Last year Beachbody released the 21 Day Fix and all hell broke loose. People, mostly women, all over the country were losing their minds over tupperware. The backorder was CRAZY. I admit that I didn’t jump on the 21 Day Fix train until I went to a live event and worked out with Autumn Calabrese, the trainer behind the 21 Day Fix. I loved the workout and her energy was incredible. I was a fan ever since.
I half assed did the meal plan for a couple of days, and concentrated on doing the entire workout program – which I finished. It was fun!
Last month I committed to 21 days of eating by Autumn’s rules. The eating plan was a success and I lost 6 lb in a month without doing anything crazy. This is what I learned:
1. Whatever you thought of your “healthy” diet – you were wrong.
I thought I ate pretty healthy. I mean, I knew there was room for improvement, but surely it wasn’t that bad, right? Well, when you really get down to the nitty gritty, it’s surprising to see how many pitfalls you have. My biggest lesson is I don’t eat enough vegetables. Seriously, I had such a hard time getting them all in. I was putting spinach in eggs and smoothies by the end of it. Hiding zucchini in my meals was not inspired – it was necessary. My old stand by of roasted cauliflower was good and all, but it wasn’t enough.
2. There’s a difference between eating less and eating right.
The “yellow” containers were more or less carbs. My previous wins on the food frontier usually involved watching my carbohydrates. It more or less works for me. This isn’t a PSA about low carb. Yellow containers can be anything from sweet potato, beans, grains, to bread. There is definitely a difference in quality here. I get way more satisfaction and benefit from eating the more nutritional yellows, but knowing the option for something else was helpful.
I ended up eating a whole lot, much more than I imagined, but because my portions of each food type were in check, I felt great. I didn’t feel awful and starved all that much. (I just have to admit that I had one night where I screamed for ice cream.) I didn’t feel like I had restricted myself terribly or that I was missing out. It was just that I had to eat different stuff than I was used to.
3. A diet that lets you have wine?!?!
Oh yes. That yellow container? A couple times a week you can swap it out for a glass of wine. In my January round I had a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon out with a friend and it felt awesome to know I was having a drink but I was also staying on track and in plan. It wasn’t a cheat, it was just a treat. And my other work had been so on-point that I knew this was something I could do for myself. I enjoyed it SO MUCH, and savored every single drop.
4. There’s a workout called the Dirty 30.
The workouts are really fun. The variety is awesome. Maybe I am not the biggest fan on Pilates, but once a week, I can do the Pilates Fix and be okay with it. I knew Autumn was my spirit-trainer when she kept yelling at the DJ to TURN IT UP when I attended the live event. She brings that energy and care in to each of her workouts.
They are fun, and the build on each other. And with only 30 minutes, she makes you bring your A game but gives you the precious seconds you need to recover after pushing yourself to the limit. She organizes them in to rounds and this makes it easy to understand what’s coming next and what you have left to do in the workout for the day.
Cardio, flexibility, resistance, body weight – it’s all there and it’s all enjoyable.
5. You can do anything for 21 days. And if that’s not enough, you can do another 21 days or go EXTREME!
My biggest obstacle with any eating plan or long term athletic goal is I know that life happens and it puts me in odds with my achiever inner self. I want to do everything right. But, there are bad days. And there are events. And it’s really easy for me to throw in the towel. So when there is a long program or say, I imagine life without ice cream – I panic. And if I actually do get started, I’ll sabotage myself along the way.
The reason the Whole30 and the 21 Day Fix worked for me is I know that I can pull it together and give a good effort for a fixed period of time. And if there is a light at the end of that tunnel – even better. In 21 days that pint of ice cream will be there. I know that I might change in that 21 day period and I might not want the ice cream. That’s okay. But I’m not telling myself I can’t ever have it again, because that’s just going to send me right out to the store. When I look back on what I’ve achieved in the time frame, I’m always amazed. I thought I was the ultimate badass for completing a Whole30. I’m so proud of my losses from the 21 Day Fix. That gives me the confidence to do it again.
Speaking of doing it again – that’s the best part. You can turn around and do another 21 Day Fix after you finish one, or you can do what I did and give yourself a weekend off, and start again.
Now Autumn’s released the 21 Day Fix Extreme in case you want more of a challenge. The eating plan is based on the same principles, but with less leeway for extra treats (wine) and more of a focus on fine tuning results. The workouts are also dialed up. Whereas 21 Day Fix was for beginners, 21 Day Fix Extreme is for people looking to blast through their expectations. I have no doubt I’ll try it at some point, but I’m not sure I’m ready yet!
If anything I’ve said here interests YOU, please feel free to reach out to me through the blog, find me on Facebook, or let me be your FREE coach!