I always told myself I wanted to wait until I was completely done having children before making any attempts to get my pre-baby body back. I didn’t think busting my ass to get fit mattered if I was only going to get knocked up again. I tend to be one of those unfit pregnant women that eats anything and everything in sight. You know… the “sleeve of Chips Ahoy cookies with a big ole glass of milk for a snack” kinda pregnant women. For a brief moment, my husband and I discussed having our third child; but for whatever reason, something clicked in my mind and I thought, it’s not time. My mind was telling me I needed to wait just a little bit longer before starting that journey.
For a few weeks, I attempted to show my crazy life by vlogging, and I was so embarrassed during the editing process. I could actually hear myself breathing in the camera from walking. Like I was really struggling to catch my breath just by walking at a normal pace. WALKING!!! I decided it was time to do something about it. I didn’t want to wait until after my 3rd child to get fit, and we had already decided to postpone that journey. So, I decided the time is now. Right now. What the fuck am I waiting for?? Pretty sure I’m fresh out of excuses!
A beautiful spring day for a walk… and of course the girls wanted to hold hands.
I’ve heard about the 21 Day Fix from a few of my Facebook friends. It seems to be super popular and all over social media. It also just so happens to be 3 weeks before we leave for a beach vacation. Absolutely perfect timing. 21 days to change my lifestyle right before I’m in a swim suit in front of hundreds of people. Please don’t get the wrong idea here… I am not trying to promote skinny women in bikinis. If you are a woman that is perfectly comfortable in your own skin, you just have at it with your bad self. I, on the other hand, feel like an alien in my skin. I am super self conscious and absolutely hate the image I see in the mirror. My struggle with my image exacerbates my issues with self esteem and anxiety. I struggle daily to cope with these issues and challenge myself to prevent these issues from being learned by my girls. I don’t want them to grow up in a home where their mother hates her body or where my daughters are taught to hate their own body, too!
(Stay tuned for a blog post regarding the idea of self image, anxiety, motherhood, and local women in my community!)
You see, I was a swimmer in high school, aka I died in the pool on a daily basis. I swam twice a day, lifted weights, completed dry land exercises and competed on top of all that. The swim season was practically year round as I participated not only on the high school team, but on the local rec team as well. I wasn’t the 6 pack abs kind of girl, but I was definitely in shape. In high school, I didn’t know anything other than being fit and skinny. It wasn’t something I worked very hard for because I was involved in a sport that made me that way all while enjoying myself and having fun!
I was also in shape when I met and married my husband. Mind you, I put on the freshman 15 (more like 30) in college by pounding case after case of beer. I went to THE Ohio State University and boy did I love to party! O-H! But on my wedding day, I wanted to be sure I was confident in my own skin while walking down the aisle. I worked my ass off in the gym for 6 months before my wedding day, just to be sure I looked absolutely stunning. I was fit, strong, and healthy that day…. and I felt the most beautiful I ever had.
Image credit: Danielle Luc Photography
Shortly after our wedding day, I started fertility treatments to get pregnant with my first daughter. My body wasn’t regulating the way that it should and therefore it called for scientific assistance. The treatments made me blow up like a balloon and crave all sorts of unhealthy foods. I was working full time as a child/adolescent therapist and trying to settle into a new house. I didn’t have self control. I didn’t have time. I didn’t care. I had every excuse in the book to not keep up with the work I had just accomplished before my wedding. So the weight continued to pile back on.
I ended up getting pregnant back to back with my daughters, and therefore never had the time to even think about losing my pregnancy weight. I gained quite a lot of weight, 30 pounds to be exact, from the time I got married until now. Not only am I larger than before, but I’m not healthy and I’m not strong. I didn’t really care until now. I’m a mother of #irishtwins for crying out loud. It’s not like I have the time to worry about myself or to make a change. But my girls are growing older, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to change. To feel confident again. To feel healthy and be able to walk without hearing the sound of my own breath!
Image credit: BEACHBODY
So, I started the 21 Day Fix. I ordered my kit from Amazon because I didn’t know where else to start. (Turns out you can purchase the program through the BEACHBODY website or through a BEACBODY coach and those people get credit for the purchase.) My product arrived in 2 short days (Thanks, Amazon Prime!), and I was ready to read up on the program and get started. I even recruited my husband to join me! This is the most motivated I have felt since my daughters were born. My husband seems extra motivated as well which is a bonus!
