I have had more than a few friends asking what I have been doing and because the answer is not quite just one thing I thought I would go ahead and do a blog post. And why wouldn’t I ? It is changing my life. a Lifestyle change is like a Perfect Storm – There needs to be a bunch of elements working together at the right time and place. If you are looking for a quick fix – this is not it. It is also not a miracle pill – It takes time and it is going to be very hard at first and it is going to take constant work. It does however give you the tools to succeed and make it a healthy lifestyle. And it WILL get easier the longer you do it.
These are my results so far.
Why did I decide to become Healthy and Fit?
Like many other people I just love to eat my feelings. It doesn’t have to be just bad – good,bad even just boredom has me running for sugar. Now if it had me running for vegetables – not a big problem ,but sugar – BIG problem. Up until a little over 4 years ago I was able to manage it just fine. If I gain lbs I would actively try and lose those lbs and succeed. We move around a lot with hubby’s job and 4 years ago when he told me we are moving again that was it. The change was too much- Life seemed too much – I stopped working out, semi-healthy eating went into a complete junk and sugar diet , add the stress and I gained 50lbs in a very short time. Got the move over with, settled down, made some new friends but my body rebelled – I found myself in a chronic state of self induced inflammation. Always in pain, any type of effort to get my health back on track failed. A little over a year ago (another move and 20lbs later) I decided to settle and that I was going to live my life and accept how I look and feel and make the best of it.
Then I lost my dad in May of 2015. Nothing could have prepared me for the pain but I took that pain and started to look into my life and what I make of it. I call 2015 my Perspective year. I didn’t want to settle anymore, I knew deep down in my heart I was not happy about my weight and I also knew that my dad would want me to live my life to the fullest just the way he showed me to.
I knew I had to find a program that would work for me. I will be 40 in October so I had to make sure I pick the right program. I want to be the healthiest and fittest version of me in October. I don’t want to be the mom that says she is older and can’t play with her kids. I have two young children and I want to play with them without feeling horrible.
A few of my friends has been successful on different programs and I started doing my research. I didn’t want to just jump into something. I believe all of the different programs out there have value – depending on what your goals are and if you are going for long or short term changes.. I knew
- I didn’t want to use a bunch of products that when I stopped I would just go back to what I was before. (I also didn’t want to add to the inflammation with putting things into my body where I didn’t know how it would react.)
- I wanted to eat healthy, learn portion control and not cut out any food group ( I mean I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work)
- I wanted to get active again in a safe environment.
- I was looking for a program with support that would keep me accountable and help me through the hard days.
Why Beachbody? and why the 21 day fix?
I met Ashley from Losing it with Sam & Ash virtually in the beginning of 2015 on instagram. We had a few things in common like being a mom, she also home schools her kids and she also does Classical Conversations. I really liked her posts – It made sense and it is “real” . I love that she is very honest and open about who she is and what she does and that she says what is on her mind without being afraid of what the “haters” might say. She would have a call to join the Busy Girl Challenge every month and finally by December I answered. I contacted her and she asked me a few questions about goals and where I am at fitness wise. She recommended the 21 day Fix challenge in the Busy Girl challenge group.
It means I would
- Follow the 21 day fix Meal plan
- work out 30 minutes a day at home
- drink shakeology (superfood meal replacement shake)
- check in daily in a facebook group where I will keep myself accountable and get support from other women just like me.
21 day fix Meal Plan:
So what is the meal plan? You get colored containers for different food groups and you are going to learn what to eat and how much . I really love the meal plan. It has taught me and showed me how badly I ate before. You might think the containers are small but I can promise you I am not starving.
Below is a typical day for me.
It is much easier than counting calories. After a few weeks on the program I do not use my containers anymore – you learn how much you can eat of certain food.
I am constantly trying new things and searching for different recipes. I hate “diet” food. One of the ladies in our challenge group posted a recipe from Jen Hatmaker and I share her sentiments about diet food….
I have tried different 21-day fix “approved” recipes and even ones people have raved about, I absolutely hated but that is ok because I am constantly trying and finding things that I REALLY love. There are plenty of great 21-day fix recipes on pinterest if you are not a big explorer in the kitchen. The great thing about the guide is that it has a wide range of foods for each container so you don’t have to stop eating your favorite recipes – you can just tweak it with the best possible ingredients from the food list. Another thing the program really encourage is meal prep on 1 or 2 days a week. I am not a big fan of meals that is cooked way in advance, I can do one day in advance but not more. That said Sundays and Wednesdays are still my pre- meal prep. I will cut up and clean veggies, cook some rice and make turkey chilli or something similar. That way they are ready for me when I do make my meals.
