Back in March, we wrote about our first fortnight trialling the 28 by Sam Wood program
. One of the comments on this first post suggested that exercise and nutrition should be fun, and that the goal of being healthy should be to enjoy life more, not feel like we're suffering. This was something that we were all striving for: fighting off the sluggish lethargy that we were struggling with to regain some energy and, in some cases, some confidence to enjoy life a little bit more again.
It goes without saying that the first fortnight was a really big change – going from exercising maybe once or twice a week to five or six times a week was a shock for all of us, despite our initial levels of fitness. There are some studies that suggest it takes 21 days to make a new habit (or break an old one), but whether you believe that or not there’s no denying that our first fortnight was hard. Retrospectively, our blog post definitely highlighted the struggles of the change, but we all glimpsed the start of some very positive change as well.
As Sam says at the beginning of one of the workout videos, ‘nothing changes if nothing changes’, and some of us were very keen for a change.
Now that we’ve finished a full month of 28 by Sam Wood, how do we feel? Have any of us continued into April with it? Read on to find out, and to also receive a code for free shipping if you order 28 by Sam Wood
Alexandra, Category Manager
I have had a bit of a hectic social life this month – it seems everyone I know is getting married (always the bridesmaid jokes can start rolling in). This has meant that my eating hasn’t been exactly great on the weekends, and alcohol consumption has been a tiny (HUGE) bit above my allowance.
However, my weekdays have been quite good! I’ve learnt a lot about portion control and have gotten much better at bringing my lunches to work, which has also meant $$$$ saved. Last time we reported in I discussed the joy of an omelette, so this time I will talk about the joys of a wrap for lunch.
I mean, you can pile them up with veggies and avocado and they are easy and filling, and you can just keep all the ingredients in the fridge at work even if your workmates want to stab you with a fork or write passive aggressive notes for taking up all the room.
Some of my favourite 28 meals have been the curries – the fish curry specifically! I also had a delicious buckwheat noodle bowl and also a fab nutrition bomb bowl. A lot of the time I just remade the same things because I had so many of the ingredients in my fridge and couldn’t be bothered to make a new thing every day. This did go against the plan, but a lot of the food I was eating was far healthier than it would have been otherwise.
All in all though I feel like I learnt some great new recipes and some good tricks to being healthier in a consistent way long term.
Rhys, Digital Manager
Week 3= done
My body is still really responding to the exercise, and I’m feeling and sleeping a lot better. The main challenge is that the diet side has gotten harder, as I have started to miss things more. A couple of bad behaviours crept back into my diet this week, but I’m keeping the exercise levels high to try to counteract the bad. It’s working, mostly.
Week 4= done and dusted!
This week I realised I was going to have to start working my way off the 28 plan, so as not to fall into a heap when this month comes to an end. Making meal plans was never a thing in my past, but I’m now doing big weekly shops, food prep for lunches (rather than just buying whatever I feel like during a busy work day), and making better choices. My crisper is full and my freezer is empty! I’ve got some favourite exercises mentally locked down to keep rolling on after the 28 days have ended, and I’m still getting good results in shedding excess weight and getting more body tone. One last week, and I am ready to continue with what I’ve learned out in the real world again.
I really enjoyed this month, despite the excessive amounts of beetroot and the amount of sweat I’ve had to clean off my lounge room floor. I’ve lost about 3-4 kilos overall, getting rid of some of that waist weight no-one really wants, and bringing some shape back to muscles I had kind of forgotten about. I’ll be taking some of the recipes into my regular routine, and I’m now more cautious overall with what I eat on a daily basis. The main thing for me will be the exercise pattern – I’m now back into the fitness rhythm and will be keeping it up with my own timed workouts daily. I’d strongly recommend this to someone looking for a really well-structured complete routine, particularly someone getting back into healthy living as a lifestyle, not just a quick diet burst.
Sharyn, Category Manager
I have enjoyed being part of the 28 program for the month. Having said that, the last two weeks were definitely more challenging than the first two, mainly due to a lack of self-motivation. Just getting myself started has been a huge challenge over the past two weeks.
However, the workouts are good and it is surprising how 28 minutes a day can really make a difference. It's not a lot of time out of your day but you really do feel the effects! My favourite part of the program has been the active recovery and yoga workouts.
Sue, PR Manager
The final week of the program saw Sam upping the ante in terms of exercise and I discovered muscle groups I never knew existed before. The extra load meant I needed to have a couple of days off for rest and recovery though, which wasn’t helped by the lifts being out at work and walking 7 flights of stairs to my desk. Sam would definitely approve of the extra workout. It was really motivating to do the program as a team and I enjoyed comparing recipe tips with colleagues, bonding over our aching muscles, and envying their chicken schnitty leftovers. Despite my agonising abs I’m surprised how quickly the 28 days passed!
The best part has been the food - simple, delicious, healthy but never boring. The porridge and granola recipes are especially yummy and now firmly established as family breakfasts. I’ve really loved shopping to a meal plan and in addition to all the extra veggies we’re eating, we’re saving money and have far less food waste. We’re also more mindful of our portion sizes and snacking in between meals.
I’ve definitely seen health benefits in the 28 days. Overall, I feel healthier, have more muscle tone, and feel much stronger in my upper body thanks to all the resistance training. It was easy to wake up and get the exercise over and done with without leaving the house (some days I did it in my PJs!).
If you’re looking to kick start your weight loss, gain strength or eat more healthily, I’d recommend giving it a go. I’ll definitely be continuing the program next month. Goodbye, gym membership – hello, 28 by Sam Wood
Tonile, Digital & Community Coordinator
Two years ago I used to exercise all the time and my favourite health benefits from all that sweating went far beyond how I looked. Don’t get me wrong that stuff was important too, but I had more energy, I slept better, my skin was clearer, and I was overall a nicer person. It’s amazing what a difference eating well and moving my body daily makes, and although the first fortnight on the 28 program was a challenge I’m now ready to keep this motivation going through to April and make it less about following a program and more about generally living a healthier lifestyle.
I have waxed lyrical to quite literally anyone who will listen about the 28 program over the past month because whether you do it for a month to kick-start a healthier lifestyle or you follow it for months at a time, it’s the best health and fitness plan I’ve tried in recent years. The food is delicious and if you pay attention to way meals and exercise intensity are balanced, you can learn how to make some tweaks to the way you eat on exercise vs non-exercise days.
I’m sure it’s been mentioned already, but the exercise video component of the program was a winner for me and it’s a large part of the reason why I’ll be continuing with 28. It’s $48 a month and having an exercise video ready and waiting for me five days a week and four weeks a month, means the workouts are $2.40 each. I used to spend more on takeaway tea per week than that. I need a regular motivator to keep my spirits up, and this for me is far more time and cost efficient than any gym membership ever will be. The great recipes, guided meditations, yoga videos, and support through the 28 Facebook group are just extra side benefits!
I feel really sales pitch-y, and for that I apologise. We are booksellers, and here I am ranting about an online exercise program. But, to be honest, I spend a heck of a lot of time sitting down and reading, and I’m looking to put in a small amount of effort to get good results. That’s what 28 has given me. I look forward to seeing more progress and more change over the coming months.
That’s it from our team! If you pick up 28 by Sam Wood online, use the code 28BYSAM during checkout to get free saver shipping on your order.
And now for some progress photos...