I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was following up my February/March Whole30 with the 21 Day Fix – paleo style. After my disappointing scale experience with P90x3, I ditched workouts during my Whole30. I KNOW that you’re not supposed to focus on the scale, but…yeah. I still do. So anyway, after the holiday gain, I just focused on the Whole30 so that I could get back to my “happy weight” – which I did – and figured I’d add in workouts later. The problem with the Whole30 (for me) is that even though there are guidelines for portions, I tended to approach it from an EAT ALL THE BACON standpoint. And actually, at my physical the day I finished the Whole30, my cholesterol was down 19 points from two years ago, but my LDL(bad) was up 1 point, and my HDL (good) was down 20 points — so even though my overall cholesterol is about 50 points below the max recommendation of 180, my PCP wanted me to raise my HDL before my next appointment. To be honest, I was pretty discouraged because everything I’d read about Whole30 success stories was that despite all the meat and fat you’re consuming, cholesterol usually goes down. And mine did, but it went down in the wrong way!
So, with that backstory, it was time for me to focus on portions. I weighed what I wanted to weigh, but I am happiest when I’m working out, and I also wanted to focus on that HDL thing – and I was pretty sure my bacon consumption wasn’t helping that number. Bacon is not bad, but it’s probably not recommended daily. Even on the Whole30. And I probably wasn’t eating enough greens, choosing to sub sweet potatoes for my “veggie” most meals. I needed some stricter rules. So I turned to my friend and Beachbody coach Jessica and she pretty much said, “Eating clean is great Em, but chances are you might be eating too much.” Enter, 21 Day Fix. I ordered and I’m in a challenge group.
There are a two components to the 21 Day Fix. First, is nutrition. Man, those containers are small. The appeal to me of this program was that it allows you some treats, some grains, etc. Coming off Whole30s in the past, I’ve just dived right back into eating what I want, so I liked that this would be an approach to reintroducing some of those foods without going overboard. For the most part, I’m avoiding grains, but I do have a serving or two of grains a week to see how my body reacts to the correct amount of grains. The first week? I was a drama queen. “I am so hungry I could eat my own foot!” type drama. And I was truly hungry – with permission from Jessica (because I am a rule follower), I added an extra veggie and fat when I was hungry, but by the end of the first week I didn’t need it. I remember in college one semester I had a class over my lunch hour every day of the week and I had to wait until 3 to eat lunch. I thought I would die that first week. And by the second week, I was fine with waiting until 3 to eat my lunch if I took a small snack in my bookbag. The same thing happened with the 21 day fix. By 6 days in, my stomach had adjusted to the portions. I played around with the containers a bit and realized that if I eat my fat (blue container) in the morning, I tend to stay full longer. I am loving this nutrition plan. I love that it allows a treat or a glass of wine a couple days a week – I have never eaten a teaspoon of chocolate chips SO mindfully. Nope, usually it’s shove a handful in my mouth and then grab another handful. So, it took me awhile, but I’m loving the portion control this plan forces on you now that I’m used to it.
Shakeology. I really didn’t want to partake in Shakeology, but for the sake of the 21 day fix I agreed to try it. I’ve found the way I like it – the first couple days were like drinking grass clippings. I like the Vegan Chocolate with half a banana and a teaspoon of almond butter, 8 oz of water and LOTS of ice. I do enjoy having the shake mid-afternoon – it powers me through to dinner without hunger. But, I don’t think I’ll keep drinking Shakeology after this bag is gone. It’s pricey – my grocery budget for the month is about $450 – and that feeds 5 people a mostly organic diet. I can’t justify spending 29% of my monthly grocery budget on one meal a day for just me. So, I’ll try some other similar options to Shakeology and see how it all pans out, but I will also happily just eat a real food afternoon snack if needed.
The second piece, and the reason I started this program in the first place, is exercise. And I am loving the workouts. They’re challenging but not so challenging that I dread them, if that makes sense? I love that there’s a different workout every day of the week, so the ones I don’t love (yoga is my least favorite – I much preferred P90x3s yoga) aren’t overdone, and the ones I do like I have something to look forward to every week. I feel strong already, and am looking forward to seeing what my final measurements are in a little over a week. I’ve been waking up at 5:30 to get my workouts in – in the past I’ve been a naptime or late night workout kinda girl, but when I have my workout hanging over my head, I kind of dread it. So just getting it done has been so freeing. Being totally honest, I was prepared to hate Autumn based on the program’s uber sexy and smoldering marketing photos – but she’s actually bubbly and likeable and comes across as down to earth in the workouts. So, there’s that.
Crazy hair, don’t care. Actually doing burpees (rather than modifying them because I didn’t want to try) for the first time in my life.
So, that’s my mid-point 21 Day Fix update. I’ll be sure to post my end results in a week and a half – and I’m prepared to keep going.