My 21 Day Fix Journey - Round 1

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Monday! It's been exactly 1 month since I dedicated myself to getting fit. So I thought it only appropriate to share how my journey has gone so far.

For those of you who are new, Rick and I were tired of the rising health care costs, especially since the last part of 2014 and the first part of 2015 seemed to be filled with medical bills. I personally have been dealing with IBS, and have desperately been trying to find a way to control my symptoms without a very costly prescriptions that also have some negative side-effects. So we both decided to take our health and wellness into our own hands.

Four weeks ago I stared working out on a daily basis with Autumn Calabrese, the creator of the 21 Day Fix. For the majority of these workouts I actually got up 30-45 mins early in the morning and completed before I started getting ready for work (there was only 2 days I worked out after work). This is an amazing accomplishment considering I struggled to workout 1-2 days a week before, and I have never been a morning person. I had every excuse in the book NOT to workout, but the last couple of weeks I've actually been excited to get up and get my workouts in. And I get even more excited after work when I realize I don't have to go to the gym, because my workout is already done. I'm actually debating cancelling my gym membership since I've enjoyed these workouts that much.

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{ LOVE these compression pants from Old Navy }

3 weeks ago I started the full 21 Day Fix program which included drinking Shakeology, along with a clean eating diet. Shakeology was a great source of protein and lots of other super foods and nutrients that I'm sure I wasn't getting before, and it actually was my motivation for getting up every morning to workout. There were many times that I told myself if I didn't get out of bed right now, I wasn't going to get to drink my chocolate shake. I mean who would turn down a chocolate shake for breakfast? It was totally worth it y'all!

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The clean eating portion wasn't too far from what I was already eating, but I quickly realized I was not eating the appropriate portions of these foods. I was eating way too many starches/carbs, and not enough protein or veggies. It's interesting because I quickly learned that the nutrition portions were really based on the food pyramid we all learned about in school -- 5 fruits/veggies { 3 veggies (green container) and 2 fruits (purple container) }, 4 proteins { red container }, 2 carbs { yellow container }, and then a small amount of healthy fats { blue and orange containers }. You also get 2 tsps which represent your nut butters.

The containers made it really easy to portion out my food and see what a true portion really was. I'm planning on sharing some of my dinners later this week so you can see what the portions really looked like, and it was a lot! When I first got the containers I thought "I am going to starve." But when I actually started preparing my foods I then started to think there is no way I'm going to be able to eat all of this food. It really was a good amount of food.

So how did it go?

I was completely overwhelmed at first, and it took a week or so to figure out the best way to portion out my containers throughout the day. My coach did assist us in the challenge group by providing a few meal planning tools. For me, the best plan was:

1. Breakfast: Shakeology with 1/2 cup of banana or blueberries (protein + 1/2 fruit)

2. Mid-Morning Snack: Quiona Cups (carb + protein)

3. Lunch: Left-overs from Dinner (veggie + protein + sometimes carb)

4. Mid-Day Snack:1 cup of Strawberries or Pineapple/Grapes (fruit) + 1 tsp Peanut Butter (tsp)

5. Dinner: (veggie + protein + sometimes carb)

6. Late Snack: 1/2 cup of Pineapple (fruit) or herbal tea

Sometimes I had my 2nd carb for dinner and sometimes I had it for lunch. I tried to rotate my meals so I was only having 1 carb for dinner every-other-day. I also sometimes doubled up on my veggies when I wasn't eating a carb to try and get my 3rd serving of the day in, but I'll be honest I typically only got 2 of the 3 veggies in. I also included some avocado, a little cheese and olive oil as my healthy fats which represented my blue and orange containers. My indulgence ended up being a heaping tsp of all natural peanut butter. I tried to pretend it was a peanut butter cookie, which worked most of the time. A few times I cheated and had some dark chocolate chips (I couldn't help myself!!)

The first week I got really bad headaches about mid-day, and I realized after a few days I was going through sugar/carb/coffee withdraw. That's when I realized I needed to have some fruit and carbs first thing in the morning, and then more fruit in the afternoon to keep my energy going.

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{ Look at that muscle baby!! }

So the big question is...what are my results?

I only lost 2 lbs, which was fine by me because I really didn't need to lose any weight. My main goal of this program was to gain muscle and to tone of some of the jiggle in my trouble spots. I did lose some inches, which actually shocked me. I lost:

2" total in my thighs
1" in my butt
1" in my hips
2" in my waist (this was the craziest for me)
1" in my chest
1" total in my arms

Total of 8 inches!!

The other big achievement I made was I was able to finally hold a plank for 60 seconds. Yes my core is really weak, and planks were totally killing my back. I can still barely hold it for 60 seconds, but I'm hoping that as I continue this will get easier. There are way more planks in this program than I care to do, but they are making me stronger, so I just have to suck it up and do them.

How's my IBS?

I feel that the cean eating, and cutting down on the carbs/starches is really helping my IBS. Do I still have bad days, Yes. Stress, not drinking enough water, and not getting enough sleep also cause symptoms. But the clean eating and working out every day is really helping and I love that the Shakeology has probiotics and digestive enzymes which are also good for digestion. I was already taking a probiotic before, but I stopped taking that one since the shake already has one and I wasn't sure about doubling up. I'm excited to continue with the healthy eating habits and see how much more I improve.

So am I going to continue?

Yes! I'm going to continue to workout every day because I really do love the workouts, and I feel they are making me stronger. I'm going to also continue to drink the Shakeology because it helps keep me motivated to workout, and it tastes really good. I have some really awesome recipes to share with you all soon for those of you who are in the program, or might be interested in trying Shakeology.

I'm also going to continue to stick with the clean eating and the meal plan. I'm taking a week off from using the containers and will just work on eating healthy and enjoying a few splurges this week. Then next week I'm joining another challenge group and will start round 2.

My goal for round 2 is to continue to get stronger, and to continue to tone my problem areas. I'm thinking I'll definitely be bikini ready by Summer!!

Has anyone else heard of or tried the 21 Day Challenge? If so, how did it go for you? I'd love to chat more and share ideas. Also, if you would be interested in trying to 21 Day Challenge, or are just curious and would love to hear more about it, leave a comment below, or shoot me an email. The one thing I have learned is that having support is key to success, so I'd love to chat with others who have tried, or would like to try this program.

Linking up with Mingle Monday.
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  1. This is awesome!! You look great! And if you IBS is better, that is an added bonus! Very inspiring!

  2. Loosing 8 inches is so impressive and such a good accomplishment! It's great that your sticking with it too! I might have to look into this challenge!

  3. WOW these are amazing results!! This is a great breakdown!


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