21 Day Fix

Why I Won't Be Posting Before and After Pictures

So I've been dancing around this idea/topic for a while. It's hard to talk about in this community when so much of our relationships/photos/income depend on how we look and how far we've come. Before/after photos come with the territory and goodness knows, they're everywhere. I've even posted them before. But not any more. Why? Several reasons.

  1. Do I really want my body to be all over the Internet? Not so much. Not really. In my challenge groups and in media I can control? Maybe.
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  3. I saw this on my Instagram the other day and it absolutely broke my heart. I am so so familiar with that feeling of looking at other people and thinking "I'll never be there" or "I can never do that". You can do it. You can take responsibility for yourself and figure out what feels good to you and go for it. But do you know what won't work? Crash dieting. Restricting. Binging. All of these things that we've been trained to think "if I do insert fad diet here I will look like ________". My only goal ever is to encourage health in other people, to share this amazing lifestyle that has changed the entire way I view my body and food and the mirror and...everything else, basically.
  4. There are tons of transformations already out there. I'll even post some links at the bottom of my favorite people sharing their story and, yes, their before and afters--and I will cheer them on the entire time. Their results are what got me here in the first place, after all. And I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing (I'll even admit that they can be hugely motivating!)--but I won't be participating.

What will I be doing?

I will be living my life.

I'm not saying I'll never post a photo of myself in a bikini or doing a push up. I'm not saying I'll never flex in the mirror because holy biceps (the 21DFX results are too real, y'all, and I'm kind of really proud of it). And you'll definitely still be getting all the sweaty selfies (along with gratuitous pictures of my lunch).

My body is my body and I am not ashamed of it. 

But the last thing I want to do is make others feel like they are too much or too little--like they are not good enough. I never want to encourage comparison by myself or by others.

I've struggled with this for a while, had several conversations about it, gone back and forth over and over again, read articles, and done some real soul searching. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them.

xoxo.

Before and Afters:

Anna: 21 Day Fix, Insanity Max 30

Brittany: 21 Day Fix

Katie: her story

Shamira: 21 Day Fix

March Sale -- LAST DAY

TODAY (Tuesday March 31) is the LAST DAY of the Beachbody On Demand Challenge Pack Sale!

>> WHAT YOU GET <<

+ 30 days of Shakeology on HD (can cancel/modify) + 90 days access to On Demand Digital Streaming!!! + Cost: $140 So basically for only $10 over the cost of Shakeo you get instant access to a bajillion Beachbody programs!

{For FAQ's and a list of programs: http://tbbcoach411.com/inside-beachbody-demand/}

>> PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU BUY <<

+ I'm launching a big 21 Day Fix Challenge starting NEXT MONDAY (April 6), so if you are interested in the Fix and don't already own it, I recommend purchasing that Challenge Pack instead. You still get a 30 day free trial to On Demand!

  • To order the Fix, go here.

+ If you already own the 21 Day Fix, are NOT currently on Shakeo HD, and want to mix up your workouts or take them to the gym, this offer is for you!!

  • To order the Beachbody On Demand Challenge Pack with Shakeology go here.

I'm making myself wait until after I get home from Europe this summer to try BOD (Beachbody On Demand) and it is KILLING me. I highly encourage you to try this while it's still on sale!

If you decide to try this, let me know! I can register you under my team and you can join next week's challenge group at no additional cost to you. (You might also have to endure my jealousy over this. BOD--I'M COMIN FOR YOU.)

  • If you order through these links, make sure it says "Briannen Arey" under Coach, during checkout. If not, feel free to message me with any questions you have!

Come at me, April--I'm ready for you! Get ready with me!

xoxo.

How the 21 Day Fix Works

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I've gotten so many questions about this, so I figured I'd dedicate an entire post to explaining it.

First of all, the Fix is based on the idea that it takes 21 days to break bad habits and create good ones. You can do anything for 21 days, right?

Second, the Fix is about balancing your diet and learning how to best nourish your body. It's about portion control without counting calories (praise God), while still fueling your body. So to do that, you get these nifty little containers to help you visualize portions and types of food and how to balance them.

