I am a runner – plain and simple. I’ve never truly enjoyed the weightlifting and cardio classes. There is something about lacing up your shoes, meeting a few of you best gal friends and starting that Garmin watch. With running, you have a time at the end to beat, you have a set mileage you want to run and when you hit that, you feel accomplished. Recently, I slowed down on the mileage and decided to step out of my comfort zone and do the 21 Day Fix Extreme (DFX). I truly feel this workout has helped me view the way I look at eating, running and strength training differently.
In May, I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon with two of my best friends for the fifth time. We love this race! There is something about running the streets of Pittsburgh and calling yourself a #Runner of Steel. Normally, I am glued to my watch trying to make sure I am on pace to hit my goal time. However, this year I was unable to train liked I wanted to so I ran with my friends and I ran for ME! What an experience! I laughed, took selfies and stole a quick kiss from my hubby who was there cheering me on! I forgot how much I loved running and how fun it can be!
Even though I love running and spending time with friends, I was finding that I felt as if I HAD to get out there and I was freaking out I missed a run on my schedule. After the Pittsburgh Half, I decided not to sign up for a race for a while and planned to log in a few miles here and there. I really wanted to focus on strength training and start the 21 DFX. Best. Decision. Ever.
In the beginning of the program, I was intimidated by those cute little colored containers. According to my bracket, I was only allowed to have two of the purple (fruit). What in the world!? I eat fruit all day long like it’s my job. I’m not even going to express my feelings of the two yellow (carbs). At a loss, I couldn’t figure out how I was going to make this puzzle happen. After a day or two, I realized this was simple and previously my portions were out of control and I lacked protein (red) and veggies (green). Oh – and I discovered plain Greek yogurt – my new best friend!
In additional to the food plan, I am loving the workouts. I never realized how weak my upper body really was before I started this program. Yeah, I could go out and run for a couple of hours straight, but I continuously used the same muscles over and over. Most days I wake up with that good kind of sore that makes me realize I worked some muscle I didn’t know I had!
Yesterday, I laced up my shoes and met one of my friends for National Running Day. It was such a delight to be out there again not feeling like I have to, but knowing that I wanted to! I hadn’t run in a couple of days and I missed it. I was eager to get out there and just enjoy the beautiful morning. I am so thankful I have found a balance with running and the 21 DFX workouts!
It is so easy to make excuses as to why you can’t work out – I get it! I am a wife, mom of two small boys (three and five) and I work full-time. There are so many times I want to just grab a pizza on my way home to hurry and eat before rushing out the door to soccer.
I truly believe that once you get into a routine and see results it becomes an addiction! They say doing something for 21 days makes it a habit, right!?
Here are a few things that have allowed me to get through the 21 DFX and even start it up again:
- Meal Prep: On Sunday’s, I cut up veggies, fruits and pre-measure stuff into Tupperware and plastic bags so I can save a few extra minutes. I also make a schedule of what I am going to eat the entire week and really try to stick with that.
- Accountability Partner: Right now, my accountability partner is actually my husband. He is doing the Body Best Program. It’s nice to have someone keeping you accountable (especially for those early morning wake-up calls and with the clean eating!)
- Schedule Your Workouts: If it’s written on a calendar, it’s much easier to make time to exercise. As hard as it is, I’ve been trying to get in the early morning workouts. After getting home from work, it is much more enticing to want to play outside with my boys than to work out! Believe me, you will thank yourself for getting up in the morning and they will thank you too!
- Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: I had always been intimidated with weight training and worried if I didn’t run I would lose all my endurance. I have found a great balance with running and the 21 DFX. I feel stronger and empowered – which is an awesome feeling!
- Don’t Let Set-Backs Be Your Enemy: I don’t claim to be an expert of perfect at eating clean and working out. Do I miss workouts or eat a couple of slices of pizza? Of course! Do I beat myself up? Nope! I used to, but then I realized I’m human. If we are going for ice cream with my sons, I’m not going to miss that opportunity to indulge and enjoy with them! Don’t let one meal ruin your day! “One bad meal won’t make you fat just like one good meal won’t make you skinny.”
- Love What You Do: Prior to going on vacation, how much research do you do about your resort or condo? You want to know all about it. Why wouldn’t you do that with your own body?? Do your research and really enjoy the workout that you are doing! Beach Body has tons of literature and options – you are sure to find something that you enjoy. Do your research and make sure it’s a fit for you!