On Steph Kassis’ 30th birthday she decided to lose weight. But instead of hitting the gym or booking in with a dietitian, she stumbled across an Instagram post that changed her life.
The traditional route for getting healthy and losing weight is a gym membership and some willpower to put the cookies down. But now thanks to the internet and social media – weight loss and fitness programs are cropping up that allow you to take control of your health and wellbeing, without even leaving your living room.
One advocate for online programs is Steph Kassis. The 30-year-old has lost 23kg since February all thanks to a post she saw on Instagram.
After seeing photos of myself on my 30th birthday I decided it was time to lose weight,” she tells mybody+soul. “I had done programs in the past that helped me shift the weight initially but never really gave me the support and knowledge I needed to keep the weight off. I was looking at Instagram one night and saw Sam’s post about his new program and something just clicked, so I signed up.”
The Sam she is talking about? Sam Wood of Bachelor 2015 fame, and his program ’28 by Sam Wood’. As the name aptly suggests, it’s a 28-day program that involves daily 28-minute workouts, meal plans (based on whether you want to lose weight or build strength, catering for food intolerances and vegetarians) and wellbeing advice – from nutrition to mindfulness.
People can follow at their own pace, do workouts on their own schedule and learn to cook the healthy meals themselves – so they have the tools to continue with their health journey once the 28 days are up. This holistic approach is something that’s really worked for Kassis.
“My diet consisted of a lot of sugary and processed foods. I would make healthy meals for dinner most nights but I never ate breakfast and only occasionally had lunch,” she explains. “My day would consist of heavy snacking and I would binge on desserts after dinner.”
Kassis claims she was a binge eater, over-ate and felt sluggish all the time. Along with this she says, “I had no fitness routine whatsoever. I can’t remember the last time I exercised properly before I started this program. I had a gym membership but rarely used it. I couldn’t run for any longer than one minute.”
“I didn’t feel confident at all. I would avoid some social gatherings purely because I would get anxious about not having any clothing that I felt comfortable in,” she adds.
Signing up to the program she was 79kg, since February as a ‘28er’ (what Sam Wood’s band of followers call themselves), she’s gotten down to 56kg. “I have so much more confidence and I’m the fittest and strongest I have ever been. I have much more energy now for my kids and I’m a much happier person,” she says.
At first she says giving up sugar was the toughest part – “After the first five days it got so much easier, and I saw how addictive sugar really is.”
She explains that the simplest part of the program has been the ease and convenience of the meal plans (“I love not having to count calories or think about what to cook for dinner”). And now, Kassis says she doesn’t find herself getting hungry “and wanting to reach for snacks too often throughout the day.”
“The main thing that surprised me was how exercising every day just became normal for me,” adds Kassis. “It’s so easy to incorporate 28 minutes into your day, and once I set aside time every morning to get it done it just became part of my everyday routine. Sam told us in the beginning, ‘It’s weird until it’s normal,’ which is so true. Prior to 28, working out was weird for me. It’s now my new normal. These days NOT working out is weird for me!”
Kassis’ tips for following the 28 by Sam Wood program:
- Believe in yourself first and foremost.
- Let yourself adapt to a new way of thinking about food and exercise.
- Join a Facebook Group. Kassiss is part of the private Facebook Group for 28 members. “It is where we all help each other out and keep ourselves accountable and get motivation to stay on track. It’s also where we talk to Sam on a daily basis. The level of interaction we have with Sam and his crew is incredible and it’s what sets this program apart from all the others.”
To sign up or get more information on 28 by Sam Wood. Head here.