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21 Day Challenge Surprise! 5 unexpected things I learned

21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese, lose weight, weightloss, it works
Since I was a teenager, I've been on a diet. I was chunky in my teens, weighing about 140 pounds on my 5'4" frame. Back then I tried EVERYTHING to lose about 10 to 15 pounds: cabbage soup diet, Slim-Fast, the Cookie Diet, low-fat, low-carb, and the list goes on! I'd lose the weight and gain it back, over and over again.

Then, in my mid-20s I discovered weight training. I always exercised, but mostly cardio and step aerobics classes (now I'm really dating myself)!! I taught fitness, and I loved it. Exercise was never a problem for me, it was food. I love food! I love carbs!

But when I found weight training my body, and mindset suddenly changed. The weights transformed my body, so I saw muscle definition, and I lost inches and slowly the pounds started coming off. I was in my 20s, so my metabolism was still great! I ate healthy foods, but could eat dessert a few nights a week, even pizza, and pasta with healthy toppings was a staple, because I would go to the gym daily, lift weights, go for a run, and work off anything I ate. I would workout for about an hour a day each week, and in addition teach my 5 fitness classes weekly. My motto was "I exercise, so I can eat!" I kept the weight off and felt great! But then I had children.

It started to become a bit more difficult to keep the weight off. I gave up dessert and pizza on occasion, and I still exercised regularly, an hour a day, plus teaching a fitness class. But I started having to cut out some of my indulgences, and started making healthier versions of them. That worked! Until I hit my 40s and got a job sitting behind a desk for nine hours a day.

I hovered at the highest end of a healthy weight for my height, but in many ways, I’ve stayed a little obsessed with food. The foods I ate were healthy, but they were heavy in carbs and heavy in portions.

So, in September 2014, I heard about 21 Day Fix. I tried it, and I’m hooked.

While this body of mine has been at a healthy weight for a whopping 20 years, my love food and large portions really has never changed. But doing the 21 Day Fix, drinking Shakeology, and adhering to the plan's portion control system has changed how I looked at food, and I so wish someone had shown me this way back then.

Curious what I’ve found after sticking to it?

1. I have fewer stomach issues.

I used to wake up with a sick-feeling stomach almost every single day, and constipated. Apparently that was somehow related to eating way too many carbs in large quantities, because I don’t think I’ve had a single stomach issue since starting the Fix (which is crazy to me?), unless I stray and once again, eat too many carbs!

2. My skin is so much better.

I’ve always had awful skin, and had horrible acne as a teenager. As an adult my acne cleared up, but now as I started peri-menopause, I noticed acne coming back! After being on the 21 Day Fix portion control eating plan, it's almost non-existent. Honestly this has been the biggest surprise, and I never would have guessed it!

3. I’m really not hungry.

I expected to starve most of the time during the 21 days, but I eat plenty of food to satisfy me!

Apparently I need way less food than I thought I did, and by choosing the right foods I think my body is so much more easily satisfied than it was before. Apparently your body really does like protein that consists of something other than pasta. (Who knew?)

4. I need carrots. Or spinach.

I cannot believe how much carrots and spinach fill me up. They’re amazing. Even though it hasn’t been easy, when I’ve really just been hungry I’ve reached for carrots instead of chocolate chips. (truth.) I am so much fuller, and can’t believe the difference choosing the right foods has made.

5. Eating the right foods and exercising the right way changes your shape more than just eating fewer calories does.

My body feels a little stronger and looks a little better because of choosing the right foods and exercising correctly. I'm fueling my body. I love that. 

And, I love that I’m exercising just 30 minutes each day, instead of an hour or more in the gym!

Sooooo ~ will you join me as I continue my journey? (Please, please, please say you will?)

Message me at or fill out the form below for more info!
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