I want to start this by saying that I loveeeee food. Chickfila, pizza, wine, cheese, gold fish are all in my top meals or snacks, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve slowly realized that those can’t be the basis of my diet anymore. Sad, I know. It worked when I was 18, not so much at 30.
I’ve been working out at Journey Fitness in Mt. Pleasant for a little over 3 years and have loved it – the owner, instructors and fellow classmates don’t just show up for class and leave – it’s really an environment to better yourself in all ways! I typically go to a mix of classes throughout the week depending on my schedule: Spin & Flex, Butts n Guts, Spin, Metabolic Meltdown and Cross Train. Depending on the class, you work on different areas of your body, and do a mix of cardio & strength training.
Lately I realized that even with my workouts, I wasn’t really seeing the results I wanted and that all traced back to my diet. I tried to make healthier dinners and meals, but I didn’t really know what to do besides putting extra vegetables on my plate.
Cue Tiffany (the owner) posting about a 21 day reset on Facebook that was starting that Monday and then one of my friends sharing it and saying that doing it helped her lose the rest of her baby weight. I messaged Amanda and asked for the scoop – what did it really entail, what types of foods could you eat, etc. I talked to Hunter and asked him to support me (aka not eating Chickfila in front of me while I ate healthy), then signed up!
My last weekend before the reset officially began happened to coincide with our girls weekend in Hilton Head – thank goodness. I totally used it as an excuse to eat all the carbs (aka hush puppies) and wine possible.
Tiffany emailed the group of us doing the reset some information about water, vitamins, a grocery list and our first week of accountability sheets. Each day you try to check each box off your daily sheet. This included things like drink a glass of water when you wake up, no cheats on food, exercise, etc. Every night you post a photo of your sheet to the Facebook group for accountability and Tiffany would make any comments.
You can eat anything on the grocery list and as much as you want, plus it’s actually a pretty big list so I didn’t feel too limited. A few friends who did this 2 weeks before sent me some recipes they enjoyed and I created some of my own that Hunter liked too. My favorite was ground turkey with marinara and zoodles after week 2 – I made this several times throughout the 3 weeks.
Each week we got a new grocery list with more items being added to the list. Week 3 was extra exciting with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses 🙂 Each week we also added onto the daily accountability sheet with push ups and abs. We also got a relaxed day between week 2 and 3 which was perfectly timed to the Royal Wedding Brunch I hosted.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure I could do this. I figured I would just try my best and come out of it with better nutritional information to help shape my diet. The 3rd day I was pretty hungry throughout the day and thinking about how I had 18 days to go, but I did it! More than anything I’m proud that I stuck to it and completed the 21 days.
Did I have cheat days? Yes. I didn’t realize how hungry I would be and how many snacks I needed at work and would eat leftover gold fish at work when I ate all my healthy, pre-packed snacks. I also didn’t go everyday without alcohol. For the most part I went Sunday to Thursday without a glass of wine and would have some with dinner on the weekend or at the pool.
I learned that I can make healthy choices out too – you don’t have to just cook and stay at home. The first weekend of the reset I was in Atlanta and didn’t have any food cheats (minus the bread on half my sandwich at a lunch) which was a big win for me because we ate at some great places. I think this just about shocked my family as well haha.
Between eating enough calories of a healthier diet, the normal work outs and the added abs & push ups each day, I have seen results! At the end of week 2 the stomach that I had developed was flattening out and I felt stronger overall. By the end of the challenge, I could do 30 straight push ups (I started with maybe 10 in a row).
My biggest take away from this was learning more about nutrition and my meals. My biggest meal of the day used to be dinner and it should be reversed! Now I try to pack a yogurt, fruit to snack on and another smaller breakfast snack before lunch or 2 smaller lunches to eat throughout the day at work. I’ve also learned to divide my dinner into thirds and I eat two thirds for dinner and save the last third to eat the next day. I need at least 1,300 calories a day and sometimes even when I was full and thought I had enough, I was still under.
It’s also okay if you cheat, just don’t fall off the train. I love pizza and asked if there was a substitution to have to get over the craving, but Tiffany said to just have a slice or two – it won’t kill you, and just make sure the rest of the day is healthy. Any day I knew I’d have alcohol I made sure that I wasn’t cheating on my food – balance it all out!
I’m going to try to keep up with doing some number of push ups and abs a day because it really doesn’t take that long to do and makes a difference. Some nights I would’ve forgotten during the day and would do them right before I got in bed – 5 minutes and I was done.
They say it takes 21 days to create a routine, but this also changed my mindset. I’m hoping to continue to keep a focus on healthier food choices and meal planning, but not kill myself when I cheat (bc that’s inevitable). By the way, I learned you can actually get a healthy meal at Chickfila: grilled chicken and side of fruit. I won’t be giving up waffle fries for good, but I’ll definitely be switching up my order sometimes!
PS – This isn’t in anyway sponsored by Journey. I’ve just really enjoyed my experience there and have learned so much in the last 3 weeks that I wanted to share!