( I just ordered the Fixate book after hearing great things about it)
I am very much a check list person so I made a list with my containers that I have on the fridge and whenever I eat something or pack something for on the go – I check it off ( It is in a plastic sleeve with a dry erase marker) that way I keep track of what I have left. ( There is an app for this but I find it easier on my fridge) Tonight when I am done , I just wipe it off and it is ready for me for the next day.( If you are already a 21 day fix challenger and are reading this I am happy to share this with you on our board)
21 day Fix workouts:
I have realized over the years that workouts and diet goes hand in hand. Yes, I know you can lose weight by just changing your diet but this program has really taught me to eat the right things and fuel my workout. If I do a workout and I can’t get through it , I know I didn’t eat enough of the right things. The Yellow container is carbs ( and I love my carbs). Ashley my coach helped me by suggesting the right type of carbs at the right time of day to make them work for me during and after my workouts. Another thing the yellow container helps me with is my cravings – I believe if you spread it over the day – it is going to be easier to get past those cravings. There is 7 different workouts ( one for every day of the week) and then also a 10 minute ab workout. Every day hits a different type of exercise. There is upper body, lower body, cardio, Pilates and Yoga which is all you need. It was a real challenge in the beginning and I am glad I was doing it in the comfort of my own home. ( no GYMTIMIDATION) On the very first day around minute 11 Autumn says this…
Right then and there I went from ” I want to” to “I will do this and I will succeed”. The best about this is that I found that I really love doing strength training. It helps me gain lean muscle and not lose it- like if you don’t do exercise, in return it helps me burn fat more efficient . I love Autumn as a trainer, she explains things really well. Her workouts are clearly working for me and she is not too in your face but also not too quiet.It also works for a long time. In the beginning I did a lot of modifications, after 8 weeks I do very few, you also get to keep on challenging yourself by upping your weights. All you need is two sets of weights(or a resistance band) and a mat. I will be moving on to 21 day fix EXTREME soon.
When I bought the Challenge pack I also got Beachbody on demand for 1 month free ( it’s like the NETFLIX of fitness programs. I ended up trying a few other beachbody programs. Turbo fire’s 15 minute hiit is another favorite . Something that both me and my son really liked was cize by Shaun T. It is fun and you really sweat. Adding this the past month with my 21 day fix has upped my weight loss. My son lost 5 lbs in the past month just by adding cize and he is much better at it than his mom 🙂 He does it just before we start our school day and it helps him being ready for the day.
This part was the hardest because I wanted to do it without any products. The challenge pack included 30-days supply of it and I decided to just give it a try for 30 days. I’ve done some research about it on my own – the positives and the negatives(which was all just based on personal opinion) and then Ashley posted some clips about ingredients etc. I have also used it 2 years ago so I was happy with how it made me feel. Shakeology is NOT a quick fix. On its own it will not help you lose weight, you need all of the above to really be successful. I also expected it to taste like a treat which it didn’t. Let’s face it there is a lot of plants in there 🙂 . I recommend starting simple and add different things. Here is another thing a coach is really helpful with. It is very easy to load this thing with a bunch of calories. I use it for what it is – It is a tool that will:
- help you get great nutrition in
- I add 2 green containers and a purple in my shake so it helps you get your veggies and fruit in.
- it does help with cravings
- it is easy and I especially do it right after my workout when I don’t feel like eating but need something for recovery.
- Perfect for on the go
- It replaces one meal/snack that you don’t have to think about
- It definitely helps with detox ( I cut down in my first two weeks to half a serving)
I am a skeptic turned shakeology cheerleader. It is worth it for me and it definitely helps me reach and maintain my goals.
The Busy Girl Challenge group
I can’t say enough about these ladies. It is a no-judgement group of women all trying to get /stay healthy. There are young women, older women, wives, mothers, you name it. I very quickly made a few good friends with women I have things in common with. They will applaud every little, tiny victory that the outside world have no knowledge of and they will pick you up when you fall. Picking my coach was an important part of my journey. I wanted a coach that is a “people” person with an active challenge group. I was very fortunate in finding just that.
Visual: I have lost 30 lbs so far and a total of 29 inches across my body over a 60 day period. When 21 days are done , I go straight back into the next challenge because I have no need to a “cheat” day. I feel fulfilled in what I eat. On days in my cycle where I feel I need something sweet I don’t deny myself but I also don’t go overboard.I make smarter choices. This program has helped me eat enough while feeling satisfied. I do not feel deprived and I get to eat what I want.
I do not recognize the above person anymore. I was so unhealthy and am so happy I made the decision to not settle.
Day 56 (during)
I am still a way from maintenance but I am so happy with what I gained so far: The weight loss is a bonus but the way I feel is EVERYTHING – Mentally and Physically. Am I feeling all perfect now? No , but close , I still have days where I have a flare up but it is manageable and few and far between. I don’t take any pain medication at all and don’t feel the need for it either. I have not had a headache in a very looong time.
My body is changing for the BETTER. I will never be skinny, I am just not build that way – I also love the way I am built but because of my binge eating I became so out of proportion. The 21 day fix meal plan and workouts are shrinking my belly and my proportions are getting back into place which in return makes it so much easier to buy clothes again and even better – Make clothes again for myself and not just for girl child – I LOVE THAT!!!! I also love that I feel stronger than I have ever been in my life.
Another bonus is that I have not gotten really sick since I started in the beginning of January. I think that if you eat healthy and work out you still get the virus but your body fights it better.( I am not a doctor it is just my own 2 cents out of experience) While the kids have gotten their monthly winter bug, I might have had a little scratch in my throat but nothing to go lie down about. I have done 64 days of workouts in a row and am so proud about that ( I am actually too scared to miss one right now ,afraid of what it might do to my momentum)
I get up at 4 , do my devotional, drink my coffee with a pre-workout snack, check into the challenge group page ( on days I don’t feel like doing my workout there is always somebody already up and cheering me on and also vice versa) and start my workout around 6:30. Around that time the kids walk in and will either jump in and work out with me or watch me and it has become this wonderful family time we have every single day of the week.
Is it Easy:
No , not at all. It does get easier and you get stronger and before you know it – you love it and you can’t live without it.
If you decide to do this program I would strongly recommend you stick with it for 21 days – NO cheating. If you miss a day, or stumble on the meal plan – start counting again. You will not lose the results you already got but if you stick with it for 21 days you will see and feel the FULL results. After 21 days it also gets easier making this a lifestyle and not just a diet. I have fears but I take it day by day and enjoy the wins I have every day.
I paid around $140 for a challenge pack that included a month supply of shakeology, containers and whole meal plan, 9 workouts and the support group. The biggest cost is definitely the shakeology and I recommend getting a challenge pack in the beginning so you can save and try the whole beachbody experience. There are ways to save on shakeology too that you will find out. In the beginning the cost of it for me was quite high but after two months using it, I see in so many places where I am saving money living this way. I save an insane amount of money on take out. I cook so much more for us and when we do take out once a week , I just do it for the kids and either order a healthy option without fries or I just prefer and come home and make something for me. We also save on groceries – Before I would buy a bunch of junk AND a bunch of healthy stuff and end up throwing the healthy stuff away when it spoils. Now I don’t buy junk anymore and use all of my greens and fruits. Peels etc goes into my compost pile and come spring it is ready to go into my vegetable garden.
I also cancelled my gym membership that I have not been using. I never liked working out at home but somehow it has become my new normal that I love. I am also excited to try classes with friends now that I am more comfortable with my body and fitness outside of my home.
I always said I will be the worst salesperson in the world but because my coach and challenge group are changing my life , I jumped at the opportunity to become an apprentice coach. If I can help just one woman getting started on the journey and help her through feeling how I did to how I feel now – Oh man that would be awesome. I have a bunch of women walking with me and there is always place for more. If you are not ready to join yet but are looking into getting healthier I strongly suggest following Ashley over at Losing it with Sam and Ash just like me it might take you some time to be ready. I truly believe 100% commitment is needed for success. You can also follow my journey over on Instagram
If you are ready to join me or want some more info you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
send me a message on facebook
or join me on my coach page
(you will find a lot of information about programs and shakeology at the above link)