When I decide to do something, anything, I give it my all. Nothing less than 200%. This is what makes me a great teammate, an incredible employee and your best ally. It is with this same commitment that I approached the 21 Day Fix as a customer, a coach and most importantly, an everyday woman with weight to lose. (Update: I am no longer a coach but my results and product reviews are still still valid!)
What is the 21 Day Fix? Simply put, it is a nutrition and fitness program with an easy-to-follow portion control meal plan and 30-minute workouts that help you see results fast. The combination of both of these plus Autumn Calabrese's kick-ass training makes this program unique. She came up with the idea of a portion-control container system after watching a client eat an entire 1,300-calorie salad in one sitting because it was “healthy.” When she realized that giant portions were hurting her clients’ weight-loss success she developed portion-control containers to help people see how simple it is to eat the right amounts and lose weight easily. Genius!
Ever since the containers and the plan showed up I was ready to get fit again. I knew that if I just dedicated myself to the program nothing bad could come of it. I was right. I lost 9.5 pounds in 21 days. That's 3 weeks! In less than one month I went from having a 36.5 inch waist to a 32.25 inch waist. In 21 days I changed bad habits and learned new, healthy ways to eat.
The meal planning was easy because I read the entire booklet and planned ahead. I created a spreadsheet to help me through the first few days and afterwards duplicated those meals. I was able to combine foods from different containers to create yummy and satisfying recipes. (My week 1 recap post shows how to use the containers.) I used my 20 ounce Starbucks cup to track my water intake, and I stayed on top of healthy eating by keeping the fridge stocked with fresh produce and by taking the shakes with me to work.
The workouts were fun and challenging. Every workout had a modifier, and women and men of different fitness levels and body types were featured on the DVDs. I love that! During the double workout week (the last week of the program), I'd complete 1 workout as soon as I came home from work and the second workout just before the family walked in the door. Yes, it was a time crunch, but it was worth it! The additional workouts during that final week of the 21 Day Fix amped up my endurance and I ran a great race on Day 21!
My goal is to lose a total of 23 - 25 pounds before my birthday. But that's not all. I want to increase my muscle mass and lose fat. I want washboard abs, a lean body and a clean bill of health. That's where the lifestyle changes come into play. I couldn't come home and have a glass (or two) of wine every night when my goals are to be lean and fit. I couldn't have a Lemon Loaf, a Bacon Artisan sandwich, a chocolate chip cookie and a Grande Gingerbread Latte with extra whipped cream and extra caramel drizzle during every shift at Starbucks. (I was eating that and then some...daily.) I thought it would be really hard for me to break those bad habits, but by Day 3 of the 21 Day Fix, I was over the hard part. I sweat out the sugar, wine and fat cravings every day and emerged victorious. I am stronger, fitter, happier and a much better runner!
What I gained from the 21 Day Fix:
- Portion control knowledge
- Meal planning skills
- Love of new foods
- Love of Shakeology
- Less appetite
- Better Sleep
- Better runner (read my race cap from Day 21)
I have been, and still am, extremely hesitant to post my before and after photos. The before photo is horrifying to me and the after photo, although amazing for 21 days of work, is still not the real me. It's still this other, bigger person that I do not like and am not comfortable living with. Regardless, this is the commitment I made to myself and to anyone who joins along on this journey with me. So without further ado, I present to you the Before and After photos:
You can clearly see in the above photos that I am indeed shedding fat! The layers of fat are burning away and muscles are making their appearance, especially in my abs and my back! Also making an appearance in both photos, although without an invitation, cellulite and loose skin. Not cool, but to be expected. I am from a previous century anyway. I am just going to work harder and also add an all-over skin care routine to my regimen.
These photos are fantastic, but there are numbers to go along with them. The tale of the tape tells another very important part of this story. I am a Virgo AND a nerd, so of course I have been tracking my results on a custom spreadsheet, complete with formulas and color coding. I am super pleased with these numbers and more motivated than ever to meet and surpass my goals!
In the video below I describe what I thought of the program as well as the keys to my success:
- Water. All. Day. Long. I drank at least 100oz of water per day
- I didn't stray from the program. I chose not to use the incorporated treats (wine, chocolate) because I am determined to lose a total of 23-25 pounds by September.
- I never missed a workout. Period.
- I tried to eat every 2 hours to increase my metabolism despite the fact that I work at Starbucks and sometimes start my days at 3:00am.
- I tried new foods: steel cut oats and sweet potatoes are now favorites.
Watch the video to hear more and because I am just goofy to watch.
Whether you want to lose a few pounds before bikini season or jump-start a bigger weight-loss goal, I recommend the 21 Day Fix program. It’s simple, it’s fast, and it works. If you’re committed, 21 Day Fix will help you lose the weight!
Thank you for following along with me on my journey. I still have 14 pounds to go, so don't tune out just yet. Join me on my second round of the 21 Day Fix.