I’m at the end of the 21 day challenge and thought I’d update everyone on how it went. This challenge was good for me in that it was simple to follow, not too restrictive, and had workouts included. It also got me off the couch and paying more attention to the things I was eating/drinking. It wasn’t so great for me in that there was meal prep involved and because willpower isn’t my strongest muscle. It fatigues really quickly and has a hard time bouncing back.
As I said in I’ll Miss You Couch : my hope was: if I’m paying for it, there is someone holding me accountable, and I have Jason in my corner, I can make it through these 21 days and come out on the other side healthier, fitter, and more confident in a bathing suit.
A challenge is called a challenge for a reason, so I started strong and did really well on both the food and exercise portions for the first 7 days. I even forego all the yummy baked goods Cole and Mimi made. Then life started to creep in. The meal prep was the first thing that got me. I was not good at cooking my protein the weekend before or even the night before. I did great with all the things I could grab out of the fridge and throw in – like the Greek yogurt, almonds, protein shake, and even broccoli or spinach.
That protein got me every time though and by not having the protein ready to go, I made one of 2 choices. 1. I just skipped the protein and made do with the rest. 2. I ate something not ‘diet approved’. Neither one of those choices was the best. If I made choice #1, I ended the day fatigued, crabby, and with lots of cravings. If I made choice #2, I spend the rest of the day frustrated with myself, knowing I wouldn’t get the results if I didn’t follow the plan.
Exercise went well until I forgot that I’m getting old and tweaked my back. Not wanting to truly injure it, I took things easier and forewent the strength training, focusing on light cardio instead. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the toning and definition I wanted, but I was able to continue to limit my time on the couch.
Even with my missteps, I still managed to lose a few pounds and inches by the end of week 2. Week 3 started with making an effort to do better. Unfortunately, my effort fell a tad short. I finally figured out a way to stick to plan for breakfast, snack, and lunch. The afternoon snack and dinner, not so much. I’m not a creative cook (or eater for that matter), so boredom started to become an issue. With boredom, came the cravings for my favorites: pizza and Taco Casa. Then came the need for that glass of wine at the end of the day. (Summer bored kids don’t help with that either).
Oh my, I’ve become a meme:
The final straw came with a much-needed lake trip. My willpower was nowhere to be found. So while I fell of the wagon pretty hard, I did walk away from this challenge with some positives.
- I lost some weight and even better – inches.
- I’m making more deliberate food choices. (that typically guide me away from the junk)
- I’m making more deliberate activity choices. (that typically guide me away from the couch)
- Finding clothes that fit right (without fretting about size) makes me feel like I’ve lost 10 pounds.
- I learned that I’m really good at finding loopholes to excuse myself from keeping up a good habit. I realize that’s not actually a positive, but if it helps me spot those loopholes, I’ll be better able to reject them. (Check out Gretchen Rubin for more on loopholes)
My biggest take away from this challenge has been that I’m actually good with my body/shape (well 90% good, there will be days when I bemoan my body) – even in a bathing suit – the way it is right now. This may be the first time in my life that I’ve felt that way.
So, in conclusion:
I did not make it the 21 days and I’m OK with that. I’ve learned some new exercises, have new ways to think about and make better choices regarding food, and I have a new appreciation for me – just the way I am.
PS: There are a few realizations that helped get me to that mindset.
- I have an amazing husband who loves my curves and makes it a point to tell me that as often as he can.
- I have wonderful friends/family that are supportive and quick to share tips and tricks. They are also the same friends/family that will bring the Girl Scout Cookies and wine when needed.
- Jared’s AKF campaigns remind me to “Love Yourself First” and most recently that “I am Enough“.
- I am #WaywardAF