My Review of the 21 Day Fix
After giving birth to Andi, my postpartum weight loss (or should I say ‘lack of’) threw me for a bit of a loop. After giving birth to Atlas, I lost all the pregnancy weight + a few extra pounds within 1 month of having him. After having Andi, I was still 12 pounds over my ‘normal weight’ at my 6 week postpartum check-up. (←So many emojis I wish I could insert right here.) My doctor cleared me to run after that visit & I pretty much went straight home, laced up my shoes and took off. For a few weeks I ran hard and I saw some improvement in my splits & I lost a few pounds, but I still was not happy with how my postpartum body looked. It was like I had a tire around my midsection that I couldn’t shake. I could wear all my clothes, but nothing fit quite right.
21 Day Fix
When my friend, Val, reached out to me in October and asked if I wanted to try the 21 Day Fix program by Beachbody I thought, “Why not.”
The program is basically a commitment to working out and eating clean for 21 straight days. At first, Dave could not figure out why I was signing up for the program. He sort of drilled me on it because I was back in my old jeans by then & I know how to exercise – in fact, I love creating my own workouts. He kept saying, “You don’t need a workout video – you know what to do and your clothes already fit!” But I explained to Dave that I just didn’t feel my personal best and I was so exhausted and overwhelmed trying to find my footing in our new life with 2 kids under the age of 2. I had no time/energy/interest to sit down at night and jot down a workout to do the next morning. I wanted someone to basically spoon feed me and say, “Do this workout today. Do this exercise now. Do this workout tomorrow. Eat this not that.” I knew I was capable of following a workout schedule because I genuinely enjoy working out – I just had no time/desire to create that workout schedule for myself. Atlas offered to be my personal trainer, but he’s too tough for me, as you can tell by the below photo. He screams in my face like Jillian Michaels and I work better with the Bob Harper approach. 😉
The other big draw of the 21 Day Fix was the eating plan. I wasn’t fueling my body properly after I had Andi. Between feeding 2 kids, changing double the diapers, bathing 2 kids, walking 2 dogs, doing endless loads of laundry, etc I was reaching for whatever I could quickly grab when it came to food. So, basically I was eating a ton of Reese’s and a ton of string cheese. The 21 Day Fix program gives you these tiny (and yes, they are tiny) little color coded containers to fill with foods each day. The container system ensures you fill up on things like veggies and protein instead of things like carbs and fat. It also helps with portion control, which was necessary for me because I was going almost all day and not eating hardly anything and then at night I was pigging.the.heck.out after the kids went to sleep.
So today, I just wanted to give you a review on my experience with the 21 Day Fix program. The short story is, I LOVED it and it helped me reach my goals. It truly whipped me back into shape in 21 days. I did it during the month of October and was so pleased with the results.
The workouts are only 30 minutes, so most days they were easy to squeeze in before my babies woke up and somedays I even squeezed them in during nap time. All the exercises could be easily done in my home, in a relatively tiny space. While the workouts are short, they are hard, which I appreciated. It is a lot of weights and a lot of core work, which is what I needed to tighten my mid section back up. I used 10 pound weights and 8 pound weights throughout the program. I started seeing results within the first week, which fueled me to finish the full 21 days. There are 7 different workouts (1 for each day of the week) + a 10 minute ab workout + I got a bonus Plyo workout. Each workout is completely different, which I enjoyed because it kept my body guessing each day. I actually loved the workouts so much, I ordered the 21 Day Fix Extreme program to start after the holidays. I also got some 15 pound weights for Christmas thanks to my sweet mother-in-law, so I can keep challenging myself with the workouts because by the end I felt like my 10 pound weights were too light for several of the weighted exercises. When I started the program, I could only do modified push-ups on my knees because my upper body lacked strength. Now, I can do several push-ups on my toes! Unless Atlas is on my back, of course. That 30 pound weight makes me drop back to my knees.
The Eating Plan
The drastic change in diet was definitely the hardest thing for me to adjust to. Cutting out sugar was painful, especially those first few days. Initially, I was trying to run + do the 30 minute workouts (#overachiever) and that just wasn’t working with the eating plan. I was getting extremely lightheaded and nauseous because the program doesn’t really allow for hardly any carbs (the yellow container that you get for carbs is really really tiny and I was only supposed to fill that twice a day). Since I was still nursing Andi around the clock (that’s a big calorie burner), trying to run 3-5 miles + do the 30 minute workouts + chase a toddler around all day + walk 2 dogs I was burning WAY more than I was intaking. I live a pretty active life between kids and dogs. I don’t have a desk job where I sit for 8 hours a day. In fact, I would say I sit less than 3 hours a day. One morning I was laying on the ground after one of the workouts and Dave was about to leave for work when he noticed how pale I was and he insisted I alter the diet portion of the program. After that, I dropped running from my regimen for the remaining 21 days and I allowed myself 1 extra yellow container (aka carbs) and 1 extra purple container (fruit) and things went a lot better. I never really felt ‘deprived’ after making those adjustments.
