I just completed my first Beach Body 21 Day Challenge yesterday. Here’s what I learned in the last three weeks:
Non Scale Victories
I love using measurements instead of the scale as indications of progress. As you can see, my weight fluctuated, but my measurements showed progress.
Water helps with daytime fatigue. If I’m tired during the day it probably means I haven’t had enough water.
Eat your vegetables first. Shut up. Just do it.
Plan ahead. If food is pre-packaged in the right portion sizes for the week it’s much easier to eat right.
Even on a restricted calorie plan, healthy food takes up a lot of space. You’d be amazed at how much food you can pack onto your plate.
A food log is a must. Otherwise it’s too hard to remember where I fell of the wagon and why. Without knowing when and why it’s hard to find solutions to the problem.
Speaking of falling off the wagon…
Falling off the wagon
Falling off the wagon isn’t reserved for just alcohol anymore. When I say ‘fall off the wagon’ I mean that day you ate four pieces of cake and a mountain of banana pudding at a family gathering. I’m not saying I did that. I’ve just heard, you know. . . from someone else. . . (*cough, cough* *looks away*) Moving on.
If (when) you fall off the wagon let your stomach settle then get back up there.
Your stomach will be angry when you fall off the wagon. It’s not used to eating crap anymore. Apologize to it with healthier foods.
Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Track it and move on.
Falling off the wagon can provide useful information. I identified my trigger foods. Cheese and wine. (And, apparently, cake.) Once I get going, I don’t stop. And I’ve noticed that alcohol opens the door to a food free for all. Every time.
You might have to back off of other activities until your body gets used to doing so much. I’m not saying you have to stop. Just accommodate. For instance, I have to take more walking breaks during my 10k training, but I am definitely stronger than I was three weeks ago. I’ll just build my running time back up again after the 10k is over.
By the end of the 21 day challenge you’ll feel weird about not doing a daily workout. You won’t feel right until it’s done. (Hint: That’s what a habit looks like.)
Allow time for your body to adjust, but be conscious of getting too used to the workouts. If you can get through a set without too much trouble, you either need to add weights or get heavier weights. My 5 pound light weights, for instance, are too light now. I probably need to bump those up to 7 or 8 pounds so I keep working hard.
The 21 Day Fix reminded me that there’s no easy way out. If you want results, you have to do the work.
If you do the work and stick with the eating plan, you’ll see changes. And once you start seeing changes, you’ll want to keep going.
It’s a very cool repeating cycle.
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