A Busy Bride's Cleanse Journey: Part III
And finally – the final week! True to the title, I have been too busy wedding planning to get this blog finalized, but on the bright side I will cover not only the final week of the cleanse but also the after effects. If you would like the read the first two parts of my cleanse journey, you will find them right here on the 21 Body Makeover blog! But for simplicity’s sake, I’ll give you the cliff notes of my first two weeks here.
The first week I was becoming accustomed to the cleanse, and focused on reducing sugar and starchy carb cravings. I noticed hints of weight loss and improved sleep during the first phase. On day 8, I was hit with a crazy amount of energy and was bouncing off the walls like a ten year old in summer school! After a couple of days, the energy high came back down to a more manageable level, but still higher than my pre-cleanse energy and I found myself able to focus very well. By the end of the second week, I was starting to see some noticeable fat loss around my middle.
Although I was skeptical, the first two weeks produced some definite results and I was pumped to see how I looked and felt after the full 21 days. Keep reading to find out!
Oddly enough, during the beginning of the third week I experienced my first unhealthy cravings since the very beginning when my body was adjusting to the new diet. While some people might crave sodas or desserts, I was craving pasta. Determined not to undermine my weight loss efforts, I looked online to see if I could find any solutions that would satisfy my cravings while still being on the cleanse. Turns out, spaghetti squash is absolutely delicious and makes a spaghetti “noodle” that easily passes the pasta test.
After my trial on day 15, I found that the cravings had subsided and I was focusing on my work better than ever. Since the energy levels came down, my focus had steadily increased. I was more productive throughout the day and didn’t fatigue easily. I hoped that it would last!
Looking in the mirror, I was sure I noticed some reduction not only in the waist area, but in the hips as well. As a pear-shaped bride, this was definitely a good development. I tried my token too-small dress that every woman has in her closet (the one that would fit perfectly if you just lost that extra 5 pounds) and… it fit! I thought about weighing myself but figured that if the dress fit, I didn’t really need to know how much I weighed because it wasn’t important.
Boosted by my progress, I worked out twice and still had plenty of energy. I realized that I was getting in a salad rut, however, because they were so convenient to throw together instead of actually taking the time to cook. That night I cooked a light Chicken Cacciatore to stave off food boredom.
I noticed that I was almost out of powder on day 19, and was a little surprised. I made my shake with less powder so I could make it the full 21 days.
Despite my efforts, there was nothing I could do to make the shake stretch any more, so I just made the full shake. I was surprised because I had gotten used to having a delicious brownie-flavored boost every morning and I was going to have to come up with something else for breakfast. After the fact, I realized that I didn’t shake the powder every day to keep it from packing down, which was why I ran out a day early.
On the last day of the cleanse, I weighed and measured myself. I lost a total of five pounds on the scale, but it looked like ten because most of it was fat and it came away from the abdomen and hip area. I celebrated the successful end to my 21 days by going out and treating myself to a kebab with lean meat, plenty of vegetables, and some yogurt sauce.
I shouldn’t have, because technically it was cheating, but I felt like if I didn’t give myself a small reward I would lose momentum. I was the most happy about the fat loss, so it was easier to pass over the other, more subtle improvements that had slowly become apparent throughout the cleanse such as more energy, better sleep, and being able to focus for longer periods of time.
Although it definitely took some effort (burst training, meal planning) once I got the habits down it was easy to fit into my busy schedule and the results were impossible to deny!
-It is easy to get lulled into a sense of security after you see some results, but keep going strong until the end!
After the Cleanse
Even though the shake was gone, I realized I still had supplements left and continued to take them for the next 7 days. I happily added back eggs, beans, and small amounts of dairy to my diet and just those three categories opened up a lot of delicious cooking options.
During the transition phase, I continued to lose weight and ended up with a total of seven pounds lost and an entire dress size smaller. My energy levels weren’t quite as high as when I was drinking the shake, but still a definite improvement from my pre-cleanse levels.
Overall, this was a great way for me to get back on track and revamp my health habits. I did it for my wedding, but maybe you have a New Year’s resolution to keep or a pair of skinny jeans you are dying to wear. Whatever the reason, I hope that this information is helpful to you during your own journey!