My success with 21 Day Fix: Round 3

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2/20/16 Valentine’s day party in my favorite high school dance dress

February 15, 2016.  152.8 lbs.  Day 1 of Round three.  Between rounds 2 & 3 I took a week off so that I could join the beginning of a challenge group after Valentine’s day.  In that short break I did ease up a little with the food, but definitely kept up the exercising and didn’t go too crazy because I didn’t want to undo all my hard work.  I also did the 3 Day Refresh to detox before the party, the results of which I posted previously.  I felt lighter and leaner and ready to take on this round, with the extra challenge of not letting my social activities this month rob me of my success.  Last fall with the holiday season I started with good habits and ended with bad ones, but with my newfound disciplines I found myself craving less junk and feeling better when I got back on track after an indulgent meal.  It’s not that I said no to everything unhealthy- I had once a week where I had a few things (like mimosas and waffles at brunch) where I ate things that were definitely not in the plan, but this time I ate them in moderation and planned when I was going to indulge and when I was going to buckle down and choose healthy, nutritious food.

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This round was where I could really tell a difference with my strength.  I was starting to use 10 lb weights!  I was hardly modifying the poses!  I made it from one pushup at a time to 21 pushups!  I could do 15 burpees in a minute and kiss my knees during stretches!  The compound work of the last two rounds was paying off wonderfully and I could feel it in my body.  I lost 6 pounds this round and made it past a mental block; you see, I had made it to 148 lbs with exercise twice in recent memory, both times the result of hard work but also with both times being interrupted by a pregnancy.  We are done having kids now, but that idea of being at 148 lbs and having something interrupt my progress was stressing me out.  In the 3rd week when I weighed in at 146.8 lbs I was so happy I almost cried!  I kept writing down my scale numbers thinking I had them mixed up- I was so used to recording 164 that 146 felt like an error- but considering all the clothes I had to put in the donation box, all the positive comments from people who could definitely see the changes now and seeing a new body in the mirror everyday, I knew the changes were true and mine.  All my effort was paying off and I was closer every day to my goal.

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My 21 Day Fix changes

(What’s next, you ask?  Well, I decided to join Tony Horton and go 22 Minute Hard Corps…)

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My success with 21 Day Fix: Round 2

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1/18/16 Little black college dress

January 18, 2016.  161.4 lbs.  Day 1 of Round 2.  Instead of giving myself a week off I jumped straight into round 2.  I mean, I was already prepping my meals and found ways to fit exercise into my schedule so why stop?  Plus, I was so excited by my results that I felt I had to keep going while the motivation was there!  I made some gourmet meals this time around, stuffed bell peppers, bun-less bison burgers, a big batch of caramelized onions…yum!  Being on the 21 Day Fix is about eating the right foods in the right amount, not about starving yourself or eating plain food.  If you’re going to make a lifestyle change, you need to find healthy recipes you want to make over and over again and create “new backups,” those easy recipes you can whip out when you don’t feel like cooking anything fancy.  Baked chicken (With lemons and balsamic vinegar) and steamed veggies; poached eggs on zoodles (zucchini noodles), stir fry bowls, Mexican bowls, etc.  Those have become my new backup meals.

I also started getting stronger.  My 6 lb weights were feeling easy.  I could do 14 burpees in a minute.  I could do more pushups and my flexibility was improving.  I also knew that February was around the corner, and I was motivated to wear a dress from high school that *almost* fit again for a fancy party the week after Valentine’s day.  Though I had healthy cookies on week 2 and a big container of lasagna as my cheat meal on week 3, I kept up the regimen of container portions and my exercise.  On days when I had time I’d throw in the extra ten minute ab workout and sometimes do double workouts- when my schedule permitted.  Overall however, I did find myself more active, even if it was just shoveling snow during our crazy blizzard.

 

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Another change this round was that I started drinking Shakeology.  I got the variety pack of chocolate, vanilla and cafe latte so I could vary the flavors.  My favorite way to drink it still is to blend it with blueberries and almond milk.  I add other things and sometimes just shake with water and go, but to me it is nice when it reminds me of a Starbucks frappuccino.  I would highly recommend checking it out and purchasing it here.  Because I had been leaving a red protein container empty several times a week and all of a sudden started adding in a nutrient dense drink, I gained half a pound that week, though one my body adjusted I started losing again rather quickly. (I went from gaining half a pound in a week to losing 2 pounds in half a week- bodies are interesting that way.)  My energy levels did keep increasing with the Shakeology addition, and I can tell my concentration is better on the days I drink it.

