Tuesday, December 29, 2015

21 Day Fix: Where to Begin

So you've made the decision to kick start your transformation with the 21 Day Fix. Great choice! You now have all the tools you need to achieve your healthy goals - the eating guide, the workouts, and can't forget the Shakeology - and you just have to follow it. Easy, right?

Then you open that box and start reading over your new plan, and suddenly it starts to seem a bit overwhelming. You get the workouts, the containers, and the lists of foods you can eat all laid out for you in a clear and simple way, but translating that into action can be challenging.

The good news for you is that I've been through it, and I can help! I've been following the plan with great success since June, and it has completely changed the way I treat and view my body. I even became a Beachbody coach because I loved it so much and wanted to share with others.

 The 21 Day Fix is designed to fit easily into your busy lifestyle, but it does take some planning to really succeed and get the results you want. So where do you start?



First of all, give yourself at least a few days, ideally a full week, to prepare. This is a major life change for most people - it takes some forethought! You want to have your equipment, food, and plan all in place before you begin so you can hit the ground running on day one.



Think about where you can do the workouts - you'll need a room with at least enough space to lay flat and spread your arms out (I have plenty of space on my 6x8 rug).  I recommend having some kind of padded surface as well if it's not a carpeted area - I put a thick nonslip carpet pad under the rug on my tile floor.  And if you don't have a ceiling fan in the room, I'd invest in a portable one!

In that area you'll also need a way to play the routines - if you just have the program, you'll need a TV and DVD player.  If you subscribe to Beachbody on Demand, you can stream the workouts from a variety of sources, including anywhere you have a web browser.


There is a resistance band modifier on all of the weights workouts on the 21 Day Fix, so technically that's all you need, but I really recommend using free weights.  I've used the band when traveling and it's doable, but kind of complicated and awkward.  The lighter weights are very inexpensive and easy to find.    I started with 3 and 5 pound weights - I was not necessarily a stranger to exercise, but it had been awhile since I'd done anything more strenuous than yoga.  Err on the side of lighter/no weights though if it's been awhile - that initial few days of sore is tough if you go too hard.  Plenty of time to work your way up as it gets easier!

You'll also want a yoga mat for the pilates and yoga days, and either a cushioned mat or a beach towel for extra padding for your hands/knees for the floor moves - really necessary to protect your skin if you're on carpeting.

Make sure you have comfortable workout clothes - I usually wear running shorts and lightweight workout tanks for the most mobility.  I switch out for yoga pants on the yoga and pilates days.  For the shoes, cross trainers are your best bet since there are a lot of lateral moves (I absolutely love my Asics Gel-Fit Sanas, super lightweight and flexible!).  Also good to have a water bottle and some extra hand towels for all that sweat you'll be pouring :)



Start thinking about what you're going to eat.  You only have to work out for 30 minutes a day.  You have to sustain yourself throughout the rest of it!  Without planning, it's easy to quickly derail on the food - and that is the key to seeing results on this plan.  Contrary to many hopes, you can't exercise off a bad diet.

You've got your portion ratios and a list of foods, but that's all it is - numbers and foods.  You've got to make meals of that!  Unless you live alone, you probably have to think about other people's needs and wants as well for at least some of those meals.  If you're eating something entirely different from your family, it's not going to be easy to stick with.  Look at the food list, and note down items you use in family meals and snacks already.  It'll be easier when you stick to what's familiar, especially at first.

Hit up Pinterest for recipes and meal plan ideas - there are so many out there!  Autumn also has a fantastic cookbook, Fixate, that makes it really simple to find family-friendly recipes and translate them into containers.

Finally, start working on your meal plan - check out my post for some tips!  I like to plan the entire week ahead of time so I can shop and prep over the weekend.  It takes the pressure off during the week, you are setting yourself up for success, and it saves a ton of time.  Seriously.  I can't stress this planning thing enough!


Another element to planning is when.  Schedule your workouts just like appointments so that you don't miss them.  For me, this time is first thing in the morning, because getting up earlier is my way of adding the time I need to my day.  I also am notorious for blowing it off after work.  But maybe you're an evening person instead because your mornings are crazy.  Figure out what time works for you, and plan it.  It's just 30 minutes!

Also think about when you'll do things like meal prep and shopping - for me, I like to plan on Saturdays, and shop and do some prep on Sundays and some each evening - for more tips, check out my meal prepping post.

I promise, you CAN do this!  It's such a great way to turn around your eating and exercise habits for the better in a way that fits into your life.  If you want more personal help and guidance getting started, I can help with that too - just get in touch at jennifl@beachbodycoach.com or head on over to my Facebook page.

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