How I Got Into Shape for my Wedding



(ENTIRE OUTFIT INCLUDED IN THE NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE!)
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Good morning and happy Friday, you guys!!! This has been a HIGHLY requested post and I’m really excited – albeit a little nervous – to share it with you today! I think women’s bodies are always under scrutiny (too thin! too fat!) and that’s not why I’m putting this post out there – every woman’s body is different and you have to do what is right and healthy for you. Let’s have this be a judgement-free zone, please!
I have been eating clean and working out regularly for the past couple of years, but I really wanted to look and feel better than ever for my wedding. I’ve always been naturally thin (thank you mom and dad), but I’ve never had much muscle. Even when I ran track and did competitive cheerleading in high school, I NEVER had much muscle tone. So one of my goals for my wedding was to actually put on weight – muscle weight! In particular, I wanted to focus building muscle in my arms (since that’s what shows in a wedding dress) and getting more defined abs. 
In January of this year, I started Kayla Intsine’s Bikini Body Guide workouts, otherwise known as BBG. You’ve probably heard a little about BBG before (or at least have seen Kayla’s Instagram account). The BBG program consists of three 28-minute high-intensity resistance workouts per week, and three LISS (low intensity, steady state) cardio sessions per week. You can either download the PDF version from Kayla’s website, or download the Sweat app. I already owned the app and did the workouts sporadically, but starting in January I fully committed to going through the program from the beginning. My weeks looked a little bit like this: 
Monday: BBG arms/abs workout
Tuesday: 30-minute walk with Winnie
Wednesday: BBG full body workout
Thursday: 30-minute walk with Winnie
Friday: BBG legs workout
Saturday: 30-minute walk with Winnie
Sunday: REST 
For the first three months, I did solely BBG. The workouts are short (only 28-minutes!) but they are REALLY tough. There would be times, such as in the middle of the legs workout, where I didn’t know if I could keep going or not! I remember saying a prayer during one of the sessions, asking God to give me the strength to finish the workout hahah! Despite their difficulty, a positive was that I noticed a change in my body right away, even after just two weeks of the program. And the longer I stuck with BBG, the easier the workouts became (as my body got stronger). Then in April, I started incorporating some Pure Barre classes into my routine, swapping out a low-intensity workout for a Pure Barre class. This helped me take the workouts to the next level! Plus I absolutely love my Pure Barre classes, and I looked forward to the classes every week. I continued doing both BBG and Pure Barre for the final three months before my wedding.
Here’s what my workouts looked like during a typical month (this was April of this year):
So here’s the low-down and my thoughts on this program: This winter was really rough for me. I struggled a lot with self-doubt, burnout, the stress of wedding planning and just the dreariness and gloominess associated with winter weather. I even had to go on anxiety medicine for the first time in my life. To be honest, BBG gave me a “purpose” this winter. Even when I was struggling with blogging or wedding planning, whenever I accomplished a workout I felt SO good. It felt like my life was sometimes spiraling out of control, but the BBG workouts were the one thing that I did have control over, and they became such a positive part of my day. There were a lot of times that I made sacrifices to do the workouts: I got less sleep or I skipped doing a blog post because I made working out a priority – but all of a sudden, something crazy started happening. I started feeling so much better. I had more energy, I was able to focus, I was even more productive. And it wasn’t just about the changes happening to my body, because to be honest, I barely noticed the physical changes. Sure, I felt myself getting stronger and able to do more pushups, but mentally, I felt better than I ever had in my life. Accomplishing these tough workouts gave me a sense of confidence that I had really never felt before. On my wedding day, I was happy with my body, but even more than that, I was happy with who I was on the inside and what I was able to accomplish. And that, my friends, is what made it worth it in the end!
Now for pictures!
Let’s start with the “before!” Here’s me in college: (don’t even get me started on why I’m wearing cowboy boots on the beach, my best friend and I thought this “photoshoot” was a great idea hahahah). I was what you might call “skinny fat.” I looked okay in clothes, but I was the farthest thing from healthy – I barely worked out and ate lots of junk food and late night meals. In addition, I didn’t feel good from all the junk I was feeding my body, and I virtually had zero confidence. I might be smiling in the photo, but inside, I wasn’t a very happy person! 
This was six months before my wedding, on January 1st, the day that I started the BBG program.

