So Sam Wood and I have been together for six glorious months now and signs are good that we’re going to have another happy and healthy six month ahead…just me, him, Hendrix… and 17,611 other 28ers.
I’m a ridiculously active member of the 28 online community because it’s actually my way of staying accountable and on track. By connecting with my fellow 28 buddies and obsessively checking the 28 Facebook feed every 20 minutes…err…I mean twice a day… I’m keeping 28 and my commitment to a healthier way of living at the top of mind. It’s been a game changer for me – this community connection stuff. It makes me wonder how I’ll ever be able to leave. If I’ll ever want to leave. I’ll probably never leave. Sam is stuck with me forever.
Anyhoot…if you’re new to 28 or perhaps even just dip in and out every so often then this post is for you. Just some thoughts that I thought may help you settle your thoughts. Confused? Don’t be…read on.
WHERE TO START?
Of course start with YOUR PLAN and Week 1 and Sam’s Welcome message …he’s the boss after all. But when you’re done with that here’s some other places you’ll find useful and may not be immediately obvious.
Check out the the FAQs…There’s all sorts of goodness covered off in here. Cooking for family, substituting ingredients, drinking alcohol, coffee and water. How to save money on your weekly shop and what to do if you’re injured.
Your 28 LOCKER is where it’s all at. Articles, videos, recipes, exercises and more…make your locker your ‘go to’ every day.
…oh and my two cents using websites. They’re not always perfect…but then neither is my form on burpees. So if you find any bumps or glitches on www.28bysamwood.com then shoot them a note at email@example.com – they’ll look into it for you. They’re good like that 🙂
SMILE (or grimace)
Before you start take photos of what you look like now. Side on and front on. Wear an outfit that you can put back on every 28 days (like a black crop top and shorts…just like those Biggest Loser losers). Even if it’s confronting you’ll feel a million bucks as those photos start to show your results. A picture is worth a thousand words. And guess what…you don’t need to show anyone! Those little truth bombs are just for you…unless you want to share them and then you totally can, and you totally should. It’s inspirational to see the results people have been getting. It’s also super fabulous to see people who look just like me (sorry, I ain’t no Kayla Itsines …and I never will be!)
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
Nothing you don’t already have. I wrote a post on this a few months ago so you can take a squizz at that if you like.
Sliders, Weights, To Mat or Not to Mat and why do I need a chair? ** Includes a link to get your sliders at a special Woody discount. **
WHAT FOOD DO I NEED?
Get ready to make over your pantry! You could find this a pretty steep learning curve but it’s kinda fun too. Basic staples that seem to be on high rotation in our recipes include quinoa, coconut oil, almond meal, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, chilli, rice malt syrup, almond milk, almond butter, red wine*. Other fresh stuff you’ll be seeing a lot of in your 28 future includes baby spinach, zucchini, carrot, capsicum, cauliflower, avocado, eggs, parsley, basil, coriander and a whole lot of other things I forget.
Top Tip: Check out Steph Lowe’s book The Real Food Athlete. She’s our very own 28 nutritionist …ok so, she has her own business, but I think Sam takes up a lot of her time! Her book has all the basics and loads of recipes too. Totally worth an investment if you’re inclined.
*red wine may just be on my own program, not sure. 😉
JUST TRY IT
Along with seeing Sam Wood every day (I’m not joking, he’s on Facebook more than me!) you’re going to find a host of things that feel different and unusual and maybe a bit odd. If you ask any 28er in the community they’ll tell you “just try it”. Don’t rule something out until you’ve given it a crack…unless it’s burpees, then you can put off doing those suckers for as long as you like. Don’t care what Sam says…
IS THIS 28 APPROVED?
Now that you’re in tune to a happier, healthier way of living you’ll probably find new and exciting meal and exercise ideas crop up. Life’s cool like that…when you shift your focus, it delivers a new vision.
What I love about 28 is that it’s a program not a prison sentence. It’s about progress not perfection (I think Sam is going to offer free tattooing services for this motto)
I am a lover of red-wine and I haven’t given this up and I still probably drink more than is desirable when ‘dieting’ BUT that’s my choice. And I make this choice knowing that my progress on 28 will be slower than if I made a different choice. And that’s OK. You know why? Because it’s MY CHOICE. 28 gives me all the tools and ideas and I can make decisions that suit me and my lifestyle.
If I deviate from Sam’s Plan then I know my results will be slower than if I slept with him…I mean STUCK with him 100%.
