Week of 11/23/15 – 11/29/15: 21 Day Fix Round 2, Week 2

week of 11/23 - 11/29

Monday: Total Body Cardio Fix
Tuesday: Upper Fix and 3 miles (11:24 avg pace)
Wednesday: Lower Fix
Thursday: Pilates Fix
Friday: Cardio Fix and 3 miles (11:26 avg pace)
Saturday: Dirty 30
Sunday: rest

Yeah, we skipped yoga this week because Sunday was too busy.

I’m not going to bother posting our meal plan because we only planned three days because of the four day weekend. Yes, I did eat cake (and Oreo cake balls… *drool*) on Thanksgiving, and, yes, it was delicious.

Honestly, this round of 21 Day Fix feels so much harder than it did last time. We are hungry. All. The. Time. Like we eat a meal and ten minutes later we are hungry again because vegetables are not filling. It makes us grumpy. I think it is making us not sleep well, and so we don’t want to wake up early to work out.

Week 3 (and I realize this post is about week 2) has been terrible. We’ve only worked out like twice. Guys, we gave in and went to Mellow Mushroom on Wednesday. Back when I was doing this alone and so Jonathan wasn’t also hungry all the time, he was able to encourage me. Now we just enable each other because we both just want real food.

I need chips and queso.

Abs aren’t worth this.

In running news, my leg still hurts, so I ended up downgrading the Mt. Juliet Holiday Half to the 5k. But Jonathan is going to run it with me now, so there’s that. Assuming we can make it through without any fuel in our bodies. I haven’t ran since last Friday because of my leg.

Eating Out on the 21 Day Fix

Friends have invited you out for dinner. You don’t feel like cooking. You need a night away from the kids.

There’s a bunch of reasons why you might need or want to eat out of the house while doing the 21 Day Fix, but when you try to find a place with healthy options, you get overwhelmed quickly. What are you allowed to eat?

I’ve eaten at a handful of restaurants over both rounds of the 21 Day Fix that I’ve done. Some restaurants are helpful and list the calories right on their menu (thanks, Panera!). Others you have to do some digging.

In a perfect world, every restaurant would point out what their healthy options are and what is in all of them. This is not a perfect world. Unfortunately, eating out on this plan takes a bit of research ahead of time, but it is doable with the power of Google.

First thing is to find the website of the restaurant you are considering. Then dig through their website for their nutrition facts. If they don’t have a list of nutrition facts, I don’t even bother going.

Once you find this list, go down the list of entrees (ideally you want this to be a red container) until you see something that is relatively low in calories. I usually look for something in the 200-400 range without sides. Then check the sides to make sure they have veggies (green container) you like and that they don’t do anything crazy to them and jack up their calorie count. If you have a yellow container left for the day, you can work that in too.

Examples from restaurants I’ve eaten at!

6 oz classic sirloin with a side of steamed broccoli: one red, one green, 340 calories.

Olive Garden
Rosemary chicken with a side of asparagus: one red, one green, less than 540 calories.
I think this includes the mashed potatoes it comes with, but I subbed them for asparagus.

Whole ancient grain, arugula, and chicken salad – minus slaw, plus spinach: one red, one green, one purple, one orange (vinaigrette), maybe a blue, 390 calories.
I subbed the cabbage slaw in this salad for the healthier (and yummier, in my opinion) spinach. The original calorie count for this salad is 420 calories, but Panera lets you customize their menu and see the accurate calories right on their website!

Bruschetta chicken with a side of asparagus: one red, one green, 400 calories.

Ruby Tuesday
Petite sirloin with broccoli and zucchini: one red, two greens, 354 calories.

What healthy options have you found at restaurants?

Week of 11/16/15 – 11/22/15: 21 Day Fix Round 2, Week 1

week of 11/16 - 11/22

Monday: Cardio Fix
Tuesday: Upper Fix
Wednesday: Lower Fix and 3.5 mile walk
Thursday: Pilates Fix
Friday: Cardio Fix
Saturday: Dirty 30
Sunday: Yoga Fix and 7.1 mile run (12:34 min/mi avg pace)

Because we are going to be spending a few days in December in swimwear, Jonathan and I decided to do a round of 21 Day Fix beforehand. This, of course, is my second time doing it, but it is his first. There’s definitely been new challenges and stuff that’s been easier when involving a second person in this madness!

I was planning on taking most of the week off from running anyway, since I was trying to get that pain in my left calf to go away. That worked out well since I was incredibly sore from all the 21 Day Fix workouts for most of the week.

As far as menu planning goes, it wasn’t too terrible. We did planning and a lot of cooking on Sunday before we started. Since we somehow fell into the same calorie bracket (which was weird to both of us), we were mostly eating the same things throughout the week with just a few differences based on our individual likes and dislikes: I was drinking Shakeology with spinach every morning while he ate egg veggie muffins. He ate black beans whenever I ate black-eyed peas. He ate blueberries, and I ate grapes. We let him eat a couple little extras here and there, like some almonds as a snack in the afternoon, just to give him a few extra calories but not enough to be in the next bracket.

21 day fix week 1 meal plan

That was our meal plan for the week. Friday looks questionable because we weren’t sure where we would be eating out for lunch with our respective coworkers. I ended up having a small sirloin with zucchini and broccoli at Ruby Tuesday’s. My coworkers got to hear me contemplate things like, “Does this look like one or two cups of veggies to you?”

It was definitely easier having Jonathan doing the program with me this time since we could help motivate each other and spend time together doing the workouts. It was also super helpful to have an additional chef in the kitchen on meal prep day!

Things are looking good so far… I’m already down 6 pounds! (I may have weighed in initially right after stuffing myself with dinner…)

However, my one run this week did not go so well. I don’t know if it’s due to the restricted amount of calories/carbs I’ve been consuming, but I started feeling weak five miles into what I hoped to be a 12-13 miler, and I had to stop completely at mile seven and practically crawl my way down the greenway. I was seriously iffy on if I’d even be able to make it the two miles back to my car. After I got home and ate, I felt mostly fine, so I’m guessing that’s what it was. I will make sure to not follow the diet the day before the half!!

On a better note, my calf didn’t bother me at all on the run. It was a little sore the next morning, but not too bad.

21 Day Fix: Before and After and REVIEW!

Ah, the dreaded before and after shots. As someone who still hasn’t gotten up the nerve to run in only a sports bra, even when it’s over 100 degrees, this is not something I would normally post to be saved on the internet forever. But here goes.

So, do I look more toned?

21 day fix results

21 day fix results

21 day fix results

Man, those shorts aren’t very flattering from the front.

And, for comparison, my measurements, which actually changed more than I expected (actually I’m surprised my chest didn’t shrink more…that’s always the first thing that goes). I should have taken measurements when I started playing around with recipes and whatnot because I think I lost more weight/inches just eating better off and on for a few weeks before actually starting (I’m pretty sure I was around 116 at the doctor in July), but I rarely weigh myself, so who knows. I don’t even own a scale; my initial weight measurement was taken with my Wii Fit and then double checked on Jonathan’s scale the next day (there was a 0.7 difference within the 12 hour period, so I just went with the higher number–the Wii Fit).

Before After Difference
Weight: 111.6 lb 108.2 lb -3.4 lb
Waist: 26 in 24.5 in -1.5 in
Hips: 36 in 35 in -1 in
Chest: 34 in 33 in -1 in
Arms: 9.5 in each 9.25 in each -0.5 in total
Thighs: 20 in each 19 in each -2 in total

Review and Tips

This is going to be long, so bear with me. For full disclosure, here are the things I did differently than the program says:

  • First of all, I was glad that I tried out all the workouts a few times before officially starting my 21 day timer. The first time I did the Cardio Fix, I could barely move for five days afterwards! I can’t imagine being that sore when I was supposed to be doing the exercises every single day. Getting my muscles prepared was key to making sure I didn’t miss a workout (except for that first yoga fix, oops).
  • I didn’t buy/use a set of heavier (8 lb) weights until week two, so all of week one was done with just my lighter (5 lb) weights. I think this was good enough for me, as that was still a rough workout!
  • I didn’t use containers on the weekends. My activities are too unpredictable, and I’m usually not even home. I still tried to eat well, but I just didn’t concern myself with getting every. single. container. in or even the correct number of containers. I did monitor my calories though to make sure I stayed in the right range. I ate mac and cheese once.
  • I ran 3-4 times a week. The program doesn’t give any indication about how to fit in any exercise other than the ones provided, so I just tried to keep my runs easy and sometimes allowed myself an extra carb or two (usually in the form of milk). I did double up all my workouts on the third week like the program recommends, but on days that I ran, I only did one other 21 Day Fix workout.
  • As far as the meal plan goes, I made a few modifications. I didn’t always eat fresh foods. Sure, I could have peeled and cut carrots myself, but the canned ones are so much easier, even though they add a little bit of sugar. And I used the Chobani yogurt with the fruit already in it instead of adding fruit myself. It was probably definitely less fruit than would fit in a purple container, but oh well. Also Chobani is 2% milkfat and the program says to use 1%. I sometimes salted things (the nurse raved about my blood pressure last time it was checked, so I wasn’t terribly concerned with that, though I did cut back).
  • I didn’t do the final three day thing where you eat fish and coconut oil and don’t drink Shakeology. No thanks.

