21 Day Fix: More than a number

I started the 21 Day Fix with one goal: lose some weight before I go wedding dress shopping.

I won’t lie, the first week was rough. The first few days I felt incredibly motivated, but I was eating a lot of plain chicken, raw veggies and plain brown rice. To put it simply, by the end of the first week I was miserable. I didn’t mind the daily workouts, and I was eating plenty, but I missed enjoying my food. 

I’ve never been much of a cook, so when it came to a nutrition plan with certain food groups and portion sizes that I had to follow each day, I kept it as simple as possible. 
I was also frustrated during that first week because I wasn’t seeing the results I had hoped for and heard from others that they had experienced. After I lost 3.5 pounds in the first couple days, the scale stopped moving. I weighed myself daily and just got frustrated by it. I was following the workout and nutrition plan to a T – what could I possibly do differently?
At the end of that first week, thanks to some incredibly helpful running buddies with 21 Day Fix experience, I got some great recipes to follow that allowed me to enjoy my meals again. During the last two weeks, I relaxed a bit – I made delicious but healthy meals that I actually enjoyed, and here and there I swapped out a daily carb for a sweet treat – which the nutrition plan allows for, but I said in the beginning that I didn’t want to do. I forced myself to relax and not worry so much. 

Still, though, I couldn’t help but get frustrated when I didn’t see the scale moving much at all. I decided to take pictures about halfway through to compare to those I had taken on the second day (I forgot to on the day I started), and I was shocked – I was actually making progress!

It was then that I realized that being healthy and getting into shape is more than the number on the scale. I was burning fat and becoming stronger in the process, and that was what mattered.

During the last two weeks I cheated here and there and even enjoyed a few beers. Still, though, I knew the plan was working – I could feel the changes in my body, and I stopped weighing myself because I knew it didn’t make a difference. I got my proof last week when I was digging through the jeans in the bottom of my closet and found a few pairs that still had the tags on them. I bought them back when I had started to gain some weight in the hopes they would fit, but no such luck. Last week I decided to try a pair on just out of curiosity, and I was shocked – they fit. And not in a barely-stuffed-in-them kind of way; I was comfortable! 

Now, don’t get me wrong – I have my moments, but for the most part I don’t obsess or stress over the way my body looks. I’ve become very comfortable over the past couple years as I’ve fluctuated between gaining and losing weight. But to fit into a pair of jeans I’ve had for years and have never been able to wear was an incredible feeling after working so hard for it.

On the 20th day of the plan, it was time to go wedding dress shopping. All along I went into the 21 Day Fix with the idea that I would do multiple rounds throughout the next year, and keep up the healthy eating habits as much as I can, but that first round was important because it was in preparation of dress shopping. 

Yesterday, the day finally arrived. I tried on dress after dress while those I brought with me “oohed” and “ahhed,” and I enjoyed every second of it. I felt beautiful and comfortable and confident, and I didn’t look at myself in the mirror or look at pictures of myself in the dresses and pick things apart – like my arms that could be slimmer, or my stomach that could be flatter, or my waist that could be narrower. There will always be things I want to change about my appearance, but after just being “comfortable” with my body over the past few years, I’m beginning to love it again – or maybe for the first time. 

After about 2.5 hours of shopping yesterday, it was official – I had said “yes” to my dress, and I walked out of there feeling more than ever like an excited bride-to-be. I’m happy and healthy and getting stronger every day, and I’m happy that the beautiful dress hanging in my closet was the motivation I needed to get my butt into the shape it should be in. 

Overall, I only lost exactly three pounds, but the way my body feels, the way my before and after photos look side-by-side, and the way I felt when I looked in the mirror yesterday assure me my body is more than just a number. 

I’ll continue my daily workouts and eating healthy as much as I can, because I like the way I feel when I do. But right now, after 21 days of restraint, it’s time for a bacon cheeseburger. 😉

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