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Each of the containers corresponds to a "kind" of food. Yellow is carbs, green is vegetables, purple is fruit...etc, etc. The only time you ever deal with numbers is Day 0, when you calculate which calorie bracket you fall into. Each bracket has different container numbers. Ex: if you fall into bracket 1, your daily target is 4 red containers, 3 green, 2 purple, and so on. Bracket 2 has the same number of red, but an extra one of each of the other containers.

Y'all, this is so much food.

This was one of my dinners one night (a red, yellow, and green) and I got so full halfway through.

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The third piece of the 21DF puzzle is the workouts. They're all led by Autumn Calabrese--the genius behind the entire program. Each workout (there are 7 and each day of the week has an assigned workout) is only 30 minutes (including warmup and cool down) so you can get in and get back out super quickly! Autumn talks a lot about how normal exercise, like normal eating, is just a small portion of your life and advocates how as long as you're doing the right thing you don't need to spend hours and hours at the gym to reach your goals. She's also super motivating and so fun. (Part of me wishes she led five other Beachbody programs because I would buy them all.)

Maybe my favorite thing about the 21 Day Fix? It's designed to reach you at your level--wherever that may be. You can absolutely make this program whatever you want to be--whether you're at a plateau, looking to mix things up, want to know how to eat right, or are just getting started.

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If you're interested in joining my next Challenge group, message me on Facebook! I'd love to have you.

If you have questions or if you have questions that I didn't address, feel free to leave them in the comments below, comment on my Instagram, message me on Facebook, or start sending smoke signals. :)

xoxo.

Recipe: Tuna Cakes

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21DF: 1 red

2 6oz. cans of tuna, drained

1/2 c. shredded carrots

2 eggs

1 chili pepper (I’m not a big spice fan, so I took out the seeds)

3 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/2 c. diced onion (I sautéed it in a bit of olive oil before adding)

1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. soy sauce (I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, since it has less sodium and more flavor!)

Black pepper to taste

Lightly beat eggs, then add tuna and carrots. Mix together. Add onion and spices. Combine and refrigerate for 30 min-1 hr (or until you remember you left it in the fridge. Oops).

Shape into patties. You can freeze them for quick and easy meals or fry in a bit of olive oil. I baked mine at 375 for 15 minutes on each side.

Enjoy!

Launch: #springstrong

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Happy spring, everyone!

I am so excited to announce this challenge group! It’s impossible to describe how much of a difference the 21 Day Fix has made in my life—and even harder to believe that I was starting it for the first time just seven weeks ago.

What difference has it made?, do you ask?

Let me tell you:

Food is no longer in control of me. Exercise is not a punishment.

I literally never thought I would get to this point. I had resigned myself to just being…whatever I was in the moment. I wasn’t in control, I was subject to forces outside my body, etc, etc.

Just seven weeks later though, I’ve never felt so empowered in my life. Ever. I’ve never felt so strong and secure and in control. Ever.

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So on March 16th, I’m starting the 21 Day Fix Extreme and I invite you to join me! (Hence the hashtag #springstrong.) The challenge group will involve check-ins in our private FB group to hold you accountable, recipe shares, meal planning help (it’s my new obsession) digging deep and changing your life.

For me, spring has always been a time for new beginnings and making changes and it’s my hope that it’s that time for you as well! So, if you’re interested in starting the Fix or another Beachbody program or have any questions: send them here, send me an email (livelaughlovebri@yahoo.com), message me on Facebook… I’m an open book for y’all. :) 

Contact me to claim a spot! Let’s do this together. <3

PS - If you’re not sure what you want to try, ask me about Beachbody on Demand! It’s like an endorphin-releasing Netflix and I’m so excited about it.

Investing In Me

So I meant to write this yesterday. I forgot/there was snow/I binge-watched 5 episodes of The West Wing instead.

Honestly, I’m glad I waited.

