Twenty-one days ago I started a program called the 21 Day Fix (thanks to my mommy, who bought me the program for Christmas after I asked her for the containers as a gift!). Tonight I ate my last 21 Day Fix meal (for this cycle, but more on that later in the blog). And tomorrow morning, when I wake up, I will weigh myself and see if I’ve lost any weight.
But before I weigh, for good or ill, I wanted to get some thoughts out about how I feel about this whole thing. Because whether I lost one pound or 20, I do feel different, and I don’t want to my inevitable emotional tirade overshadow that.
I feel different. I mean that physically, mostly, but psychologically, too. I don’t know if I’ve lost pounds, but I know that my clothes fit a little differently. I know that I don’t feel like I have to hide my body with different clothes like I did 22 days ago. I know that I feel less tense, less worried. I feel emotionally and physically lighter and less obsessed with worrying about how others see me. I also know feel good about myself, because for the last 21 days, I’ve eaten healthy, I’ve eaten appropriate portions, and I’ve eaten foods that have nourished my body. So, I feel different and I feel good. And I’ve gotten to eat lots of yummy food.
Now, I’m not so naive as to think that if I haven’t lost any weight I’ll still feel this upbeat tomorrow morning. No, I’m the kind of person who knows myself well enough to know that tomorrow, if I weigh and that number hasn’t shifted much or at all, the emotional backlash is going to be rough. Because, you see, I’m a modern girl living in a modern time, and I have grown up believing the lie that to be lovable and worth something I have to be SKINNY. And even though logically I know that’s not true, even though I don’t WANT to believe that, the part of my brain that is inundated with these long held emotional beliefs that I HAVE to look a certain way to be happy is still pushing me to TRY. Try to look like that Victoria Secret model. Try to look like girls 5 or 10 years younger than me who don’t have children and who have the time to go to the gym 5 days a week. Try to look like celebrities who have babies and personal trainers and whose jobs depend on looking “perfect.”
So, will I be disappointed if I haven’t lost weight tomorrow? Yes. Yes I will. But will I also MAKE myself remember that my weight doesn’t determine my joy? That I DO feel better, and I DO think this diet is healthy? That I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, and that does NOT mean looking a certain way? Yes, I’ll do those things, too. So, come what will, come what may, this diet has been a very positive experience for me, and regardless of tomorrow’s number outcome, I’m so glad I did it.
Well, it’s tomorrow and I weighed. I lost ten pounds! That may not seem like much, but for someone who’s struggled to lose even one pound for almost 11 months, it’s an achievement. Is part of me bummed that I didn’t magically lose all my the weight I want to in 21 days? Yes. But that part of me is the part that is always in a fantasy land. I’m still so proud of sticking with a plan for 21 days straight and never swerving (even on the days when I REALLY wanted to swerve straight into a big box of chocolates, or cake–I went to two birthdays and a baby shower without cracking and it was tougher than unmedicated labor). But there are things I could have done, and will do, differently. Things that, come Monday, I’ll do to keep this healthy weight loss going.
- Exercise! That’s right folks, the 21 Day Fix calls for exercise, and I didn’t do it. I was too worried I’d give myself too much all at once and give it up, because I was overwhelmed. Well, Monday, exercise is on the agenda. Luckily, my friend Julianna and I have a cardio class on the calendar for that day, so it’ll be a fun start.
- Meal planning! I did that for the most part this time, but there were days when I would just see how many containers I had left and make it work, and that meant I wasn’t always getting the best out of that day. I’ll plan the night before, or on Sundays, and always know what’s on the menu ahead of time.
- Watch the salt. I didn’t eat much salt, but I probably used more than I was supposed to. And while this probably won’t affect long term weight a whole lot, it will affect water retention and general health. So, see ya (most) salt!
- Give myself goals. This diet in and of itself is a goal, but I think I want to have exercise goals. It’s tough with a wild eleven month old (he’s 11 months old TODAY!) to get in good exercise, when you’ve never really worked out at home, but it can be done, so when I meal plan, I’ll make a movement plan, too.
- Change the time frame. This is the biggest for me. Twenty one days was totally doable, but by the end, I was feeling a little stir crazy and almost gave in a few times (Tiffany’s birthday cake looked SO GOOD). So, the NEW plan, starting Monday, is two weeks on, two days off. And I plan to continue that cycle until I’m back in my pre-pregnancy goal blue jeans. Man, I miss those blue jeans.
- Use the small plate, not the big one! This is something I did religiously after the last 21 days and it helped me so much! My plate was always full, and when my food was gone, so was I!
But guys, I did it! I successfully stuck to a diet for 21 days straight! And I saw results. After carrying all this weight around for 11 months, it’s nice to start to feel a LITTLE more like the old me. Here’s to a weekend where I don’t carefully measure all my food and where I’m going to eat a cookie before I jump back in, head first, on Monday.