Friday, June 8, 2012

Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse: Day 9

Today is my final cleanse day! I jumped out of bed this morning and ran straight to the scale. I've lost a total of 8 pounds, and I still have today to go! I am so excited!!!

Emily re-took my measurements, and I have definitely gotten smaller. I've lost 1.5 inches in my waist, 1 inch in my abs, .75 inches in my calves and about .25 inches everywhere else. Plus, I've gone from 23.3% body fat to 20%! And just to remind you, this is all without an ounce of exercise (aside from chasing a 1 1/2 year old around.)

So as a reward to myself for losing the poundage, I will be spending the majority of Saturday in our new blow up pool for the backyard. In a bikini thank you very much.

This cleanse has not only helped me lose weight, but its changed my outlook on food and my health. It has given me the desire to eat cleaner, and to be aware of ingredients -- especially artificial sweeteners. It has given me the knowledge to know that food choices shouldn't be made based on cravings or for the pure enjoyment of consuming, but for how the food will nourish your body. That's not to say you shouldn't enjoy your food, of course. In fact, I think this cleanse is only going to make me savor my food even more than I did. The difference between then and now is going to be the foods I choose to fuel my body with. While my addictions were once diet coke and sweets, I'm now hooked on getting to my goal weight, and maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit.

I can also say that I've seen my energy level sky-rocket. This whole time, I've been bogged down by artificial sweeteners, sugars and fats. Not anymore! I even see a difference in my mood. I feel happier, less stressed and much more alert. Who knew a 9-day cleanse was going to do so much for me? I sure didn't...

If I had one major complaint about the Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse, its that they are very skimpy on the cleanse powder. I did not have enough of it to do my final cleanse drink on day two, which really annoys me considering how much money I spent on all of this. However, I can't hate too hard, I did lose exactly what I hoped to and more. In the future, I'm only going to get the individual bottled shots of cleanse juice to avoid this problem.

I am more than happy to continue with the Isagenix meal-replacement shakes. They truly nourish my body and leave me feeling satisfied. Plus its easy, and I make less trips to the grocery. Win-win.

To anyone who is considering doing the 9-day cleanse, I encourage you to go for it. It sounds much worse than it is. Here I am, nearing on the end of day two, and I'm smiling, not starving and feeling very accomplished. If I can do it, anyone can... that I assure you! And if you're a cynic like I was, see the proof below:

My final weight loss after my last day came to 10 pounds! Better than I expected!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse: Day 8

Woo-hoo! We're into the home stretch now... just two days to go.

Unlike my original plan, I ended up just starting my cleanse this morning instead of yesterday evening. I didn't realize that the process was a little more involved if you're starting it at night.

I've had an epiphany if you will... I have decided that I no longer want to consume any artificial sweeteners. The funny thing is, if you'd have talked to me last week, I couldn't get enough of them. I was a self-professed diet coke-aholic. And like I've mentioned before, I cheated a few times on this cleanse already by having a diet soda. Now don't get me wrong, I still think diet coke is the best tasting thing ever, and it will take lots of will-power to not consume one (or two) every day. BUT, after careful research and consideration, I feel its best for me and my weight loss efforts that I leave the artificial sweeteners from now on. I'm not going to bore you with the scientific details, but if you want to know more about it, just google it.

At the beginning of this week I found a flavored water that was so amazingly delicious, I vowed to never have another diet coke if I could just drink this instead. I'll spare you the brand, because this story doesn't have a happy ending. The label said "naturally flavored," so I was sold. PLUS it was fizzy like a soda. Sadly, I knew it was too good to be true. Come to find out, these waters are packed with Splenda. UGH.

I set out to find a flavored water that was not artificially sweetened. That's pretty hard to do! I did end up finding a water called Hint at WholeFoods. Its naturally flavored, no additives and 100% healthy. I tried the watermelon flavor, and the flavor is extremely subtle. Almost disappointingly subtle, but from what I'm reading online now, the watermelon flavor is the lightest of them all. Hint does make a "fizzy" version of their water, but it seems pretty hard to come by. Even Amazon is sold out! I'm still on the hunt for the perfect flavored, even possibly sparkling, water. Don't get me wrong, I drink plain water all day long... but a little variety neva' hurt nobody.

Onto the cleanse...

