Here is goes. My 21 day fix results on this Friday.
The best part is? It didn't stop at 21 days. Nope - I have kept it up almost everyday since the beginning of January. And I'm damn proud of it! For many reasons, but I also had not worked out since before I had Charlie. BEFORE CHARLIE. I cannot even remember life before that because it seems so long ago, but I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last 3.5 years and like no consistent working out that whole time. Talk about intimidating to start something like this.
I talked about the 21 day fix and even shared some of my recipes that were my favorite throughout the whole process at the end of my first 21 day round. You can find that here.
These are the before and after pictures from that round. My first round. 21 days of working out in my closet (weird I know, but I have a big closet...) in the mornings before work/my kids get up.
It wasn't easy at ALL. Getting up EVERY day to work out was hard. Especially when I had my 6 month old still waking up at least once a night and a few more time most nights. My alarm would go off at 4:59 and I would cringe. It was horrible. I was sore and tired and just didn't want to do it. On top of that, when I started this on January 3 - I had just had surgery on my foot to take out a neuroma (apparently a growth on the nerve), so my nerve between my third and fourth toe was cut out completely. I was cleared to work out, but wasn't sure how I would feel. But I was determined to not have ONE more excuse. I felt like I had an excuse month after month and wasn't going to let that stop me this time.
What kept me motivated? Honestly, it was the challenge group I was in on facebook. The ladies in that group were amazing and so motivating to each other. I knew that other people were just as tired and just as sore - but I knew they were getting up too, so I did it. And I was so happy to report to my group that I did. Oh and I can't forget to mention my in house accountability partner - Jimmy. He is not a veggie guy at all, but went with me on this and ate whatever I prepared and stuck to the meal plans and containers himself. On the weekends, we always ask when each other plans on working out and we hold each other to it as well - as that is harder because we don't like to get up early! He's pretty great. Pretty amazing how accountability works, right?
The eating part. Well - that was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.
I'm not going to lie - it's COMPLETELY overwhelming at first. You get these random colored containers and a booklet to explain them to you. They tell you how many they recommend for effective weight loss and that's it. I wanted more - like "tell me exactly what to eat and when". But since that was non-existent, I took to Pinterest and the Internet to look for some good 21 day fix recipes. The main thing is, no salt and not sugar (with a few cheats allowed - wine and chocolate, which is awesome!). I also made a spreadahseet - because Excel is my love language.
What I learned in those 21 days about eating? There is NO need to constantly restrict myself. I really was rarely ever hungry - I swear. But I was fueling myself with healthy food. Choosing an apple and peanut butter as a snack versus a handful of potato chips. I was making healthy (and delicious) meals for my family. I learned how to use spices and seasonings that are good for you (did I mention vanilla flavoring and cinnamon are my best friend now?).
My husband and 2.5 year old started eating vegetables.
Yes, go ahead and re-read that. That might just be worth the whole pain of it all.
But what made it successful? I planned. I planned. I planned. Meal planned to be exact. I had the first 2 weeks laid out exactly for every meal and snack that Jimmy and I were having (he was doing the eating part with me and working out alone). It was kind of crazy, but that is what made it work for us because I had healthy snacks at my fingertips during the day. Both of our works actually cater in lunch and yep - we both took our lunch everyday instead to ensure we had the most healthy.
I didn't like all the prep work. At all. But it was worth it.
My before pictures at the very beginning of my 21 day journey and my after at the end of 21 days:
I especially like how you can see my abs in the picture on the right.
And from inches - guess how many inches I lost in total on my body? 19. NINETEEN.
Like seriously? Yes - from my stomach, my legs, my hips, my arms. It was amazing how it just fell off. Keep in mind though - I also had a 6 month old and gained 40lbs during that pregnancy, so I had plenty to go. My ultimate goal was to lose 10lbs and just get back to where I was pre-baby. But when I lost 11, I just wanted to see how much I was capable of.
And I'm happy to report - that as of this morning (over 4 months into my journey) - I have lost 20lbs. I'm 10lbs lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Maddie and it's crazy to me. Crazy that I did this - my hard work and dedication to it really did pay off. And it feels so good. I feel so good. In so many ways. So that's what I wanted to do for my five on Friday - five things I have learned/enjoyed in the last 4 months of this journey.
You do have the time.
I promise - I didn't think it was possible. I mean WHEN in the world am I supposed to work out??? I work full time from 7:30-4 everyday. Love that I get off at 4 to pick up my kiddos and spend time with them before it's their bed time, but then after they are in bed, I spend time cleaning the house, doing laundry...oh yeah, and watching TV. So no time for that.
