My 21-Day Fix Recap

If you follow me on Instagram (@sarahbsides), you know that I started a 21-day fix awhile back.

Let me back up.  In late January, I was feeling down on myself because I was still carrying 20+ pounds of baby weight.  By that point postpartum with each of my first two kids, the baby weight had basically melted away with little to no work on my part and that just wasn't happening with #3.  (Apparently it doesn't "melt away" when you gain 50+ pounds!)  Anyway, I didn't feel good in anything except my standard maternity leave outfit of leggings and an oversize tunic and getting dressed for the boys' baptism resulted in a hot mess of tears.  I had to do something.  So I contacted my friend, Brittany, who is a Beachbody coach and promptly signed up.  I decided to jump start my Beachbody program with a 21-day fix.  21 days straight of working out, eating healthy, and drinking their nutrition shakes.  I was gung-ho about losing the weight and fitting into my summer clothes before shorts season!

Let me also point out that I hate working out.  Despise it.  I always have.  I've gone through small phases of my life when I was devoted to working out, but they were just that - phases.  Chasing around active little boys all day every day keeps me pretty active, though it probably doesn't count as cardio. 😉  I've also never been one to "clean eat".  My motto has always been--and still is--everything in moderation.  I wouldn't describe my eating habits as unhealthy by any means...but if I want three cookies, I will eat three cookies.  So to say this was going to be a pretty drastic "diet" for me was a huge understatement.  Whatever, if it was going to help me cut a few (15) pounds and feel good in a swimsuit, it would be well worth it!

(But, once back to my pre-baby size/weight, I was resuming life as normal!)

Fast forward six weeks.  The 21-day fix is over.  I followed through {fairly religiously} for 16 or 17 days and then I got sick (with a fever and all) so I never finished the full 21 days.  But, I did stick with it for over two weeks and I feel like it was good for something, so I want to blog about my experience!

On Working Out

The 21-day fix workouts were a mix of cardio and weight training.  There was a different workout for each day of the week and it was meant to be repeated for three weeks.

Monday: Total Body Cardio
Tuesday: Arms
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Pilates
Friday: Cardio
Saturday: Dirty 30
Sunday: Yoga

My favorites were Pilates and yoga (aka the easiest!) and my least favorite was the Friday cardio (oh the killer).  Other than Pilates and yoga, I dreaded the workouts every. single. day.  The only positive is that they were 30 minutes long.  Had they been any longer, I probably would have quit three days in.  It was much easier to work out on maternity leave (obviously) because I could knock out a workout in the middle of the day.  Once I went back to school, I had to either a) get up at 5am to workout (which I did twice) or b) workout at the end of the day after the kids went to bed.  Both options sucked.  I never have any energy after 7pm and that 5am alarm came way too quickly each morning, which is the main reason I couldn't hang.  I also felt like I had no time or energy for anything else (blogging).  I know working out is supposed to have the opposite effect...apparently I just wasn't to that point yet!

In addition to the 21-day fix workouts, I tried a Country Heat dance workout on one of my yoga (easier) Sundays and honestly, I liked it a lot!  In a sense, it was an easier workout, but Country Heat requires you to move for 30 solid minutes versus in the 21-day fix videos, you have 20 second breaks throughout so the trainer can demonstrate the next move.  And dancing to country music is totally my jam!  I want to say I could commit to doing Country Heat on an ongoing basis (with a little Pilates and yoga thrown in), but then again, I've never been one to stick to a workout period...and I haven't done Country Heat since, so who knows!  In addition to these Beachbody videos, I also went on a lot of brisk walks during my fix.  I was lucky to be on maternity leave for half of my fix and the weather was gorgeous so I logged quite a few miles around our neighborhood, while pushing a stroller, which I think can be just as good a workout!

