I have never been so excited to exercise. Or write about it. Man, this is new for me. But let me not waste any more time and get to the point, especially since this post is over two days overdue.
Since the time Laddoo started school in June this year, I realised it was time to take care of myself a little bit because I now had a few hours to myself every day. And after enjoying the first two or three weeks of baby-free time EVERY DAY, in July this year I began my journey to get fit. I had tried this last year as well and saw amazing results, but a lot of mommy-life stuff got in the way and I just couldn’t do it any more. But this time I was determined and that’s why I added regular work out to my daily routine; something I hadn’t been able to do last time.
I’ll not go into much detail about the diet and workout journey since July, but only talk about what I did last week.
A few months ago, my dietician – Elina from Diet Funda (Website| Instagram | Email) – had sent me a video that was a 7-minute workout video focussing specifically on belly fat. Let me tell you more about that.
What is the 7 Days, 7 Minutes challenge?
This is a 7-minute workout put together by Lucy Wyndham-Read. It has 7 different exercises that you do for 1 minute each (therefore, a total of 7 minutes) and doing this every day for 7 days is supposed to give you results (provided you are also mindful of your eating habits and your food is healthy and nutritious). This workout challenge claims to help people lose 1-2 inches in just seven days.
It did sound a little too good to be true but I had nothing to lose (except the belly fat, LOL) and it just needed 7 minutes of my day. Plus, when I’d tried it a few months ago (couldn’t do it for more than 3 days at a time, and I fell sick in between so couldn’t even complete the challenge) I’d shared it on Instagram back then and many of you had messaged me to say that Lucy’s 7 minute challenges (she has many more of these on her YouTube channel) were amazing and that it/they worked for you.
So this time, I wanted to do it right. I started on Saturday, November 16, 2019, and did this every day until Friday, November 22, 2019. ALL SEVEN DAYS. Without taking a break.
After going to a Zumba class for 1.5 months, because of a change in Laddoo’s routine, the class timings didn’t work out (no pun intended) for me, so I resorted to working out at home instead. And that’s when I decided to make this a part of my routine.
I did this challenge along with 20-30 minutes of other cardio exercises (all by watching Youtube Videos. Links at the end of the post). However, there were days when I wasn’t able to do a full 30-40 minute workout, but even on those days, I didn’t miss this workout.
And was it worth it?
Is this challenge easy to follow?
Yes and no. ‘Yes’ because anyone can do it. And ‘no’ because with each passing minute, with each passing day, your body hurts. For me, the first day was exceptionally easy because I started this after a break of 4-5 days from my regular Zumba class. My body was well-rested and wasn’t sore, so I was able to move pretty easily. And because I had been exercising regularly for the past month and a half, I had the stamina to do the whole 60 seconds of each exercise.
After day 1’s session, I felt invincible. Kind of.
But Day 2 showed me my aukaat, for lack of a better word. My body hurt and doing the workout was obviously harder. But I did it anyway. Not at 90% efficiency, maybe not even at 80%, but I did it. My body moved. I felt pain, sweat poured, and at the end, I was breathless, my throat was parched but I did it. And I did it again the following day. And the day after that. And the day after that.
Somewhere in between, it got better. By Day 4 and my body knew what to expect. Hell, it knew what to do. I didn’t need to have the video on or listen to the instructions. But I had it on anyway so that I wouldn’t slack. And because the video has the sixty-second timer for each exercise; I really didn’t want to have to track time as well.
What does one need for these exercises?
And will power.
A bottle of water and a napkin to wipe your sweat would be handy too but you’ll hardly have time in between exercises. But knowing that it’s there might help. So whatever works for you.
A yoga mat and a pillow to keep under your lower back for the last exercise (crunches) will be a good idea, if like me, your lower back hurts when you lie on the floor.
But don’t skimp on the shoes. Doing this bare-feet will be a bad experience. Oh, and wear a sports bra instead of a regular bra if you can. It’s much better that way.
This challenge video does NOT include a warm up. The video says marching in place for 1 minute will work, but I like to do a proper warm up. Linking my go-to videos below. Or you can do something on your own.
Did it work?
YES, IT DID!! Here are my stats (Before & after pictures are below that)
|on 16.11.2019||on 23.11.2019||Change|
|Waist*||86 cms||83 cms||-3 cms|
|Belly Button**||96 cms||92 cms||-4 cms|
|Hips||99 cms||98.5 cms||-0.5 cms|
* Waist here is the thinnest part of the abdomen
** Belly button measurements were taken by wrapping the measuring tape around my belly button.
The images on the left (in red) are the ‘Before’ images. The change isn’t significant but if you look closely (though I’d rather you didn’t) you’ll see that the loose, hanging belly isn’t as loose anymore. Once I’ve done this every day for a month or so, I’m sure the difference will be very evident.
And this is without being as mindful about my food intake as I would have preferred. Full disclosure: On some days I also did other exercises and I walked at least 10,000 steps on ALL seven days. So it was no surprise that in addition to inches/cms, I lost some kgs as well.
November 18 – 67.7 kgs
November 25 – 66.7 kgs
AN ENTIRE FREAKING KILO!!
Holy crap! I’d been stuck on 67.something since SEPTEMBER!! And it was such a thrill to see the number go down from 67 on Monday morning and this was despite not working out on November 23 and 24. AT ALL!
And now this has motivated me to do to this again this week and see what happens. So this week, I’m doing series 2 of the 7-minute challenge.
What’s different in Series 2?
Series 2 has the EXACT SAME CONCEPT: 7 exercises (all different from the ones in series 1), 1 minute each, for 7 days. But what’s even better in this video is it has a beginner and an intermediate version of the same exercise. So you can pick whichever one you’re most comfortable with. In fact, if you haven’t exercised in a long time, you should actually start with this one first because it’s much easier than the other one.
What’s my plan for the next few weeks?
Well, I plan to keep doing this every week: workout for 7 days then take a day’s break and then go for 7 days again before taking a day or two off again. I may or may not add other exercises to my routine and that totally depends on my routine for the day and how much time I have at hand. But I will not skip this. I’m just enjoying seeing the results so much that I want to keep going to see what the final result will look like since belly fat has been an issue for me since before I had the baby.
When do I find the time?
So since Laddoo hasn’t napped in a really long time (3 weeks and counting), for my first week of working out at home I found it was easiest to work out after she went to bed. The first few days I worked out around 7:30/7:45 PM and then showered and had dinner. But I realised that having a meal after a workout, and especially close to my bedtime was probably defeating the whole purpose of this. So the last 1 or 2 days, I ate first (by 6:30 pm, with Laddoo) and then walked for a bit before exercising around 8:30 PM. While it wasn’t all that bad, I lost my whole evening and I felt hungry again.
So this week, I’m doing it first thing in the morning, which is also what the video recommends, by the way – working out on an empty stomach will give you the best results and will kick start your metabolism with the right kind of push to keep it going for the rest of the day.
Now I will only be able to comment on this next week, but I wanted to share that that’s what I’m doing.
Anyway, that was it. Here are some links for you in case you missed them above. Did you start your 7 day challenge? How is it going? How do you feel? Let me know. I’d love to cheer you on. Let me calrify that I’m not doing this just for you. I expect you to cheer me and keep me motivated for the next few weeks as well. Win-win, you see.