First of all, I didn't find that sticking to the eating plan of clean eating to be all that hard. Did I miss some stuff? Yes! Most of all, I missed dairy and coffee. Part of me missed the carbs (popcorn, mostly) but it wasn't all that hard to avoid excessive carbs. In general, I try to keep my carb intake in moderation anyway.
Throughout this journey of losing weight, I have said that I wouldn't make choices that I couldn't live with forever. That means the foods I limited for this cleanse are coming back into my diet (when I say "diet" I mean the foods I eat, not that I am on a diet, because I'm not.). In my opinion, dairy is not something that is bad for me. I am not going to debate that with anyone who feels differently; we all get to make our own choices and having dairy is right for me. Also, I DO think having carbs is ok in moderation. I'm not having 2 slices of white bread at every meal with a side of corn, potatoes, white rice and pasta covered in cheese. lol But having those things occasionally is something I enjoy and something I want to work into my life.
I stuck to this eating plan throughout the entire cleanse. I was 100% on plan with the exception of one little mistake. Saturday was day 10 for me and at the last minute, we ended up going out for dinner with a group of friends where this happened:
It was only one little drink. I didn't go completely overboard. At first, I wasn't going to have a drink and then I told myself that I'd been perfect for 10 days. Was one glass of Sangria really going to ruin it? Um, I decided, no. So I had a drink. Just one. I did order the cleanest dinner meal that I think has ever been ordered at Buffalo Wild Wings. :)
Naked tenders with a chipotle rub on the side. A side salad with vinaigrette, also on the side. I put a little of the rub onto the chicken and chopped it up into the salad and instead of pouring the dressing, I dipped. I didn't even use half of the dressing. And it was delicious!
Note: I didn't have a tape measure on day 1 so my measurements were taken on day 4. I'm positive I would have had more of a loss if I would have measured on day 1.
Drum roll please .... here are the results after the cleanse.
Total inches lost: 5-1/4"
1-1/4" from my bust
1-3/4' from my chest (below bust)
1" from my waist
1/4" from my hips
1/2" from my thigh
1/4" from my upper arm
1/4" from my forearm
Total weight lost: 5.8 lbs.
I did weigh myself almost every day and will post those weigh-ins in a second. But first, I have a confession.
I have mentioned in a previous blog post that my eating had gotten out of control the two weeks leading up to the cleanse. I just never told ya'll how bad it was. In the past, I have also mentioned that I have struggled with binge eating in the past. Unfortunately, that monster raised it's ugly head and took control of me for a few days.
Lately, things have been really, really stressful and I've been having a hard time dealing with some 'real life stuff'. (Don't worry, everything is fine. It's just stuff, ya know?) I've struggled to keep my eating in control and I've struggled getting myself motivated to exercise. In the back of my mind, heck, in the front of my mind, I know that working out helps relieve stress and I know that working out helps me stay on track and make healthy food choices. But I just haven't been able to make that happen. I've wanted to pull a cover over my head and hide from reality and I'm sad to say, I've done a lot of that. Of course that it's not good, but that's where I've been. And that led me to a week+ of binge eating.
During that binge eating cycle, I gained 7.6 lbs. Yep, almost eight freaking pounds. I'm sure some of that was water retention from eating high sodium foods but some of that was fat I piled back on from eating pure crap (fried chicken, pizza, bread with tons of peanut butter, nachos, muddy buddies, chex mix....). I have to let that go and move on. I can't focus on the bad choices because that will just lead me back to feeling like poo.
I knew I had to make a change because I was spiraling out of control. I had to stop that cycle. I ordered the cleanse, received it 2 days later and started the very next morning. Tons of bloggers were starting several days later but I couldn't wait. I had to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. I had fallen back into the habit of grabbing chips or candy or peanut butter (or whatever, really) every single time I walked through the kitchen. I had to get back to my clean eating habits. That's why I decided to do this cleanse. Yes, it was restrictive and cut out some things that I loved, but I needed some restriction to get my head on straight. I needed a plan to follow that didn't leave any wiggle room. And this 10 day cleanse did that for me. If I ever struggle like this again, and I hope to God I don't, I wouldn't hesitate to repeat something like this (see below).
Here are my weigh ins:
Day 1: 192.4
Day 2 and 3 I did not weigh myself
Day 4: 188.2
Day 5: 187.6
Day 6: 185.0
Day 7: 186.0
Day 8: 187.4
Day 9: 186.2
Day 10: 187.2
Day after cleanse: 186.6
My lowest weight has been 184.8 so I still have some work to do to get back there.
I don't know why there was such a fluctuation in the scale, but I didn't let it get to me. I just kept on following the plan.
I did not like the fiber drink at all. I was able to get it down but that stuff looked like sawdust in a packet. Texture wise, it was like drinking a very pulpy orange juice, and that's what I kept telling myself as I forced it down (I drank it through a straw quickly and that helped tremendously). On the days while drinking the fiber drink I felt bloated and "full". I was left feeling constipated and actually didn't "go to the bathroom" several days while doing this cleanse. That seems pretty odd to me, but that's what happened. Before this crazy binge cycle I went on, I was pretty regular in the bathroom department and typically ate a pretty clean diet with plenty of greens and fiber. So in reality, I didn't really change my normal diet with the exception of removing coffee and dairy. Maybe that's what keeps me "regular". LOL I don't know!
On the days in the middle where you don't drink the fiber drink, I felt great! Plenty of energy, never really hungry (I ate plenty of food the entire 10 days!). I just missed adding a sprinkle of cheese and sour cream to my taco salads! And my coffee and morning yogurt. ;)
I loved the Spark drink and will be getting more of that. It did not leave me with any odd side effects and I tried it both in the morning and afternoon. I didn't drink it twice every day but sometimes I did.
Am I glad I did the cleanse? Yes. It really did get me back on track.
Could I have gotten back on track without doing it? Probably. But it definitely gave me the kick start I needed to shake off those bad habits I'd picked up again.
Will I do it again? Probably not. I hope to never get back to that place where I allow myself to go back to binge eating as a comfort. But if I do, I think the key here was being very restrictive for several days and not allowing myself to go off track.
When I struggle (because I'm sure I will struggle again) I plan to set myself up with a squeaky clean meal plan and follow that for a week or so. I don't think the cleanse products are what got me back on track but I don't think it hurt either. I hope that makes sense.
I don't want to bash Advocare at all because what I did, did work for me (when I say it worked for me, I mean I am back on track). I just think I could have followed that sort of eating plan and gotten the same results.
I plan to continue eating clean, but as I said before, for me, clean eating includes dairy, coffee and a few more carb options that the cleanse allowed. You could have some carbs on the plan, they were just limited.
For those of you that are still finishing the cleanse, please let me know how you're feeling and what your results have been. I've loved getting to know so many of you through Instagram. I know I have picked up some new followers and have had comments and emails from lots of new friends! Please feel free to follow my blog over there to the right. I still have a long road ahead and need all the support I can get along the way!
This post has gotten sooo long, I'm sorry! I do have pictures of the donkey basketball game (which was a TON of fun, by the way!) but I'll save that story for another day this week.
One final thing. Disney World in NINE DAYS people!!!!!!!!!!