I love this saying that I found in my Erin Condren planner: "Keep your head up, keep your heart strong". This is exactly how I want to approach the month of February! I am hoping to work hard and not give up regardless of how many challenges come my way.
The biggest example of me following this saying is by starting another round of 21 Day Fix today. This will be my third full round and I am excited to see what kind of results I can get. When I weighed myself this morning I was still down 17 pounds from my starting weight, so not a lot has changed over the last few weeks. I'm hoping to lose 8-10 pounds over the next 21 days so that I'm well on my way to my goal.
I will have the added challenge of being out of town on a work trip for four days next week. But I'm already planning on bringing my Shakeology packets with me so I can maintain healthy nutrition and I will also plan on doing my workouts in my hotel room. The hardest part will be choosing healthy foods to eat while eating out for all four days, but I'll just have to do my best!
For this round, I am planning on doing things a little differently than how I've done this program in the past. The biggest change is that I will be trying to follow the double-workout schedule for the third and final week. This is optional and I've never done it before, but I've heard it's a great way to fast-track your results.
This means that for my third week I will be doing two 30-minute workouts instead of just one workout each day. The plan explains that you need to do the workouts at different times to keep your metabolism revved up, so I'm hoping I can commit to such a challenging schedule. I'm going to give it my best, which is the most I can ask of myself!
I'll keep you posted each Monday on my progress and give you any tips & tricks I learn along the way.
Another goal I have for February is to bring more variety to my blog posts. I'm planning on posting about my upcoming cruise as well as sharing my 2016 reading list, so keep an eye out for those!
What Is a Rest Week?
I am taking this week as a rest week between rounds of 21 Day Fix. Yesterday, I finished day #21 of my second full round, so I have decided that instead of jumping back into another 21 days I will take a week off between them. This works out pretty well for me because it means I can do one round of 21 Day Fix each month without getting burnt out or feeling like it's never going to end.
So here's a look at how this week will be different from a typical week on 21 Day Fix:
My overall plan for this rest week is to use common sense in choosing which foods to eat but also giving myself a break from writing down everything I eat. I will also experiment with new workouts so that I can try different programs I haven't tried yet. I'll keep some notes from this week and let you know how it goes and if I plan to do anything differently after my next round of 21 Day Fix.
If you have any questions on how 21 Day Fix works or would like some information on how you can sign up, please send me an email at email@example.com.
Don't forget to bookmark this page or share it with a friend if you think they would be interested!
As much as I try to be consistent and really stick to my fitness goals, there are definitely ups and downs along the way.
For example, last week I was so excited to increase my hand weights from 3 pounds to 5 pounds. I felt so strong at the end of my upper body workout and was really proud of myself for pushing my limits. Yesterday, however, I started having some serious pain in my ribs which turns out to be a consequence of that upper body workout where I really pushed myself. So now I have to be smart and give my body a break so it can heal itself. See what I mean about ups and downs?
Another great moment this past week was when I weighed myself and saw that I had lost a total of 17 pounds from my heaviest weight. It's so amazing to see proof that my hard work and dedication are paying off. And now I have a cruise to go on at the end of April, so I've got even more motivation to really buckle down and work hard!
A few weeks ago I shared some of my tips & tricks for staying motivated and losing weight. It seemed like you guys really enjoyed hearing the tips I had to offer, so now I'd like to open up a discussion and ask you if you have any questions I can try to answer. Maybe you're not sure of how much water you should be drinking or whether you should focus on cardio or weight training. Those are things that I can try to help you with! So if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or send me a direct message so we can have a private discussion. I've learned a lot in my journey, so I would love to pass along some of my knowledge and try to help you see some great results!
I have decided that my word for this year is going to be "fearless". Not because I plan on living without fear, but because I want to embrace my fear and let it push me out of my comfort zone. I want to do things I never thought possible and that usually only happens when you've got some level of fear. Hopefully you will see a theme in my posts for the next year where I talk about doing things I never thought I would do or overcoming a certain fear by facing it head-on. So stay tuned to see where this takes me!
Also, I wanted to give you an update on my 21 Day Fix progress. I weighed myself this morning and have lost exactly 16 pounds since the middle of October. I am really happy with these results and am proud that I got through the holidays without gaining it all back!
