80 freaking long days.
Earlier this week I started a new fitness program that will last exactly that long, and I had no idea what to expect. I have lots of friends and team members that were already a week in, so it is nice that they are able to give me a little heads up on what was about to happen, but I still was relatively clueless. Since I am learning as I go, I will be doing a weekly wrap up on the program each Sunday to let you know what to expect in the event you are thinking about giving it a go or simply want to support me on my journey.
So what is this program? It is an 80 day workout program created by Autumn Calabrese (you may remember her from a little program called 21 Day Fix). Each day features a different workout, and utilizes weights, resistance loops, and sliders. When it comes to nutrition, this program is the most precise and specific I have ever seen, combining timed nutrition and portion control.
I was extremely excited to get started with this program, and I was heartbroken when I was told by my doctor that I wasn’t cleared to begin the program last week when it launched. My pneumonia was still lingering, and I was also battling acute bronchitis. After some additional medicine, more rest, and desk duty at the studio, I was finally cleared the end of the week to begin this past Monday.
I know many of you follow me on social media and know that I’m always doing a program, but I will be honest….I don’t always go ALL IN. Working out for me is something I need daily for my mental health, and since I am a huge supporter of balance, I refuse to give up the foods I really love, like donuts, tacos, and pizza. Everything is ok in moderation in my book. However, when I decided to do this program, I knew it was one that I had no choice but to go all in with. The other programs I do….I have completed them by following the workouts and nutrition 100%, so I know they how they work and how to coach others to success with them, which is why now I dont always follow them 100% now. I know what I can do with them if I do commit 100%. With 80 day obsession though, I do not, so I committed. Hardcore committed. Remember, this isn’t just about me getting results….it’s about me helping the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of clients I have get them, too, and I can’t give them the best info if I half assed the program!
Since I was already well aware that some of my favorite foods would not be part of this meal plan, I had a lovely farewell weekend to some of my favorite foods before I began Monday….and when I say farewell, I truly mean I celebrated them in style. Saturday afternoon I enjoyed a philly cheesesteak and fries, Saturday night I got my favorite grilled cheese from Melt Bar and Grilled (the Mighty Macaroni in case you were wondering) and Mochi, Sunday morning I met two of my besties for brunch at Townhall for eggs benedict and sweet potato pancakes, and I rounded out the weekend by getting a half dozen of my favorite donuts from The Vegan Doughnut Company. Ive blogged about this company before, so you already know I love them, but my love for them has continued to grow. Kyra and Kharisma hooked me up with special donuts that said “80 Days”, perfect for my final donut meal for awhile. You better believe I will be having them make me some special donuts once this 80 day journey is up!
Needless to say, my before photos were pretty cute. I have a gluten intolerance AND a dairy intolerance, so that mighty macaroni grilled cheese hung around for a few days and made me look about 30 months pregnant.
The meal plan was what I was most nervous about coming into this challenge. I had never done timed nutrition and didn’t know how it would fit into my lifestyle. But, after a week in, I can tell you I really made it a bigger deal than it was. Since I was eating about 5 small meals a day before, I realized I was kind of already doing timed nutrition without me knowing. The only difference: I used to do fasted cardio every day, and with 80 day I needed a pre workout meal. Here’s a look at my meal plan for the week! Can I tell you how obsessed I am with the spinach bacon quinoa muffins??!!!!
I created my own meal planner that helped me visually stay on track, and as you can see, nothing is too strange when it came to what I ate. Most of those foods I was already eating! Another difference: I added in the performance line.
When it came to getting groceries, I shopped at my two main stores, Aldi and Whole Foods 365. I usually spend about $40 a week on groceries, and I stayed right around that, so don’t tell me you have to shuck out all this $$$$ to make this program work. There are thousands of recipes out there that you can make work with your taste buds/wallet/family. And that cost for the week did include me snagging some purple cauliflower for the upcoming week’s plan, and that mochi i enjoyed Saturday night.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty though regarding my Week One thoughts/feelings/suggestions:
NUTRITION: As I mentioned, this isn’t as bad as you may think. My biggest piece of advice: PLAN. If you know you are on the go, bring an insulated cooler and your meals with you to stay on track and resist temptations. Monday our kickboxing studio had a DJ event with lots of tasty treats. I was thankful I had my meals with me so I could say NO a hell of a lot easier. I was PREPARED. Be prepared, too.
If you aren’t used to several small meals, you may not be hungry when it’s time to eat, but you make it work. Trust me, it gets easier. And MEAL PREP! You know how I feel about this….you have to make it a part of your weekly routine, especially for this program!
Should you change up the meal plan if you don’t like how the containers are broken down? NO. You need to follow this as Autumn structured it. She did it the way it is for a reason! Trust the process, and stick to the plan!
The Performance Line: Several people have asked me “Do I really need to use that?” My answer: F*%k YES!!!!!!!!!!!! I have always used the preworkout and think it is the best on the market, but I had only dabbled with our recovery drink and overnight recharge formula. However, I knew coming into this program and talking to my friends who were in the test group that you absolutely need it, no ifs, ands, or buts. This program is designed to really kick your fitness up a notch and is treating you like an athlete. You, in turn, need to fuel your body like an athlete does.
I will tell you this……I had miscalculated how much Recovery I had on hand (the protein drink you consume within 30 minutes of working out for muscle repair), and I also did with the Recharge, too (I know, what a slacker). Going into Day 3 my muscles were killing me from not having the Recharge the night before while I slept, and after the workout my body ached from not having the Recovery. I’m almost glad I ran out to see how greatly they are needed and what a difference they make. Thankfully, my shipment came later that day, and I was back to normal. If you are doing this program without the performance line, we need to talk, because you 1,000,000% should not be doing it without them.
The Workouts: Are they hard? YESSSSSSS. By no means do I recommend this to a beginner, and it is a HARD NOOOOOOOO to anyone pregnant. Since I am coming off my stint with pneumonia, I did modify a lot, and that was still challenging. Are they rewarding though? Absolutely. Even though they are challenging and I cuss the whole time, I feel so much satisfaction when the workouts are done. I already feel stronger and see changes in my body. I like that. I like that a lot.
Water: You need need need to be drinking water like a camel. Hydration is so important.
Throughout this 80 day journey, I am doing something a little different. I’m taking a photo of myself every single day to show you all the progression. So often people will post a before and after and say shit like “that’s photoshopped” and I’m going to show you it’s not. I’m also going to show you that things don’t happen overnight. I can’t wait to show them to you all in 73 days. I’m also taking measurements and weighing myself each Monday to track what’s going on.
I’m excited about this journey, and I’m really proud to report in Week One I did not cheat on the meal plan ONCE! New program, new meal plan, who dis? I’m still thinking about my bff donut though…..
But that doesn’t mean the struggle isn’t well……
Here’s what else I have to say about week one: