I wasn't excited to partake in the 21 Day Fix.
On one hand, as a marketing director at my day job, the name turned me off. The idea of "fixing" anything in 21 days just seemed insensible. On the other hand, I knew that I'd be confronting the elephant in the room if and when I committed to the program... nutrition.
(It's always easy to find a problem and mock a potentially awesome solution before you try it, right?)
More truth? I had no desire to change what I was eating.
I enjoy donuts, bark thins (those bags of dark chocolate and almonds/coconut/pretzels/peppermint found at Costco. Please see below for that gorgeous array...), cheese, english muffins and granola.
|Oooohhh... all the pretty colors and the nice fonts. I love these.|
I also enjoy many good things: like eggs and juicing and fish and blueberries. (Not all together.)
|If you love eggs and you DON'T own this, you're crazy. Read my review here.|
I also do not enjoy copious amounts of salads.
I don't know that I have ever willingly ordered anything but a taco salad.
Salads are good. And I like them fine. And I go through pro-salad phases, but they're hard for me to eat regularly because they just.take.so.much.chewing.
(You can quote me on that. Yes, I just complained about chewing. #firstworldproblems)
And salads take 300 years of prep.
SO see? I have all of the excuses.
And I thought with this 21 Day Fix thing that I was going to have to eat a cornucopia of salads and that made me angry.
I ate salads, but I also found that putting an EGG on anything made it better. Yay yolk/yema!
And I also found that whole food is good food.
Here's just some of the goodness I ate while on the Fix.
Even though I was hovering around my target weight before I started the Fix and even though I felt like I was doing just fine (ignorance is bliss), I knew in the back of my mind that I wasn't eating properly. I knew this program was something that I needed to do; partly because I'm a coach and I certainly can't ask others to do something I'm unwilling to do. And because well, it was time.
I ignored my excuses...
"I eat pretty well..."
"I workout 5-7 days a week..."
"I don't need to do this..."
"I've had two children, I don't expect to have a perfect body..."
And then it was time.
WE* did it.
The husband and I.
*Everyone should find a Craig and marry him.
First off, let's get some questions out of the way.
Q: What's the 21 Day Fix?
A. It's a nutrition and fitness program that you commit to for 21 days at a time. You're expected to workout daily with Autumn Calabrese, she's the creator of the program - and she's from Cleveland, OH - and you're also expected to eat your portions according to her color-coded containers. People do many, many rounds of the Fix and lose a great deal of weight. It's awesome.
Q. Is it a diet?
A. No. There is a big 'ole list of very, very common foods that you're already eating - that are allowed on the Fix. This isn't that big of a stretch. Seriously. This comes from someone who eats the same thing for breakfast. Everyday.
Q. How do you know how much to eat?
A. Well, that's where the color-coded containers come in to play. Your current weight determines how many of each container you will eat per day. It's up to you to eat them... whenever.
Q. Do you have to meal plan like a crazy person?
A. You sure could! If you're a planner and you feel better knowing what you're eating seven days in advance, then by all means - do it. Or, if you're like me - you can plan the next meal in advance and still be ok.
BUT know that effort and some planning is absolutely necessary.
More on that later.
So, the accoutrements arrived in Cabo and I'll be honest I was like, "Hmmm... these containers look a little... um... smaller than what they appeared online..."
|Pocahontas, Lila Pickle's favorite Disney "princess," shown for scale. My new wallpaper in the Ohio bungalow in the background. Cute, no?|
Even Pocahontas was like, "Hmmm... these look small..."
Here's the rest of the goodies I got in my Challenge Pack.
- A 30-day supply of Shakeology. (Amazing nutrition. See here.)
- The containers
- The workout DVDs (2 DVDs with 7 workouts plus 1 bonus ab workout)
- The eating plan / guide
- The 3 day Quick Fix guide
- A bonus DVD (Plyo Fix) - since I ordered through me. (Not available unless you order through a coach.)
- A Shakeology mixer cup. (Not pictured.)
So, we jumped in.
But first, we took our requisite before pictures. (I'll share those at the end of this post alongside my afters.)
While I'm certain this post could get very, very lengthy - here's what I learned.
TIPS for doing the 21 Day Fix
At least plan the next meal. The first day I didn't plan. I figured I'd wing it. (Meet me. I wing things.) If you don't know what the next meal is, like me, you may succumb to your hanger (Hunger + Anger) and set therefore set yourself up for failure.
Thanks goodness for the husband who had my back.
On Day #2 I did what I needed to do: I grew up and planned.
I'd plan my kiddos' next meals, I needed to move myself up on the rung and plan my next meal, too.
