Saturday, March 14, 2015

21 Day Fix Day 7

Veggies chopped for making sauce


Today for the 21 Day Fix, there is a yoga workout.  I confess, I was looking forward to the yoga because I have been avoiding my own yoga practice since I injured my knee last year.  And I love yoga.  But I have continued to use the bike almost daily, since that is my physical therapy.  I would like to be free to walk around the neighborhood as well but, until the renovations are finished, I cannot put the dogs into the crates which have been collapsed for the duration of the repairs.  All the more reason why I’ve enjoyed taking on the challenge of this exercise program and its dietary demands.

Speaking of demanding, today’s yoga workout was a bit of a wake-up call for me.  I have lost a lot of flexibility.  I haven’t been doing yoga since I injured my knee last summer because I’ve been afraid to cause myself another injury.  However, I now realize that I cannot afford the luxury of avoiding yoga.  I need yoga to be a part of my daily routine again.  Starting tomorrow, I will be adding a daily yoga practice to my morning. 

As for the 21 Day Fix Yoga Fix workout, you may notice I am not calling it a practice.  Yes, Autumn gives a nod to tradition (ending with namasté and such) but her yoga is more a Pilates/yoga fusion and her directions for some of the poses are unclear or more linked with Pilates than yoga.  For instance, in cat/cow (marjaryasan/bitilasana) you exhale for cat and inhale for cow. This is reversed in Pilates, where you often inhale on the contraction and exhale on the expansion.  I prefer the yoga method of breathing as you expand or widen and inhale as you draw inward.  Nonetheless, it is a good workout although not an especially good yoga practice.


I am still falling short in the containers, mostly the orange one in which I can put such things as salad dressing.  Only, I don’t use a lot of salad dressing.  Still, it is tempting when the dressing is so delicious.  I made the Dijon vinaigrette recipe in the food guide that comes with the DVDs and it is sooooo good.  I am almost tempted to have another grilled chicken salad today but we have some cod that I need to cook and tonight’s dinner includes a pasta sauce I made last night.


My replacement disk arrived yesterday so next week I’ll be able to do all seven days of the 21 Day Fix.  Obviously, I’ll continue using the bike and, as I stated above, I’ll be adding a short (20 minutes) of yoga to my daily routine.  I have missed my yoga practice and avoiding it was only giving into the fear of possibly reinjuring myself.  It’s time for me to let go of last summer and be where I am now, in this year, at this time.

Friday, March 13, 2015

21 Day Fix Day 6


Today’s workout for the 21 Day Fix is called the Dirty 30.   Thirty minutes of hard hitting intervals.  I only had a problem with the side plank with a leg lift.  I have to get stronger before I can do this even on my knee and the quick switch from one side to the other is potentially problematic.  I think, until I am stronger, I will do my best on one side for the first set and then do the other during the second set, rather than try to scramble from one to the other.  When I am able to do it without being on my knee, then I will switch sides in a single set. I only used light weights except for the side lunges where I used none.  Still feeling my way through the workouts.  But so far, I have only had to truly modify (by which I mean above and beyond the recommended modifications) on a couple of the other DVDs because of my balance and/or my knees.  So I’m counting this a success.


I honestly find the idea of the containers a bit of a gimmick.  But an effective one.  I almost don’t want to admit it. However, I find myself eating a more balanced and more mindful diet as a result of the containers.  I know that, over time, I’ll be able to calculate things without the containers. For now, rather than being a mere gimmick they work as a useful tool.  I admit, I miss my grazing. But it wasn’t doing me any good and if this is what it takes for me to lose weight, then I am willing to do this for as long as it takes. 


My official weigh-in day is Sunday but Betty asked if I am losing weight.  Daily fluctuations aside, I have lost weight. Not a scary amount, just enough to keep me motivated, eager to do the workout and fill the containers to continue seeing results.  I’m almost tempted to do some measurements as well but I’ll hold off on complete measurements until the end of the three weeks.  In the meantime, I can see the numbers slowly diminishing day-by-day and I’ll share how much I lost the first week on Sunday. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

21 Day Fix Day 5


Today’s 21 Day Fix workout was cardio. No equipment needed. I had to modify the burpees and mountain climbers, both of which are off-limits for me and my knees.  My quads are a bit sore today after yesterday’s Pilates. I had hoped to use the bike but I never did.  Just too tired after going shopping. Ugh. I hate shopping but we got some things for Bibi’s Easter basket, even though she won’t be in town for the holiday. I’ve reached out to my Team Beachbody coach for a suggestion on what to do to replace one of the moves in the Pilates workout that I know is impossible for me to do.