25 days into the program:

Two months into the program. This picture was taken at the end of February:

Five months into the program, finally starting to develop a butt (I’ve never had a butt in my life!!!):

Six months into the program, taken June 8th (right before our honeymoon!). I actually wasn’t “flexing” for this photo, I was trying on a bathing suit that had just come in the mail!

Like I said, by the end of the program, it wasn’t even about the physical changes that were happening to me…. I was more proud of what was changing inside! Let me know your thoughts on BBG if you’ve done it before… or if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment section!
P.S. If you haven’t entered my $1,500 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Giveaway, you can do so HERE!
Love you guys!!
xoxo, Cait

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90 Comments

  1. Gorgeous! I have always said muscle tone on girls is so important, it makes you feel so strong!! I have 2 little boys and had lost my core, I did Lagree fitness (intense form of Pilates) and had the best muscle tone in my life! Great job!

    7.13.18Reply
  2. You look great! Congratulations! I have been trying to get into BBG for a long time, but the beginning always discourages me because I can barely get through the workouts or have to modify them. Did you ever modify things in the beginning, or did you power through and do it by the books every time? Your post just inspired me to give it another try and not give up. Also, what kind of things do you eat? I've been trying to get into clean eating but only have a handful of recipes and foods I eat, so I'm trying to expand my horizons. 🙂

    xoxo,
    ashley

    7.13.18Reply
  3. The mental benefits from working out are so amazing!! I struggle with anxiety at times too and if I start upping my workouts and eating cleaner, I notice a huge improvement within a few days. Also, I love Pure Barre! I'm focusing on running this summer and will go back to the barre when the weather gets bad.

    7.13.18Reply
  4. You look amazing Cait! Thanks for sharing your transformation with us!

    7.13.18Reply
  5. Cait thanks for being so honest about your self doubt and struggles. As someone who follows you, it’s hatd to believe bc you always look and seem so happy (& perfect, honestly). It’s refreshing to you’re human ;). You look amazing and so happy to hear you’re truly happy.

    7.13.18Reply
  6. I’ve started the BBG before but was discouraged on how out of shape I am but I need to try again and really push myself. Just wondering what kind of foods you eat and enjoy?

    7.13.18Reply
  7. Did you keep up the same workout routine while you were traveling?

    7.13.18Reply
  8. Oh my gosh Cait this is amazing! You might have just sold me on BBG haha- I've read about it on other blogs and been curious!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    7.13.18Reply
  9. You look amazing! I need to look into this program.

    7.13.18Reply
  10. Do you need weights or any other outside equipment for BBG?

    7.13.18Reply
    • Also – you look BOMB! So glad you are feeling better! 🙂

      7.13.18Reply
  11. You look great! Would love to hear a little more about the diet side of your transformation. That’s always the hardest part in my book.

    7.13.18Reply
    • I agree!! I workout with a personal trainer 3 days a week(she’s my best friend�� so it’s a win/win) and play tennis 3-4 times a week. But diet… oh I have no healthy eating plan! I try and try, but it never seems to work!

      7.21.18Reply
  12. I did cheer and track too! The before and after a are really crazy. Muscle really does make such a difference!

    7.13.18Reply
  13. Love your blog❤️

    7.13.18Reply
  14. Wow you look great ! I appreciate posts like this because I myself am very into fitness and I understand the dedication that goes into a transformation. Love all hour posts and outfit inspirations. Keep being amazing!!

    7.13.18Reply
  15. I follow your IG but had never actually checked out your blog. Thanks for sharing! What a great post! I have on and off tried BBG while recovering from a running injury but haven't stuck with it consistently. Now I do legs everyday for physical therapy and pure barre a few times a week. Your photos are really motivating me to add the BBG back in with barre! Thanks again! 🙂

    7.13.18Reply
  16. Oh my goodness! I relate to your body type so much. I’ve always been thin, but I have no muscle definition. I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate some healthier choices in my life and I just may have to give this workout program a chance. Thanks so much for sharing your journey!

    7.13.18Reply
  17. You look great!!! I just did a post about a similar thing today as well and we have a lot of similarities!! I was “skinny fat” my whole life until I started staying consistent in my workout routine and then finally noticed a difference!!! I love HIIT and also LOVE Pure Barre!!! Great job! And congrats on the wedding

    7.13.18Reply
  18. You look amazing! I love Kayla’s BBG program! The app is so convenient and the workouts are hard but quick!

    7.13.18Reply
  19. Hi Cait, you look great! Thanks so much for sharing. Would love a post dedicated to your weekly diet while going through BBG. That has always been the hardest part for me.

    7.13.18Reply
  20. I can’t believe how much has changed in just 25 days! You look great and I’m glad it’s changed you internally too! I’ve been wanting to try big and this has really convinced me to go for it! I can completely relate to being “skinny fat” haha and I really do need to gain some muscle. I was wondering what type of weights and how many pounds did u work out with? Thanx Cait <3

    7.13.18Reply
  21. Such an amazing transformation! You look great!

    http://www.jessicabroyles.com

    7.13.18Reply
  22. I love BBG and how great you feel!! You look amazing.

    7.13.18Reply
  23. I’ve been doing the BBG consistently for about two years now! I agree with everything you said about it! It’s such an amazing program and it transforms your body and mind. Anytime fitness comes up with friends I can talk about this program and how much I love it forever! Also, you look AMAZING! You go girl!

    7.13.18Reply
  24. Those results after only 25 days are just incredible!! Sounds like a very doable plan too. Feeling inspired – thanks so much for sharing!!

    7.13.18Reply
  25. Thank you for giving me the push I needed to try BBG. Always wanted to but never pulled the trigger, but after reading this and seeing the change, I’m definitely going to!

    7.13.18Reply
  26. What a refreshing fitness post, Caitlin! I was all "skinny muscle" in high school thanks to drill team/dance, but became "skinny fat" in college. I went to work and school full-time so I ate late nights and lots of junk food too so I totally get what you mean there. Being healthy isn't all about looks, but about feeling mentally confident and strong. And eventually, that leads to physical confidence. I've said it before to myself and as a reminder to my friends that when it comes to health, you have to push through the mental to achieve the physical. Any health journey is sustained with mental strength.

    I personally tried BBG a few years ago (paper book version) and it's no joke. The workouts are hard, but I saw results (flatter tummy) in just two weeks! I was doing fine for months until my car accident. It set me back for sooo long so I've had to work through my anger about having added 25 pounds (ugh) over time because I couldn't do anything. It was so hard because I was mad at that lady for ruining my mojo. I still struggle from time to time, but I'm back to the gym (weighted HIIT) myself.

    Thanks for telling your story, Caitlin. You've inspired me to give BBG a go again! I think I'll do the app this time around!

    And for those looking to try BBG, it really does work. It's very hard in the beginning, but you'll find that workouts get easier over time! Just take it one day at a time and never do a workout you hate!

    She Sweats Diamonds

    7.13.18Reply
  27. You look fantastic!! Did you do Pure barre regularly before you started the BBG workouts as well? If so how often do you think? Did you change up your diet at all? Thanks!

