The following is my personal experience of purchasing a Beachbody Challenge Pack and going through the full program. Based on my goals to improve both fitness and food choices, I decided that the 21 Day Fix was going to be the best fit. You can purchase a Challenge Pack for virtually any of the Beachbody programs.
The 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack was a higher investment ($140 promo price versus $60 for the DVD set/plan only) but a great value when I considered that I could try out Shakeology for 30 days, I would have access to streaming workout videos through Beachbody On Demand, and I would have a coach to lean on for motivation.
The box arrived in the mail on June 7, 2016, and had everything I needed for my 21 Day Challenge:
Portion control containers
DVD set with 7 different workouts
30 day supply of Shakeology
21 Day Fix meal plan booklet
Random papers promoting other Beachbody products
It felt like a LOT to go through but once I pulled everything out of the box and read through the "Start Here" brochure, it all made sense.
My Starting Point
I planned to start the program on June 20, 2016. I had body composition testing done at my local gym on June 10 and would use that as an additional way to measure my success. On June 20, I weighed in at 139 pounds and noted all of the measurements recommended for the Beachbody Challenge - chest, arms, waist, hips, and thighs. For the next 21 days, I dedicated myself to the Challenge 100%.
I chose the vegan chocolate flavor of Shakeology and drank it every morning on my way to the gym. After a couple of days I noticed that I had the energy to complete each workout and didn't get cravings during the day like I normally did. I wouldn't consider Shakeology to be a meal replacement, however. At only 170 calories, I needed to eat something else before lunch. Often this would be a serving of protein and a serving of fruit. I let a friend try a one of my shakes and her comment was "are these things supposed to taste this good?!"
Team Beachbody Club Membership
The Challenge Pack includes a free 30 day membership to Team Beachbody Club. Club members have access to Beachbody On Demand's extensive streaming workout video library and receive 10% off any Beachbody products.
Beachbody On Demand came in VERY helpful throughout the 21 days. I chose to do my workouts at the gym rather than at home since I was doing the workouts with friends and the gym had all the equipment we needed - light and heavy weights, mats, and towels. Instead of taking the DVDs and my computer with me each day, I could use my phone or an iPad to open the On Demand app, log in to my account, and access the workouts over wifi. It does put a bit of a drain on your battery so be prepared to have a charging cable later in the day but other than that, it was great! I also used On Demand while I was on vacation in San Francisco. Again, it was great to not have to travel with my laptop and the DVDs - it was all there on my phone.
21 Day Fix Workouts
Okay, I admit, working out seven days a week SOUNDS like a lot. But it's only 30 minutes a day which is totally doable. There are also two days (a pilates day and a yoga day) that are considered "active recovery" days. I chose to commit to a morning workout each day just to make sure I stuck with it. You can read more about my journey of becoming a morning workout person in my blog post here. Some days are definitely harder than others but just at that point when you think you want to stop the video and say "good riddance" to Autumn Calabrese, it's time to stretch and you're done! About half way through my 21 days I started to notice physical changes in my body - mostly through more muscle definition.
21 Day Fix Meal Plan
This was my favorite part of the 21 Day Fix program! I have had success in the past with fitness/nutrition goals by counting calories but I became a little OCD (obsessive compulsive) about the whole thing. I would stress about every calorie going into my mouth. 21 Day Fix (and several other Beachbody programs with Challenge Packs) come with color coded food containers. A simple formula helps you calculate how many containers you can have for each category, each day (fruits, vegetables, protein, carbs, healthy fats, etc.). I was able to plan ahead each day for what I would fill my containers with and when I would eat them. SO simple! The best part is that even if you don't have your containers with you and are eating out, you can very easily imagine how much might fit in a container.
This meal plan focuses on eating more whole foods and reducing processed foods. I never once felt hungry. I ate food throughout the day that kept my body fueled. Sugars and alcohol were some of the hardest things for me to cut out. Because I wanted to see results fast, and I knew it was ONLY three weeks, I figured I could suck it up. I did allow myself to have three alcoholic beverages a week (red wine or beer). Although, once I got into a groove with the program and started to see results, I really wasn't that tempted because I knew it would just slow me down.
One thing not mentioned in my pamphlets that I found out later is that there is actually a 21 Day Fix app (Apple/IOS only as of July 2016) that you can use to track your containers, workouts, and water consumption each day. If you're forgetful like me, a tool like this is super helpful!
The biggest downside (according to my husband) is the containers themselves. Whenever he does the dishes, he dreads when I go to empty my lunch bag. I personally think this is a plus and might just get a dishwasher installed a little quicker!
After three weeks, I lost 7 pounds and went from 27.8% body fat to 25.2%. I noticed significant muscle gain and everything became more defined - especially my arms and abs since that's where I tend to lean up the fastest.
My results did NOT come easily. I had to use a lot of restraint at parties where I would normally dig in to some of my favorite sweets and treats. I even went to a JIMMY BUFFETT concert during my three week challenge where there were temptations at every turn. At one point I remember stopping at the table, looking at a plate of Rice Krispie Treats, and talking to myself about why I didn't need to eat one. I also drank a LOT of La Croix that day!
The truth is, there's never going to be a good time to get serious about your health and fitness. You're always going to have to make sacrifices. There will always be holidays, birthday parties, weddings, work events, and Saturday nights when friends want to go out. You just have to commit 100% and when you do, the results will follow. The good news is that once you see results, it becomes that much easier because you just want to keep the good feelings coming! You'll feel better, you'll feel more confident, and you'll feel STRONGER!
The bottom line is that I would highly recommend enrolling in a Beachbody Challenge Pack. You'll have all the tools you need to achieve your goals, along with advice and encouragement from a coach. The Challenge Pack also allows you to test out Beachbody tools (Shakeology and On Demand) for a significantly reduced price.
If you're not sure which Challenge Pack is right for you or you want to get started, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave me a message on my Contact Page, or reach out through social media. I would be honored to be your coach and partner with you as you experience your own transformation!
August 21, 2016
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