On Eating Healthy

Here's the deal, I'm not a huge fan of grilled chicken breast (it's just too plain for me) and I figured we'd be eating that for much of these 21 days.  Isn't that what always comes to mind when you think "clean eating"?  However, to my surprise, there are plenty of healthy meals out there that don't revolve around chicken breast!  I scoured Pinterest (thank God for Pinterest) for 21-day fix approved meals, meal-planned, and had fun trying some new recipes!  Most of the recipes were delicious and definitely things I would make again!  (I linked my favorites below!)  And to my surprise, the eating part was actually the easy part for me!  I enjoy cooking so I guess that makes sense!  (Disclaimer: I did sneak in a few Girl Scout cookies here and there (2/3 of the way through), but limited myself to two, we partook in Chinese and pizza with neighbors when the weather was just too nice, and I enjoyed some wine on Mondays (The Bachelor!!) and cul-de-sac beers here and there on the weekends.  Did I mention the weather was gorgeous?!)

I should point out that I didn't follow Beachbody's container system--that was just too much---but I did make a point to shop healthy, cook healthy, and eat healthy for most of the 21 days.  (Again, once I got sick towards the end, things kind of fell apart.)  Oh, I also cut out creamer from my coffee (I used to drink my coffee black...why did I start adding creamer anyway??) and I only had one Starbucks drink (a non-fat) during the span of my 21 days.  (And only because a coworker offered to bring me one on my first day back!)

Once again, it was much easier to follow through with the clean eating while on maternity leave.  I was able to make an egg or cut up an avocado for breakfast and/or lunch and start prepping dinner mid-afternoon before I went to get the older boys from daycare.  It was harder to find the time to prepare meals (that often included so much produce chopping) when I went back to work and didn't get home until 5pm...unless we ate a super late dinner, which I hate doing!  I definitely saved the easier meals for the week I returned to work.

My Takeaway: My attitude about eating is unchanged.  I still believe in eating everything in moderation.  I am never going to be one to deny myself a big bowl of ice cream, nor will I eat clean 6 out of 7 days and give myself a "cheat day."  That's just not my style.  What I did learn is that I can make an effort to plan one or two healthy meals per week and often these "clean meals" are just as tasty as our normal meals.  I also learned that eating an apple or handful of almonds as a snack can be just as satisfying (if not more) and as easy as a granola bar.  And I've cut the coffee cream for good (for now).  Not only will that cut a few calories from my diet, it will shave off a few dollars of our grocery bill!  Win win.

As promised, here are some of the meals we enjoyed.

Blackened Chicken with Poblano Cream Sauce + Zucchini Corn Side
Dijon Crusted Salmon & Arugula Salad + Roasted Broccoli
Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls (with this recipe for the glaze) + Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Asparagus Stuffed Grilled Chicken + Honey Roasted Butternut Squash
Zoodles with Turkey Bolognese + Spinach & Egg Salad
Unstuffed Cabbage with Ground Turkey Sausage
Greek Turkey Burgers + Greek Salad
Blackened Tilapia with Cucumber/Avocado Salsa + Crunchy Kale Salad 

BLT Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados
Greek Yogurt Egg Salad

Mini Zucchini Pizzas
Crispy Chick Peas
Quinoa Granola Bars

On Shakeology

When I started my 21-day fix, I also started drinking Beachbody's nutrition shakes, Shakeology.  I ordered the Cafe Latte flavor and quickly learned that if I added dark chocolate almond milk, a scoop of peanut butter, and ice, it tasted similar to a frappuccino.  While on maternity leave, I would make my shake mid-afternoon and drink it on the 20-minute drive to get the older boys from daycare (usually after my workout).  I loved it!  It would satisfy my craving for something sweet, especially at that time in the afternoon, and it was the perfect treat!  Once I went back to work, however, I started drinking them for breakfast.  I hated it.  I hated drinking something so cold in the morning when I prefer to drink my piping hot coffee instead.  (I usually saved my mug of coffee for after my shake was gone.)  In addition, I felt like the shake was just adding calories to my diet when I would otherwise be satisfied with a Greek yogurt for breakfast, and since I didn't love them at that time of day anyway, I have since stopped drinking them.  Perhaps I'll start again this summer when I have the ability to drink them as an afternoon snack or once the weather warms up for good, but again, I feel like a shake would be extra calories I wouldn't otherwise need, so we'll see!

