Friday, July 31, 2015

My 3 Day Refresh Experience

Preface: Read this post in its entirety - my feedback changes as the days went by. I also chose to do this while my husband was out of town, so I had less temptation(s). Dieting is not for the weak.

On Tuesday I began my Beachbody 3 Day Refresh/cleanse. Why? So many people have asked me this question, knowing this is totally out of the "norm" for me. Initially my first response is, I want to support my best friend and her Beachbody business. Secondly, because I've always wanted to do a cleanse, but knew I couldn't commit to a liquid diet or living next to a bathroom for days on end. Lastly, I feel frumpy. 

My husband bought me a Fitbit for Christmas and I still remember the moment I first hit 3,000 steps. I squealed with excitement until my father in law informed me that the average human should walk 10K steps per day. Thank you for telling me I was a lazy-ass (in so many words). Obviously, I had some work to do. After binging on comfort food and 3 bottles of champagne New Year's Eve, I kicked off the second day of the year with a brand new yoga membership and a goal of hitting 10K steps per day. For someone who has never enjoyed participating in any form of athleticism, I have fallen in love with yoga and can finally touch my toes. #pathetic

Although yoga has greatly improved my flexibility and has taught me how to clear my head, my body image hasn't changed much since the initial 5lbs I lost.

Insert 3 Day Refresh.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up, took a deep breath and googled "how to accurately measure your hips and waist". I am just about a month away from my 29th birthday and this is the first time I've ever (had to) taken body measurements. I suppose I'll thank the good Lord for giving me my mama's metabolism.

I stepped on the scale and snapped a photo of the 131.4lbs starring back at me, just as my coach asked me to do. Then, I walked into our spare bedroom and fiddled through all of my sewing crap to find the flexible measuring tape. My waist was 28inches and my hips were 38.5inches.
I am not fat, I know that. But my goodness do I have some good (future) baby-carrying hips and should really cut back on my beer intake. #beergut #youdontwanttoseethepicture

I knew I wouldn't lose either of these hideous features in 3 days, but I thought if I could lose a little bit of my "food baby", maybe, just maybe, it would encourage me to choose a salad over a cheese burger from time to time. #notallthetime

* * *

Day 1

I chugged a glass immediately after rolling out of bed. I learned it kick starts your metabolism and helps your body hydrate after a night's sleep. This part might is becoming a regular habit.

Breakfast | One Shakeology + One Fruit
I can honestly tell you I don't think I have ever drank a "healthy-protein-type" shake in my life, so I really had no idea what to expect. My sister said she hated them, my friend Carie said it was good as long as you added some fruit, and all of my beachbody friends on social media would rather drink these than beer. Where did I fall in that mix? I'd still choose beer, but do agree with Carie. I blended the chocolate mixture with a half of banana and 8 ice cubes (for some crunch and chill). I told Mr. B, if it were half the amount, I would have nothing bad to say about it, but it was SO.MUCH.SHAKE! Mostly because it was so unfamiliar to me and not what I am used to drinking first thing in the morning. Maybe by day 3, I'll feel differently (I did!).

Mid-Morning Tea | Herbal
My favorite part. Plus, we're addicted to loose leaf tea in the Bores Quarters, so it helped that I had lots of options to choose from.

Fiber Drink | 1 Hour Before Lunch
This part of the cleanse got bad reviews and I'd been warned to chug it. I mixed it with one cup of water and took a sip. It was mostly flavorless with a lemon aftertaste. The problem was the consistency - it was gritty. And within a matter of 4 minutes, it went from liquid form to the consistency of tapioca. I found myself standing over my sink after every sip, really considering spitting it right back out. I drank all but the last tablespoon (just couldn't do it). Already, I was dreading it on Day 2.

What I learned? Drink it within the first minute and keep telling yourself, "You've drank shots that were worse than this. Suck it up and drink it!"

Lunch | One Fruit + One Vegetable + One Healthy Fat + Vanilla Shake
I was so hungry by lunch time. When I walked out of yoga at 1, all I could smell was Famous Dave's BBQ next door. I literally almost caved 6 hours into this damn cleanse, but refused.

Instead, I came home to enjoy hummus, cucumbers and an apple with cinnamon. Who doesn't want that instead of a delicious pulled pork sandwich?

Along with my tasty meal, I barely enjoyed a vanilla shake, topped with cinnamon. I text Jenna immediately and asked how she drinks this stuff on the reg. At this point, I was beginning to think this was beachbody's way of making you fall in love with shakeology, because they make all the other drinks in this cleanse taste like crap (in comparison).

Jenna said these shakes taste way better than most shakes you find on the GNC shelves. So I admitted I was weak and sucked it down.

Afternoon Snack | One Vegetable + One Healthy Fat
I scooped some avocado on my plate and served it with some pretty red pepper slices. Too be honest, I only ate half of each before I suddenly felt full. For Day 2, I added a little more time between my lunch and snack, so I could enjoy eating without getting full too fast.