FORGET THE DIET RULES
28 does not count calories. Which suits me because I’ve never counted calories but I know that many diets and eating programs do. So if you’re coming off years of these type of diets then not counting and controlling every morsel is going to be hard. But at some point you have to accept that you’ve signed up to 28 and so you need to trust in the program and the science behind it. I have no idea what that science is because I’m paying Sam and Steph to have that shit sorted. Doesn’t interest me. I trust them. I’ve got better things to do…like drink wine.
Also, the portion sizes are BIG. If you can’t eat it all then don’t.
TOO MUCH BOUNCE
Aside from everything else I rave about on 28 another massive win for me has been bonding with my big-boobed sisters. Oh me, oh my. Having good tips about great sports bras and laughing about ‘holding the girls’ for all those high impact exercises (thanks Sam, you bastard) has been fabulous for the soul. Just connecting and complaining about something so simple and yet, it’s something that can hold many of us back from getting on with exercise.
My tip for sports bras are Enell. But different strokes for different folks. You’ll find other tips from your 28 community from time to time because they’re smart and helpful like that.
JUST LIKE YOU
Something totally wonderful about 28 is that you’ll find someone who is JUST LIKE YOU. Maybe it’s the same starting weight, the same agonizing sleepless baby-filled nights, the same demanding work hours, the same hate of coriander or just a shared desire to slap Sam after a workout. Whatever it is your level of crazy is right here…with us. Just reach out and ask. You never know, you may connect in your local area and take the connection off Facebook and like…become a real-life friend…what? See?…crazy!
If you’re someone that needs a buddy to keep yourself accountable then reach out and find that person. There seems to be plenty of 28ers who have taken their 28 Facebook connections into more private chats. Whatever works for you is what’s right.
(WARNING: very totally extreme language ahead!)
In my opinion, aside from the boss man himself, the Facebook community is the single biggest difference in the success of 28. It brings everyone who wants to be, together to chat, share, ask for help and generally just connect. It’s great. Until it’s…well…not. Like all computer and digital based conveniences Facebook can be a cunt. There’s some super techy trickery in those algorithm things that means sometimes you see a post “just posted” when it was probably posted 24 hours ago or there’s this super awesome helpful post at the top of your feed that disappears the minute you try and go back and read it. And woe-betide anyone that tries to actually find stuff on the page. It is a deep, deep chasm that is only getting deeper with every new member and new post. Who knows maybe Zuckerberg will add some new functionality to Facebook that will help negate these annoying things but maybe he won’t…and hey…it’s free…so I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime here’s my top 3 Facebook tips:
- Make the ‘search’ function your friend. Type a word into that little box at the top right of the page (on a computer) or at the very top of the page on your phone (when you’re in the group). If Facebook can find it, you’ll get some posts that contain that word (theoretically, but note strategic use of the word “if”!)
- Select ‘save post’ (from the menu that drops down when you click that little arrow at the top right of every post) so you can go back and read a post you’re interested in when you’ve got time. I do this all the time because there’s some pretty interesting folk in our 28 family and they often share such heartfelt stories that I don’t want to read them in a rush while I’m walking down the street.
- Select ‘turn on notifications’ so you’ll get an alert when others comment on a thread you’re interested in. Typing “F” (for follow) is so 2014!
PREFER TO KEEP THINGS PRIVATE?
There is zero requirement for you to engage with the 28 Facebook group as part of your own 28 journey. It’s a completely personal choice to opt in and comment or scroll by posts that don’t interest you. If you have specific questions about your account or things that you just can’t find solutions for you can always email the crew firstname.lastname@example.org – that’s what those little spunks are there for. To help you. Privately if that’s what you prefer.
Having said that – Facebook is a great way to connect with Sam personally. It always amazes me when he pops up and responds to something I ask or even a silly gag I make about how hard the workout was. It’s like he really is my real-life personal trainer. He (and his crew) respond in person. No web-bots here! Real people. Real responses. They are always there…except when they’re sleeping…and then someone else will be there to help, because 28 never sleeps, never takes a day off and because it’s a global program, someone is always awake and online…somewhere.
And finally…there are NO SILLY QUESTIONS. The 28 community will always have your back. 110%. No questions asked. Someone on the Facebook page will have a word of advice that will help you, a tip or trick that you need or just some love when you’re feeling down.
It totally doesn’t matter if that question has been asked 1,000 times before, it’s probably buried deep, deep in Facebook wonderland by now. The point is YOU haven’t asked it and YOU need the answer. You can always try the Facebook search but sometimes a little personal connection is more important.
It’s all here. Don’t be shy and ask away. We already love you. Welcome. You got this!
And because you read all the way to the end of this extra long post…here’s a little video of Sam cutting fruit. November newbies may not have seen this, so I feel it’s my duty to ensure it never gets lost and we keep sharing and posting this important motivational tool. Just click on the fruit…