On the Challenge Group

The all-access Beachbody membership gives you access to an online challenge group via an app on your phone.  Think a Facebook group, but it's its separate app.  The app lets you log everything: your before photos, your measurements, your workouts, your Shakeology, etc.  The group is run by a Beachbody coach or two (my friend Brittany) and is meant to motivate you, give you tips, etc.  I can't say as if I was super active in the challenge group.  I felt like it was just another thing on my phone that I needed to stay updated with.  And quite honestly, I like Instagram way better. 😉  But that's just me.  I know some people live for these challenge groups and it's how they stay on track with their program.

On my Weight Loss (i.e. THE RESULTS!)

I wish I could say this wasn't about the weight for me, but let's be honest, it totally was!  When the scale shows you a number that is 20 pounds higher than it was just 11 months prior, it's defeating.  I know I just had a baby (number three, mind you) and I know it takes time, but that's hard to accept when your clothes don't fit the same (or at all)!  The worst part for me was that I was at an all-time low weight last March.  I wasn't trying nor had I planned for that, but one day I noticed I was constantly having to hike up my sagging jeans, so I stepped on the scale and was quite surprised at what I saw.  That could be part of the reason why I gained more this pregnancy; I had more to gain.  My ending weight was probably only slightly higher than my ending weight with both Brantley and Holden because I weighed a good 10-15 pounds more when I got pregnant with each of them.  And my weight has always been one to yo-yo (in college especially - yikes!), but when you know exactly what you weighed a year ago, you kind of expect to get back there and it's hard being 20 pounds above that number....even though it was only 10ish pounds above what I consider my "normal".

Anyway, when I got pregnant last spring, I weighed in the upper one-hundred-teens.  I hate giving an exact number because pounds can fluctuate so much throughout just the course of a day, but I specifically remember the scale reading 119 at one point.  When I started my 21-day fix, I weighed around 140.  I consider my normal weight to be 130.  After my fix was over, I was at about 134, so closer to 130 than 140, which I was very happy with!  Now, I'm sure the 21-day fix/eating healthier/working out/going for walks had something major to do with that, but I also think being three additional weeks postpartum played a part, as well.   Like I said before, losing baby weight takes time so perhaps just giving my body additional time is what it needed.  And as crazy as it sounds, I think putting an end to breastfeeding also helped me kick a few pounds!  I seemed to have plateaued with my weight loss for a number of weeks before I quit breastfeeding; the moment I quit, I noticed my clothes fitting better.

Three weeks later, I have resumed life as normal, for the most part.  I'm still trying to eat a tad healthier than I normally do, but as of Friday, I was down to 130!!  {HAPPY DANCE!!!}  Most of my clothes currently fit, and overall, I am content with my current body situation.  My belly is still sporting some extra flab, and I'm always going to be a curvy girl with unproportionally big hips, but at 16 weeks postpartum, I'll take it!  And besides, with time (and chasing around three boys) I'd be shocked if I didn't drop a few more pounds along the way.

Even though I didn't follow through 100%, I'm glad I took before and after photos.  I can definitely tell in my stomach.  And like I said, I'm always going to be pear-shaped - at 110 or 150 pounds - and if you try to tell me otherwise, you're crazy!  All of my before photos are on the left, afters on the right!

And one more after photo - in my shorts!  They're a little tighter than normal, but they're on, they're zipped, and they're buttoned, so yay!  Bring on summatime!!!!!

So there's my experience.  Having babies is no joke and gaining 50+ pounds can be terrifying!  Although eating healthy and working out are part of my story, I've also been blessed with some good baby-weight losing genes and for that, I am very thankful!


  1. What an awesome, honest recap of your experience! I also did the 21 day fix to lose baby #3's weight but never did the containers or really dieted since I was nursing. I love the workouts but some of them are brutal!! And after doing it 21 days, and even more because I continued, I didn't really see the dramatic weight loss I did when I was shedding the other baby weight. But I think it did help tone me up. Thanks for sharing all those recipes, definitely going to check some out. And I'm right there with you - everything in moderation and I am never one to deprive myself haha! But really, you look so good and you're only 16 weeks pp so you know you will lose even more!