2. Buddy up.
Having my husband jump in and do this with me was so helpful. (Keep in mind that it took him some time to get to the "exercise" point. He lost 10 lbs on Shakeology and diet changing alone... he was ready to do the 21 Day Fix by the time we started.)
We were both on the same page; keeping one another accountable. If your husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner won't do it; grab your friend. I promise you, it helps.
And my challenge groups? ALL OF the support you'll need. Trust me. If you want to chat with one of my challengers, let me know (I'm serious) - I know they'd give you the real skinny on what a challenge group is like.
3. Don't over-prepare.
The day before our Fix started, we (Craig) cooked so many things: chicken, quinoa, brown rice, etc.
You don't have to do that.
Sure, it'll make your meals easier - but if you're not a planner - don't fret. You can still do this.
The Eating Plan booklet that comes with your Challenge Pack is filled with recipes and there are 3 bajillion online and on Pinterest. Not to mention, Autumn just came out with a new cookbook! (It's awesome. See it here. Note: I didn't have the cookbook for my first round of the fix and all.was.good. It's not necessary, just handy.)
4. Don't be intimidated.
The little color-coded containers can be super daunting, but in reality - they're easy. Whatever you can fit in a container, you can eat. It's that simple. There's no calorie counting. It honestly takes 4-5 days to start speaking "Fix." You'll soon totally understand, "My breakfast was one yellow (oatmeal), one red (greek yogurt) and half a purple (blueberries) and 1 free (cinnamon.)
|This only slightly smaller than actual size.|
5. Don't quit.
You'll miss your go-to comfort foods like chocolate and coffee with that icky creamer and wine. But you will feel so good eating clean. I promise you this.
But you do get treats throughout...
6. Don't over-think it.
You don't need to whip up a gourmet meal for every single meal. If you like an omelet everyday for breakfast, make an omelet everyday for breakfast. If you need to be creative and design a masterpiece every night, do it. This program works for creatures of habit and experimenters.
Don't be a hero with the workouts. You'll gradually gain strength and flexibility. But modify in the beginning. This program is for all ages and all fitness levels. And with each round of the fix, you'll be shocked at how strong you get.
Yep, I'm preaching again. If you are able, you will see optimal results with this program by drinking Shakeology. In my last challenge group, most people made sure to tell me that they probably wouldn't like it. All of them are still drinking it. Because it's awesome.
Learn more here.
9. Use an app.
On the 21 Day Fix? There's an app for that. Yep, there are more than a few apps that are incredible for tracking your container usage. I personally love the one called TwentyOne. (It's here.) But Beachbody has a free one, too! See it here.
Keeping track of your containers is VITAL.
Like a science fair project, I shall now move on to the "Conclusion" portion of this review.
At first, the planning was overwhelming -- ONLY because it was new. Anything new is tough. But all I kept telling myself was, "This is only 21 days." I mean, come on. This is 21 days. That's nothing. Training your brain to not crave processed sugars and food isn't easy. Give yourself a break.
Did I cheat? Nope. I'm so proud to say that I seriously didn't cheat. I didn't want to. One of my challengers said something to me that really resonated. She said that her 30's have been for her babies, but her 40's will be for her.
YES. And yes again.
While I was doing this I focused on my "why".
Why would I commit to a 21 day food and workout challenge?
Because I want to be a healthy Mom. I want to be a good example to my girls. I want to feed my body with good foods. I want to be alive because my Mom can't.
You guys, it always comes back to my Mom.
I want to be a better Mom because she was an awesome Mom. I want to take care of the body God gave me because her body was ravished by disease and she would have given anything for a healthy one.
So what did I end up losing?
I lost 3 lbs and 10 inches. Not a lot of pounds, but truthfully? I didn't need to lose a lot.
My challengers, of all ages, ended up losing on average 6-10 lbs and 5.5-18 inches.
(Craig lost a total of 8 pounds, bringing him to a total weight loss of 18 lbs.)
BECAUSE this program works.
BECAUSE it was time for all of us to take care of ourselves.
I'm beyond excited to say that the majority of my challengers are joining me for a second round of The Fix that starts August 3rd.
Consider joining me. I'm ready for my second round in August and then 21 Day Fix Extreme in September.
Let's do this.
(Sigh, I'm always so nervous when I post photos like that...)
...is this something you're ready for?
Let's do this.
If I can do this, you can do this.
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Still not convinced? Google "21 Day Fix before and after". You'll be blown.away.
Why I take care of me - Post: Unapologetically Me
My Review on the 3 Day Refresh - Post here.