting measurements. The only thing that was bothering me about the aesthetics of my measurements was that I had prominent hip dips, so my main goal with this program was to even them out.
I also had a Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR) of 0.7, so I was hoping to either maintain this ratio, or decrease it. My dream body shape has a WHR of 0.67, so I would be quite pleased if my measurements change to reflect that.
Day 1 of the 26 day hourglass program:
Videos (25 minute total):
I’m currently watching the day 1 exercise videos, and I have to admit, I’m slightly intimidated. I’m feeling very excited though!
. . .
Did the exercises and oof! There was a good burn in my abs, though not as much burn in my glutes as I would’ve liked. Tbh it’s probably because my form is crap since I’m not used to doing these exercises.
Day 2 of the 26 day hourglass program:
Videos (25 minute total):
My form definitely felt better today, but still not as good as I’d like. I also had to take some unscheduled breaks during the workout, but I think things will be getting better soon.
Also, when I was getting changed I maybe noticed a bit of ab definition? It was after lunch time, so I’ll have to check again tomorrow morning.
Day 3 of the 26 day hourglass program:
Videos (30 minute total):
Oof. Just oof.
… Okay, not just oof. I slept poorly last night, so mustering up the motivation to exercise was almost as challenging as the exercising itself.
I’m noticing that the more I do these workouts, the more I feel the burn and the less I get out of breath! I suppose that means my form and stamina is improving.
Day 4 of the 26 day hourglass program:
Videos (0 minute total):
Active rest day!
The first scheduled rest day! It felt so nice to have a day to rest, and guess what I noticed? The faintest trace of the ‘11’ lines! Looking forward to seeing how much ab definition I have at the end of this challenge.
Day 5 of the 26 day hourglass program:
Videos (50 minute total):
I haven’t done the workout yet, but I’m feeling very excited for it! My body is feeling great after the rest day, and I also found a pair of sneakers that fit me, so that should help a lot when doing the side planks (I kept slipping when trying them barefooted/in socks).
I ate a little too much chocolate during the rest day, so I need to remember to focus more on getting extra calories from protein, not carbs.
. . .
Today was so challenging, but a good kind of challenging! I made it through all 4 videos, and I didn’t even take any extra rests during the first and last video.
Something that I’ve noticed is that I catch my breath a lot more easily than when I was younger. When I was a kid (and also in my early teen years) my lungs would burn when I was out of breath from exercising, and it would take me several minutes to catch my breath. Now it barely takes me any time to catch my breath, and my lungs never burn like they used to before.
Day 6 of the 26 day hourglass program:
Videos (45 minute total):
Not feeling as rough as I expected after the day 5 workout, so I’m looking forward to today’s workout! Gonna get those abs.
. . .
The workout ended up being quite challenging. I skipped all the side plank variations, and also ended up skipping a lot of exercises in the last video, but I had done around 20 minutes of dance cardio before starting the workout, so I’m not feeling too bad about it.
Day 7 of the 26 day hourglass program:
Videos (0 minute duration):
Active rest day!
Another scheduled rest day! …And I was bad. I get so many chocolate cravings during the rest days, and I’m not sure why. I ended up caving and had a couple squares of milk chocolate and I melted some peanut butter and chocolate chips together to spread on a banana. Ate really healthy the rest of the day though, and had around two or three times my normal amount of salad.
Chocolate and salad. For some reason I keep craving both of those things.
Some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the first week of doing the hourglass program:
- Workout at whatever time works best for your energy levels. I am definitely not a morning person, in fact I tend to be most energetic between 7 and 9 pm, so that’s when I’ve been exercising.
- Eat something with protein in it after the workout. Even though I tend to eat a lot of protein throughout the day, I find that my body feels so much better the next morning if I had a lot of protein after the workout.
- Take it slow. A few reps with really good form are a lot better than a ton of reps with bad form.
So that’s how my first week went! I’m really enjoying this exercise program so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing how my measurements change. I’ll be retaking the measurements at the start of each new week, and of course after I finish the program as well.
Here’s the link to Chloe Ting’s 26 day hourglass program if anyone wants to join me in trying it out.
I’ll be posting a new update on my progress every Friday until I finish the challenge, so be sure to subscribe to my blog if you want to see my updates.