I’ve mentioned it before on this blog: I struggle with my weight. I always was one to yo-yo between being a little chubby and fairly slender. There was never any consistency to the way that I ate. Things definitely became more difficult in my 30’s, and losing the weight I’d put on wasn’t nearly as easy as it once had been.
The second half of 2015 I was working on building healthy habits, losing slowly, and maintaining. But, as an emotional eater, everything fell apart towards the end of October, when, well, life fell apart. Fast food became my go-to during the day, and I struggled with portion control at night. I tend to gain weight at the end of the year anyways, between Holiday goodies and stress eating. By the end of 2015, I’d gained back about half of what I’d lost during the year.
Like most people, I tend to start thinking about losing weight at the start of the new year. It’s a combination of things: Reflecting on last year, and wishing I’d lost weight then. Thinking about what I want out of this year. And the stress and eating of the Holidays being over, and the cold weather meaning there won’t be a lot of social functions to plan a diet around. Let’s face it, January is the perfect time to start a weight loss plan.
Last year I went a little rigid, and we did The Whole 30 in January 2015. Paleo is great, and I usually lose weight fairly well with low-carb diets. But, Bryan and I both love our carbs. It wasn’t a good long-term fit. Plus, Bryan doesn’t have an issue with his weight. He wants to be supportive, and do the program with me, but then he bucks against having restrictions. So then I’m struggling with staying on the program, while also struggling to defend it, and dealing with the strain it creates in our relationship. Not fun!
So, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do now. I need more than just self-control and watching my portions on my own if I’m going to succeed. After several weeks of thinking it over and considering the long-term implications, I finally decided on The 21 Day Fix. I ordered the Basic Program from Beach Body last week; It should arrive towards the end of the week, and we’ll start on Monday.
Okay, let’s start with the name: No, 21 days is definitely not long enough to “fix” my weight problems. I figure I gained the weight over several years, I should give myself at least a year to take it off. I’d like to lose around 45 pounds, which should put me at the upper end of a healthy BMI for my height. I’m going into it with the same idea that I had last year (up until the last two months): Losing is great, but so is maintaining. The weight will come off eventually. I just have to hold on to the losses I’ve already achieved.
The idea isn’t that you’ve fixed everything after 21 days, but rather that you’re fixing old habits over 21 days. You don’t stop after 21 days and go back to your old habits. You build new habits over 21 days that should last a lifetime.
The food plan is based around 7 color coded containers: A green one for veggies, a purple for fruits, a red for proteins, a yellow for carbs, a blue for healthy fats, and two oranges for seeds and dressings. Your current weight tells you how many of each container you can eat each day. What fits in the container is a serving of that type of food, and the program tells you how many servings you can have a day. They provided lists of what counts as each type of food: Whole grains, lean meats, etc. But it also tells you how many of which containers you give up for a cheat, like a piece of pizza, chocolate, or a glass of wine. The whole day isn’t lost because you ate something less than healthy.
I like the idea of this plan because it’s about portion control, and what you should be eating. Most diets are just a list of things you can’t have. I’m looking for something I can do long-term, not something that will help me lose weight, but that eventually I’ll end up abandoning because it’s too restrictive. On past diets, I’ve spent so much time thinking about what I can’t eat, that I overly restrict myself to the point that I’m hungry, and then I cheat. I’m hopeful that on this plan, if I can stick with it, I’ll be eating enough good foods that I won’t be so obsessed with missing the bad.
The bulk of your daily food intake comes from veggies and fruits. I like this idea. But it’s also very different from what I’m doing now. On a daily basis I eat very little, if any, veggies, and I rarely ever eat fruit. It’s going to take some time to adjust, and especially to get it right on how much I (or we) need. I’m really worried about wasting produce, so I’m going to try to keep that in mind.
In addition to food containers, the plan also includes workout DVDs. One 30-minute workout for each day of the week. Seven workouts total. Right now I workout, well, zero days a week. I’m a little apprehensive about these DVDs: Most of the reviews I’ve read are from people who were already working out, and in pretty good shape. That isn’t me. But, there are supposed to be modifications for those who can’t do the full workouts.
There are additional workout tapes that you can buy after the first 21 days. I don’t see that happening though. After 21 days, I’ll have only done each workout 3 times. Given my current level of physical activity, I doubt I’ll even be past the modified versions by that point. At some point, if I can stick with the plan, I’ll look at other workouts. But I think that’s way down the road.
The plan isn’t cheap. I looked for a used version online, but no luck. Amazon does sell the program, which might save some money for shipping if you’re a Prime member. I’m not. The plan ended up costing me around $78, including shipping. If I don’t stick with it, that’s a pretty big waste of money. I’m hoping the financial outlay will be a motivator to keep me going. But, I also feel like this is something I can actually do. It’s based around portion control, choosing healthy foods, and working out. Exactly what I need to be doing!
If you buy it through the Beach Body website, there are all types of “add-ons” to the plan. Protein shakes. Extra videos. I just stuck with the basics: The containers and original workouts. I’ve never had much luck with protein shakes, and why add more videos when you’re already apprehensive about the ones you’re getting?
Why am I sharing all this? Well, first off, it’s a big financial outlay. $78 isn’t exactly cheap. And I expect our grocery bills to go up with all the added produce. Secondly, I plan to report back here periodically on how things are going. It adds an element of accountability to the plan, and also a resource for others who are considering giving it a try. I found a lot of reviews online, but most of those from people who had health/weight-loss blogs, and were already eating healthy and working out, or people who were somehow related to the company. I’m starting at zero, so I figured my take might be a little different.
The worst that could happen is I waste some money. The best is a healthier me in 2016. I’m willing to give it a shot!
- Cindy W.
I am in no way related to the Beach Body company. Any information provided on this site is strictly my own opinion. I am not being compensated in any way for writing about this program, and did not receive any type of discount on purchasing the program.