The 21st Day.

Today is the 21st day of December, which not only means it’s the Winter Solstice, but it’s the 21st day of my December challenge – the 21 Day Fix.

There’s a lot I need to be upfront and honest about before I talk about my results. The first is that really, my 21 Day Fix challenge lasted about 17 days. That’s because I had a friend come visit on days 17-19, and a company holiday party on day 20. I knew this going in, And allowed myself to “give up” on the eating side of the fix, because I wanted to live my life.

That’s part one of my results – the realization that, at least for me, this isn’t a way of life. The diet reduced my intake of carbs and sugars, which I learned through calorie counting how to eat those food groups responsibly. Naturally, after not eating these things for nearly 3 weeks, I was going to binge-eat them, and, I did. From this, I learned that I make excuses much too easily, and don’t deserve to complain much about failure if I’m not willing to put in the effort.

The second piece of that honesty is that I didn’t stick to the plan even during those 17 days…exactly. The Fix calls for specific types of food, especially when it comes to things like yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and other foods which have a variety of fat contents. So, instead of buying more expensive Greek yogurt, I bought the less expensive, 100-calorie Yoplait yogurts. Instead of plain cereal, I snacked on chocolate Special K. But, again, I’m trying to live my life as realistically as possible, and these are the foods I normally eat. I don’t know how much these choices I made effected my results overall, but it would be a shame if the difference was that dramatic.

Ok, so it’s clear that my food choices were not 100% perfect. I did, though, stick to the exercise program as it was written, which I was proud of. The exercise routine is comprised of 7 different exercises, each day is dedicated to a specific type. Cardio, upper body, lower body, even yoga. In the third week, you’re encouraged to do 2 exercises a day instead of only one, which I started up doing, and actually did each day in the 3rd week, despite my plans.

At my lowest, I had lost 4 pounds. That weight loss was within the first week of the fix. From there, I just hovered. Sometimes I would gain half a pound, the next day I would lose .2 pounds…just hovering. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, because of course, muscles weighs more than fat, but if the 21 Day Fix is going to promise 15 pounds, maybe my food choices had a bigger impact than I thought.

I will say, though, that I could feel myself getting stronger through the daily workouts. I know how much I could push through the first week, and how much I can do now, and there’s been an improvement that even I’m noticing. I never counted my repetitions, but maybe I should start. I know I still have a long way to go (as evident by my inability to do more than 5 pushups), but I’m getting there, at least.

So, overall, I didn’t drop 15 pounds and a pant size in 21 days; nothing even close to that. But, I learned that a limited diet is just not how things work for me. Going forward, I plan to stick to the exercise routine, trying to squeeze in two workouts each day if I have the time, or, if anything, doing the additional “10 minute ab” video each day. I’m very glad I tried the challenge, leaving me with a net loss, even though my food choices for the last three days have been very poor. I heard once that the average American gains 12 pounds between Halloween and the New Year, and I’m excited to say that I’m well below that average.

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