 I have decided I hate the Isagenix Snacks. Over time they have gotten more and more unbearable. I asked Emily if I could just skip them altogether, but she said the sugars and calories in these little chalky discs are necessary on a cleanse day. However, she did say I could just replace them with a fourth of an apple or pear, which I plan to do now. I could grin and bear it, but I'd just rather not.

Other than that, so far this cleanse day is easier the second time around. I know what to expect now, and I am well aware of how my body will respond. With today and tomorrow to go, I can already say that aside from the weight loss, I think this cleanse has helped me to see the bigger picture when it comes to health. I'm ready to eat clean. I'm prepared to begin teaching Lea the importance of making healthy choices.

Now if only we could convert her Ramen Noodle eating, coke drinking father... lol. One day at a time!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse: Days 5, 6 and 7

This cleanse is so easy that I've completely forgotten to blog about it. The whole reason I chose to put my experience in writing was to keep myself on track and put it all out in the universe so I had no choice but to follow all the rules. Come to find out, this cleanse isn't hard to follow at all! This is my fourth shake day in a row, and this diet is a piece of cake. Ehh... okay, let's leave cake out of this.

I have come to love my shakes in the morning. They keep me full, they taste good (I'm still adding cocoa powder to my vanilla shake) and best of all I know I am getting the nutrients I need. My Mom (who loves the chocolate shakes) and I have decided to continue with the shakes for a while, then do another cleanse in the near future. I placed an order last night for a vanilla and chocolate canister of shake mix, and the 2 oz. bottles of Cleanse for Life so that I'll have them ready for a future cleanse.

These shake days have been pretty routine. A shake for breakfast, with an accelerator pill. Then, for a snack, I like to have 5 - 10 almonds. I've become less fond of the Isagenix Snacks, and reserve those for only cleanse days now. My lunches have consisted of homemade veggie lasagna and sliced chicken breast sandwich wraps. I must say it has been quite easy to find healthy, low-cal lunch options. I have my afternoon snack and of course a shake for dinner and lots and lots of water throughout the day. I can't lie... I have popped a couple goldfish while feeding Lea a snack, and we split a banana yesterday afternoon. Yes, I've had a diet coke here or there too. But I have been good for the most part. I never feel too hungry. I have a lot of energy. I really can't believe how much I love this product!

6 pounds down with 2 1/2 days to go!

On Tuesday (Cleanse day 6), I hopped on the scale and if it weren't for my broken foot, I'd have done a cartwheel right through my office. I had already lost six pounds! And that is without any exercise! I know what you might be thinking... that I'll gain it right back after the cleanse, right? Well, apparently this is not the case, because unlike other cleanses on the market, the Isagenix Cleanse is a nutritional cleanse. I will have to stick to my newly formed healthy habits however, but this 9-day cleanse is giving me the motivation to do just that.

The first question people have been asking is how much does this product cost. The 9-day system costs $132, and there is a first-time fee of $29 included for the Annual Associate Support System. With shipping included, my total came to $187. Did it kill me to pay that much for a 9-day cleanse that I wasn't even sure I could do? YES. Am I glad I did it? YES! I think it was worth every penny, because it has started me on the right foot to begin making healthier choices when it comes to eating and getting to my goal weight. I can't put a price on that. And, I didn't even much as blink when re-ordering my shakes and cleanse drinks, because I now know how beneficial these products are to my weight loss and overall health.

Tonight I am going to start my cleanse so that I can have a shake at the end of day two, which if you've done two cleanse days in a row, you know that is a sweet deal :)

If you are interested in learning more about the Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse, click here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

First Day Blues

This morning was Lea's very first day at daycare. Since I went back to work after she came home, she's been staying with an in-home sitter whom I've dubbed the "baby whisperer." Lea loves her, and dropping her off every day was a breeze. Each morning, Lea couldn't wait to see the only friends she'd ever known. She never cried. She was happy, very loved and felt secure.

I work at a college, and a child-care center was opened a year ago on campus for children of students and employees. The center is state-of-the-art. The children do art projects, have a ton of toys, playgrounds, a water area and fresh, nutritious meals and snacks. The facility is spotless and well equipped with everything you can imagine. As I toured the facility last week, all of the children seemed happy, just as Lea was with the "baby whisperer."

I decided to enroll Lea into this child-care center on campus because she is ready for more structure and new challenges. Plus, its very convenient to be able to bring her to work with me every day. Typically it is pretty hard to get a spot and the center due to the ratio of teachers to students, but since the summer months are less crowded, we got in. We had a long list of supplies to get in preparation of Lea's first day, including jumbo crayons, glue sticks and construction paper. 