I do appreciate that I was still able to go out to restaurants from time to time and didn’t have to become completely anti-social to do the program. Some places we went where I was able to stay on the plan include Olive Garden (garlic rosemary chicken with asparagus), Chili’s (lighter choice sirloin with broccoli), and The Smiling Elephant (I’m guessing curry is allowed…there were veggies!). We also went out to Mellow Mushroom and Peg Leg Porker, which weren’t really on the plan, but I just considered them my only two cheat meals.

The toughest part was dealing with freebies like doughnuts and cupcakes being handed out, soft pretzel day (!!) at work, and the fact that Grilled Cheeserie, my most favorite food truck ever, finally came within reasonable distance to my office, and I couldn’t eat it because CARBS. Surprisingly, not drinking while socializing with friends who were drinking was not difficult, but I’ve never really been a drinker anyway. (That said, I am ready for some wine!)

So how do I feel after three weeks? Honestly, not much different. For some reason, I expected to have all this energy and my skin would be better and all this stuff that people say comes from eating clean, but…I feel the same as I did when I was eating pizza three times a week. Actually, I felt really bloated all through week two. No idea why, since I was mostly consuming foods that are recommended to STOP bloating and it wasn’t PMS.

That said, I do feel somewhat stronger. At least, when I touch my stomach, my abs feel harder. I like that. I’m not as squishy. And there are the aforementioned biceps that I wasn’t expecting. I feel stronger when I run too, as I can actually feel my glutes and core activating and doing something.

Before I got the program, I was mostly curious about the workouts. How hard would they be? Would I even be able to do them? Thankfully, every workout has one person (Kat) who shows modified versions of pretty much every move. Typically, I would try the non-modified version first and only switch to the modified version when I had to, but there were a few starting out that I had to modify from the beginning.

As for a breakdown of each workout, here you go:

  • Total Body Cardio Fix – This has four rounds of two exercises. Each exercise is done for one minute and you get 20 seconds of rest in between. Each round is repeated before moving on to the next one. It starts with surrenders, which Autumn says is the hardest exercise of the day. I have no problems with surrenders. The hardest one to me is the frog crunches, which is right at the end. Those things kill. Actually, I have a hard time with any of the things that require me straightening my legs in the air.
  • Upper Fix – Arm day has two rounds of five exercises each. They are all one minute long with 15 seconds of rest between, and you repeat each round. I don’t think this one is too bad. The toughest part to me is the push-ups because I can’t do them unmodified (although I did manage to do TWO unmodified in week three…progress!). The scissor twists are also kind of brutal right at the end (again, straight legs in the air).
  • Lower Fix – Leg day has four rounds of two exercises, a minute in length with 15 seconds of rest. Each round is repeated. None of the exercises in this are bad, but about halfway through she starts making you hold positions for the last ten seconds. This KILLS. Screaming helps, trust me.
  • Pilates Fix – This is probably my favorite of all the workouts. Nothing is really hard (toughest is the leg raises in the ab series, but that’s just another legs-in-the-air exercise) but it just burns so good. This one isn’t broken into rounds; it has different “series”, like the plank series and the C series. Nothing is repeated though. It just moves straight through.
  • Cardio Fix – Easily my least favorite. It is made up of four rounds with two exercises each, which are repeated. I’m not fond of cross jacks. Mountain climbers suck. Burpees are awful. The down and ups in the bonus round (do we really need a bonus round in this one??) wouldn’t be so terrible if it weren’t for everything else in this workout. This, of course, is the very first one I tried, so the others didn’t seem so bad in comparison.
  • Dirty 30 – Another one with four repeated rounds of two exercises. The very last exercise, the Side Plank Raise, is the worst. (Do side planks kill anyone else’s ankles? Maybe I need to wear shoes?) I don’t really mind any of the others.
  • Yoga Fix – I like the yoga fix when I’m in the right mindset. Unfortunately, I’m usually in the ugh-I-don’t-wanna-do-a-workout-right-now mindset and it takes me a while to get all zen and into it. It begins with a sequence of sun salutations, then moves into chair pose, warrior one, warrior two, and angle pose. After ten minutes of that, you start the balance series. I like balance pose and tree pose (they remind me of taking ballet), but I have a hard time with the ones where you bend all the way forward to stand on your palms. I’m not that flexible. After that, you do some cat & cow, supermans, and several stretches before finally hitting my favorite exercise out of every exercise in the program: corpse pose. Ahhhhh. Nothing feels better than corpse pose.
  • 10 Minute Fix for Abs – I only did this one twice. It’s only ten minutes, but it’s killer because you don’t get any breaks! It’s basically a bunch of crunch variations. I like the Pilates Fix better for abs, personally.
  • Plyo Fix – I haven’t even opened it. I kept meaning to try it, but since it wasn’t listed in the schedule, I wasn’t entirely sure where to stick it. So I will eventually try it out now that the 21 days are up. I think it’s probably something that could help with my running.

