5 Reasons Why 21 Day Fix is Awesome

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!

21days

 

Throwing stuff on the wall

I’m a scientist by training and mindset. I like to do one thing at a time and evaluate the result. But I’m throwing out scientific methodology and I’m going to do everything like it was the last time I could.

My Whole30 was the first time I have had a significant weight loss since we lived it Atlanta. Sure it disrupted the hell out of my life for 30 days, but 14 lb is NOTHING to sneeze at.

In my time off Whole30 I’ve definitely struggled to find my groove. I have stepped up my workouts to include more slower pace, higher mileage days. I’m still circuit training, but my diet has been another story.

I didn’t bother with a nice reintroduction period after Day 31. I just jumped back in to what I would have eaten before. (I did wait until AFTER my 5K race to break my paleofast.) While the things I eat normally aren’t terrible, I do over indulge. My efforts to get back on track haven’t really taken hold.

So I’m throwing things at the wall, so to speak, to see what sticks.

1. I’m getting B vitamin shots. I’ve started seeing a naturopathic doctor here in SoCal. How very SoCal of me, right? I’m getting Skinny Shots at Bloom health, which include B-6, B-12, methionine, choline, and inisitol. The idea is improved liver function supported by these vitamins will help fat metabolism, etc. I’m trying this because I know I’m really vitamin deficient and I more than suspect it is because my digestive tract isn’t working properly. So supplements do not help me much and the diet changes are slow going.

2. I’m also working with my new doctor to fix my digestive system. Right now I’m doing a bunch of testing and eventually I’m going to do a detox with her. It will be 30 days of eating like Whole30, with additional restrictions and a mandatory shake/supplement schedule. I’m really ready to try whatever I have to do get this under control.

3. My circuit training class has been completely changed. Instead of basically going to a class with my trainer where I am the only student, I have been promoted to another circuit training class with about 10 other women run by a kick ass lady trainer. Today was my first workout with them. Holy stairs, Batman! 24 flights! Lots of other hellish exercises, but I really hate stairs. Outside, in the sun, after the marine layer burned off. I’m hoping that the change up helps kick me in to gear.

**I’m totally going to miss my trainer and when I found out my class was suspended, I was super sad. I’ve been working with him for over a year and half. He knows me, how I work, what I’m good at, what I can do, what I don’t think I can do, but I can. He can look at me and tell I need a juice box.

4. I’m doing a 6 week Beachbody challenge. I’m using the Turbo Fire cardio system and Shakeology. I have a great coach and a Facebook support group. I think I need the structure and the accountability. I also need to be immersed in “my tribe” to see this through. Turbo Fire is freaking hard! I’m really not the most coordinated person so the choreography is a challenge, even when it’s just basic.

5. I’m sure I’ll think of something crazy to throw in to the mix!

This is how I looked after my circuit training.

This is how I looked after my circuit training.

What’s Next?

That’s exactly what I’m trying to figure out. My Whole30 was so eye opening. It was successful. I made in 30 days staying as on plan. Whole30 is really, really strict – even for Paleo. I gave up chocolate for 30 days – that right there is a big deal. I lost 14 pounds. Even though in the midst of it all I didn’t feel like my GI symptoms improved – as soon as I had my first non-Paleo meal, I felt the difference. And, oddly, my lactose intolerance has been minimal since I finished the cleanse. That’s crazy.

I’m still doing my circuit training classes twice a week. Pretty soon it should be more than me and the trainer du jour. My main trainer – who is also the club’s fitness director, is going to really start pushing the classes and having some cool things going on. He wants to do one class a week out on the beach volleyball court. Circuit in the sand! So, it won’t be (basically) personal training twice a week anymore. But being with others will probably be really good for me. I’m pretty competitive, so this might really kick my butt.

I’ve started wearing my Fitbit again. I have yet to make it to 10,000 steps in a day but I’m easily getting in my 10 flights of stairs. I think that I just have to make a bit more effort with the walks. Fitbit is a really great way to see how you are doing. I’m a data person, so being able to look at a chart at the end of the day that says how I’ve been doing, it’s powerful.

Planning is something I pretty much suck at when it comes to meals. I don’t keep lists for shopping, I really go off my whims easily. I picked up a meal planning pad at Marshall’s the other day. I’m going to see if I can make it work.

Picked this up for $2.99 in orange.  It's on Amazon for $8.99! It's simple, but I think it could work for me.

Picked this up for $2.99 in orange. It’s on Amazon for $8.99! It’s simple, but I think it could work for me.

For awhile now I’ve been thinking about Shakeology. I follow a Beachbody coach named Jamie DeLorme on Facebook and she offered some free sample to try. It’s not bad, and I like how it’s pretty packed with nutrients. I think I’m going to give it a try, along with a 60 day challenge. One reason Weight Watchers worked for me in the past is the accountability – the support. So I think that this will fill that role for me. Especially now that my husband and I spend 5 days a week apart (and he’s totally on another fitness level as me, anyway!) and I really don’t have close friends around me that are in my same situation. It will be good to connect with others in my tribe.

We're doing fine with the distance, but that doesn't mean we don't have bad days, or bad weeks.

We’re doing fine with the distance, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days, or bad weeks.

I’ve also decided to embrace obsession. I obviously want to keep a balance in all things, but I can’t deny that I could use some single-minded focus right now.