I opened my package right away and began reading through the provided pamphlets. The bonus is that the program is super easy to understand. It literally has the program written out for you step by step. The program contains color coded Tupperware containers, 2 workout discs, an eating plan guide, a 3 day fix guide (to use the last 3 days of your 21), and an informational pamphlet. I jumped straight into reading about the eating plan. I wasn’t worried about exercising because I came from a life of exercising. I wanted to know about my food restrictions. I have never been apart of a program where I was not only monitoring exercise, but my food intake as well.
Here’s the thing… if you’re an adult that’s super picky about what foods you’ll eat and what foods you like… you need to just go ahead and get the fuck over it. Strap some balls between your legs and man up. The 21 Day Fix program has all the good foods in it. The good foods that fuel your body the right way. It’s not about how much of any given food you can stuff in the provided containers either. You get a list of approved foods you’re allowed to eat for the 21 day period. And those foods are categorized by the color coded containers. Easy!
I was thrilled because I tend to be a lover of a variety of foods. On the other hand, my husband… well, let’s just say I’m in the process of strapping those balls. Celery, carrots, kale, quinoa, raspberries, apples, greek yogurt, almonds, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar… love it, people! That shit is good fuel for your body! The good thing is the containers do the measuring for you. You just chop your shit up, measure it in the container, and voila! Food. Is. Served.
My amazing lunch: Chicken Pita with Dijon, Strawberries, & a side salad.
2 Green, 1 Purple, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, & 1/2 orange containers.
Day 1 completed… I went to bed late that night and cried hysterically. I couldn’t stop crying. I was anxious the entire day about when I could eat next. Panicking because after every meal, I still felt so incredibly hungry. My husband was raving about how awesome the eating guide is and how he always felt full. I kept my anxiety to myself and smiled to continue to encourage him. But inside, I was starving. I cried because I kept telling myself I couldn’t continue like this… I couldn’t go each day feeling hungry. I didn’t want to starve myself. I wanted to do be done. I got online and researched as much as I could. People on the BEACHBODY forums were saying how they weren’t able to finish the allotted food amount. I didn’t understand. Why was I so hungry?
I love 21 Day Fix. I’m currently headed into Day 5, and after day 1, it’s been a breeze. But what I really REALLY wish 21 Day Fix would include is information for BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS. Night 1, I went to bed crying and couldn’t stop researching why I was so hungry. It wasn’t for awhile that I realized I’m breastfeeding and my life sucking toddler is taking some of my calories away from me. Well, hot damn. The little informational pamphlet didn’t mention a damn thing about that. So I Googled “21 Day Fix and Breastfeeding Moms”… so much better. I was able to bump up my calorie bracket and Day 2, I didn’t finish my allotted meals while still feeling full the entire day!! Not to mention, you shouldn’t ever starve yourself. All of the forums encourage participants to listen to their bodies. If your body is telling you it’s hungry, eat… don’t eat the Chips Ahoy though!
Lord knows I have a fucking sweet tooth. Something about chocolate just makes my soul feel whole. With hesitation, I ordered Shakeology. I say “with hesitation” because I don’t want to be one of those body building type girls that drink protein shakes to toughen up. But I definitely needed some chocolate in my life. So I went ahead and ordered it. Why the hell not? Turns out when you order Shakeology, you are given your very own FREE BEACHBODY COACH! My coach contacted me shortly after I placed my order. She connects with me daily via Facebook, and I’ve even joined an accountability group. This is a group of women also doing the program that want to help motivate and encourage you while holding you accountable! And the shakes did the job… cut that sweet tooth craving down and gave me the nutrients I need to continue breastfeeding!
My little nursing toddler… Alaina Paige.. 18 months strong
My initial thoughts on the 21 Day Fix program is to DO IT!! Seriously. I would recommend this program to any of my friends. I’m definitely not here to recruit you or to force you into something… I’m not getting paid for this shit afterall! I’m just giving my honest opinion. It’s a super easy to follow program that basically writes it all out for you. And you’re only committing yourself to 21 days! The workouts are 30 minutes long and you’re able to complete them in the comfort of your own home. The meal guide is easy to follow and the containers do all the work for you. We prep our foods ahead of time, and it’s helped us not to toss food and to really be self aware of what food choices we are making… healthy food choices.
I look forward to continuing through these 21 days and seeing if my thoughts remain the same or change as time goes on… but for now, I say it’s a good program for my busy stay-at-home mom lifestyle. I’m enjoying the challenge and my girls love it, too. Stay tuned for my experience with week one… and don’t forget to subscribe!