I usually took these walks with my husband - very early in the morning, or on his lunch break - but when he was unavailable, I'd ask my sister to go. On one such day, during a 3-mile walk on a somewhat hot day, I started feeling awful. This is pretty much the opposite of how I normally felt during and after my walks, but with each passing moment, I felt worse. I rushed the end of the walk, packed the kids and the stroller up, and got home has quickly as I could. I spent the rest of the day in bed, feeling dizzy, slightly queasy, exhausted, and generally miserable.
The feeling persisted for a couple days, and it was during this strange not-an-illness illness, that I realized I was experiencing a more exaggerated version of how I felt overall in recent months. I was often tired, sluggish, dizzy if I stood up too fast, and rundown in my daily life.
It was confusing, since I felt like I was making some subtle changes in my lifestyle (for the better), and taking walks usually set me up for days of feeling better and stronger.
After some digging around and some simple home tests, I started to suspect that I had Adrenal Fatigue. Of course, I had no diagnosis or professional opinion, but if it were true, it would answer a lot of questions I've had over the last year and a half. The basic point being that my body was exhausted. I spent years making and nourishing babies with my body, and even during my final pregnancy, my body was showing signs of fatigue. The simplest way to combat adrenal fatigue is to eat a diet that will help your body recover and see if you feel better. I'm really pretty good at sticking to a diet, so I started searching for one that would help heal my body.
I heard a lot about the 21 Day Fix through friends that had used it with success, and I tried to piece it together myself with help from Pinterest menus and recipes. There were a handful of huge issues with this.
1) I had no idea how many containers I was supposed to eat for my weight. Uh, I also didn't have the containers, and didn't have any clue about what size they actually were.
2) I didn't have the workouts to go with it (though at the time, I didn't want them).
3) I had no replacement for Shakeology, and all of the available options I found were either not good enough, or just as expensive.
4) While I was making the rules, they were way too easy to bend.
I knew of a coach that had run a clean eating group I participated in last year, so I asked for her opinion on using the fix for my intended purposes, and she thought it would be perfect for me. And here I am, 22 days later, deciding where to go from here.
So, the fix? The fix was pretty great. I never thought I'd stick to the workouts, but you guys - I did all 21 of them. Every. Single. One. Out of every outcome and thing I pushed myself to do for the past 3 weeks, that is my greatest accomplishment. I have NEVER exercised that much in a single month in my entire life. I am hanging onto that like a badge of honor! I even told my coach that the DVDs would just collect dust. I guess I surprised us both!
As far as weight loss? Well, that wasn't my main goal, but I did hope to lose ten pounds. If I had, I'd be down to my super-happy weight range and into the smaller side of my wardrobe and I figured if I was overhauling my lifestyle, why not shoot for that goal? I didn't even get close. I lost 4 pounds. I feel somewhat crappy about that, but not as much as I thought I would, honestly. I wish the scale had moved a little more, but I know I gained a lot of muscle and tone, and those things are more important in the end. My body FEELS different - my waist and my legs are noticeably smaller and tighter, and while I may not have dropped a size, I feel so much more comfortable in my clothes.
Aside from my commitment to exercise, which is, I think, my greatest accomplishment, I did complete my original goal. My diet has changed so much. Is it perfect? Nope. I still use my naughty coffee creamer. I still put salt on my eggs and meat. I don't eat 5 times every single day - sometimes I'm just plain too busy with the kids and the puppy to fit that all in. But the amount and types of carbs and sugar I let into my body has been seriously overhauled in all the ways I'd hoped they would be. Controlling those nasty things will forever be on my radar, so I am so grateful for such a great head-start.
There's another great side-effect here, too, that I didn't expect. Just choosing to do this fix gave me a sense of power, pride, and inspiration. Actually making my way through it has amplified that to a really amazing level. I just know that I'm doing a good thing, and I'm so proud of myself for caring about me and my own health for once.
Were there low points? Absolutely. The first 3-4 days of the fix I was so sore I could barely move or process the rest of my day while getting through the pain. There were a handful of days that all I could think about was ice cream. Meal planning for each week took me 4-5 hours to do (because I was extremely detailed and picky!). And Cardio Fix? I can't even begin to describe how much I started hating Fridays. But I did it! I never "fell off the wagon". I never skipped a workout. I fought through every painful second, and even started to enjoy it!
My favorite part was absolutely the Shakeology. I have never lived a day in my life without chocolate, and I hope to never see that day! Once I got the hang of blending my shakes the way I learned I like them, Shakeology became my chocolate "milk"shake every day. Which seems like it wouldn't be allowed on a diet, but I knew it was so good for me. I've since heard of preggo friends saying it was the only thing they could stomach during morning sickness. Man, I wish I'd known about it 7 years ago! ;)
I'm so hooked on the Shakeology, and even the results I see from working out, that I decided to keep at it. I'm still working out exactly what I'll do - I'm trying out Piyo next, and attempting Cize (though I look like a total idiot doing it! lol). I'm creating some different schedules to incorporate the 21df workouts into my normal weeks, too. And my shakeo will be a part of my daily (or almost daily) life for a least a little while. To get myself a little savings, I signed up as a discount (or loyalty) coach, which basically means I'm in it for the discount. As you've just read, I am not a fitness guru, but this does mean that I can share the discount wealth with you from time to time. So let me know if you need a hookup, or you can click on the picture of Autumn in my sidebar anytime. :)
I'd also love to chat about the fix with you if you've done it, or you're thinking about doing it. I enjoyed learning some tricks of the trade and falling in love with seriously yummy recipes that I knew were so good for my body (and I'll share a few with you soon!). Leave me a comment or send me an email (rychinlove(at)gmail.com) so we can swap some ideas!