    7.13.18Reply
  28. Dang girl! You can definitely see muscle – that workout plan for sure worked. I might have to give BBG a try if Tone it Up isn't doing it for me once I have my baby lol

    7.13.18Reply
  29. Thanks for sharing. Your transformation is incredible. I personally hate really tough workouts so I’ve opted to skip out on BBG. I tried Orange Theory for a while but I found it too stressful. I’ve decided to work out on my own doing longer (40 mins) but more moderate workouts. I seem to have more energy and enjoy working out more that way.

    7.13.18Reply
  30. You go girl!! It’s amazing what exercise can do to our brains! Thanks for sharing your journey!

    7.13.18Reply
  31. You look amazing!! Can you share your diet and what exactly you were eating? Also were you drinking?

    7.13.18Reply
  32. Way to go girl! I have been yoyo-ing with BBG but really need to stick to it! You look amazing. Thanks so much for being so open with your readers. I too had to go on anxiety meds for the first time before my wedding.

    7.13.18Reply
  33. Thank you thank you for this!!!! It’s so refreshing to hear about and see your genuine journey. I feel you on the “skinny fat” — that’s been me for years, and it’s starting to catch up to me! I look fine, but I don’t feel great, and my attempts at committing to a workout regimen haven’t really stuck. This post is such amazing inspiration! <3

    7.13.18Reply
  34. You look amazing! This post was so motivational. I’ve struggled with getting back to my pre baby weight and I’m going to have to try out he BBG program – I can fit in 28 minutes a day! ❤️

    7.13.18Reply
  35. I’m so glad you feel the BBG workouts worked! I can’t wait to try! You look fantastic! 💜

    7.13.18Reply
  36. That's awesome, I think I'll give BBG a try!

    7.13.18Reply
  37. I can’t wait to try this workout and you look great!! Could you do a blog on photo editing for beginners? Or how to edit using presets?

    7.13.18Reply
  38. You look absolutely amazing and beautiful. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished. Loving yourself inside and out are very important. I am also what you call skinny fat and I have been toying with wanting to do BBG. I do have 2 kids and finding the time to do everything just seems impossible. I barely get 5 minutes by myself let alone almost 30! ������ This something you do in the mornings to get you started for the day? How did you stay so motivated? I also lovedddd Pure Barre but stopped that when I was a few months pregnant with my first. I miss that sooo much. Thank you for sharing your story. It really means a lot to me. 💕🙌🏻 Xo Angela

    7.13.18Reply
  39. Holy smokes! You looked beautiful before, but your current/after you not only look gorgeous, but strong and healthy too! Congrats on all of your hard work. It certainly paid off!

    7.13.18Reply
  40. I just started the BBG workouts after some time off and they are great! Did you also follow the food menu suggestions in the app/book? I will have to try Pure Barre too and see how it works out for me. Thanks for sharing!

    7.13.18Reply
  41. You look amazing!

    http://thegirlswhobrunch.com

    7.13.18Reply
  42. love this post SO MUCH. one of my favs ever!! thanks for sharing all of this! I'm soo curious about BBG it seems like everyone has amazing results with it.
    Xx, Kathryn

    7.13.18Reply
  43. You look amazing! Although you did before too! I agree so much about the mental benefits of a workout. For me though I never enjoyed BBG , but that’s now I feel about Pure Barre, I LOVE going to my barre classes.
    -Nina
    https://financetofashion.com

    7.13.18Reply
  44. Wow! I’ll definitely need to look into this workout! I am so glad I found this blog post!! I’ve followed you on Instagram for so long but I’ve never looked at your blog! I can’t wait to check it out more of it!

    7.13.18Reply
  45. I'm just like you, I've always been skinny, but not really toned. I've been working harder to gain muscle and tone up lately, too, so I may have to try this workout! Thank you!

    7.13.18Reply
  46. I love your message! It’s all about how you feel!! Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

    7.13.18Reply
  47. You look awesome! And it really is amazing what a difference exercises makes on your mental health – I can always feel a difference when I haven't been working out consistently. Thanks for sharing!

