My true feelings on the 3 Day Refresh9/14/2014
I've never been a fan of "cleanses". To me they are a quick fix for people who don't want to put in the hard work, but want a "quick fix" at the last minute before they see all of their old sorority sisters at a reunion. I say that, because that was me. I've never been in a sorority (thankyouverymuch), but I have tried plenty of last minute "crash diets". I even tried the "master cleanse" a few years ago. You know, the one where you drink nothing but water, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple syrup? I didn't want to do any real work but had these "pie in the sky" dreams that I would miraculously drop 20 pounds and have the body of my dreams. Yeah...I lasted about 6 hours before I was heaving the concoction into my work toilet and heading to Bojangles.
About two years ago, I finally figured out that the only way to lose weight and be healthy is to put in the hard work...meaning eat healthy and exercise. Beachbody programs and products embodied that sentiment, always stressing health, not quick fixes...which was why I fell so in love with this company and decided to become a coach. So when Isabelle Daikler, creator of shakeology, announced at the Beachbody coaching summit this past June that she had created a three day cleanse formulated to be a healthy way for people to "slim down" or reset their cravings after an indulgence, I was a bit caught off guard. Immediately there was a buzz around this program. I made mention of it on my facebook page and right away had lots of interest...after all, everyone wants a quick fix, right? I was still leary, but decided to just TRY it and see if it would prove me wrong, because I knew that with the creators of Shakeology, I was at least being safe. My husband said he would try it too and reminded me that he lasted 5 hours longer than I did on the "master cleanse". So, we started on a Monday. I premade all of our meals and had them all laid out, ready to go on Sunday night. I gotta say, I found that not having to stress about what I was going to eat was really nice. So THIS is what people mean by "meal prep". Totally makes sense now. Anyways, day one was not as hard as I thought it would be. I didn't have any really bad cravings and I just set my intentions on being successful and it was relatively easy. I woke up not starving, but pretty hungry on day two. I went through my day and tried to stay positive, but as the day wore on, I got hungry and wanted pizza. I realize that scientifically, that's probably where the detox-y (technical term) symptoms were coming into play. I am a food addict, so this program was all about mental strength for me. I pushed those thoughts aside for a few hours, but at about 8pm when my stomach literally started growling, I knew it wasn't just mind over matter. I didn't give in though. I stayed strong, even throughout an hour long case of the hiccups (I often get them when I'm hungry. I've heard it's because the acid in the empty stomach upsets the diaphragm, but who knows). I felt weak and like absolute shit by the time my husband came home, who felt like shit as well, but again, I really do think this is part of the detox, AND we both realized that we hadn't been drinking as much water as we did on day one to keep us full. My one thing is that I do wonder if people who need more calories to maintain daily function may have a harder time with this program. It's no secret that someone who is 300 pounds uses more calories (i.e. energy) to get through the day than someone who is 100 pounds. My husband is about 100lbs heavier than I am, thus needing more calories, but I give him credit. He did the program right alongside me. Total trooper. Well, sort of...When he got home around 9:30pm, we decided that we would split a piece of bread with peanut butter on it. It wasn't much. We probably got 3 bites each, but it was glorious and it calmed both of our tummies. We surely could have made a better choice, but a little PB and some whole wheat bread really never hurt anybody. So, day 3 was better than day 2. I made sure I drank copious amounts of water to keep my tummy full, but still, by evening, I was a wee bit hungry again. Again, for me (a food addict/emotional eater) it was a total mind game, but I was able to stick it out a little bit better on day 3 because I knew the following morning I could eat WHATEVER I wanted. The result? Day 4: "It's here! I did it!" I woke up thinking about all of the options that were available to me! Burger king croissanwiches? Bojangles biscuits? Do I go to Dunkin' and get a massive iced coffee with cream and sugar and a peanut donut?" To my surprise, I didn't have a SINGLE craving! There wasn't anything that I NEEDED to have! (I ended up going with my tried and true chobani greek yogurt, oats, and blueberries). Before I could make breakfast though, I had to take my "after" pictures. Here they are. I'll talk about my results/recommendation in the remaining paragraph below.
I lost 5 pounds and just about a quarter of an inch in my waist. As you can see in the picture my tummy was NICE and flat on the morning of Day 4, so from an aesthetic point of view, it was a success. Clearly I did have positive results, BUT I do want to stress that this program is mostly aimed at "refreshing" your body. It's not a quick fix. You will lose that weight, but if you go right back to eating the way you were before the refresh, you will gain it back and the cravings will come back with it. So unless you NEED to drop 5 pounds to fit into your bridesmaid dress in 3 days, you really need to approach this one like what it is...an actual cleanse to help you reset your cravings. If you're going into it looking for a quick fix to a lifelong struggle with fitness and health, I'd much rather see you start with something more designed to change your eating habits and entire lifestyle, like the 21 day fix. The amount of weight I lost on the refresh is about equal to what I lost in my first 4 days on the 21 day fix, and that program not only helped me to lose 9 pounds in 3 weeks and keep it off, but it taught me HOW to eat for proper nutrition.
If you're curious, here's a pic of what I ate for 3 days! (to be clear, there was also a half, banana, a "fiber sweep" drink that I forgot to take a picture of, as well as another of the "vanilla fresh" shake).
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.