So you've ordered your 21 Day Fix Extreme and you're waiting for your challenge pack to arrive. First of all, congratulations on the decision to get after your fitness goals! You will find that the 21 Day Fix programs (the "regular" and the "extreme") are simple and they work, but if you're like I was, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed right about now.
Have no fear, I've been through it, and survived. ;)
After going through a couple of rounds myself, I've put together a checklist of things you can do before the nice mailman brings it to your door. These 6 things are helpful for the mental and physical preparation that will set you up for success!
The countdown to your 21 Day Fix Extreme arrival
#6: Hydration. The first thing you can do is to start increasing your intake of water - a must for flushing toxins out of our system, delivering nutrients, and helping you feel full - especially important when you are watching your portions. Stay hydrated by drinking approximately half your body weight in ounces. If this seems daunting to you, start slowly and work your way up. Drinking before each meal and upon waking and before bed is a great start.
#5: Before photos. At some point before your 21 Day Fix Extreme arrival you will take your before pictures, so it might as well be now. You might not relish this idea, but having photos to look back on helps you really see progress that you just can't see on a day-to-day basis. Photos (and eventually, measurements) will reveal subtle differences as your body changes, and you'll be motivated to keep going! To take the photos, you can stand in front of a mirror with your cell phone, or have a friend or family member assist. Dress in snug fitting workout clothes or a bathing suit - whatever you are comfortable with. Take a photo from the front view, side view, back view and at a twist. Just make sure that you take your after photos in the same pose.
Click here for a great tutorial (video): How to take your progress photos
Here's another one: How to measure your transformation
At the end of your 21 days, you will also submit the before/after photos for a free t-shirt for a job well done!
#4: Clear your space. If you don't already have a plan for your workout space, you should clear an area in the living room, basement, or wherever you will be pushing play each day. It doesn't have to be elaborate, and you don't need much space, just enough to comfortably fit a workout mat and a few accessories (dumb bells, exercise bands). Will you be using a DVD player and a TV or streaming online on your laptop via Beachbody on Demand? Get everything ready to go so you have no excuses and you can make efficient use of your time. Make this space your own special area so you enjoy spending time there.
#3: The purge. You will have time later to plan out your specific meals, but for now, take a look into your pantry, fridge and freezer. The time is now to start purging (or at least not buying any more of) non-21-Day-Fix-approved foods. The obvious junk foods like cookies, chips, and sodas will come first, but there are also some hidden culprits you'll discover once you start reading food labels. Steer clear of hydrogenated oils, trans fats, sugar and enriched flour, as well as foods high in sodium.
#2: The nutrition. Now that you're getting into the habit of reading labels and not allowing any more of junk food into your house, it's time to focus on some of the good stuff and buying more of THAT. I suggest shopping a little at a time starting now, so that the hit to your grocery budget won't be as large the first week your 21 Day Fix arrives. Some of the go-to staples might include coconut oil, brown rice, Bragg's liquid aminos, apple cider vinegar, and eggs. Lots of eggs. :)
#1: The plan. The final tip I have for you (and for me, it's the most important) as you get ready for your 21 Day Fix Extreme arrival is to plan your calendar. This not only means choosing your start date (if you are in a challenge group, then one has likely already been selected), but also scheduling when you'll do your meal prepping, AND the time of day you will workout. Place YOU on your appointment calendar, just like a dental appointment or a meeting with your boss. As much as possible, make this at a regular time (mornings, after work, etc.) because it will make it easier to remain consistent. This scheduling routine sounds simple, but it's very effective. By placing yourself on your own calendar, you will change your mindset and will avoid "running out of time" at the end of the day.
Here's a bonus tip that will help you successfully reach your 21 Day Fix Extreme (or any fitness program) goals: Get an accountability partner. Enlist a friend or someone in your life that you trust for support, and maybe a little tough love, when you feel the urge to eat a big cheat meal or skip a workout. When you feel like slacking, not only will you have to answer to yourself, but you'll have someone else to answer to, as well. One of the big reasons our challenge groups are so successful is that there is a built-in system of accountability and support from a group of people who are all trying to achieve their health and fitness goals just like you are. The more people you have cheering you on and keeping you on track, the more you will enjoy the process - and your results!
Let's do this!
Note: Space in our current challenge group has been filled, but we will have another 21 Day Fix/Extreme group forming soon. Reserve your spot today by filling out an application form here: Fit Challenge Application Form. For more info on packages and pricing, see the 21DF FAQs page.