About a month ago, after reading a lot about it, I finally took the plunge and ordered the 21 Day Fix program. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a fitness/nutrition program that includes color coded containers (to take the guess work out of portion size) and a set of DVDs with 30-minute daily workouts. I had read a lot of good things about the program, but like the natural skeptic I am, I shrugged it off as a gimmicky and expensive product. I kept seeing a lot of blog posts and Instagram photos from people doing the program, and the thought of trying it kept coming back to me.
So, what made me buy into something that, for a long time, I thought was kind of gimmicky? I figured, if anything, it might be a way for the husband and I to kick start some healthier habits. I know I’ve mentioned before that, for the most part, we eat a decent diet, full of veggies and protein, and little refined or processed food. The caveat with this, though, is that it only happens when we eat at home. In the last 6 months, eating at home was becoming something we were doing less and less. The husband’s kitchen skills are pretty limited, we both suck at planning ahead, and by the time I get home from work after bike commuting, I’m starving and too tired to want to make food. Most nights, we would end up getting take out and vegging on the couch for the rest of the evening. We had tried before, to break that pattern, but we always went back to the convenience of take out. The program seemed like a good way to get us to commit to cooking at home and working out every day for at least 21 days (a pretty manageable chunk of time).
About a month ago, I finally ordered the program. During August, the husband and I had several backpacking and camping trips planned and we figured it wasn’t the ideal time to start the 21 Day Fix experiment. So we waited.
Last Monday we finally started the program. I’ll be honest, if you’re not someone that is good at planning ahead, it’s going to be a lot more time consuming than it probably should be. We definitely didn’t take the time to prep our food the weekend before we began the program, and being the kind of people who shop for dinner ingredients almost every night, our entire evenings were taken up by buying food, cooking food, and doing the workouts (we learned our lesson and we’re doing better in the second week).
I’ll be honest, when I first looked at the food containers that come with the program, I was kind of dismayed by how small they were. I was worried that I was going to be hungry all the time. After figuring out how many containers of each type we were allowed per day, and after putting together the first day of food, I was surprised by how much it actually was. It’s actually probably more than I’ve been eating. There have even been a few days where I couldn’t eat all of the food I was supposed to consume.
The workouts, though only 30 minutes long, are pretty tough! I’m not usually one to sweat when I workout, but several of the workouts, especially the cardio ones had me dumping buckets! Even though I’m not totally out of shape, the workouts were pretty tough for me and one of the cardio workouts, in particular, had me feeling like I was going to throw up during most of it.
End of the First Week
So, how did we do? We got through the first week and stuck with the program, as it’s written. We did a 30-minute workout every night, we cooked 100% of each days meals ourselves, eating only whole foods, no sugar, no processed or refined foods, no alcohol, we drank a lot of water, we went to bed early, we walked the dog every night, and we were exhausted and bitchy the entire time. The first few days of working out, I was so sore I could barely walk. By about day 5, I was seriously starting to question whether I could stick with the plan for the full 21 days. Lifestyle changes are HARD!
On day 8, I work up and felt something different. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t sore. I was less cranky. Excited to see the progress that I had made, I weighed myself soon after waking up and was discouraged to see that I had lost only 1 pound. I know, I know. That’s a healthy amount of weight loss, but I guess that because I was working so damn hard, I expected to see a bit more of a loss. I pretty disheartened most of the day Monday and I kept thinking things like “I lose the same amount of weight on Weight Watchers and I get to drink BEER.”
Last night, between making dinner and doing our workout, the husband and I took our week 2 progress pictures. We began looking at the difference (we stupidly didn’t take our measurements the first week) and after flipping between the first and second week photos, I almost started crying. Though I hadn’t lost much weight, the visible difference in the roundness of my belly and face and the width of my stomach and back were pretty profound. Even though I didn’t have numbers to compare, I could tell that I had lost INCHES. I don’t know whether I’ll post the pictures here (not sure that I want pics of my almost naked body on here) but DAMN, I’m a believer! Seeing the difference that just one week made, and feeling a million times better than a few days ago, I was instantly motivated to keep with the program. If I could see such a difference in just a week, I want to see what that difference looks like after 21 days!
The husband and I are talking about how much we really want this to be a lifestyle change for us. It’s definitely a lot of hard work but we are both excited about making exercise and nutrition a priority in our daily lives. I definitely don’t think that I can workout and eat right every single day. Life does get in the way, but if I can manage to do it 90% of the time, I know that I’ll be doing the things my body needs to feel good, look good, and function properly.