Exactly 26 days ago, I sat in my living room feeling really blah about myself. I was sulking. I was feeling down about my body as I sat there comparing myself to some pictures that I saw of some friends on Facebook who had actually completed Max 30 and it totally made me feel icky. I was so happy for them but mad at myself for not seeing it through to the end. I had fallen off track the last few days and made poor food choices which for me is never a good thing with all my stomach issues. Comparison just sucks the joy right out of life. Comparison is from the devil. It is certainly not from God. It is the enemy trying to make you feel less and take you to a dark place so that He can attack your mind and your heart. He was winning. I felt like less in so many ways…as a mother, as a wife, as a coach, as a friend, as a woman in general. I was picking myself apart. It was not good.
Even though I had finished my 30 days with the Max 30 program and I just really wasn’t seeing the results I had hoped for. I remember that when I did my first ever at home fitness program, it was 60 days and the first 4 weeks didn’t do much for me. It was the last 4 weeks that really kicked things into gear for me and showed me that results. I stood on stage on day 64 and won the grace and physique portion of the competition.
I was looking at the old pictures of myself from when I competed on stage and I was thinking to myself how much I wanted to get back to that. The reality is that I am a totally different person. I have had 2 beautiful babies in a 4 year time frame. I have loose skin on my lower belly and a huge belly button hernia. It is ugly and it will always look funny, and wrinkly and just weird. Honestly…I am okay with that though. It could be worse. It is a part of being a mommy and I embrace that.
I do not in anyway shape or form think that I am fat. However, there is always room for imrovement. I have this habit of starting a program or workout routine and then I get bored or “life” steps in and I would find reasons why it was okay to just not workout or to just stop and grab a salad at Chick-fil-A. I would rationalize my “healthy” fast food choices. lol. The more I rationalized, the more I would fall into the same routine of not working out ant eating out every day because…Why not…It was easier right? Even if I was working out…Which I did for most of January 2015, I would just not follow a strict meal plan. I would do great for breakfast. Then during the middle of the day I would do 1 of 2 things. I would either BINGE on whatever was in the pantry, snacking my face off… OR I would not eat anything but a snack bar and drink water and then eat a HUGE healthy dinner. So basically, I was eating all the wrong things and certainly NOT eating enough at all. And when I was working out…That was making my body FREAK OUT because it needed way more food/fuel than I was eating. It couldn’t function properly with the routine and habits I had created. I was tired, lethargic, having headaches, relying on caffeine/sugars to get me through the day. My skin was a mess, my brain was foggy, I was moody and was yo-yoing back and forth with being bloated. One day I had abs…The next day I looked 6 months pregnant. Because we are being real here…I was totally off schedule and irregular too. I was skipping my daily superfood intake and then trying to make up for it by having 2 shakes in 1 day and that just threw my body all out of whack. You know…We all get it…Most of us call it a FOOD BABY! Mine was hanging around though after I digested.
I decided I wanted more self control. I wanted to get back on track. I had been looking forward to the release of the 21 Day Fix Extreme. That is also why I didn’t commit whole heartedly to Max 30. So On the 4th of February I decided to ask a bunch of my friends and followers to join me and hold me accountable for completing the program from Day 1 to Day 21 following the meal plan and everything. That same morning I ordered the full program, a new combo box of vegan shakeology, an additional set of portion control containers, a new set of hand weights, a resistance band and the bonus workouts. I started eating everything bad that was in my house and basically binged. I am not proud of that part but I felt guilty throwing it away and I was so nervous about the meal plan and the commitment that I was totally stress eating. Hey we are human. I posted about tall of that in my accountability group and they were all doing the same thing which made me feel so much better and we had fun laughing at all the crap we were eating before we all got serious. That Sunday night I knew the program was coming the next day so I took my before pictures and shared how I felt about my body and starting the program.
The program arrived on Monday, February 9th in the morning so I dove right in. I read the entire book and all the pamphlets. I created a meal plan based off the foods in the extreme guise and I did the first workout of the program. The first week I stuck to the workouts and followed the program guide exactly doing what Autumn considers the Extreme meal plan in the guide. Not the countdown to competition plan. I felt pretty good. I started with my light weights being 5 lbs. and my heavy’s as 8 lbs. I had the b lines resistance bands as well which we used quite often in the upper fix Extreme, pilates, and lower fix extreme. I think we even use it in a few others as well. I felt pretty good and was giving it all I had. I was sweating like crazy and I was pretty sore. The workouts were Tough!!! I was not as sore as I thought I would be though. I chalk that up to my using the results and recovery which kept my muscles healing and repairing after each workout AND I was seeing a chiropractor who did electro acupuncture 3 days a week. Holy run on sentence. HAHAHA!!!