Out of curiosity I looked to see how long it had been since I weighed this much and it turns out it was almost exactly a year ago. Part of me was actually kind of frustrated because in a way it feels like I wasted a whole year. If only I had stayed on track this time last year then maybe I'd weigh much less instead of the same. But, with the helpful advice of an amazing friend, I realized that I need to look at this as an inner growth and know that I have learned a lot about myself in the past year to get me where I am today.
I almost lost that motivation this afternoon when I realized the day had mostly gone by and I hadn't worked out yet. The "old me" would have told myself that I could just workout tomorrow, but the "new me" knew that I'd be frustrated with myself for not doing something I told myself I would do. So I turned on my DVD player and a short 30 minutes later I was done with my full body cardio workout and proud of myself for finishing it.
It's nice to see that with the right attitude and the right support system, we really can accomplish anything we set our minds to!
That's it for tonight, but stay tuned for more!
21 Day Fix: Starting Over
Today I am starting another round of 21 Day Fix, but because I'm doing things so differently I feel like I'm actually starting over. I was really successful with my first round and ended up losing 11 pounds in 3 weeks, so I was very happy with those results. I posted the picture from above after finishing my first round and was surprised to see how much change I could see in my face. The biggest difference I noticed was how much happier I look in the picture on the right. It's amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time, both physically and mentally!
The second round I completed was in December and I didn't do quite as well. I basically stopped trying mid-month and didn't even finish out the 21 days. At first I was really disappointed in myself, but then I remembered that I'm trying to not be so hard on myself, so I gave myself a break until after the holidays were over.
The round that I am starting today will technically be considered my second round "do-over" since the last time didn't go so well. I plan on doing things differently this time around, so I'm going to go over some of those changes to give you some tips & tricks that might work for you if you're trying to get healthier.
When I first started 21 Day Fix I decided that I wanted to create meal plans for myself ahead of time so that I would know exactly what I would be eating every day for the whole week. I color coded the plan and printed it so I could see it on the fridge every time I went to get something to eat. I probably followed the plan for about a day and a half, until I realized that I might not want to eat oatmeal for breakfast or that a salad might not sound good for lunch.
So, this time around I am going to do things differently. I still made a grocery list based on the approved foods from 21 Day Fix, but I won't be planning out exactly when I'm going to eat each food. I'll still use the containers to track my portions, but I'll be counting them as I go instead of planning them out ahead of time. This time I will be using the 21 Day Fix app on my phone to keep track of my containers, which will make things much easier for me and make sure I stay on track.
Letters to Myself:
Before the Tone It Up Bikini Series last year I decided I wanted to write myself encouraging letters to read each week along the way. That's what you see in this picture. I'm going to do the same thing for this round of 21 Day Fix so that I can give myself pep talks before I start each week. They're basically all going to say things like "you can do this" or "don't give up", but I'm hoping that reading them each week will remind me why I'm doing this and help me to stick to it.
This is an idea I got from Pinterest. Basically you use page flags to write down the number of days you want to workout and then stick them somewhere so that you can peel them off each day you complete a workout. In my example above I did five days a week and each week is a different color.
I've found this to be highly motivating because it makes me feel good to peel a flag off every time I workout. It's also a nice visual reminder because it gives you an idea of how much further you have to go. I'll be doing this for the next 16 weeks before my next cruise, so I'll have 5 flags a week for 16 weeks. I'll probably do them separately for each round of 21 Day Fix so that it doesn't feel so overwhelming!
Cheat Meals vs. Treat Meals:
When I first started 21 Day Fix I decided that I would have one cheat meal every week where I could eat whatever I wanted. It actually worked out pretty well because it allowed me the freedom to dream about eating something unhealthy all week and then enjoy it on Friday night. The only thing I'm changing about this is that instead of thinking of it as a cheat meal I'm going to start referring to it as a treat meal. Because technically I'm not cheating by eating something outside the plan, I'm actually making a logical decision to eat something I've been craving all week and therefore "treating" myself.
And so those are some of the ways I'll be changing my approach to following 21 Day Fix. Let me know if any of these ideas were helpful or if you have any tips or tricks of your own that you would like to share!
This is going to be a fairly short blog post. Basically, I wanted to check in and let you know that I finished my second round of 21 Day Fix yesterday. Due to a number of reasons, I had some issues with staying motivated during this round, so I definitely didn't do as well as I would have liked to.