As for tips, I do recommend trying out everything (workouts, recipes, drinking water) before officially starting. I think this helps with the shock of everything and will help you stick with it. I started drinking about 70-80 ounces of water per day a few months ago, so it was easy to keep doing it once I started 21 Day Fix because I was already in the habit (drink 32 oz before lunch, 32 oz between lunch and 5pm, and the remaining in the evening). I still had some kinks once I started (like how to spread out the containers over the course of the day), but it was nice to not have to worry about EVERYTHING all at once.

My only other tip is to plan, plan, plan. Plan your meals and cook everything ahead of time. Look ahead at your schedule and plan your workouts. If there is even the smallest possibility your friends could invite you out right after work, which is when you usually do your workout, do it in the morning instead so you aren’t stuck doing it at midnight.

My Take Aways and After Thoughts

  • My jeans are falling-off-of-me loose. I need new jeans.
  • I want to try to stay eating three veggie servings a day. I think that seems doable.
  • I probably won’t continue eating four protein servings a day, at least not meat-based. I just don’t normally eat a lot of meat, and this was hard for me. I may continue drinking a protein drink for breakfast, eating meat once a day, and the occasional yogurt. And let’s not forget my precious black-eyed peas that I love but got relegated to a yellow container!
  • I’m excited to getting back to not working out every single day for a few weeks. Recovery days are important! My running has suffered a little, so I’m glad that I will be able to get it back to normal. That said, I will probably continue doing at least the arm and leg workouts once a week and probably the pilates from time to time.
  • Speaking of working out every day, I have a running streak coming up, and sticking with this for 21 days showed me that I could find the time to work out every day for a few weeks. Even though I had to get up early a lot of days.
  • I forgot how much I love grapes until I started this. I will continue eating grapes. They did help curb my cravings for things like Teddy Grahams and cheesecake.
  • I like meal planning. It makes my life easier.
  • Healthy food is freaking expensive. My grocery bill practically doubled during these three weeks, even when I was buying a lot on sale.
  • As a runner, I really probably needed more carbs than this program allows. I actually think they make me feel better, but that’s probably all in my head. I’m going to try to cut back on the refined carbs, but I’m not cutting them out completely (I had significantly LESS GI issues while running before I tried to cut them out).
  • Excited I’ll be able to start drinking chocolate milk after my runs again! I’ve missed it!
  • Finally, the fact that I potentially lost five pounds while only halfway doing the meal plan in the month before I started tells me that it’s ok to still eat a pizza from time to time or to have a cupcake or doughnut when they are being handed out at work. I was happier then too. Yummy foods aren’t inherently evil, and denying yourself of them will drive you crazy. If it weren’t for my “it’s only 21 days” mantra, I think I would have broken down a few times!

If you want to use the same format I did for meal planning, here is a blank version of my Google doc. I just cut and pasted the colored squares from the “Leftover” column as I filled out the week. Of course, if you are in a higher calorie bracket, make sure to add the additional containers before you begin! I used the space underneath each week to jot down my shopping list, so I would know what to pick up at the store on Sunday before I started prepping.

I’m going to post some of my favorite recipes coming up soon!

21 Day Fix: Week 2!

Here was my weekday meal plan for this week:
21 day fix meal plan

A few changes based on lessons learned from last week’s plan:
– Including chicken in my salads. It was too hard to fit in another red container after lunch.
– Meat other than chicken! I got a little bored of chicken last week, so I cooked up my mom’s pork roast recipe for this week.
– More sugary fruits for snacks. I’ve had carb cravings every single day since I started this thing, so I was hoping the sugary fruits would help curb them. It seems to have helped! Hard to tell, but I’ve had less carb cravings. Whether that is because they diminish over time, because I was eating sweeter fruits, or because I had a few days of cheese bread on the plan, who knows.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the chicken stirfry I made. I used some different frozen veggies than normal (Target brand versus Publix brand), so I don’t know if that was the reasoning or the lack of yummy sauce I usually make when I make stirfry but isn’t allowed on the plan. But I had to throw out most of the veggies on the two stirfry days because I just couldn’t get them down. That definitely won’t be on next week’s plan!

I bought some 8 lb weights this week. Last week I had only been using my 5 lb weights and not differentiating when Autumn says to use your “heavy” or “light” weights. Now I actually have heavy weights. And ow. I did switch out my Cardio Fix (Friday) and Dirty 30 (Saturday) days because hauling 26 pounds of weights to Jonathan’s apartment for one workout didn’t seem worth it.

I weighed and measured myself at the halfway point this week. I didn’t really expect much change in my numbers, but I was down a few inches and about a pound! Also…I have biceps now apparently, which really freaked me out when I discovered that. Hey, abs, get with the program!


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