I was LOVING THE FOOD!! It was really good. I was enjoying things like the Cashew Oat Pancakes, Turkey lettuce Wraps, Butternut Squash Stew, and more. All of it was Delish. The only thing I couldn’t handle was coconut oil. I couldn’t eat it raw in melted form. I literally threw up all morning after I did that. The smell still makes me sick to this day. I started putting it in my shakes. So much better!! All of these recipes can be found in the RECIPES section of this site.
Over the weekend of the first week the kids got SUPER sick. Quin got the stomach flu, AGAIN! and then Audrey got it a few days later. It was worse for the both of them the second time around so I was NOT SLEEPING and exhausted. I pushed through and managed to stay on track with all of it and got my work outs in while the sicko kiddos were sleeping. GO ME!!! Such is the life of a parent right? You manage because we don’t get sick days.I made a commitment so I was determined to see it through and my accountability group promised to hold me accountability and they did. So thankful for them and for our group.
The Wednesday of the second week I decided to fly to Santa Barbara California for a fun Girls weekend with my Aunts. I went prepared. I packed fix approved snacks and meals for the plane and travel time. Once I got to California we took a trip to Trader Joe’s and got all the things I needed to stay focused and on track while I was there. It was perfect. We did have a few meals out and I made modifications like no sauces or seasonings on my food and I used lemon juice to flavor my food. I asked them to make changes like using egg whites and veggies with no cheese on my omelette and replace the potatoes with berries. I only had water while I was there to drink as well. I ate raw tuna off the appetizer menu from a 5 star restaurant and root medleys.
Even with ALL of that…I was a wreck. I had a total melt down. My stomach was super bloated, I was constipated, and totally out of whack. I was so uncomfortable. I felt like I was failing. I felt like giving up somedays and just giving in to a nice treat meal. Oh…Who am I kidding…I just wanted to burry my face in Mexican food and Chocolate. HAHAHA!!! Instead, I retreated to my group(s). I asked a lot of questions about what may be the issue. What I could do to fix it. How could I get refocused and still get the results I wanted. I was so so discouraged at that moment. All of the girls were super supportive. I reached out to Autumn as well and asked her opinion in a HUGE group that we had running on FB for all of Beachbody. I decided to REFOCUS, RECOMMIT, and GO FOR IT. I was ALL in.
I decided to follow the CONCEPT of the countdown to competition meal plan. Being that I have competed before, I know how my body responds after years of practice, trial and error and there was NO way that I was going to Carb cycle either. I don’t do well with it. I NEED more carbs and sugar. The brain fog and the fatigue that come for ME with carb cycling really effect my workouts. I am also a SUPER big B&*%&# when I do that and no good for anyone or anything around me. LOL. I am not planning to step on stage so I figured I still wanted to feel good about myself during and after the 21 days. In the past that has been what happens to me. I do really well and then when its over and I add back the carbs and the sugar, I add back the “fluff” and bloat too and I just don’t feel confident. Everyone’s body responds differently. That’s important to remember.
I kept the concept of the plan the same but modified just a bit. I ate the same amount of carbs everyday. I pre prepped 2 days a week, Sunday and Wednesday. I made Meal 1 through Meal 6 for 3 days at a time. I ate 7 meals a day if I count Shakeology and they were spaced out every 2-3 hours. I ate all my carbs BEFORE 3 pm and I had all my sugars before 12 pm. My sugars were natural sugars like berries and Grapefruits. I do love my 88% dark chocolate so I had a tiny little square of that as well. My favorite brand is Endangered Species. I ate plain greek yogurt with unsweetened coconut flakes and almonds a few times as well. My carbs were sweet potatoes and oats. I found salt-free spices that I loved and hot sauce was my best friend. I cut out all of the cruciferous veggies and stuck to asparagus and peppers and onions. I had my shake after my workouts every morning. It made a huge difference. I just ate when I felt super hungry but I stuck to eating foods that were part of the plan or the snack list from the guide. I don’t think you can ever have too many veggies. So I ate veggies when I felt I needed them or had a scoop of peanut butter to satisfy the sweet tooth. After just 2 days I felt 100 x better. I drank a TON of water and had water bottles everywhere so I was sure to drink them. I think my husband was freaking out because I was leaving half empty water bottles all over the place, even Next to full ones. LOL.