My main goal after this round is to take a break for the holidays and come back in the new year feeling refreshed and ready to kick some butt in 2016! Like the quote above says, I know I CAN do this and that means I WILL do this.
I'll be doing another post closer to when I start again to explain the lessons I've learned so far and what I plan on doing differently moving forward.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!
My PCOS Story
Today I'm going to open up about something very personal. The main reason I'm sharing this story is because it starts with someone else opening up about their personal life and therefore having a huge impact on my own life. More about that later.
But first, let's get something slightly relevant out of the way...
"Hi, my name is Beth and I'm a reality TV addict."
It's true, I have always loved reality TV and getting a chance to peek into other people's lives. A lot of people think reality TV is a waste of time, and it definitely can be, but in my case it was actually very informative and may have changed my life for the better. It sounds strange, but I'm being serious.
There's a show on TLC called "My Big Fat Fabulous Life". I started watching it on a whim one day and was really impressed with the positive attitude of the person the show is about, whose name is Whitney Thore. She is very open about her weight and how it affects her daily life, but she is also a really great role model because she loves herself exactly the way she is. It's a great message for anyone to hear, especially women who tend to get down on themselves about their weight.
The main part of Whitney's story is that she struggles with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is the main reason for her extreme weight gain. In the first episode she explains some of her symptoms and how it took a long time to eventually get diagnosed with PCOS. It seems like a lot of doctors either aren't familiar with PCOS or they don't check for it, so a lot of women tend to go undiagnosed.
Hearing Whitney's story, especially her list of symptoms, made me stop and wonder if I could have PCOS. Similar to Whitney, I had gained a large amount of weight over a relatively short amount of time. At my highest weight I had gained about 100 pounds over a 5-year period. At the time I was quick to blame myself because of my poor diet and lack of exercise, which I'm sure are a huge part of the weight gain. But at the same time, I had also tried really hard to lose the weight once I realized how much I was gaining and it seemed like I just couldn't get rid of it. I tried a number of weight loss programs and honestly gave each one everything I had, but would give up once it seemed like nothing I did was working.
It was basically a vicious cycle of gain weight, start a program and lose a few pounds, and then gain it all back and then some. This probably sounds familiar to a lot of you who have struggled with your weight, but for me it really felt like my weight was out of control. I had talked to my doctor frequently about wanting to lose weight and he always gave me advice on eating healthier and working out more often, but he never suggested that we do any blood tests until I mentioned my suspicions about PCOS to him. He was very open to running some tests to see if we could figure out if that's what I had going on, especially after sharing some of my symptoms to him.
Sure enough, when I went in for my follow-up appointment he said that we should start a treatment plan for PCOS. He wrote me a prescription and told me that it would help regulate my hormones and therefore allow my body to stop storing fat at such a high rate. He also told me that the most important thing for me to do was to exercise every day if possible. He explained that it's easier to maintain an exercise program daily because it makes exercise more of a habit.
So I started the medicine and also signed up for 21 Day Fix. If you've been reading my transformation story, then you know that I have had a lot of success losing weight by eating healthier and working out regularly. In the two months after getting diagnosed with PCOS I was able to lose 16 pounds, which I am thrilled with. I still have a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead of me, but for the first time in a long time I finally feel like I am in control of my own health and can see a bright future ahead of me.
I truly hope my story has been informative and helpful. Like I said earlier, I wouldn't have asked for the blood tests unless I had heard Whitney's story and therefore I am hoping my story will allow other women to do the same thing and seek medical treatment if they suspect they also have PCOS.
Thank you for listening to my long story. Please share this if there is someone in your life who may benefit from reading it.
Here's a link from WebMD in case you would like to learn more about PCOS. As always, talk to your doctor if you think this is something that you may be dealing with.
21 Day Fix Transformation: Week 8
We all know that nobody is perfect and it's impossible to do things 100% right all the time. In the spirit of being completely honest, this has probably been the hardest week I've had since starting the 21 Day Fix. My motivation has been lacking big time and I haven't felt nearly as dedicated compared to how I had been feeling.