I did start trying to work out after I put my kiddos to bed, but that didn't work for me because some nights I have dinner with friends, meetings at church, etc. I didn't like that I couldn't work out at a consistent time - so I decided the mornings it is. And I make time and make myself get up.
Everyone has 30 minutes in most of their days to work out. Everyone has to eat...while it may take a lot more time than you are used to to prep all the healthy meals and snacks, it's worth it and it is worth the time investing in yourself. Speaking of...
You're a busy mom, but you are worth the investment.
Something we all have. Whether you work at home, work out of the home, or you stay at home....everyone has a little bit of it every now and then. I'm not going to lie, that guilt is one of the main reasons I just never worked out or find the time to do it. I just felt like it was somehow selfish of me to take time out of the day that already has so little hours in it to spend with my kids to work out. Like I'm already away from them for 9 hours, if not more.
But guess what? When I found a time that worked for me (in the early morning) that I didn't feel guilty...it stuck. And it made me happy. It makes me happy that I dedicate time to myself. And on the weekends, I don't feel guilty if I am working out for 30 minutes while Jimmy is down playing with the kids. I have more energy, a better attitude and am a better mom because of that time - which makes it way better to be my child, I promise!
Energy. Having it makes things so much better.
I cannot stress this one enough. Before I started working out and eating healthy, I literally was falling asleep at like 7:30PM every night after I put the kiddos down and got only a few things done.
Even getting up early, I am not exhausted every night. I need less caffeine to make it through the day also. It's so counter intuitive, but so true. And the more energy? Well everyone likes a lady with more energy - her kids, her husband, her friends and co-workers!
There will be good days...and there will be bad days.
And after those bad days, you can always start over. Tomorrow will come and that can serve as a fresh start. I think before this adjustment to my life, I would try to be so strict with my diet and working out that the minute I messed up or ate something not-so-healthy, I would just give up entirely and figure I ruined the whole thing.
So not the case. What I love about this program is that it's not just designed for 21 days of it...it's designed to facilitate a lifestyle change. And in life...you can mess up. You make mistakes. But everyone was just so encouraging to each other in my challenge groups and you realize that other people make mistakes too - but you can keep on going together.
There is no greater feeling than feeling good about yourself.
This was not about weight loss to me. This was not about getting a six pack.
I wanted to lose the baby weight I gained and fit into all my clothes again. Some of which I haven't worn or fit comfortably into since before Charlie was born. He's almost 3 years old people!
But now many of my jeans are too big - it's crazy! I can wear my shirts and not feel self conscious. I feel great. I feel like I look great and just how I should. I'm not too skinny at all - just right. My comfortable weight. That six pack? Well - it for sure doesn't look like it did when I was in high school, but I'm proud of my body. I'm proud of all the things I have done with it and the two beautiful babies that it made. It has transformed and been through so much over these last 3 years...but my body has been good to me. And I feel like getting into this healthy lifestyle and exercising and gaining muscle definition and fueling it with healthy food - I'm rewarding my body for all the things it has done for me and preparing it for more.
And the first time you try on shorts in a dressing room in a size that you think might be too small...and the size is way too big (OH MY) but you always love the way your legs look - that is a feeling I never want to forget. I feel strong. I feel proud. I feel healthy.
And for fun - a work out selfie that I took for one of my challenge groups.
My coach during this journey, Ruth, constantly has challenge groups - so if you are interested, you can find her on facebook here or instagram here, but I'm also excited that my good friend, Lauren, is going to be a Beachbody coach now and her first challenge group is starting on Monday. I cannot wait to be a part of it and encourage her and my other friends that are doing this challenge with me.
I'm super happy with the way my body looks now, but I am interested to see what happens when I stop nursing (within the next month) and am burning less calories...but I'm confident that if I keep working out an don't go overboard on my sweet treats that this is my new normal and I love it. Oh yeah - I didn't mention that before, but I did all this while still breastfeeding AND maintaining my supply. I really think that all the healthy eating helped a lot!!
So there you have it - my 21 day fix journey that has turned into a now 4 month journey and new way of life. I haven't taken a good "after" picture lately - but really, if you are starting this you NEED to take pictures and measurements. Because the scale is not everything - I learned that, especially in the beginning. I loved seeing the pictures and seeing the progress and seeing how many inches I lost - things I didn't even think about before I started.
I will do another post of my favorite snacks and recipes too - because that makes it easy for me to share with others when they ask me for my favorites.
Happy Friday friends and thanks for reading and putting up with my sports bra pictures! Ha!