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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The 21 Day Fix Wrap Up

Well, kind of. I did complete the 3 weeks. But not exactly according to the plan.

I'm going to admit, I didn't follow this exactly as I should have. For the first 2.5 weeks, I didn't bother at all with the exercise program. I followed the diet and it did help. I lost 6 lbs in the first 10-14 days. But my body got stuck in starvation mode and everything came to a grinding halt. It was frustrating. I heard a lot of "But you're forming new habits, that's what's important!" when the weight loss stopped. That kind of made me angry. Here's a big dose of truth. A big part of me didn't want new habits. I want to stuff my face with junk food. Vegetables are still nasty. There is no dressing them up for me. People told me to dress something up this way, dress it up that way, that it would be delicious. It's not. I'm picky. This stuff will always be nasty to me. The same goes for my husband and my children. I'm the kid who sat at the table until bed time because I refused to eat it.
So this plan wasn't completely realistic for someone like me. Filling up on hefty servings of veggies got old, and very fast. I also wasn't in this to form new habits, I was in this to lose weight. Or was I?

I'll admit, I was pretty angry at the whole process. Here were all of these skinny people telling me how great the healthy life was. Feeding my body and stuff. And all I wanted was a Boston Cream donut. And chocolate. And a cupcake. Some brownies. Moose Tracks ice cream. You get the picture. I don't want to live to 100 years old stuffing my face with gross food, even if it's healthy. But by the end of the 3 weeks, I started to realize these new habits, and I started to appreciate these new habits. A healthy lifestyle doesn't have to mean waking up and bounding down the stairs in the morning to enjoy your kale smoothie. It doesn't have to mean getting excited over the brussel sprouts drizzled in olive oil and some other junk and roasted. I also realize it doesn't mean I can't indulge.
As much as I kicked and screamed over the past few weeks, I have formed new habits. And I like them. After nearly 3 weeks and my weight loss completely stalling, I decided to give in. I had a serving of cookies. And this is a good thing. Here's the issue I had before. Before, a serving of cookies meant what I wanted to serve myself at once. So while the package said 2, my hands grabbed 4. Or 6. A serving of ice cream is 1/2 a cup. My serving of ice cream was a bowl, not measured but probably 1 1/2 cups. When I got bored, I snacked. When my stress level rose, I reached for the candy at the top of the fridge. If I had an errand to run right before lunch, I didn't plan ahead and ended up stopping while out and getting something so packed with calories, it could have covered 2 meals. When my blood sugar dropped(I still have issues with my blood sugar dropping if I go too long without eating, and too long can be only 2 hours), I reached for the sweetest thing I could find and then stuffed my face until I felt better. But this program helped me change a lot of those habits.

So I had cookies. I had that wiggle room because I watched what I put in my face during other meals and snacks. I also didn't have to eat 4-6 cookies or an entire bowl of ice cream. Yes, it's tasty and I could, but do I need to? I didn't actually even want to. So I had 2 cookies or I had the 1/2 cup of ice cream.

The habit of snacking while bored was broken. When I feel restless, I might make a cup of coffee or tea, but I don't go rummaging in the cabinet. This also goes for my stress level rising. In fact, now that I'm not in that cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes thanks to the crappy food I was eating, I don't get as stressed as I was getting.

I also learned how to prepare. I normally eat lunch at noon. I pick up my preschooler at 11:45 and bring her home and we have lunch. But sometimes I have to run to the store after. So I think ahead on these days and eat lunch or at least a decent snack before I pick her up, so I don't need to stop and grab something while out. Preparing also helped slow me down in the event of blood sugar crashes. I kept things on hand to reach for quickly, like Kefir or yogurt or fruit to eat if I feel shaky. I don't stuff my face.

I realize the value of food now. Seeing how just cleaning up my eating helped me drop decent weight in a couple of weeks made me look at food differently. Eating 3 helpings of cookies wasn't worth it. There were many other options, sure, they might not be as tasty as cookies, that wouldn't make me feel so guilty after.

And when I introduced some of my old foods back, but in moderation, and still worked at staying under my daily calorie limit, my weight loss started back up. I didn't do it every day, but here and there. I also started the exercise program. I'll go over that in another post, because I actually really like it.

So the numbers:
Using just the diet, with 2 days of doing the exercise program towards the end.
Starting weight: 141.6
Ending weight, after 21 days: 134.2
Total loss: 7.4 lbs
So yes, I lost 7 lbs in 3 weeks. Because of this, and because of the positive habit changes I did see(even if I made them kicking them screaming), I'll give this program two thumbs up.