  2. Wooo! So glad it helped! I just started WW and I'm seeing success with it, so I'm going to keep going.

  3. Love this recap so much!! So honest and true - and loved having you in the group and that you did see some progress and improvement :) Excited to have you back in the summer group (maybe!?!?) and that even as a self proclaimed work out hater --- you pushed through! You are rocking it no matter what and keep up the good work because those shorts will get lots of good use this summer and you'll rock them WELL!

  4. And PS - your pictures are GREAT!!! I can see from them the inches you lost - even in that shirt!

  5. Great job! I need to lose like 20 more pounds but I'm stuck right now. I want to do the 21 day fix again soon!

  6. Great recap Sarah!! Love the honesty...and you look amazing! took me forever to get back into working out and eating better soooo i'd say you've already won ;) I totally believe in everything in moderation as well...I just have to remember "moderation" at times!! ha!

  7. First of all, congrats!! That is so awesome! I have a lot of the same mindsets as you- I hate working out, and I try and eat everything in moderation. I still have some weight to lose after my 2 babies, and I'm hoping to get back down to my ideal weight before summer!

  8. So glad you've had success! You look fantastic, Sarah! I'm jealous. My belly is so bad I refuse to take any pictures without a shirt covering it. I just finally hit the 120s last week and I'm over the moon excited about that, but my belly is still a hot mess. I was the same way with the diet. Not a fan. I gave up like 3 days in, but I've been eating healthier overall - and I totally cut out soda and sugary drinks (but not wine and beer, obviously, haha). Funny, your favorite workouts were my least favorite! I also have no coordination though, so there's that. Are you still working out at all or did you call it quits? I'm trying, but it's hard!

  9. Way to go Sarah! I think you had huge success! You are a rockstar!

  10. First of all, you look great!!! And congrats on the weight loss!
    Second of all, it's like I could have written this post. I despise working out too. HATE IT. I think that's part of why the 21 day fix didn't work for me. I'm out of the house from probably 7:30am-3pm at least, but on some days I have to pick up Mason early for therapy sessions at our house, so that doesn't really lend itself to me working out. So I made all kinds of excuses not to. That and then I HATED being regulated by those damn containers. The whole30 was easier for me because as long as it was approved, I could eat as much of it as I wanted and I never felt hungry. I hate feeling hungry. I was doing so well after our whole 30, everything in moderation, but then we went on our cruise and it's been downhill ever since. I need to do something, but I just don't know what....

  11. First and foremost, you look amazing!
    Second, I loved this recap! I've always wondered about Beachbody and the 21DF. You rocked it! I honestly don't think I could have gone 2/3, let alone all the way.
    Third, I noticed almost immediately after quitting breastfeeding that losing weight was easier. Apparently while breastfeeding my body thought it was cool to just cling on to any and all weight?

  12. Good for you! Loved the honesty too! I also despise working out but will be in need of some serious help once the baby is born. Something about never losing all the weight from my first pregnancy almost 5 years ago... oops!

  13. Friend, great job! I can definitely tell a difference. I have been contemplating the 21 day fix...but I just don't like healthy foods. Or most of it, at least.

  14. Awesome, your before/afters are definitely noticeable! So funny you posted about this because I've been debating recently about buying the 21 day fix and trying it out and now I leaning even more towards it seeing your results. Great post, thanks for sharing, looking great hot mama! And ya the workouts is my hard part too, I'm so flipping tired at the end of a day and mornings aren't my thing so I don't even attempt that.

  15. The baby weight took longer took come off with baby number two for me, so I'm super nervous about this third baby! You look great! Impressed with how you tackled the fix!

  16. You go girl! I had a harder time losing the baby weight after my 2nd than I did with my first. I totally understand this feeling! I definitely agree that sometimes it just takes time. I stayed the same weight for month before finally dropping g the final 5 pounds! You look great and I love how happy you look in the after pictures!