ritual experiment 2: here's what happened

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I wanted to do an experiment on outsourcing my food and exercise decisions, so I jumped back into Beachbody 21-Day Fix--committed but less intense than when I originally did it. I learned something hugely important during this 21 days. That'll be the sequel to this writing, and it'll show up tomorrow. First, though, here are the results:

I stopped worrying about my level of physical activity. This is a low-level, near constant background worry I have whenever I'm not moving my body regularly. For these days of committed-but-less-intense BB (still hard to use that name), it didn't matter that I wasn't pushing to the edge of my ability every day. It didn't matter that I sometimes had to stop the work 10 minutes early. It only mattered that I showed up, and that I was getting some dedicated movement time every single morning before the day started. I didn't have to try to fit it in later. I didn't have to schedule it for tomorrow. I never worried about it.

I stopped worrying about my food choices, mostly. I didn't dither about what I should eat when because I had already decided. I didn't consider whether one eating plan might be better than another because I had already decided, at least for this 21 days. I DID do a bit of decision making when I made substitutions for chocolate or wine or crackers, and that's why I say "mostly" with this one. If you're interested in what I eat when I'm doing 21-Day Fix, I put it on the experiment page.

I grew stronger. When I started BB in the fall, I could do zero real push-ups. When I took an unexpected hiatus a few months later, I could ten real ones in a row, followed by 6 real ones in another set. When I started again, I was down to 4 and 2. After 21 days, I'm back up to 9 and 5.

My body shape changed. Much of this happened in those first few months of BB, but there was a small bit of backslide (mostly on my backside!) when I took a break. The tone and shape and definition bounced back pretty quickly, though my stomach is not quite back to where it was. The biggest shape change in the original months was in my thighs and belly. I had thought my belly was permanently changed by pregnancy-related stuff. I'd still guess it will never look like it did pre-2010 again, but I was wrong about how much it could tighten back up, how much the roundness could reduce. I should say now that there are some lovely things about a round belly, and I'm not discounting that. I'm reporting what is happening with my body.

The way my clothes fit (or don't) changed. Again, much of this happened over three or four months originally. In this 21 days, I saw my jeans get way too loose again, and a dress is fitting easily that I thought was destined for the donate pile.

Less chocolate, more vegetables. I was easier on myself this time, so I substituted chocolate or grain-free crackers for my carb more often than is technically allowed on the plan.  Even with that, I ate WAY more vegetables than I do when I'm not following BB. WAY more. 

I was bored sometimes with my food. I was bored sometimes with my workouts. But that didn't really bother me. If I had gotten too bored, I could've changed up my food within the plan. If I had gotten too bored, I could've done a different set of workouts within BB (there are a ton of them). I was willing to take the every once in a while boredom so that I didn't have to make any new decisions about this for a while.

My shoulder, which was hurting from a bad-sleep injury, healed up nicely.

And a side note: My husband has dropped 3 pants sizes and one shirt size since we started BB in the fall. 

I feel good about all these results, good enough that I'm keeping with this outsourcing plan for the foreseeable future. Embarrassingly-named Beachbody it is! (If you're interested in trying the experiment and you need a coach to sign up, you can find my sister-in-law here. I don't get anything from that; I just know she's been helpful to a whole lot of people.)

I love you, and I'm sending you more love tomorrow.