Lea with her big bag of supplies - 6/4/12
Today was Lea's very first day. I listened as my sweet girl sang along to the radio in the back seat and giggled as I drove to work. I felt so guilty knowing that in a few short minutes I'd be handing her off to a complete stranger in an unfamiliar place. I had that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I used to get on the first day of school, or right before a job interview.

We walked in, and were greeted with smiles. I signed Lea in and walked her down to her classroom. I could feel her little body tensing up as we neared the door. When I set her down in the classroom, she clung to my leg. Her teacher, Ms. Coffee, picked her up as Lea kept her eyes on me. She stuck that lip out and reached for me, and it broke my heart.

"She was a preemie..." I began to tell Ms. Coffee. I don't know why I felt the need to tell her this, considering how well Lea is doing developmentally. But I told her anyway. Maybe it was an unintentional ploy to score Lea a little more patience and love from her new teacher on her very first day.

As I gave Lea kisses and hugged her goodbye, I assured her that I would be back later. I hope she understood what I was saying. I waved bye to the kids, and one little girl even told me "buenos días." (The kids in Lea's class are learning Spanish.) I closed the door, and could see that pouty little face turn into a full-on, gut-wrenching cry.

My eyes exploded with tears as soon as that door shut. As I walked down that hallway and back across the front desk, the receptionist had a tissue waiting.

"She's gonna be fine, momma!" she assured me. I knew she was right.

I remember exactly what a first day feels like when you are young. I was definitely that child who cried and clung to my mom when she brought me somewhere new. For the first few days of first-grade, my mom drove behind my school bus so I could see her out of the back window. Looking back, I realize that couldn't have been easy on my mom. Now I know that being the mommy in this situation is one-hundred times worse.

Lea playing, far left
By ten, I was still sitting at my desk in a puddle, so I walked over to take a peek in Lea's class. When I got there, they were on their way to the playground. The one year old class was lined up in the hallway, and she wasn't hard to spot with her big purple bow. She is by far the smallest in her class. All the kids followed in line as they made their way out of the back door, and I could hear Lea's loud mouth exclaiming "ooooooohhhh!!!," as she grabbed a ball, then made her way to the water fountain which sprays out a light mist of cool water for the children to walk under.

Its was such a good feeling to see her playing and smiling. She walked hand in hand with one of the teacher's aides, and kept close to a couple of the little girls in her class. I know in my heart this will be a great transition for her. I know she is a strong little girl and that she will be fine. I just need to come to grips that my baby won't be a baby forever, and we'll have lots of transitions like this in life. Its just another reminder to enjoy every second, because nothing stays the same for long.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse: Day 4

I made a new discovery today. I had been using my small magic bullet blender to mix my shakes, but because they were coming out SO smooth with no icy texture, I didn't really like them. I switched to my big blender hoping that would help, but when I put it on smoothie mode, the consistency was still too smooth for me. For my lunch-time shake, I used "icy drink" mode instead of "smoothie" mode, and it made a difference. Those little specks of ice take away from the chalky texture, and it feels more like I am having an ice cream shake, which momma likes.

The only other thing I am trying differently today is since I had a shake for breakfast and lunch, I am having real dinner tonight. I have basically made my home a no-food zone for everyone aside from the people who have to eat (Lea and Lain.) It will be a nice change of pace to enjoy a healthy meal in the evening.

I have a low-cal and very healthy veggie lasagna cooking in my crock pot, which I'll be eating for lunch this week. I'll let you know if its good! Here's a link to the recipe.

For those people who think they could never do a cleanse like this, let me just tell you. Once you get started, its really easy to keep on track. I notice not only do I have more energy, but I also am less hungry. That's a win-win in my book! My biggest problem on this diet is not the diet itself, but deciding what tropical paradise I want to visit once I've hit my goal weight. This one looks nice...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse: Day 3

Today was a GREAT day, because I was able to eat REAL FOOD!! Love the shake days!

I started off with my shake, which unfortunately did not taste better to me after two cleanse days. I was still grateful for it though! I'm still thinking of ways to doctor it up without breaking the cleanse rules. Also, I had an accelerator pill.

