I’ve talked lately about how I really want to get more healthy, strong and in-shape. My ‘baby’ is now 6 years old, yet I still had a decent belly that makes people sometimes wonder if I’m mid-pregnancy or not. I know I’ll never have my pre-baby body back – that ship has sailed – but I’d love to FEEL better about myself, not just by being happy and confident with what I see in the mirror, but also physically feel better. After hearing a lot of people rave about the program called the 21 Day Fix, I finally gave in and purchased it for myself to give it a try. I just completely two rounds, and am sharing My Experience with the 21 Day Fix in case anyone else is curious about it.
First of all, what IS the 21 Day Fix?
Designed by celebrity trainor, author AND working mom Autumn Calabrese, it’s a program that lasts – you guessed it – 21 Days and consists of daily work-outs as well as an eating plan. You use specifically sized containers to help you track the TYPE of foods you eat and how much of each per day, based on your personal body size and target caloric intake for during the program.
- Red = Protein
- Green = Vegetables
- Purple = Fruit
- Yellow – Carbohydrates
- Blue = Cheeses
- Orange = Seeds & Nuts
Don’t worry, the little booklet that comes with it breaks it all down, including lists of EXACTLY what foods count. If you’re going for the ‘healthiest’ options, go from the top of the lists and work your way down. It tells you how to factor your target calories, then how many of each container you need to fit into that range.
Also, it’s good to note that THREE days a week you can choose to swap out one of your yellow containers for a treat (recipes in the booklet). If I wasn’t able to have a treat, I wouldn’t have even attempted!
This isn’t JUST an eating program – you need a healthy diet PLUS exercise to really make it work. There’s a different workout every day, and they’re only 30 minutes each – except for a bonus ’10 Minute Ab Fix’ that you should try to fit in about 2-3 times a week. The workouts are as follows:
- Day 1: Total Body Cardio Fix
- Day 2: Upper Body Fix
- Day 3: Lower Body Fix
- Day 4: Pilates Fix (pilates INSPIRED)
- Day 5: Cardio Fix
- Day 6: Dirty 30
- Day 7: Yoga Fix
You’ll need water and towel every day, and most days you’ll also need hand weights (light set and heavy set) or exercise band, as well as an exercise mat. They do have someone in each exercise that’s doing a modified version of each exercise so if needed, you can follow a bit easier routine.
There’s an option to really increase your results by taking the third week and doing DOUBLES, meaning two exercises each day. I did this for my first round, but not my second. It’s mixed which ones you do each day:
- Day 1: Total Body Cardio & Pilates
- Day 2: Upper Body & Cardio
- Day 3: Lower Body & 10 Minute Abs
- Day 4: Pilates & Total Body Cardio
- Day 5: Cardio & Upper Body
- Day 6: Dirty 30 & Pilates
- Day 7: Yoga Fix Only (active recovery day)
My Own Experience – Results & Thoughts
At first, the work-outs were EXTREMELY hard, like after the first I was afraid I was going to throw up or pass out (or both). I couldn’t do it very well, and went a lot slower than the people on the screen. I also could hardly move the day after I started because I was so sore. Keep in mind, though, I haven’t really done ACTUAL exercise in a very long time, so my body was really weak! Now, I still sweat a lot and am slightly sore after a lot of them – but I’m doing MORE, sticking with it longer, and not struggling near as much as I was at the start.
I regret not getting specific before/after photos – but here’s how I was BEFORE starting The 21 Day Fix…
The eating plan was a bit challenging, because I was use to eating whatever, whenever – this helped me get in the habit of thinking of what I ate and controlling amounts, but I was only a little hungry occasionally – mostly when I did extra active stuff during the day. I’m much better at drinking water now, too! I did get a little bored, but just because I didn’t want to worry about a huge variety of groceries so mostly stuck with similar items. I ate a lot of stir fry chicken with vegetables, and struggled with less fruit and carbs – but that’s because I really LOVE carbs like bread and pasta, and fruit was like a sweet treat 🙂
I will say, I didn’t stick EXACTLY to the diet – I did have treats that weren’t on the list, like ice cream and such. But sparingly and did a little bit extra active time to make up for it…but I had a treat more than 3 times a week which probably affected my results. During the one week I tried doubles, it was fine but I seemed to get better results when I did the regular daily workouts and also did the 10 minute abs DAILY. I did one in the morning then one around lunchtime. My abs/stomach are my biggest trouble area, so figured this worked best for me. And I love how much stronger my abs are!
Also, I did have two events during my rounds which meant I wasn’t able to work out for a couple of days, and also didn’t have control over my diet for a bit. I did the best choices I could, but it wasn’t perfect.
….and here’s how I looked September 26th, 2017 after TWO rounds! And NO sucking in!
Over the course of the 2 rounds, I lost almost 15 pounds, and lost 2 inches on my stomach and 1 inch on my waist! I gained muscle to my legs and arms, and feel lots stronger. My thighs don’t look as awful to me, and I don’t feel like I need to suck in my stomach all the time. I have more energy and love the way I look in the mirror. I do still have an inch or two on my stomach I’d love to lose, but I’m happy with my progress and confident I can work off that last bit in another round or two of hard work.