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Round 2 before and after results

Though my results were not as dramatic this time around scale wise, I lost 5 pounds and made it into the 150 range!  This was as low scale-wise as I had made it post children before bouncing back up the scale, but this time I was fitter, had a better routine, and a motivational coach and accountability group to keep my fire to succeed alive.  I also decided to take the plunge and become a coach myself so others could benefit from my journey and I could use my effervescent personality to inspire others.  There was no turning back now.  My clothes fit better, I had lost so many inches that people were starting to notice my change and I was getting a nice endorphin release of happiness everyday.  Life was changing for the better now that I was taking care of me.

(To be continued…on to Round 3!)

Perseverance

Perseverance: continually moving forward despite obstacles trying to get in your way.

Perseverance has never been my strong suit.

Passion I have in abundance.

Optimism and enthusiasm come naturally.

Talent and tenacity are familiar friends.

But persistence and perseverance are strangers I’ve recently invited into my acquaintance.

I’m more familiar with avoidance.  I put off hard decisions because I’m afraid of making the wrong one.  I don’t like the initial pain of dealing with problems, and so put it off, realizing that the pain will just increase over time but not ready to deal with it right now.  I don’t like the fact that something will be imperfect, but if my immense burst of energy cannot take care of it initially I move on to something quicker, something simpler.  That leaves me with projects unfinished, plans unmade, phone calls and letters unsent and weight unlost.  I could be good at so many things with perseverance.

Music has been the passion with which I’ve been the most persistent.  Being involved in the Choral Arts Society of Washington and submerging myself in the learning of new music has been the reward of years of perseverance in the honing of my skill and practice in vocal training.  I know that I can succeed and persevere if I put my mind to it, I have that fire within me, but I need the motivation to take that heat and transfer it into other areas of my life.

Since weight loss has always been a struggle, I have made a habit of avoidance that I am working to break.  I have FINALLY decided to take control of what I put into my body and how I treat my body, and I am going to continue to my goals no matter what this time.  Just because I’m ill or there’s a special occasion with sweets or I injure myself doesn’t mean that I will undo all the good work I’ve put into myself.  I will keep putting the small stones, one after another, day by day, on each other until my wall is finally built.

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Here are some other quotations about perseverance in which to inspire your own journey:

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Maya Angelou

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Perseverance gets you from the bottom to the top.

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Excellence does not need you to be perfect, but to be dedicated to what you commit yourself to.”
Wayne Chirisa

“Life is like crossing a river. If you take a huge step-aim for too bigger dreams-then the current will knock you off your feet and carry you away.
The way to do it is small steps, you will take hold of life. You will get there in the end.”
Louis Sachar

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Perseverance is like crossing a long bridge.

“Add persistence to patience, you get perseverance. Multiply perseverance, you get success.”
Manuela George-Izunwa

 

May you persevere in your endeavors this week.

 

Motivational Monday: Statues

When you see a beautiful person or an accomplished person-

someone whom you admire-

you are looking at a lifetime of experiences and effort.

They are like exquisite statues.

These statues were not made instantaneously.

Instead, they begin,

like us all,

as a lump of clay or stone or a block of wood.

Over time, they are chipped or heated or molded,

broken and weathered,

until they overcome the pressure and transform into something amazing.

Perhaps you,

who feels so inferior-

closer to the clay-

just need to remember that you are at the beginning of your statue.

Go live life and gain the experiences which will create your inspiring mold.

Picture ©Myrthe Krook/ Dreamstime Stock Photos

New Year, New Me

Everyone has a story.  Each life is a woven tapestry of experiences and emotions.  Like a snowflake or fingerprint, no person’s life story is exactly like another’s.  Despite the differences however, our struggles and triumphs, our fears and joys and animosities are reflected in others and our human connections to each other and the world we live in.  I’m here to tell my story and invite you on my life journey- a journey to health, to peace, to confidence, to life.

