21 DAY WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE
Sometimes we need a kickstart to getting us going in the right direction. We want to make healthy changes in our life, but it’s so easy to get stuck in a routine. I have seen a bunch of 21 day weight loss challenge posts online and so I decided to use one that I trusted to help get my healthy habits back while dropping a few unwanted pounds from the holidays.
Because, well. The struggle is real!
Life gets busy. I think that’s a universal truth no matter who you are. We live in a society where there are NEVER enough hours in the day and ALWAYS somewhere to be or something to do. Personally, this last winter was extremely busy for me. In addition to my full-time teaching job, my busy family life (Danielle and I have 3 kids wo are each in their own activities), building the Fit Teacher Network and helping several teachers in the United States and Canada who are working to make their personal health and fitness a priority, I took over as the woman’s varsity soccer coach at my high school. This added an extra 15-20 hours of work per week.
As a result, I found myself beginning to cut corners as I worked to accomplish everything. I slept less, snacked more, and found myself drinking a pot of coffee (or more) per day to keep me going.
I put on a few pounds between November and March as my body tried to keep up with my schedule. Danielle saw what was happening and we decided together that we need to make a change.
Starting My 21 Day Weight Loss Challenge
We chose a 21 day challenge that focused on making quality food the foundation for improving our health. We had read reviews and had some friends do it with great results. Honestly, I was skeptical at first. We had done a “cleanse” in the past where Danielle convinced me to drink this concoction of lemon juice and cayenne pepper. It tasted horribly and I hated every minute of it.
However, when I read the plan I could tell this was going to be different. We would be following a program based around a whole-food, plant based diet for 3 weeks. There would be no alcohol, caffeine, or other additives that would prevent our body from doing a total “reset’ of our systems.
Week 1 Summary
On Day 1 my starting weight was 156.8 pounds.
That was 15 pounds over my weight last summer and I knew if I wanted to feel good about myself around the pool and at the beach, I needed to clean things up.
The hardest part of the week wasn’t the food, but switching to water only. I could have drank green tea for a few days but instead I went “cold turkey” and gave up all coffee and teas for the entire 3 weeks.
The meal plan was great and I always felt like I got enough food. The first few days we got lean chicken on our salads for lunch and eggs with whole grain toast for our breakfast.
We had an afternoon snack and dinner was a vegetarian dish (we found 3-4 different meals we liked so we didn’t have to eat the same thing every night).
From the caffeine withdrawal I did have a headache on day 1 and during days 2-4 I had major pains in my back, hips, and shins. In hindsight a lot of this could have been avoided if I had lowered my caffeine intake (I was drinking a pot of coffee a day) gradually instead of all at once.
Week 2 Summary
After the first week, I was down to 151.2 pounds. Losing over 5 pounds in just 7 days was a huge boost to my confidence. And while it wasn’t always easy, seeing results fast was enough motivation for me to stick to the plan.
I mentioned that I had decided to give my routine of weights and cardio a break for the three weeks. For those wondering, the plan did give the option of doing light yoga (and there is a yoga workout to follow) but I chose to just spend a little more time during the reset catching up on my sleep.
I slept great and noticed I woke up more relaxed. Danielle noticed that by the 4th night I had stopped snoring. I’m sure this helped her sleep better at night as well.
We changed up the meal plan a little during week 2 and by this time we had removed all animal products from our diet. We had fresh fruit for breakfast. Lunch was a big salad with plenty of veggies, seeds, and a homemade dressing. My two favorite dinner options from this week were the sweet potato and roasted pepper bisque and an Asian stir fry.
Week 3 Summary
Week 3 was busy as my work load had increased a bit. But the meals were easy to plan for and I simply brought what I needed to lunch. Still fresh fruits, salads, my shakes in the afternoon, and a healthy vegan dinner.
By day 21 I was down to 144 pounds and I felt amazing!!!
Since completing the 21 day weight loss challenge I’ve been able to reintroduce a few foods to see how my body would respond to them. I have brought back lean protein and some whole grains. I have had a few drinks with friends. I’ve only had coffee one morning in the past week and I didn’t even get a second cup.
I have chosen not to eat cheese and other dairy products because I seem to sleep better without them in my diet. I am back to exercising 5-6 days a week, but I don’t feel the stress on my joints I had before.
If you are looking to reset your nutrition and find balance again this is a great program. I still honestly am in shock that I was able to lose over 12 pounds in 21 days without exercise. If you would like the details on this 21 day program fill out the form below and I will reach out to you with how to get started!