My snack today was low-fat string cheese. I'm not sure whether or not this is even acceptable, but its all I had at home, and I couldn't eat another Isagenix Snack because I am tiring of those quickly. I so wish they were chewy and not chalky. Once again had an accelerator pill.

Okay, lunch. So de-lish. We went to P. F. Chang's and I had the chicken lettuce wraps as my entree (530 calories) and a cup of the egg drop soup (60 calories.) Emily, stop reading at this point ----> Lain, Lea and I also split the edamame (380 calories total, about 125 per serving) so I went over my calorie limit just a bit. Oops. I was so excited to eat!

We took Lea to the Children's Museum today, and we spent over an hour chasing her around the place. That is what I'm counting for my exercise today! I think lifting and carrying a twenty pound toddler counts. 

I completely forgot to do a snack by the end of the day, and by 8:30 I didn't even feel hungry, but I made myself drink a shake anyway.

All in all, it was a great day. My tummy felt flatter, I had more energy and I had a wonderful time with my pretty little family.

Woohoo! Goodbye day five!

Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse: Day 2

Today was a rinse, lather, repeat kind of day (minus the IsaDelights, because I only had two samples and had them both yesterday.) Four cleanse drinks throughout the day, six Isagenix Snacks and two Natural Accelerator pills. Am I hungry? Yes. Am I fantasizing about eating an Izzo's Illegal Burrito? Hell yes. But my quest to get my pre-baby body back is more important. With four of the eleven days down, and a real 600 calorie lunch tomorrow that cannot come soon enough, I'm feeling positive and motivated.

Just a heads up, don't mix your Cleanse for Life with really cold water. The powder has a hard time dissolving, then you end up with "clumpies." Yuck. Room temperature water works best, and you can add ice if you want it colder.

Lain and I brought Lea for a snoball this evening. I was good! As they divulged into their pina colada and wedding cake snoballs, I had an "ice" ball (no syrup). Better than nothing I guess.

Overall, by the end of the day I came to the conclusion that this whole not eating for two days thing is way easier than I thought it would be. It takes a little will power, but if you are committed, you can do it.

Four days down! Seven to go...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Isagenix 9-Day Cleanse: Day 1

I woke up feeling ready to take on the challenge of the two cleanse days. I had my first of four Cleanse for Life drinks as soon as I woke up, as well as a Natural Accelerator pill. It wasn't as bad as I expected, and I was able to get it down pretty easily. On my drive to work, I began having stomach cramps. Emily let me know to drink a LOT of water, and once I did, my aching stomach subsided. At about 9:30, I had my IsaDelight, which you can eat 30 minutes before your Isagenix Snacks. The great thing about the IsaDelights, other than that they are chocolate, is that the amino acids in these little squares encourage natural production of mood-elevating brain chemicals which help to satisfy appetite. At ten, I had my Isagenix Snacks and continued consuming as much water as possible.

By noon, I was surprised I didn't feel hungry. I'm usually pestering my co-workers to leave for lunch by 11:30. For lunch I had my Cleanse for Life, and another Natural Accelerator pill. I just mixed the Cleanse powder with the little bit of water I had left in my water bottle from this morning, and shot it like I'd shoot tequila, with my eyes closed and nose pinched. The taste is not horrible, but its the dark color that freaks me out. I guess I could add more water, but then there would be more to drink.

At two, I had my second IsaDelights because I was starting to feel hungry. That was enough to settle my stomach, and I followed that with my Isagnix Snacks thirty minutes later. About half an hour later though, I felt hungry again. I just continued to drink water and did some online retail therapy to pass the time. By 3:30 I caved and ate 1/4 of an apple. It's allowed! It was seriously the best apple I've ever eaten.

At four, I had my third Cleanse for Life drink. Those seem to work best in curbing my hunger. Then, my mom, Lea and I went to the mall and did some shopping. Shopping can take my mind off of anything, including not eating. I wasn't even phased when we passed the food court. I'm lucky to have my mom along in this journey -- having a partner in crime makes it easier. Side note: Lea got her first Build-A-Bear. We had so much fun watching her walking around the store pointing at shoes and exclaiming "ooooooh!" She is one cute little distraction! She opted for a Bunny with a pink dress and pink wedges. We named her Rosie.

We got home around 8:30, and I drank my final cleanse of the day. By 9:30 I felt hungry, so I called it a night. One more day of cleansing to go. I can't wait for a shake because me so hungry!