Over the last few days I have really stuck to my guns. I refused the sweets, I brought my food and water with me everywhere and I set a timer in my phone to remind me to eat at certain times and also to remind me WHAT to eat. It took the guess work out of it. It made it SO SO SO much easier to follow. I made sure I got plenty of sleep and I got my workouts in when I could usually before noon. I upped my weights and started to challenge myself. My 10 lbs weights became my light weights. I focused so much more on the actual moves and form and NOT just on getting through the workout. If I wasn’t going as fast or doing as many reps, it was okay. I just wanted to make sure I got between 12-15 reps in with the heavy weights and push to failure. I would drop to lighter after my muscles gave out. I was targeting the muscle groups and I could FEEL it working and toning.
When I didn’t want to work out I would chug E & E like a shot. It is a pre workout formula. It was nasty but it worked like a charm. It was awesome! I can handle the taste if I plug my nose like a little kid eating veggies. LOL. This morning as I finished day 21 I rewarded myself with some grade B maple syrup on my cashew blueberry pancakes. And I allowed myself to eat a piece of my daughters quesadilla. My tummy hurts from that one. Cheese is not my friend. It wasn’t before I started either but I couldn’t help it. Overall, I FEEL GREAT!!!! I look great and I am excited about my progress!!! I am happy to report that After 21 Days, I have gotten the results I was hoping for.
I took pictures in the am of my transformation. My husband said that it was cheating because in my Day 0 picture I had taken it at night right after I ate. I hate to mislead anyone SO I waited until late at night, after I ate dinner, to take my after pictures so that they would be a fair and realistic before and after picture. I worked so hard and am proud of my results.
This are the morning pictures that I took. And Hello Obliques!!! I am super happy about those popping out. My back, legs and Bootay are stubborn but I will work on those and they will get there. I am thinking some cardio is in my future and I am NOT down for cardio. LOL. That and some sprint/agility work.
I have learned a lot about my eating habits and my body and what it can and can not handle. I learned a lot about myself emotionally. I have learned that it doesn’t matter what everyone else looks like. That I need not compare myself to other people to feel worthy. That there will always be ups and downs in any fitness journey. I learned to rely on the support systems I have and the people who love me to help me through those rough patches. That by not just throwing in the towel, I rediscovered my own strength and confidence in myself. I felt good about myself and the direction I was going. I was proud of myself for NOT giving up. I learned who the people are who are true friends and supporters. Haters will hate but the ones that love you for who you are will be there to lift you up and help you through. I learned that my struggles are just another way that God is using me to serve others.
I learned what my strengths and weaknesses are and how I can use them as tools to serve those around me. I learned that when you start to get comfortable it usually means it is time to push a little bit harder and get uncomfortable again. That I needed to challenge myself. Change happens outside of your comfort zone. I learned that God always uses highly unlikely people in highly unlikely places. That highly unlikely person is ME and that unlikely place is this moment that I am in right NOW.
Life moves so fast sometimes that we don’t slow down enough to take stock of how we are doing. We think, “It doesn’t matter how I feel right now. I must keep striving toward success!” Over time the impossible standards we set for ourselves become the measuring stick for our worth. We start to believe that if we don’t measure up, we aren’t enough. We begin to feel worthless. I did. I was lost and busy, fueled by quick fixes that didn’t fix anything at all. I believed the lies about who I was and wasn’t supposed to be, I put those lies in my own mind. I was chasing perfect. I Learned that I don’t need to do that any more.
Chasing perfect makes us believe we are bad moms, wives, friends. Chasing perfect makes us believe we are average and insignificant. Chasing perfect makes us believe we don’t have enough friends, fun, or adventures. I know now that God’s desire for ME is a life of peace, passion, and purpose. Where I am now is exactly where I am supposed to be. That I need to not disregard the preparations that HE has for the blessing he will pour out into my life. I learned that my life is full of JOY and that I am more than ENOUGH! CRAZY to think that a workout program and a good weekend surrounded by influential people and friends will bring about all this change and confidence.
SO….HERE IT IS!!! Here is my transformation.
I plan to start a second round of this program on Monday March 9th 2015. If you want to make a change. If you relate to any of the things I said at all…then fill out the challenge application in the menu bar under the challenge tab. Start this program with me and I will help you through it. Our support group will help you as well. I am here, Ready and willing to walk through this HERE and NOW with you in Life. Lets do this!
If you are reading this and it is past March 9th, 2015…I have a group that run EVERY month so just fill out an application or contact me through social media or the contact tab!