Yesterday was rough. Today was rougher. I caved to most (if not all) of my cravings when it was just…totally unnecessary, really.

Now I am not in the habit of denying myself things I want at all. Let’s get that straight. But I’ve come to learn that my body is a temple. It carries me and supports me and does damn near everything I ask. And I want to honor that. I want to respect that. I want to give myself the best possible life and part of that means eating things that are good for me and balancing that out with things that make me happy. I’m lucky that oftentimes, those two things coincide. But sometimes my mind tells me that what will make me happen often just leads to upset stomachs and icky lethargy later. That, my friends, feels a little bit like mud in the temple. And I’m not a fan.

So I ate clean treats yesterday. And I ate crappy treats today. Tonight, I feel like crap. I feel heavy and greasy and…it’s not pleasant. There are muddy shoeprints all over this temple and I am not about that. But I want to get back on track.  I love the way I feel when I put myself first, when I prioritize health.

I smile when I do my daily checkins for my challenge group. I feel strong and empowered. I know that I’m making the right choices for my body and it feels amazing.

I just tend to forget that in the moment. Damn cookies and gravy biscuits.

So I’m letting myself relax. I refuse to beat myself up about this. I refuse to criticize myself for doing what I feel like I need in the moment, even if I regret it later. (As a sidebar—I don’t believe in regrets.) Instead, I’m learning.

I took the plunge and ordered the 21DF Extreme tonight. OH MY GOSH Y’ALL I AM SO PUMPED. And it’s not just because it’s on sale right now (BUT IT IS). 

I’ve been considered trying Insanity Max 30 but 1) I wouldn’t have enough time to complete it before I leave the country and 2) I’m scared. It sounds intense and I’m not quite sure if I’m ready to push myself that hard just yet. The temple still needs a bit of foundation work. But the 21DFX is meeting me right where I’m at and making me level up. 

That said, I definitely couldn’t be doing this alone. I am so thankful for Anna and the accountability we’ll be bringing each other and the support of the rest of our challenge group. I’ll be starting it on March 16 and anyone on any program is welcome to join us! 

It’s going to be tough but I know it will be so worth it because I will feel so good. My body is worth all that I can invest in it. Let’s go.

Why Beachbody? Why now?

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I hadn’t really heard of Beachbody before Anna began posting about it regularly, but I was so intrigued. When the 21DF first came out, I thought it sounded absolutely perfect, but I couldn’t justify the cost at the time.

That was last April.

I debated, deliberated, tried to imitate the program using “hacks” I found on Pinterest, did a clean eating challenge Anna offered on FB and fell even more in love with the idea, gave up and pushed it to the back of my mind…for seven months. Anna messaged me in early January asking what I was thinking about trying the 21DF and I just…knew I needed to it.

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When I’d posted this picture on Instagram a few days before she messaged me, it was because I needed to remind myself that I needed to fight. When we’d first gotten to the ice skating rink, I was cold (one of my least favorite feelings ever), I’d left my jacket in the car, and I was horrible at skating. I’d been restricting pretty heavily again and was feeling so trapped in this negative, awful, miserable cycle that my disordered behaviors flourish in.

But I was struggling. So hard. 

I was literally skating around the rink chanting to myself all the things I wouldn’t be able to do if I continued to restrict. My hair would fall out, I would be cold all the time, I would be tired all the time…I can’t even remember all of them now. But I knew I needed to break out of these thoughts. And so I decided I would try the 21DF—at the very least, I’d get to meet some amazing people and get closer with Anna.

I got so much more.

This weekend (not even a month later!) I wore this for our Galentine’s day: 

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Yes, the physical results have been great, but the mental results have been incomparable. I am getting so much stronger and breaking out of these cycles and trusting myself and believing in myself and gaining so much confidence. …how can I not shout it from the rooftops?

I want everyone to have that. I want you to have that.

And I’m always here to talk.

(One day, these posts won’t be so deep. Someday.)

21/21?