I think a big part of it is that I've been so busy with the holidays coming up and I basically just don't have the energy or time to focus as much on my health and fitness. That probably sounds like an excuse, but it really is the truth. I've been so overwhelmed trying to get through the days that I feel like I can't even focus on following a strict nutrition plan or working out every day.
Part of me does feel disappointed in myself, especially because my weight loss journey is so public and I feel like I'm supposed to show everyone how hard I can work and how successful I can be when I put my mind to it. But in all honesty, I know that I am doing my best and I am trying not to beat myself up too much for falling short of my goals.
And overall, I know this is a temporary setback. My company closes on Friday for two weeks, so pretty soon I will have a lot more free time to spend on working out and making meal plans. And then once the holidays are over I am planning on getting back in full swing. I've already made so much progress that I am determined to keep going and prove to myself that I really can do anything I set my mind to.
I hope this is a good reminder that we all fall short of our goals sometimes and that the best thing we can do when we fail is to pick ourselves up and try again.
Now I'd like to hear from you. What are some ways that you re-charge your motivation when you're having a hard week? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
21 Day Fix Transformation: Week 7
Today is the beginning of my second week doing my second round of the 21 Day Fix, otherwise known as "week 7". I've officially been doing the 21 day Facebook challenge group for a week now and it's really going well. Each morning we get a post about something motivational or informative and each night we check in and rate our nutrition and workout for the day. It's been a great way to stay motivated, especially knowing that I'll be checking in later that day to report how my day went.
Today is also the first day of the clean eating challenge I'm running on Facebook. There are 7 of us total in the group and it feels like a good number of people. Not too many where it's overwhelming but just enough to keep the posts interesting and give people a chance to interact with each other and motivate each other. I will be running a free group every month and they won't always be clean eating groups. I'll be switching it up and making them different each month so that there's always something new for the people who have done one before.
As far as my own personal progress goes, I feel like I'm still noticing a big difference in how I look and feel. I'm not working out 7 days a week like the schedule says, but I am still happy that I am getting a lot more exercise than I was before I started this whole thing.
I'm also eating SO much better. It's amazing that I don't actually crave junk food anymore. The first couple weeks of my first round I indulged on pizza for a Friday night treat, but lately that hasn't even been sounding good to me. It's nice knowing that I can treat myself if I want to, but also a great feeling to know that it's not something I need to do unless I really want it.
Another bonus is that I'm actually looking forward to getting weighed at the doctor for my annual physical coming up in January. It will be nice to see the number go down for a change instead of stressing about how much it went up!
Things have been really busy with work and running my Beachbody coaching business, but I'm going to try really hard to get back into posting more than once a week. I would like to do some more recipes as well as book reviews and a new reading list for 2016. So stay tuned and let me know if there is anything you would like to see me post about.
21 Day Fix Transformation: Week 6
I decided to start counting the weeks of my 21 Day Fix transformation instead of days because it was getting too hard to keep track of which day I was on! So today is the beginning of my 6th week doing the 21 Day Fix. Instead of doing this round on my own, I have decided to join a challenge group. I will continue to blog the whole way through this round so that you can follow me and find out what it's like to be a part of this type of group.
Since you might not know what a challenge group is, I wanted to spend some time today explaining their purpose so that you understand what I am doing and how this is affecting my weight loss transformation. Basically, I am in a group on Facebook where I am working with other people who are also trying to lose weight and get healthy. The accountability part comes in because you usually do a daily check-in where you rate your workout and your nutrition for the day.
To me, the best part about being in a challenge group is that I am not alone in this journey. It gives me a place to go where I can talk about what I'm going through (good or bad) and get advice, support, and motivation from the other people in the group. Sounds nice, right?
It gets even better because the challenge group is totally free as long as you already have a Beachbody fitness program and are on a home direct order of Shakeology. If you've already invested in these things, you might as well connect with other people who are on the same wavelength as you, right?
In order to give a sneak peak into what a full 21-day challenge group looks like, I am going to be hosting my own free 5-day clean eating group, starting on December 7, You don't need to have purchased anything from Beachbody to join this group, so let me know in the comments below if you are interested and I will reach out to you so we can talk about your goals. You can also sign up here: Beside Beth Clean Eating Group.
My name is Beth and I live in Denver. I am a single lady in my 30's and wanted to start sharing my awesome and amazing life through a blog.