We survived week two of the 21 Day Fix! And it was… Confusing?
Once again this week, Bryan and I stuck with the 21 Day Fix exercise routine: Every morning at 5:15 a.m., we woke up and followed the workout videos. And all week long, I used the color-coded portion cups to measure my food and make sure I balanced fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbs.
100% Honesty: I’m not sticking with the “approved food list” for the diet. Why? Because I’m trying to build life-long eating habits, not lose as much weight as possible in as short a time as possible. Real-life means you eat a variety of food, both healthy and not. Especially when you love food! The difference now is that I’m controlling my portions, and balancing out the types of food I eat throughout the day. More veggies and fruits. Smaller portions of carbs. Protein throughout the day. So, I won’t lose 15 lbs in 3 weeks. That wasn’t my goal when I started though. I keep reminding myself: 1-2 lbs per week!
Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’m stuffing my carb container with cake! We’re trying to make healthier decisions, and eat a variety of foods. But the reality is, Bryan and I are steak and potatoes kind of people. Or pasta and garlic bread. It just means I eat a lot less of the pasta and steak, and balance it with what I’m eating earlier in the day. And I’m eating small meals throughout the day, so I’m not starving and pigging out at night. I’m also switching out some things for healthier versions, like whole grain pastas, and greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
I didn’t do any better during week 2 with eating all the food than I did during week 1. Actually, my plan for sticking at the same food level (1,500-1,799 calories) seemed to be making things worse! My thought had been, since I’m eating “off list” foods anyways, I’d stay at that level, and whatever I missed would balance out with extra calories I was likely eating. But it became too difficult to balance. I found myself skipping too many veggies and fruits because I “wasn’t hungry”. Not good! About midway through the week, I decided to downsize into the lower level of food consumption (1,200-1,499 calories). That meant I lost a carb, a fruit, and a veggie serving each day, along with two of my oils. Doing that made it much easier to balance my foods, and ensure that I was getting enough produce. I also started adding Spring Mix to just about everything, since coming up with enough veggies in a day is hard for me. I mix it with cottage cheese for breakfast. Mix it with leftovers to make a salad. We usually do a vegetable for dinner, so I get more of a variety at night. Keeping it simple helps me stay on track!
The workouts are still hard. I pushed myself more during week 2 to try not doing modified versions of exercises, but I still struggle with a lot of them. I no longer have so much muscle pain: It’s been replaced with a weird ache, and often a feeling of muscle fatigue when I try to do random things throughout the day. Especially anything that causes me to hold my arms up. My shoulders burn! I had some back pain this weekend, but it resolved itself within a couple of days.
The loss of muscle pain brought about some weird feelings about my body. Part of the week left me feeling like a busted can of biscuits. Maybe I was bloated? I think part of it is that I can now feel my ab muscles engaging throughout the day. Feeling the full extent of my muscles meant I was also feeling something else: All that fat that lies on top! I was highly aware of my fat for the majority of the week. I started panicking that the plan wasn’t working, that I wasn’t doing enough. It was almost enough to make me start taking more extreme measures. Finally I had to take a deep breath, relax, and trust that things were heading in the right direction.
I have no idea how much I’ve lost so far, since I’ve decided not to weigh myself until the end of the 21 days. But I am starting to see small changes: I can easily zip my coats now. My belts are one hole snugger. I looked at Bryan Sunday and pointed out that I thought my ankles were getting smaller. He thinks I’m insane for noticing such a random thing. And then he tells me that my boobs are higher and firmer, as is my butt. Go figure that’s what he’d be paying attention to!
The plan isn’t hard. Changing my mentality has been tough. I’m not used to a diet where I’m not starving, or obsessively restricting myself. I’m also not used to working out so intensely. But, I think this could be a good change in our lives. I’m still motivated to do it every single day. Hopefully we can make this into a permanent habit!
- Cindy W.