It didn’t feel quite right to make this a declaration, because honestly…I don’t feel like I’ve finished the program at all! And I mean this in the very best way possible. :)

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So Sunday was my last “official” day of this round of the Fix (starting a new one on Monday because I can’t stay away!!) and I was excited when I sat down to meal plan. I was thinking “oh, I can have anything I want now! No limitations! All the carbs!” but I just didn’t want them anymore. (It was such a freakin’ letdown, honestly. I WAS SO EXCITED. I’d made it 21 days to not want all the cookies?!)

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(That’s not to say that I haven’t eaten them.)

Everything that the Fix advertises is 100% true. It is habit now for me to think “how much protein am I having today?” or “do I want carbs? Nah, veggies”. I feel so balanced and in control of what I’m eating now in a way that’s never happened before.

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I got this message from Anna when we were talking about me ordering the 21DF and I just…couldn’t imagine it. At all. I was heading down a dangerous spiral of restriction again and needed to break out of it. I needed to readjust my perspective on what food meant, on what healthy eating was.

Y’all. This did it.

I think I’ve probably said that before, because I’ve been saying it constantly but I literally can’t get over it.

Gah. I’m so excited to start the next round. If you have any questions about the program, just let me know and I’ll be happy to answer. :)

18/21

It’s crazy to think it’s already been 18 days since I started this program. I had intended to do daily, or even weekly, updates, but…we see how that went. (Very well, clearly.)

Long story short, I am in love with the 21DF, y’all. I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know, doing the daily workouts, pushing myself and reaching a whole new level of recovery that I used to think people made up.

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Recovery is so difficult to define because like eating disorders themselves, it’s so individual and so complex. Recovery never looks the same for different people because it won’t ever be.

I was worried going into this that even though I wouldn’t be counting calories (which is my number one trigger. Always. Period. End of story.), it would still feel restrictive or difficult or like I was pushing myself, but it hasn’t. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s taken me until the last few days to really get used to structure and eating so many times a day and what the heck does a full meal really look like anyway?)

So, for my individual recovery, the 21DF has gotten me to really look at food like fuel, but also occasionally treats to be enjoyed, and nutrients that my body needs to keep going. It’s reminded me of how much I love exercise (Dirty 30 is my FAV. Dripping sweat at 10am on a Saturday? YES PLEASE.) and how good I feel when I’m able to appreciate everything that my body can do.

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That said, I wouldn’t recommend this program for anyone that’s just getting started in their recovery or easing back in to exercise because there is the “slippery slope” feeling sometimes (at least for me). I’ve been on this journey for five years, y’all, and have just now gotten to the point where I felt able to take this on. Pleasepleaseplease be careful.

If you’re looking to redefine your relationship with food—maybe it’s just not quite as peaceful as you would like or you don’t feel like you know how to balance your nutrition; if you want challenging but not terrifying (I’m lookin’ at you, Insanity Max 30) workouts; if you want to find a group of motivating, encouraging, like-minded, inspirational people that are on this journey as well—then I 100%, completely, entirely, wholeheartedly recommend the 21 Day Fix.

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I’ve wanted to do this program since April. I am so glad I finally did it and my only regret is that I didn’t do it earlier.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

1/21

Today was the first day of the 21 Day Fix…and honestly, it was so much better than I was hoping for.

I definitely still have a lot to learn or maybe just adjust to (I got hungry in the middle of the afternoon because I ate lunch too early) and my first DVD was broken so BB is sending me a new one. It’s stressing me out a little bit not being “on the plan” exactly, but I think maybe it’s good for me. :)

I ended up doing the regular Cardio Fix tonight and while I don’t know if I’ll be sore tomorrow, it wa DEFINITELY a workout and it felt so good to just sweat it out. (That’s not a feeling I usually get with swimming.) I’m nervous for what the other workouts look like, especially because I don’t have any equipment so I’ll have to modify as possible. But I kept thinking of the reasons why I’m doing this and it’s totally worth it.

Like Autumn kept saying tonight, “you can do anything for sixty seconds” and I can do this for twenty one days. I can’t wait to see where I end up.