    7.13.18Reply
  48. Love the entire workout outfit including the bag!

    7.13.18Reply
  49. Fitness goals!!! Started and stopped the bbg and PWR workouts but your results make me want to commit 100% to it!!

    7.13.18Reply
  50. I have heard a lot about the BBG workouts and I might have to give it a try now!

    7.13.18Reply
  51. Your post is so inspiring!

    7.13.18Reply
  52. You look amazing & thank you for sharing your journey!

    7.13.18Reply
  53. Love this post and you look so good!

    7.13.18Reply
  54. Did you buy the equipment required for it. I've downloaded the app twice but i just can't figure it out ��

    7.14.18Reply
  55. Did you also do the BBG meal plan?

    7.14.18Reply
  56. I dunno, I'm sort of jaded about this BBG thing. Other bloggers have been pushing it and I guess that's why I'm not into it. I'd rather do fun things to keep in shape. But I guess if folks think it's fun, then more power to them. Not for me, though.

    7.14.18Reply
  57. I love BBG, I definitely have to do more pure barre!

    briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

    7.14.18Reply
  58. You look amazing. So going to have to check out BBG.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home

    7.14.18Reply
  59. What an awesome transformation!

    7.14.18Reply
  60. You look amazing! So important that you feel good on the inside and confident! I’ve been wanting to start BBG but haven’t pulled the trigger yet… did you do the workouts at home or at a gym? Did you need special equipment? And I’ve heard people had issues with the app, was it easy to use? Congrats on your marriage!

    7.14.18Reply
  61. You look great! I love the pictures with clothes on the floor. Thanks for keeping it real!

    7.14.18Reply
  62. LOVE your outfits! Hopefully I get to buy nice outfits for Fall and a wedding guest dress!

    7.14.18Reply
  63. I loved this post! Thank you for sharing!

    7.14.18Reply
  64. What a great post! Thanks for being brave, talking about your struggles, etc. but thank you for including a picture that showed your messy bedroom in the background! Your house (and you!) always look so perfect, it was awesome to see a "normal" situation going on. Bravo!!
    Personally I have always been "skinny fat" too and about 9 months ago, I fell in love with (indoor) rock climbing! It has transformed by body into a stronger one and I love it.

    7.14.18Reply
  65. I have not tried BBG nor heard about it before – but you sure do amazing! This was a very inspiring post. I do workout regularly at the gym and I agree that after a workout you jsut feel amazing! Even the most shitty day (excuse my French haha) gets turned around by just getting up and moving! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    xx, Janine
    Sehr schöne Outfits! Ich liebe den Streifen-Trend sehr und freue mich jedes Mal, wenn er im Sommer wiederkommt 🙂 ich mag vor allem die Hose aus dem ersten Outfit und das wunderschöne Kleid aus dem dritten!

    xx, Janine

    https://walkinmysneaks.blogspot.com/?m=1

    7.14.18Reply
  66. You look amazing and the refreshingly honest post is nice! Congratulations!!! Nice work!

    7.14.18Reply
  67. Cait!!! I’m sooo happy that you are feeling better!! It makes me so sad that you weren’t feeling good before mentally, I’ve been there and working out totally changes my life every time!!! Don’t fall out of it , keep it up!!!!!!. I hope friends and family help motivate you to workout and feel good all around, you deserve to be happy every moment of this short life!!!! Love you!!!

    7.14.18Reply
  68. I loved hearing about this! This was exactly what I needed! Thanks Caitlin! Love you!

    7.14.18Reply
  69. Love this! Thank you so much for sharing! 🤗

    7.14.18Reply
  70. Awesome advice! Thanks girl! ❤️

    7.14.18Reply
  71. I tried this program a little while ago and gave up because I am not very patient! But you make me want to try it again!