I started using all of the little food containers yesterday and it was more complicated than I had anticipated. Why?  Because I made it too complicated. I swear, if there’s an easy way to do it, I would inevitably find a difficult way to do it first. So I did not successfully fill the containers and eat all of the required foods. Nor did I eat six times, even though I’d been eating six times a day during the 3DQF.  Today I plan to do better.


I really hope to see improvement in how easily I get through these workouts.  Mind you, I’m not pushing myself too hard because I’m trying out the exercises to see where I may find them particularly challenging for my balance or difficult on my knees.  I don’t want to hurt myself trying to start something new.  But it would be nice to see some progress in things like moving from plank on my knees to a full body plank and such.  I know I’m capable.  It’s just a matter of patience, practice, and time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

21 Day Fix Day 4


Today I am on day 4 of 21 Day Fix which means Pilates.  Yaaaay!  I was really looking forward to it too.  I took off my shoes, rolled out my mat, and started the DVD.  Why was everyone else still wearing their sneakers? Confusing. Just not something I’ve seen before.  But my confusion didn’t keep me from doing the exercises.  I didn’t even have to modify except when Autumn led us through the series on our hands and knees and again when we were doing plank. That’s great!  And after yesterday’s very challenging ab exercise, I fully expected to feel sore in my stomach but not feeling sore at all.  My triceps are a bit tight.  There is one exercise I will have to find a modification for because it was not a good one for my knees and, until I am strong enough to hold plank for more than a minute, I have to be on my knees. 

Truth is I didn’t like this workout much at all.  Oh well.  They can’t all be winners.  I definitely felt my muscles fighting.  I’ve lost so much strength in my core and legs because of my knee injury last summer. I’m still working back to where I was.  I have to remind myself that I was also very sick for most of January so I lost momentum during the holidays and then during my illness and recovery.  I’m not sure if I’m taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back or simply running in place.


Yesterday was the final day of the 3 Day Quick Fix. I reread the information about it and, apparently, you are encouraged to start and end the 21 days doing the 3DQF.  I’ll have to do my best with doing it because Rob and I have a homecoming party to go to, assuming the renovations are done enough for us to leave the house together. But I don’t have to worry about that just now.  Now I need to focus on using all of the containers because today is the day I begin using them all.  Rob and I planned out some of our dinners for the next few days.  Knowing what I’ll be having for dinner and what food containers I’ll be using makes planning out the rest of my day’s food easier. For instance, I know tonight we’re having pork tenderloin with a cabbage stir fry.  The recipe is a favorite, one we’ve made before.  Dinner still leaves me plenty of space to find ways to fill up the containers with breakfast, lunch, and snacks. 


Not feeling like I’m making progress today. For one thing, I weighed myself and I put on about half a pound. Okay.  I know that’s not a big deal.  Water retention or something similar.  But then I had such a hard time with the workout today . . . bah humbug.  Okay.  I’m done pouting. I’ll use the bike later today (as always) and remind myself that today was just a starting point.  If I continue using these DVDs, I’m bound to become stronger.  Who knows?  In a few months, I may even find the Pilates DVD easy.  Goodness knows, the people doing it on my screen made it look easy.   

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

21 Day Fix Day 3


Because of my balance and knee issues, I have a tendency to watch an exercise before I actually do it.  This gives me a heads up on what to expect.  And because today is a lower body routine (called Lower Fix), I knew I should watch the DVD before giving this morning’s workout a go.  Boy, am I glad I did.  Ends up, the DVD doesn’t play on any of our players.  We tried it on three devices and all three of them stall after a few minutes into this one workout.  That doesn’t seem to be a problem on any of the other workouts on the DVD but this one lower body one simply would not play.

I didn’t let that get in my way or slow me down!  The brochure that comes with the 21 Day Fix says that if you don’t have time to do a full 30 minutes, you can substitute the bonus 10 minute ab workout.  But I wanted to do a full 30 minutes of exercise so I went ahead and did 20 minutes of someone else’s lower body exercises and the 21DF Ab Fix workout.

A replacement disc should be on its way any day now.


As I suspected, yesterday went more easily because I knew what to expect and I already had the grilled chicken ready to go. I just had to reheat it. I simply love the Southwest Blend of spices that are in the 21DF Eating Plan, especially with the ground turkey.  I swear, spices and herbs are food’s saving grace. Egg whites with a bit of red pepper flakes and garlic this morning . . . yummm. Oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon? Sublime!  I am happy eating my way through the third day of the 3 Day Quick Fix.  After today, I start using all of the colorful containers.  I can’t wait to have some raw vegetables again. I miss the crunch of fresh food.


When I was doing the aborted Master Cleanse, I mentioned that I never reached ketosis, contrary to the many assurances that it helps burn fat.  I was curious to see how the 3DQF measured up.  The past two days I’ve checked my levels and there are trace ketones in my urine.  In spite of my eating oatmeal for breakfast and yams shortly thereafter and lots and lots of veggies, I am reaching ketosis.  Awesome!

Monday, March 09, 2015

21 Day Fix Day 2

My tshirt


Woke up feeling only slightly sore. Sore enough to feel like I did something but not so sore I can’t do more today.  Perfect. 

Today was upper body.  I didn’t use weights yesterday because I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s easier for me to catch myself before a fall when I’m not holding anything.  But today was upper body and it only made sense to grab some weights.  Light weights. Only 3 lbs.  I think I’ll be able to add in the heavier weights next time, if how I feel right now is any indication.  In the meantime, it was a good workout. I didn’t sweat as much but I don’t feel like I did nothing.  Had some trouble with my knees and the pushups and plank, mostly because I’m exercising on a hard wood floor (and have bad knees) so I’ll have to be careful going in and out of those.  Still, I know what to do and how to protect myself.  And I’ve made it through 2 days without thinking it’s impossible.  I finished before 7am and felt oh-so-accomplished. 

Yesterday, I also used the bike and will do so again today.  
A couple of pages from my Smashbook


Eating six meals a day is easier said than done.  By the fourth meal, I started feeling nauseous.  Rob was teasing me about my going from one extreme (the Master Cleanse) to another (eating six times a day).  As with the cleanse, I’m committed to giving this my all and the 3DQF has me eating six times a day so I shall eat six times a day again today.  Only three days of eating so much and then things get normal.  I will say that spices are my friend. I mixed things up by adding different types of spices throughout the day and it really helped me get through some of the redundancy.

Another page from my smashbook


I’m one of those who weighs daily.  The usual party-line is that one should only weigh weekly but there is research that some people do well weighing daily.  I’m one of those people.  If I see higher numbers, I am less likely to make excuses to skip exercising.  And if I see lower numbers, I am motivated to do more.   After eating six times yesterday, often forcing myself to eat, I’m surprised to say that I lost nearly a pound.  How the hell does that even happen?  Oh, wait.  When I went to the doctor and was working with a nutritionist, I was told I didn’t eat enough calories.  So here I am.  Surprise!   

Sunday, March 08, 2015

21 Day Fix Day One

Spring is coming. I promise.


Day one of 21 Day Fix (21DF) and so far so good.  I did the modified version but I think I am going to have to modify it a little more.  The first move, after the warm-up, is called “Surrenders” where you basically go down on one knee, then the other (so that you are kneeling), then step up on one foot and back up all the way.  You do this on one side for one minute then the other side later in the set.  Remember, I exercise with 1) bad balance and 2) bad knees.  So you can imagine how challenging this is for me.  I don’t want to lose my balance as I am going down or up and wrench my knee or fall over completely. I pushed through it all today because I had not planned ahead and couldn’t immediately come up with a substitute. 

Google to the rescue.  I found several suggestions for good substitutes but found one I believe is the best. Instead of going down on my knees, I’ll do a forward lunge and a back lunge.  As it’s done on the DVD, I won’t alternate but do it on one side for the first set and the other for the second. 

Interestingly enough, a book I’m reading talks about planning ahead, to have contingency plans in place. Of course you can’t always plan ahead but, when you can, if you can, doing so helps keep you on track.  And now I have a plan in place for what I’ll do instead of the Surrenders because, between my balance and my knees, they are not a good exercise for me to do.   


Although there is no specific meal plan for the 21DF for most of the 21 days, there is a 3 Day Quick Fix (3DQF) which I am doing.  There are six meals beginning with breakfast (oatmeal and egg whites—not together) followed with a lot of grilled and steamed foods.  Grilled chicken breasts with steamed yams first.  Then steamed fish with veggies, more chicken but with veggies, then fish again with veggies, and finally some ground turkey and veggies. That’s four servings of veggies, 2 carbs, six proteins.  And notice—the carbs are in the morning. 

Okay.  Egg whites are blandblandbland so I added a pinch of spices to make it a bit more palatable.  I plan on doing that again.  And I added a dash of cinnamon to my oatmeal. All in all, it has been a good start to my day. I’ll post more about the 3DQF tomorrow. In the meantime, I feel good and accomplished.


I took my measurements and weighed myself this morning.  I won’t do my measurements again until I am done with the full 21 days.  However, I will be weighing myself.  Today is my baseline weight (and no, I’m not going to tell you).  Next Sunday, I’ll post a number with a + or – depending on whether I gained or lost. Needless to say, I’m hoping I lose.