So, remember that one time I was determined to do the Countdown to Competition meal plan from the 21 Day Fix Extreme? I was not preparing to compete for any sort of competition; I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do something hard. For me, it was about overcoming my mind, because the truth is, the mind is really what determines your success. I have let my self-doubts hold me back from doing so many things in my life so I just wanted to stop that mindset. (I posted about it here). The first time I saw the Countdown to Competition meal plan I told myself “I could NEVER do that in a million years”. So I knew I had to start with conquering that to kick-off my I CAN journey.
Basically the program is 2 days of high protein, low carb (7 servings of protein, 4 servings of veggies, 1 serving of carbs and 3 tsp of coconut oil) then 1 day of following just the regular 21 Day Fix Extreme meal plan, repeated. Autumn Calabrese uses this program to prepare for her bikini competitions and she does cod for all 7 of her proteins. That sounded TERRIBLE to me and since I wasn’t really competing, I mixed up my protein and did chicken, eggs, shakeology, turkey and a tiny bit of beef. I am not a big protein eater so I knew this would be soooo harrrrd for me to eat that much protein!! It’s also no dairy and no treats or cheats for the 21 days.
Week 1 meal plan. Yes I ate 7 meals a day!
Here’s what some of my meals looked like… a whole lot of protein and veggies! For my carbs, I stuck to sweet potatoes and steel cut oats.
So the first 10 days I stuck to it to a T!! Seriously, I did pretty awesome and I was pretty proud of myself, but physically I didn’t feel very good. My energy was low and my head hurt. And I was cranky. I wasn’t sleeping well at night due to 2 toddlers and a baby so that played into it. I also didn’t lose any weight so that was pretty discouraging. The biggest set back though was that my milk supply was suffering. My baby was 5 months old at the time and exclusively breastfed. He is a little guy too (only in the 8th percentile) and stopped gaining weight. As much as I wanted to prove I could do this, I couldn’t justify continuing and not giving him the good, quality milk he needed. When I pumped, my milk looked very watery and not the yellow, creamy stuff he was used to. I was eating a lot and never felt hungry, I think I just wasn’t getting enough quality nutrients. So I stopped. Was I disappointed that I didn’t complete my goal…. yes and no. I was proud of myself for at least trying, but the timing in my life just wasn’t right.
So here’s my overall review… It was super hard. If it weren’t for my baby suffering, I could’ve stuck to it for the full 21 days though. My WHY for wanting to do it just wasn’t’ big enough to justify sticking to it right now. Due to my PCOS and nursing, my body really hangs on to weight so I really didn’t see any changes in my body BUT I know that is due to my unique genes and problems, not because of the program itself. I have had clients and fellow coaches follow this same meal plan and get AMAZING results so although the Countdown to Competition meal plan didn’t give me results, I know it does work. Once I am done nursing and have some sort of event to prep for, like a beach vacation, then I would definitely try it again. I think the key with this meal plan would be to have a really strong why driving you because otherwise you likely won’t stick with it because it is indeed hard!
If you want to really step up your game and have a special event you’re prepping for, then I say go for it! Be prepared though… it is called extreme for a reason and is aimed towards women preparing to compete in bikini competitions. Otherwise, the 21 Day Fix Extreme meal plan is AMAZING for everyday people wanting great results while still keeping things balanced and realistic for long-term changes. Check it out here).