    7.14.18Reply
  72. Isn’t it fun to finally have a butt?? I find myself turning around in mirrors because I’m so amazed. 😉 You look phenomenal!

    http://Www.lazyjlifestyle.com

    7.14.18Reply
  73. Amazing results! You go girl! Did you do these workout at home or a gym? And how much weight did you use for you dumbbells, ect? Trying to figure out if this is achievable with minimal equipment.

    7.14.18Reply
  74. While I totally can't relate to the "skinny fat" thing as I'm more "fat fat" at this point (carry a lot of weight in my midsection and thighs and have been slacking at working out lately), those are some impressive results so kudos for going through the program!

    7.14.18Reply
  75. You look amazing girl & I totally get feeling "skinny fat" or just not your best bc life takes over sometimes. I go in & out of my fitness regime and it's so amazing how great you feel while giving it your all! Keep up the hard work 🙂

    7.14.18Reply
  76. Great post! Thank you! I had the BBG app for a couple of months a couple of years ago, but I couldn’t ever figure it out. Is the PDF exactly the same thing…but easier to figure out? Thanks!

    7.15.18Reply
  77. Good to see that you have found something that makes you feel good and healthy. I just completed my first bikini body building competition with 5 months of prep (I lost 23lbs and went down to 9% body fat) and my whole life, body and perspective on food and exercise will be forever changed. Muscle is your friend, eating will help you lose weight. Thanks to you more women will see this make a positive change. Check out my before and after on Instagram: @spence11782

    7.15.18Reply
  78. Great post!! Did you do the BBG workouts at home or go to the gym?

    7.16.18Reply
  79. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with anxiety and stress and how working out helped you through it! I am getting married this year and although it's a wonderful and exciting time, I can definitely relate! Taking even just a little time for myself to exercise really helped me clear my mind and build my self-confidence. I found your post very inspiring! 🙂

    7.16.18Reply
  80. Absolutely LOVED this post Caitlin. I also started with BBG in January and it's become such a big part of my life now. It's aligned my mind so that I can juggle work stress and my personal life and I've found that I have much more balance these days.

    Arum Lilea

    7.16.18Reply
  81. I would love to hear the diet side of your transformation. If you found any advice or favorite recipes over the months. That would be amazing!!

    7.17.18Reply
  82. This was so inspiring. I have been looking for a good work out App and I will definitely be giving Sweat a try!

    7.18.18Reply
  83. you looks amazing after workout

    http://www.denimxp.com

    7.20.18Reply
  84. This is so inspiring, I'm looking to shed a few pounds for my wedding in December. I'm now motivated than ever knowing it can happen.

    7.22.18Reply
  85. Hi Caitlyn! Love this post. Being able to see the change is extremely motivating! I am the exact same way. Body is fine, I look fine in clothes, but I don’t have much strength or tonage beneath all of that. My Fiancé (also named Chris! ☺️) and I are getting married in April so I want to power through BBG so I can feel and look my best on our wedding day. I’ve actually owned it for a few years but never made it past week 1. Hopefully getting married will be my motivation to keep pushing even when it’s hard. My question is, did you do the whole program all the way through, or just pick workouts sporatically based on what you were wanting to work on that day? You may have mentioned it, but I couldn’t tell if you did the full on 12 weeks or just selected randomly from the app. Thanks so much!!

    9.5.18Reply
  86. Chiara

    Hi Caitlin! I’ve been doing the BBG workouts for a while as well, but I’ve never followed her “healthy meal plan”, since I’m a pescatarian and eat pretty healthy anyway. Did you happen to follow her meal plan ever? Or did you stick with your own thing?

    Thanks,

    Chiara

    11.2.18Reply
    • I never followed her meal plan – I did look at it one time and a lot of the food items weren’t familiar to me (since she’s based in Australia). It seemed a little hard to carry out if you live in the United States! While I was doing BBG I was eating lean chicken and lots of fruits and veggies but I’m actually pescatarian now too!

      11.3.18Reply