About a year and a half ago my dear friend Lauren asked me if I would be interested in doing a 30-day detox program. Me being the sometimes over zealous but always up for a challenge type of person, was totally into it and jumped up and down with a big ol’ YES.
She asked me at a time where I was working 40-50 hour weeks on my feet, and had little to no energy to do anything else. I would occasionally squeeze in a power yoga class but over all felt too tired to run, dance, or even go out to explore Chicago.
I was so frustrated by the fact that was literally tired all the time. I could sleep for 10 hours, wake up, power through two or three cups of coffee, and want to go right back to sleep. Things that I loved to do got pushed aside because lounging on my couch was so much more appealing than walking to the L stop and meeting up with friends.
I knew I had to make some changes, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. I’m not overweight, in fact, I’m in pretty good shape, and I’m reasonable about what I eat, but rarely do I turn down the offer of freshly baked anythings. I was hoping the detox would help reset my system and give me back the energy I had when I was 20.
Let me interject here that I have tried about a million cleanses, juice diets, and detoxes – everything from the Lemonade Diet to the Paleo Reset Program with the purchase of a $200 juicer in between. None of them worked because they were so foreign for my body and my lifestyle. (No matter what anyone says, it is impossible to live an active lifestyle if you are only drinking cayenne pepper and maple syrup… my reaction to this torture was scarfing down an entire jar of peanuts in one sitting. Hey, at least it wasn’t a bag of Oreos?)
I took a good look at what the Arbonne 30-Day Detox program meant. It provides you with recipes that you can prepare in your own kitchen (none of that ridiculous $20/a meal and we’ll send you the ingredients and method), and you get to eat solid food. This part was tragically important for me, because no one likes Hangry Izze. I mean, I love food, and the ritual of sitting down to eat a meal is engrained in us. Taking that away makes detoxing even harder.
Needless to say, I was on board and ready for action. In fact, I was so excited, that a few days before the program started, I did a PreTox, where each day I slowly removed one of the banned substances from my diet. Sugar and Caffeine are the biggies for me – mainly because my morning cup of coffee is a ritual, and (just like a drug) I am convinced that I am a monster before I have it.
Okay, so it wasn’t as picture perfect as I’m making it out to be – I had my concerns:
1) The cost. Holy cow it is a lot of money to invest, and it doesn’t include the food. Part of me stayed on the program when I wanted to give up and run to Burger King because I had invested so much money into it. The products aren’t cheap – as they shouldn’t be when you’re putting something into your body, not to mention, they are high quality vegan, gluten-free, products.
2) Will I feel terrible? You may feel strange for the first day or two. I get the absolute worst caffeine headaches. I mean, really really bad headaches. But I prepare myself for it by drinking more water as I drink less coffee. I also try to replace my afternoon cup with a cup of green tea, which isn’t caffeine free, but it has significantly less. You might be hungry and have every craving for everything removed from the detox – but willpower is a muscle we are strengthening with the program.
3) Do I have enough supplies to get through all 30 days? I blew through so much protein powder and detox tea, I was afraid I wasn’t going to have enough left. Luckily, Arbonne consultants aren’t too far away (and OMG I’m one now!!)
4) Will it work? Will I lose weight? What if I gain weight? Maybe I’m the wrong person to ask here because I have never gone into this program hoping to lose weight. But, I also don’t own a scale. I measure my goals around how I feel. Do I have a lot of energy? Does my stomach rumble after I eat? How are things coming out of my body? We can’t measure our health, or self worth for that matter, by a number on a scale. If you want to see your progress, measure trouble areas* on your body and do yourself the favor of ditching the scale. Plus, muscle weighs more than fat and strong is beautiful.
While this detox begins on April 4th, we will be starting another program on April 18th. Follow me here to get some insight (and I mean some brutally honest insight) into how things are going for me, and seriously consider joining in on the next group!
*Don’t use a tape measure. Numbers seem to mean more to us than they actually should. Take pieces of yarn or string to measure your arms, belly, thighs, neck, whatever. And see how those strings start to become shorter. I mean it when I say you have to stop comparing your progress to numbers!