Afternoon Tea | Green
Something I looked forward to.

Dinner | One Dinner Recipe Option + Vanilla Shake 
I used less water (8oz) in the shake this meal and was able to drink it a little easier. Either that, or I knew what to expect this time. I drank it first and then made up my spinach salad. It was full of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, sunflower seeds and tossed with a little olive oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. It looked pretty and tasted good.

After taking in such a low amount of calories throughout the day, I was really looking forward to eating the salad. But you know what? I didn't even finish it. I think the shake filled me up and although the salad was good, it just wasn't satisfying.

What I learned: If you feel full, stop eating. I'm great at eating just one more piece, or taking one more bite, when in reality, my body doesn't need it. Even if it is cheese salad, or pizza veggies, or chocolate fruit.

Evening Tea | Herbal
The perfect night cap. And to keep myself from eating the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer, I poured a cup of tea and threw my body in a nice warm bubble bath. #almostbetterthanchocolate

Key takeaway from Day One
If I were obese and had NO choice but to drink these shakes to lose weight, I would chose to be FAT! #hangryspeaking

When I told my coach this, she replied, "You don't have to be fat to drink shakes!" She's right. It's the healthy people that drink them. I must learn how to be healthy and fit. #keeprepeating

Day 2
This followed the same flow as day one, except for these few things:
  • I woke up feeling tired. I text Jenna and asked if this was normal. Her reply, "I woke up exhausted and I ate [normally] yesterday." Point taken! I got my ass out of bed, weighed myself (down 2lbs), and got dressed. That usually motivates me more than staying in PJ's.
  • I was literally craving my morning shakeology (WTF am I?) This day though, I switched out the banana for strawberries. I blended half the serving with the shake and ate the other half. I prefer this option over the banana, mainly because it was nice to ingest something without having to drink it. #tiredofdrinking
  • After my morning shake, I really was feeling more energized. Maybe it was in my head, or maybe it was the Shakeology kicking in. Regardless, I stopped feeling like a slug.
  • I drank the Fiber drink like a champ today. I gave myself a pep talk, didn't let it thicken and chugged it in under a minute.
  • I tweeked my schedule a bit for the second morning. The first day, I waited too long to drink my tea, which pushed back the time for my fiber drink. Ultimately, pushing my lunch time to later than normal (1PM). No wonder I was starving! Today's schedule worked much better, so I wasn't feeling hungry.
  • For lunch I had broccoli with my hummus instead of cucumbers and that was a mistake. It left me with a rumbly belly for most of the afternoon. #TMI or #toomuchfiber
  • My snack was just the same as yesterday, except I swapped out the peppers, for a few cherry tomatos and added a dash of Himalayan pink sea salt to my avocado. I didn't realize that specific salt was a "guilt free" seasoning. #horrayforflavor

  • As for my dinner, I needed something totally different than the spinach salad the night before. So I chose the stirfry option instead (all dinner recipe options are in the refresh booklet). I text Mr. B immediately and said, "I have a stirfry recipe to make you that is SO much healthier (and better) than the recipe we typically use." I will simply add some kind of chicken or pork when the cleanse is over. My dinner WAS DELISH and hit the spot. I added a little chili powder and red pepper flakes for additional flavor and plan on making this one again on my final day. 

Key takeaway from Day Two
It was way better than Day 1. Primarily because I knew what to expect, but I also made some schedule changes that curbed my hunger cravings, I used guilt-free seasonings that made my food options taste more flavorful, and ultimately I was ONE day closer to the end. I also decided to give up TV and radio. I swear every time I turned them on, there was some kind of amazing cheese pizza commercial flashing on my screen or a menu description for a brand new restaurant on the air. I really had no idea how much food was advertised. No wonder the obesity rate is so high!

Day 3
LAST DAY! This also followed the same flow as days 1 and 2, except for these few things:
  • While mixing my Shakeology this morning, I was licking the blender, the same way you lick a bowl of cake batter. This shit is so good!
  • By 8:35AM, I was already looking forward to my (amazing) stir-fry dinner.
  • The tea is still the most pleasing part of this cleanse. I am so thankful they allow it (and suggest it)
  • I text Jenna after drinking my last "Fiber Sweep Shake" and said, "I am so happy that was the last fiber drink I have to chug this week."
  • I switched out the apple/cinnamon fruit option at lunchtime, for pineapple instead. I had some in my fridge and frankly wanted a little change. I also skipped the broccoli today and replaced it with cucumbers! #nomoregas
  • I drank the most water (85oz) on the third day and peed more than a pregnant woman.
  • Dinner still knocked my socks off.
  • My husband returned home and we ventured to a brewery. I stayed strong and drank my water while everyone else was drinking beer and eating popcorn. Do I even know myself anymore? I had to dig deep for will power, but I found it.
  • Mr. B ate Oreos and milk while I had my bedtime tea. I realized at that point, I made the right decision to do the cleanse while he was out of town. #tootempting #justsayno

