Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The 21 Day Fix, explained in my own words and pictures...and maybe an embarrassing video clip, just for fun.

(^ Am I funny, or am I funny?)

So today -Monday, as I'm writing this, I'm on day 11. About halfway there, so I thought now would be a good time to go over a little more about what exactly the 21 day fix is and how I'm doing so far.

Forgive me if you're like, "Morgan shut up you're overkilling this" but a lot of people have actually reached out to me with questions so I thought it might be interesting or helpful to hear about it from my perspective. Especially as I am very much a beginner to this lifestyle. Also, THANK YOU so much to everyone for your kind words on my last post. It's already become my second most read post ever, so that's huge. It wasn't easy to write because of course it's easier to keep those kinds of stories in, but remember when I said my second year of blogging was going to be about "writing hard about things that hurt?" (Or I said something like that.) Well, I'm doing it. And trust me, there's a lot more topics I'd love to open up and talk about someday too. When the time is right.

Okay, but back to why I'm here today - to talk more about how the 21 day fix works, why it works and how I feel so far. And remember, this is about how I'M using it and how it's working for ME. Every one's different and every one will have different goals and different reasons for doing something like this, so keep that in mind. You might be totally different than me, and that's okay! I just think it's sometimes helpful to learn by hearing personal stories, and maybe this is something that might be perfect for someone else and they dont even know it exists yet. So I think it's important to share.

I'll start with a professional video from the site in case you're into informercials and want the real deal explained from someone other than me.

  So here's the basic breakdown: 21 days. 30-minute daily workouts that you can do from home anytime, ranging from cardio to weight lifting to yoga. All the resources and information you need to create a customized meal plan using the container system. Daily nutrition (and the only way in my opinion to recover) in the form of Shakeology. And a support system to have your back, keep you pumped up and make you less likely to quit. 

The workouts: So there's a weeks worth of workouts, that will be repeated each week for three weeks. (So if you start on a Monday for example, you'll have the same workout each Monday.) And like she says in the video, everyday is something different to keep your body guessing. There's also a 10-minute ab video that you can add onto any of your workouts, and because I ordered the challenge pack I got an extra cardio video....that I haven't tried yet because I'm still in the 'almost-dying' stage during cardio. There is the option to do doubles during the last week if you want to get the most results, where you would do two videos a day, but I'll consider that once I get there. Now I'll be totally honest right now, I partially chose this program because I assumed it would be the easiest. LOL. WRONG. And again, everyone's different, maybe this is just me, but it is HARD. I know a Mom of four (FOUR) who told me she just finished and said it wasn't "that bad" and I was like.....um, I just died on the floor I'm not sure what you're talking about. (Maybe TMI but I want to be as real as possible about this, I almost threw up today. Is there a reason they're called burpees?) And for the first few days I was SO sore. Like, was hobbling around hanging onto the couch or the wall for support, and it totally was always in the back of my mind as an excuse to use, that I was too "sore," but I worked through it and now I'm used to it. But back to the exercises, they're hard but somewhat manageable because all the workouts (besides the yoga) are set up where each exercise lasts for one minute. So like today in cardio, there were four rounds, two exercises in each round, one minute for each exercise with a 20 second rest in between. And then repeated each round. So even though it's hard, I can always push myself for "just one minute." We have this saying in our group (I'll get to the group part of this) where everyone says "just pressed play" or "about to press play" before or after they start their workouts (like play, because it's a dvd, you know? Am I over-explaining this lol?), and I laugh because I'm more like...press play. Pause. Press play. Pause. Press play. Pause. Press play. You get it. On days like today, my 30 minute video took almost an hour. And in case you don't believe me....



HAHAHA. This makes me laugh so hard. I tried to film some of the workouts for this post because I see other people do it and they always look awesome. So I had this "idea" in my head, and then when I watched myself back, I was so embarrassed. The look on my face is so serious, like literally I get in survival mode. Guys, I am not exaggerating when I say how out of shape I am. These were weighted lunges and I was trying to do 10 pounds in each hand, which may have been too much so I dropped them halfway through, which is fine, it's the "modification" and it still hurt, but that hold at the end kills me. You probably can't hear it, but after I drop to the floor she goes, "oh it hurts so good" which makes me laugh even more. But I am really, really new at this and it's going to take me some time to build up my endurance, so I'm choosing not to feel bad about pausing to catch my breath before the next exercise. The important part (to me at least) is that I'm not rushing or half-assing it because I'm too tired. Someday I hope I can look back and be like, "wow I was really bad. But at least I started then."  

