A Real Mom's Honest Opinion of Beachbody and The 21 Day Fix
It is that time of the year again! A lot of people are disgusted with themselves after overindulging during the holidays, the gyms are suddenly crowded and your co-workers are all back to eating salads for lunch.
So, I will openly admit that I am most definitely on this bandwagon. I have tried different gyms, classes, meal plans, etc. but thought I would review for you a quite popular one, and why it ended up being my favorite and most effective program to date. Please note, I am NOT a coach, and this is NOT sponsored or affiliated with Beachbody in anyway, just my honest review.
So if you are on any type of social media chances are you have come across a sweaty, thumbs up selfie of a Beachbody coach who just "nailed" their workout. Many pics and/or videos have their kiddos goofing around in the background just to show you how "busy mom-friendly" these programs really are.
So after my first son Greyson was born a friend of mine who became a Beachbody coach was trying to sell me on the workouts. Just to offer a full disclosure, I did not have baby weight to lose due to pregnancy (we had to use a gestational carrier to have our children), I did however have depression weight to lose due to the loss of Greyson's twin, Preston. Not to mention my body still was wacky because of all of the fertility medication I had taken straight over the past couple years. So needless to say, I told my friend I liked getting out of the house and would prefer to do classes at a local gym, which I did.
Fast forward a couple years...we had another set of twins and finding the time and/or a sitter to get out of the house wasn't exactly all that easy. My eating habits had gotten out of control and I was tired as heck, not drinking enough water, etc., so I felt I needed a change. My motivation was more about changing how I felt and having more energy for my children than it was for physical appearance.
I was at my best friends baby shower and her cousin had told me she was starting a program called The 21 Day Fix that week. I told her to let me know how it went. A couple months later I texted her and she sent me her before and after shots and whoa, I was sold. I mean I wasn't looking for full-blown abs but I'm not going to poo-poo the option!
I called my friend and ordered the 21 Day Fix Challenge pack which came with the workout DVDs, the color coded food portion containers, and a month's supply of Shakeology, their nutrient rich protein shake.
I began my workouts on a Monday, as well as the diet plan. I honestly don't like calling it a "diet" plan because truthfully I was eating more than I was before and much, much healthier. I did also have a Shakeology shake everyday, typically I had mine in the afternoon when I was craving a snack and it definitely curbed my appetite and held me over before dinner.
So let me just cut to the chase...the program - truth be told - really did work, and worked FAST.
For me it was not that I had a huge amount of weight to lose, I actually never weighed myself, it was more of an issue of energy and overall health. I was getting really fatigued far too easily when playing and taking care of my kids and I knew I just needed to get into better shape. If my body happened to get toned up in the process, I am not going to lie, I was more than fine with that too.
My body did change and I became more lean and toned (see pictures below) as well as far less bloated which is always an issue for me despite being petite.
So biggest changes I experienced while doing the 21 Day Fix (by the way I did it VERY strictly for 3, 21 day cycles in a row):
- Overall increase in energy
- Better hydration (peed A LOT, but previously I never drank enough water) felt like my skin was also more hydrated and appeared to have better tone; seriously, I don't think my wrinkles appeared as deep.
- TMI ALERT!!! I was pooping probably how a normal person should be (I'll let you figure that one out), which was not the case previously.
- No more bloating.
- More motivated in my life in general. Did more things with my kids, took daily walks, etc.
- SLEEP!!!! Slept much better at night, despite having to wake up to pee once or twice due to all of the water intake.
- My family ate healthier due to more healthy food options being in the house on a regular basis.
- I was stronger and my back/hip bothered me much less ( I have sciatica which flares up regularly).
- I stopped being addicted to SUGAR! I gotta say the thing I missed the most was ice cream, but I liked the discipline and knowing I didn't NEED that bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream at 9:45pm.
- I liked the way I looked. Feeling comfortable in your own skin can be an issue regardless of clothing size. Even though I was still small, being "out of shape" made me not comfortable in my clothes. I was always tucking in my lower belly and buying long tanks and baggy shirts. My pants felt tight and I did not want to buy new pants! So I toned up and it felt great.
Again, since I am NOT a Beachbody Coach, or in anyway is this sponsored post, I am going to be completely honest. Here is what I don't personally like for ME:
1. Love/hate relationship with Shakeology.
I like it. It tastes good and the best part is it's convenient. On the 21 Day Fix Program I needed to have four servings of protein a day and Shakeology counted as a protein so it was easy. It is however pricey and I don't believe that you NEED it to be successful. The biggest factor for me that I was not doing before when I was going to the gym and what I though was "eating healthy" was my portion sizes. I think portion size and following the meal plan is crucial, but the expensive shakes are not. Sorry Beachbody Coach friends, please don't hate me. Now does that mean they don't help or aren't convenient when you do the plan? NO way! If Beachbody would make the shakes more affordable I would be more on board, but it's a lot of money to spend on shakes all of the time.
2. Constant push for new programs
I like the workouts a lot and did not feel the need to change programs until I felt I wanted/needed to. I know the big push with Beachbody is the constant evolution of new workout programs. I suppose if you are someone who likes to change things up or you need more of a challenge then you will see this more as a pro. For me, I'm like lets get this workout in, I've got laundry to fold and a salad to eat. If you are plateauing or getting bored it is certainly nice to have a lot of fun options to change your workout routine, I just personally didn't get to that point.
3. The "coaching" model
This whole "coach" title thing kind of bugs me. Now I am fortunate to know a few people that are coaches that I feel rightfully deserve a coaching title. They have either nutrition degrees, previous athletic coaching experience etc. The reality is with Beachbody anyone can sign up to be a coach because you are really just helping to inspire, motivate and guide others via products/programs you are passionate about. The issue though is this is a health program. Can gyms hire personal trainers without fitness certifications? I mean clearly the Beachbody company has legal disclosures, clearance, etc. but to me I just don't like the use of the word "coach". I believe there are a lot of amazing coaches out there and if you are going to go with a Beachbody program I think you should really choose a coach who is knowledgeable and is right for you.
4. Same old Selfies/Posts
Chill with all the dang sweaty selfies!!! My social media feeds are busting at the seams with the same, dare I say redundant types of images. It doesn't surprise me that as a coach you are being good about doing your workouts. What I would personally like seeing more of is useful recipes, and before and after pics of other normal non-coach people that I can relate to. Even feature people you train and share their background stories. I personally find that to be more authentic and motivating.
5. Practicality of the Meal Plan Long Term
It can be hard to stay on the plan long term. I will say that strictly eating according to the containers for me is difficult to do. I definitely had my cheat days (parties, holidays, date nights, etc). However, the overall education you get on what your portion sizes really should be and what you should be eating and not eating is something that absolutely has carried through the long term. I am far more aware of my eating habits and know exactly what to do when I feel like I am getting out of control with unhealthy eating or neglecting exercise habits. So is it possible to stay on the plans strictly forever - yes, super practical - no. But will it still change your life and the way you view your health? YES!!
So, my overall assessment is that I WOULD without a doubt recommend a Beachbody program. I do think you should make sure that you are in fact signing up with a coach that is right for you and you feel has adequate background knowledge to properly guide you on your journey, but I without a doubt do give props to Beachbody for creating a flipping fitness empire like no other.
Time to get back on the Fix friends! Follow along with me on my social media accounts as I will be posting and sharing recipes, progress etc. Here's to a healthier you in the new year!!