Key takeaway from Day Three
It was the easiest day in the cleanse (even with the beer, popcorn and Oreo temptations). I felt experienced, my body was finally adjusting, and I had less cravings. I learned I have way more self-control than I thought and really don't need the chocolate I eat every afternoon and evening. Also, as a forewarning, when people know you are doing a cleanse, they are sure to tell you every good thing they are eating, drinking and enjoying. #damnyou
from 131.4 to 128 = 3.4lb weight loss
from a 28in waist to 27.5 = .5inch (this is naturally always the skinniest part of me so didn't expect to lose much)
from 38.5in hips to 37 = 1.5inches (didn't lose the love handles entirely)
lost some of my "food baby" (AKA bloat)
my insides really do feel clean - sounds cliché, but true
i feel like i could do it all over 6 months

Total lost: 3.4lbs and 2.0 inches
Most Asked Questions from others:
1. How bad do you want a Starbucks? Bad!
2. Have you been shatting non-stop? Girls don't poop. Kidding. It's all been regular in that sense. No more, no less. Just some extra gas on Day 2 because of the broccoli.
3. How miserable are you? I was miserable on Day 1 when I felt hungry. I was miserable drinking the fiber shake (all three days). And I was miserable when I realized how many food commercials were on TV and the Radio. The saying is true, "you always want what you can't have." Aside from that, I went about my normal day in my normal (happy) mood.
4. Are you surviving? Yes. This cleanse allows you to eat, so you don't have the feeling of starvation. For me the hardest part was curbing my cravings.
5. Did you feel bloated? Only after drinking my first vanilla shake on Day 1 and I think that's because it initially made me feel sick, and when you feel sick, your stomach naturally bloats. But after adjusting the water amount and getting my palate used to them, they were tolerable. The only other time I felt bloated was on Day 2 after I ate broccoli for lunch. Aside from that, I chose low fiber food options that were less likely to cause bloating. I'd advise the same, if when you chose to do the cleanse.
6. Did you get a caffeine headache? No. However, I drink a fairly minimal amount of caffeine on the regular. I have a black or chai tea a few times a week with my breakfast and I'd say a soda once or twice a week. So for someone that relies on caffeine (coffee), your chances of a headache may be a little greater. The cleanse does allow black coffee, but doesn't encourage it.

Overall Summary:

It was hard, but so rewarding.

The reason I wrote this post was to be real about my experience with this cleanse. I am someone who had NO experience with diets, protein shakes or cleanses prior to this week and I survived. In fact, I finished with a smile on my face (because I was so excited to eat cheese again lost weight and felt healthier). The cleanse is only three days and day one (in my opinion) was the hardest. That's mostly because I had no idea what to expect. Shockingly, I'd do it again. Would I beg to do it? No. But would I chose to do it to get myself on the right and healthy(ier) track? Yes, absolutely.

What I want you to know is I do believe in healthy lifestyles. As much as Mr. B and I enjoy food, sweets and alcohol, I don't want to suffer from obesity, heart disease or cirrhosis of the liver.  My metabolism isn't always going to be great, which I am learning the hard way, and if I am going to reach my life goal of being the oldest woman alive one day, then I better start making healthier choices.

Temptation requires some major self-control and I believe that's what I learned most this week. Without the cleanse, I never would have turned my head from Oreos.

If you're anything like me, or the total opposite, this cleanse could be a way for you to experiment, lose a few lbs, knock your cravings, get yourself motivated to create healthier habits, and shrink your stomach a tad.

I am not a coach and frankly should never be one (based on the above experience), but Jenna truly is one of my favorite people in this world. She is a wonderful person, coach and mom of a soon-to-be-toddler. She can relate to so many people and their own weight and lifestyle challenges. Admit to yourself that you need something to motivate you and reach out to Jenna so she can advise you where to start. There are plenty of options, aside from the cleanse. This was just the best place for ME to start.

If my experience wasn't enough to convince you (I wouldn't be surprised), read Jenna's experience with the 3 Day Refresh on her blog.

In the mean time, I am going to treat myself to a glass of orange juice, a hard boiled egg, a slice of cheese and maybe a few bites of that pulled pork sandwich I've been thinking about since Tuesday. God I sound like a crazy pregnant lady (I am not)! I'm quite certain my eyes will be bigger than my stomach and I'm okay with that. It's not a bad problem to have.

To Jenna, Thank you for all of your encouragement, motivation and laughs throughout the last three days. Couldn't and probably wouldn't have done it without you. xo.

Until next time, I am going to make healthier choices. #pulledporkdoesntcount

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