Then, there's the meal plan: 


So this is the container system, and I believe it is used in a few other Beachbody programs as well, but it's designed to create a balanced healthy diet. What I like about it is it's not about counting calories. And it's not about starving yourself. It's about eating the right amount of the right foods. It comes with a booklet that shows what container group you're in based on your current weight. So based on myself, above is the amount of servings of each food group I should be having per day. There are also 2 teaspoons of olive oil/coconut oil/ nut butter allowed. And then there are "free" things such as fresh herbs, lemon, mustard, vinegar hot sauce, etc. Now, because my personal goal isn't to lose weight (it's to tone up/get kelly ripa fit) I'm using it more as a tool to learn how to portion control and balance out a healthy diet. If you are however trying to lose weight though, trust me, this works. After about a week I realized I needed to start adding in more fats. That or I just discovered almond butter and am using any excuse to add it to anything and everything...


 But really, it's already taught me so much. Like, I had NO clue that someone my size should be eating four servings of protein a day. I don't think I was ever doing that. 

(^ I'm not positive that potatoes are on the vegetable list, but confession: that was from a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.)

When I first pulled these little containers out, I was like, "holy shit. I'm going to starve." But I'm actually having a hard time fitting it all in everyday. Just last night, I was looking over what I had ate that day (I journal this all out by the way) and I realized I still needed one more protein, so I had an apple dipped in greek yogurt (protein!) and....almond butter. And if food journaling isn't your thing, there is a 21dayfix app that you can download to use to track your containers every day. And it's really your choice if you want to actually use the containers or not. Personally, I go with more of an eyeball approach because I'm not being too strict about it, and I'm learning what foods equal a container. (Like 2 eggs = one red.) And obviously some things won't even fit in there, like if I have a piece of toast, I don't cut it up to fit in the yellow container. I just count it as one carb. (By the way, CARBS! YES! The good kinds though.)

And with the meal plan goes, shakeology: I almost feel unqualified to talk about this because I still can't wrap my head around how they get all this good stuff into one shake, but here's what I know. It's fricking delicious. I went with the chocolate vegan (not vegan, just have enough animal products in my life) and I'm pretty sure this shake is the reason I've been able to stay off sugar for this long (and not die). I blend it in my magic bullet with a cup of almond milk, a cup of water, and ice. (And sometimes...almond butter.) And it comes with a calendar that shows 30 days of recipe ideas (add-ins like fruit) so you'll never get sick of it. Because I got the challenge pack I got the shakeology included, but it's not necessarily a requirement of the 21 day fix. BUT I don't think I would be surviving without it. Besides the tasting like dessert part, I also think it's what's helping me recover every day and how I'm be able to get up and workout again. If you're trying to lose weight it can be used as a meal replacement, but I'm just drinking it in addition to my meals. I've been having it right after my workouts because a) I'm usually dying and b) it's like my "treat" for working so hard. Not kidding, some days it's all that gets me though it. I'm usually crawling to the kitchen to make this shake ASAP after my work outs. And it's literally all of your nutrients for the day packed into this one shake. (I'm still taking all my vitamins, because I'm a weirdo.) If you don't believe me watch this video. ( <-- it's kind of funny lol.) 

And then the last part, is the group support: This is KEY. When I first started thinking about trying Beachbody (a YEAR ago..), I didn't think this part mattered. I thought I could just buy it online and do it alone. I would have lasted a day. Three at the most. I think it was on Instagram that I already told this story, but on day 5 I cried on the floor during cardio, and I thought, "this is it. I can't do this." And somehow I finished, but I was still really upset with myself about it. I felt like something HAD to be wrong with me. How can I not do 30 minutes of cardio?? (Maybe it was all the smoking I did in my early twenties...) And then I went to my group and told them what happened and everyone was like so sympathetic and encouraging like, "we've ALL been there." And I realized, it IS hard for everyone. I'm not alone in this. But it will get easier. And they're proof. So the whole idea is basically just to support each other, offer advice, celebrate successes and share ideas. Oh, and it's all ladies. Which was like my first question. So it's fun. 


After I took this picture I said to John, "why am I so un-photogenic" lol, so don't make fun of me. This is just an example of what goes on in the group. And yes I did drink this while wandering around Costco. (AND I avoided all the samples and the temptation of getting a very berry smoothie.) But the point is, the group takes care of half the battle I swear. If I was on my own and there was no one who cared if I ate pizza or not, then it would be harder for me to say no. 