My journey to health has not been a straight one.  I really like (I mean REALLY LIKE) certain junk food items and indulgent, gluttonous meals.  When I was growing up, I had a quick metabolism and fairl active childhood so I didn’t reallly think about what I ate.  In college, weight would start creeping up on me, but like the last minute cramming for exams, I was able to do just enough exercise to lose 10 lbs or so before I started eating what I wanted again.  Thus the vicious cycle began: eat too much, gain weight, diet & exercise for a month or so until something interrupted my routine, began to sneak in unhealthy foods and relax my exercising, get disappointed that I was gaining weight again, completely fall off the wagon….etc.  My love of food combined with lack of moderation led me to yo-yo between 130 and 180, steadily increasing the minimum weight over time.

During my mid 20’s there were two times when I started significantly losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise; l joined a zumba group and went from the high 160’s to 148 lbs, but then got pregnant with my first child.  Despite being sick for most of my pregnancy, I gained about 35 lbs.  Thrilled with being a first time mom but completely unhappy with how I looked and felt, I ended up joining a yoga studio that had a mommy and me program in which I could bring my son.  Getting involved with their different programs along with nursing helped me to lose my baby weight and get fit at the same time.  I was happy; I was healthy.  I was not yet at my ideal weight, but my trajectory was good- until we moved.  My husband’s contract changed and we decided to move from Virginia to Maryland; not too far, but far enough to put my routines on hold and stress me out- bringing out former, dormant bad habits.  Once we moved and I thought I’d be able to get back into a routine, I got pregnant again.  Plenty of people have wonderful pregnancies that don’t interfere with their ability to exercise and eat right; I was so sick I was hospitalized for dehydration in the first three months.  By the time I was the least amount sick I was just so happy that I could eat again that I ate anything- and everything.  With that pregnancy I gained about 50 lbs and was at my highest weight ever.

It’s been almost two years since my daughter was born.  After the immediate 25 lbs I lost after she was born, I have been struggling to lose the rest.  I lost and regained the same 15 lbs and got stuck in the same cycles over and over.  I needed a new mindset- I needed help.  During 2015 I tried several times to lose weight, only to find excuses to indulge.  In the summer after hearing some friends having success with the 21 Day Fix program I decided to purchase it because I had a trip to Seattle coming up to visit family and wanted to go up there and be at least okay with having pictures taken of myself.  I felt disgusting and unhappy because I knew and understood the value of a healthy lifestyle, but just didn’t feel I had the willpower to make the changes I wanted.  On my Seattle trip and after, I did make some changes that made me more fit and healthy, but I didn’t fully start the 21 Day Fix and none of my changes survived the holiday season.  I didn’t gain it all back, but enough to feel like I couldn’t succeed.

After Christmas I snapped (in a good way) and decided I had had enough.  I was tired of making excuses.  I was tired of feeling unhealthy.  I was tired of feeling fat around fit, athletic friends who biked everywhere and did triathlons and had beers on the weekends because they would be working it off on at the gym.  I was tired of feeling like I was 49 instead of 29.  I wanted to have more energy for my kids and spouse, and more importantly, I wanted to gain the tools and discipline to live a healthy lifestyle before I started having major health problems.  I decided to really start the 21 Day Fix and actually get in touch with my free coach so that I wasn’t doing it alone.

Things started clicking once I made that decision to start the program and contact my coach.  She invited me into her New Year New Me challenge group for January and introduced me to so many women with the same goals and aspirations that I have.  In my first round of the 21 Day Fix I lost 11 lbs and 10.25 inches!  I have worked out (and sometimes did doubles) every day since the new year started and even better, I look forward to it everyday.  I have been eating clean and using my herbalism and nutrition background to really optimize my health this year.  I feel stronger, have more energy, and have been starting to shrink out of clothes.  Things are going well and I feel so empowered to continue because now I have the tools and resources to help me achieve my goals.

My journey for better health and weight loss is not over.  I am going to need determination and drive even on the days where I get no sleep and have little distractions rolling all over me.  I’m going to need focus and perseverence when I dream about rolls or get invited to brunch.  I decided to become a coach because I feel like my story can help others and we can learn and support each other on our different yet beautiful journeys.  Weight is temporary.  Friendships gained through mutual experience can last much longer.