My Paleo Diet: Day 31 – WHAT THE WHAT?!?

I stuck it out. It sucked sometimes. But I finished. I had a deal with myself, if I lost under 10 lb, I would integrate a lot of the Paleo practices in to my life and diet. If I lost more than 10, I would seriously commit to this at least 80% of the time.

I lost 14.

I KNOW!

I really don’t understand it! Things are fitting a bit better, but 14 lb lost isn’t what I thought it would be. I don’t care, I’ll take it. All. Day. Long.

How did I celebrate? I did a 5k! I also, had my first non Paleo meal afterwards and it sat in my stomach like a load of bricks and I got crazy gas burps.

The 5k was good – I didn’t run as much of it as I wanted, and I probably didn’t PR, but I beat people, and I got to run across the 50 yard line at Qualcomm stadium to see myself on the Jumbotron of the Chargers. Not a bad way to start a Sunday. And I got a new medal.

BolttoQ2

My Paleo Diet: Day 29 – The Hardest Mile

I am *almost* done the Whole30/Paleo cleanse. Honestly, this whole thing has been easier and harder than I imagined.

I haven’t felt awesome this whole month. Most proponents of primal eating say that you will feel awesome, have energy, focus, and tiger blood. That hasn’t happened, but there have been a few good spots. I think my GI stuff in generally improved. Being so diligent has made me much more aware of mindless eating patterns and cravings. My sleep has been pretty good overall. And smells don’t bother me quite as much. That sounds really strange, I know. But the natural body products area of any health food store gives me a stomach ache and a headache at the same time. I always have thought it was because I’m allergic to patchouli. But even though my sense of smell is the same, the smells aren’t hitting me the same way. Randomly I have my c reactive protein tested at the start of this, and I had to repeat some tests. At the beginning it was 1.1 and now it’s 0.9. It’s still higher than the desired range, but I have to think that 30 days of this diet has helped my internal inflammation.

The last few days have been the hardest since the first week because I know it’s almost over. Not only is it over, but I’m going out of town for a week. I don’t want to stock up on lots of fridge food that will go bad, and I’m just losing my kitchen creativity and drive. And things are starting to look REALLY good. Hamburgers with buns look delectable, I’m dreaming about pizza, and in the back of my brain I hear “Well, screw it, you’re almost done. It’s not like you’ve had huge changes. Let’s just do whatever we want.” 2 more days, I’ve promised to hold out for 2 more days.

I can’t say if I’ve lost weight. I think clothes are fitting better, but the plan doesn’t let you weigh yourself until the end. So, that’s where I’m at.

You little devil, you.

You little devil, you.

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Foodie Questions

Argh! This set of questions is going to be PAINFUL. I’m on Day 24 of the Whole30/Paleo Cleanse and I’m definitely having trouble NOT thinking about all the food in the world I can’t eat.

FMM

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Foodie Questions.

1. Do you make grocery lists? I really don’t. If I’m making a certain dish, I’ll write down things I need, but my normal grocery store visits are by the seat of my pants, which usually means more trips for the things I forgot.

2. Do you have a routine when shopping in your favorite grocery store? Yes, but I have a routine for doing EVERYTHING. I always have to walk in the same door and start at produce. Even if I’m not getting produce, I walk through it. Lately it’s been produce and meat, trying to avoid the bakery as much as possible!

3. What is your favorite seasoning? I have one I make myself. It’s garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, ancho chili powder, and paprika.

4. What is the healthiest food in your fridge right now? Ugh, what’s isn’t! Actually, probably more than I think! I have a lot of vegetables right now and a great crudite mix from True Food kitchen that I brought home last night.

5. What is the most unhealthy food in your fridge now? My husband bought one of those new Starbucks coffee milk drinks. He’s had some, I’m about to throw it away. I haven’t had any, but he said it actually wasn’t very good, so I don’t feel to bad. Coffee milk can we wonderful! We used to drink it when we lived in New England.

6. What is the most exotic produce you’ve ever had? I had a salad with chayote in it once. I think it’s a cactus.

7. Tell us about your favorite local restaurant. I’ve been trying to stay away from restaurants while Paleo, but I’ve broken down a couple times. True Food Kitchen is really amazing. Everything is fresh and prepared so flavorful. They definitely are a healthy type of restaurant. And I was able to get some good Paleo options. They have great gluten free stuff, too. In fact, their gluten free pita breads are so good – better than their normal pita bread. Their hummus is my #1 favorite.

True Food Kitchen has an amazing menu, atmosphere, and their bathrooms are so elegant.

True Food Kitchen has an amazing menu, atmosphere, and their bathrooms are so elegant.

8. What kind of pasta do you prefer (regular, whole wheat, etc.?) I like fresh regular pasta. I can deal with whole wheat, but I do prefer white, even with its evils.

9. If you could make one food calorie-free for an entire week, which food would you choose? Okay, this is being totally subjective because I’m craving stuff, but OMG, I’d love to be able to have pizza for a whole week with no consequences!

10. If you had to choose would you rather give up french fries or chocolate? Since I can’t have either now, that’s hard. I love salty stuff, but chocolate is the pillar of the female diet. I guess, I’d give up french fries if I have the choice, but I’d be torn about it.