The other reason I found the eating portion a little harder is because it required serious planning. I had to have veggies made and prepped so I could easily fill up a container with them for a meal/snack, rather than grabbing a handful of chocolate. But, this was exactly the challenge I needed! I loved how much better I felt when I was grabbing grapes or apples or cottage cheese as a snack instead of peanut M&Ms. I also used a 21 Day Fix app on my phone to help me track my food with the container system so I didn’t have to stop and think, “How many containers do I have left for the day?” That app made the eating part of the program easier to manage.
Its true what they say: Abs are made in the kitchen. I mean, they aren’t made in my kitchen. Cinnamon rolls are made in my kitchen. But during my 21 Day Fix, I was shocked at how quickly my stomach flattened out when I cut out all the Reese’s and string cheese. I seriously didn’t realize how bloated I was until I cut all that out. The program really proved to me just how important nutrition is – you can’t outrun a bad diet.
I should also note, I didn’t take Shakeology with the program. I’ve tried Shakeology before and honestly, I don’t love it. I don’t hate it – it just isn’t my favorite. We love the Juice Plus Complete shake mix in our house and I just can’t be without that stuff. So, I used Juice Plus Complete in place of the Shakeology that is recommended with the 21 Day Fix program.
I didn’t take my measurements because I was just going through life too fast with our kids to stop and do that, so I can’t put an actual number on what I lost. I so wish I would have taken my measurements though! I know I lost around 6 pounds, but I wish I knew how many inches I lost because I think that would be more telling. I did take before photos and I snapped a photo about 15 days in, but I forgot to take the ‘after’ photo (I’m still kind of mad at myself for that). But you guys – I am SO not bold enough to share those. I’m sorry, but I just cannot put that before photo out there for the world to see. Dave hasn’t even seen that horrific before photo. HA! Maybe I’ll get bolder and post the photos one day, but not today!
I feel comfortable in all my clothes now and more importantly I feel comfortable in my own skin and those were my 2 main goals. While my body will never look exactly like it did pre-babies (and that’s OKAY), I am proud of the progress I’ve made postpartum. Actually, I think I have muscles now that I never even had before children! Surprisingly, I’ve had a few people comment on my arms and ask me what I do to get my arms toned. I credit the 21 Day Fix…and the 2 weights I carry around daily (aka Atlas & Andi).
Where I’m At Now
I pretty much took November – December off from the program because I wasn’t going to miss out on holiday food and I’m more of an ‘all or nothing’ person. I ran more and free-styled my workouts for most of the holidays, but I’m currently going through another round of the 21 Day Fix because I enjoy the structure. I have a lot on my plate right now, so I like that I don’t have to think about my workouts. I’m not following the diet part quite as strict though, so my results aren’t as drastic. My goal with this round is just to get stronger. I ordered the 21 Day Fix Extreme and after I finish this round, I want to go ‘all in’ with the 21 Day Fix Extreme. Once I finish that extreme round, I think I’ll return to my first love of running and hopefully start looking for some fun races to do. And those races will probably be fueled by cupcakes because old habits die hard. Kidding. Sort of.
So that’s that. My experience with the 21 Day Fix Program. Because of where we live, we have access to so many great workout programs. Soul Cycle. Physique 57. Barry’s Boot Camp. Mile High Run Club. You name it, and it is most likely at our fingertips. But for this stay at home mama, I feel like the price/convenience/intensity of the 21 Day Fix can’t be beat!
One last thing before I sign off: I am not a Beachbody Coach. I have several friends who are Beachbody Coaches and I’m so incredibly proud of them and the difference they are making in the lives of others. They have all approached me about becoming a Beachbody Coach and I have told them all I am not interested at this time. As much as I love the 21 Day Fix program, being a Beachbody Coach doesn’t currently line up with my long-term personal/professional goals. SO, this review is completely unbiased. I don’t make a dime off any purchases you make through Beachbody. The 21 Day Fix program helped me achieve some of my postpartum fitness goals and also made me do a ridiculous amount of crunches, so it seemed fitting that I share the experience here. 😉 If you want to go through the program with my girl, Val, I can definitely vouch for her. She’s great and you can check out her site here!