As you can probably tell, I am REALLY into this. I love it. I hate it...but I love it. I'm reading this book on women and empowerment, and I just love the idea that what I'm doing is "empowering" me. I've never been a strong person, but it's something I want to work on going into my thirties. I know I'm jumping the gun here saying that, but it's time to be who I want to be, you know? (Side note: will be reviewing that book in the future.) 

The whole thing's totally just turned my life upside down (or maybe more like right side up?) Only 11 days into clean eating, no sugar and working out daily I can already tell a TON of differences. I haven't had a nap since starting this (usually I nap at least once/twice a week), and at night I PASS OUT. I'm a worry sleeper, which means I like to lie in bed and worry all night so I usually have to take melatonin, but because I'm working out daily my body must be craving the rest so I've had no trouble sleeping. I definitely have more energy (hence the no naps), usually the most right after I work out because I am just so pumped up and proud of myself. And probably because of the shake. (Again, still not sure what exactly this miraculous shake does, but I have no desire to stop drinking it anytime soon. Whatever it is, it's working.) And I just realized this as I'm typing, I haven't had to have more caffeine by the afternoon, which use to be a must for me. I also have always had really bad problems with bloating (holy TMI here, I know) and this isn't a joke, when that happens I literally look pregnant and hate my life. But NONE of that has happened. That's definitely all from the diet change. OH, and I am getting so strong! I noticed this the other night when Ted jumped on me and I hurled him off the bed, haha. Usually I can't move him. And as far as psychical changes, I do notice some, but I am also trying not to focus too hard on that part (which is hard for me). I'm doing this for a lot of reasons and I don't want to make it about that. Although, I'd love to finally be proud of my body. But I know that's something that also needs to come from the inside. 

So there you have it! That's the 21 day fix in a nutshell/very long blog post according to me. I'll of course do an update once I finish, and go over my results and how I'm feelings then and whatever my plan is after that. (I have an idea. And it's big.) But until then if anyone has any questions or wants any other resources, please ask! I might not be an expert (not even close), but I'm here and I know how long it took me to ask for help. And I just think this is so great. (I'm running out of ways to say this lol.) 

Again, thanks for reading and all the kind words and support mean everything to me. Happy Tuesday! xx

8 comments:

  1. GET EM GIRL! I really admire your dedication to this and am so inspired by it! I also love that you already see a results & feel a positive change. I really wanna try Shakeology but it's sooooo expensive, no?

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    1. HENCE the reason it took me so long to try it lol. It is. But, I think it's like anything else, you pay for what you get. And I have a pretty small food budget, so fitting it in is going to be hard...but I'm hooked. And THANK YOU like always. You're the best.

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  2. It's amazing how much better I feel when I'm eating healthy and working out. For the past few weeks I haven't been doing well with either, but this week (even though it's only Tuesday...) I'm back on track and I feel great. I feel you on feeling like you're dying...for a few weeks (or maybe a couple months) I was doing weights to work on my arms (literally just 5 pound weights...because I'm that weak) and after taking the past couple weeks off I can barely do the exercises (it's not even a lot of reps) and it's super discouraging.

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    1. No 5 lbs is hard! I remember when we were getting married and I only had like 4 weeks to do anything, I started just working on my arms and it was hard. I basically gave up after a week lol. I've always wanted really toned arms. I love them. I'm gonna get them. HELLO BY THE WAY!! I was so excited to see your name pop up in my email. I miss you lady!

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  3. I'm SO late to this post! :( But this is so interesting! I'm kind of confused by the containers-- do you fit all of your meals for the entire day into one container? OR.. those are the servings for each meal/snacks? I would totally be interested in doing something like that! Veggies are usually the hardest for me but I could eat fruit & protein all day long. And peanut butter. Cardio is tough, no matter how in shape you are. And lunges kill me too so don't feel bad! Also, anything involving walking or running with weights makes me want to throw up, haha. Way to go lady! I think you're doing awesome!

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    1. Thank you so much! Hugs from across the internet! So, the containers - I'm bad at explaining lol. So it's more like servings. Like the green one is a vegetable serving, and I should be eating three servings a day. But like I said, I don't really use them. I just guess if I have a giant salad or something it's probably three containers. It was pretty eye opening to me though because I used to eat like one vegetable at dinner, and be like, "I had a vegetable today, I'm good." Lol.

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  4. thank you for explaining it! i honestly had no idea exactly how it worked. can't wait to hear your thoughts afterwards!

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    1. THANK YOU FOR READING! LOL. I feel like my mind is so one track right now, I need to break up these workout posts with shopping posts or something. Except I never talk about shopping lol..

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