Much like thousands of women around the world, in January I decided to get on track with my post Christmas fitness and weight loss plan.
It had nothing to do with making a New Year’s resolution. (I think we both know those don’t work).
It had more to do with indulgences during the holidays, or in my case, admittedly over the course the previous couple of months leading up to the holidays. (I experienced a huge shift in my schedule, AND my waistline due to being in lockdown).
I know many thrived during lockdown and got on board with a wonderful fitness and weight loss plan, and if that’s you, then YAAY! That’s wonderful!
For me, once the cold weather hit, there was nowhere to go, and slowly, over 2 months, the feeling of a warm cozy inside retreat turned into lethargy, depression and major indigestion.
I was so thankful that my entire career was based on wearing stretchy pants and baggy workout shirts because my jeans were feeling really tight.
Inside, I felt like I was literally killing myself with my bad habits. I knew it had to stop.
A few months earlier, I had heard about a new healthy weight loss plan that had just revealed itself to the world.
It was on my short list for giving it a try when the time was right.
(I often try new plans to see if I’d recommend them to you. From keto to vegan to fasting. I’ve experimented with them all).
This plan was a healthy liver detox.
The premise is, you can restart your metabolism by decongesting your liver. Not to mention you become more energized, healthy and lean.
I loved the science behind it, and I loved that it converged my two biggest passions: health and weight loss.
Unlike so many of these crazy plans that make you juice for hours, or drink synthetic pre-made drinks, this plan had REAL food with a choice of healthy liver detox supplements that you could invest in only if you wanted to.
Christmas was the final feast, then I was ready, and excited to begin.
I started enthralled with all things “new plan”!
I had my healthy grocery list, the list of meals, and shakes and supplements, and somehow even roped my husband into feeling excited to do this plan with me ( that has NEVER happened in our 6 years of marriage).
The 28 Day Plan Consisted of:
- 2 nutrient dense shakes that included protein, healthy starches, fats, and nutrient dense fruits or veggies (or both)
- Unlimited veggie meals and snacks, including delicious orange pepper soup, vegetable minestrone soup, ratatouille, and creamy broccoli soup (no cream, and DELICIOUS) just to name a few.
- A Balanced dinner that included protein, healthy starches, fats, and nutrient dense veggies that are eaten until satisfied
It sounded delicious and simple. No thinking. The lists and recipes are all done for you!
There’s no denying the plan was strict.
Even my advanced fitness clients refused to embark on this journey with me.
(Yet, somehow my husband was on board😳😳… I’m still trying to figure that one out!)
Of course a healthy liver detox requires no alcohol.
For me, that was no problem. Bring it on! I could accomplish that in my sleep (or so I thought).
Yet, what really hurt was the total abstinence from caffeine, no green tea, no regular tea, and most of all no coffee. Not even a standard decaf. It had to be swiss water decaf or nothing!
This was a huge problem for me!
Between demonstrating fitness exercises for clients, making specialized workout videos for VIP clients, and making the free fitness videos you see on Youtube (not to mention getting my own workouts in)! I had a steady flow of energizing coffee trickling through my veins from morning until mid afternoon.
I guess the lack of coffee wouldn’t matter as much, because exercise had to be cut to a minimum:
- 10 minute workouts a couple times per week
- Daily 10-20 minute walks with no more than 3 quick bursts of all out intensity
The plan hadn’t even begun and as a fitness professional, I had no choice, but change the rules to fit my lifestyle.
Not to mention, fitness is my very valuable stress relief. I could cut down, but there was no way I was giving it up.
But that didn’t deter me, I kept on keeping on, and continued with the plan to the best of my ability.
After only a few days in, I soon realized that the reason the plan advocated minimal fitness had to do with the fact that the body was zapped of all energy. (hmm, if my liver was getting cleaner, wouldn’t I have more energy as the plan progressed)?
Was this the lack of caffeine, or the sudden drop in calories?
It wasn’t until I went for my first short burst walk/run, that I realized while this plan may be good for the liver, it was definitely not good for the heart.
My heart rate spiked, and I could barely complete my 20 minute walk/run without feeling like I was going to faint.
Would things get better? Or was this the plan?
If you’ve read any of my blogs, or fitness and nutrition tips, you’re probably thinking “how does a woman like you, who believes so much in eliminating restriction in order to see lasting weight loss results continue on a restrictive program that makes you feel like poo?”
Simply put, I wanted to see what it did to my body and I wanted to see it through.
After all, how was I going to give you my honest feedback if I only tried 3 days before throwing in the towel.
So, I pushed on.
I want to tell you that week 2 was better, but it wasn’t. I was tired and a new brain fog kicked in, making it almost almost impossible to concentrate while training my clients and reducing my work productivity by more than half.
By the end of a very long and exhausting week 2, I was finally ready to throw in the towel.
Come on! After 2 weeks of continuing to feel miserable. Enough was enough! I had the info I needed to tell you the plan SUCKED! Right?
Except yet again,there was my husband, excited to stay on track.
I did what any supportive significant other would do:
I grabbed the leftover bag of Chicago popcorn ( a blend of delicious creamy caramel popcorn and cheese popcorn combined) and told him he could join me or watch. It was up to him.
We both had one cup each, carefully measured out. We enjoyed every last nugget, guilt-free.
The next day we got right back “on track” (although in theory I guess we failed, but I have no guilt)…
That popcorn got me through another 4 dreary days until a huge work deadline loomed closer,
My productivity was something I just couldn’t afford to lose.
I gave in and had a coffee.
Again, I had no guilt!
Now “successfully” at the end of week 3, still exhausted, grumpy, and sick of cooking all day to ensure we’d have enough of the “permitted” snacks and meals, I caved yet again.
My husband and I enjoyed a few drinks while cooking…
It was lovely. No regrets…
On to the final week.
You may be thinking, ah, she probably got 100% on track, since this was the last week. The final stretch.
But I didn’t:
- Wednesday 1 COFFEE
- Thursday 1 COFFEE
- Friday 1 COFFEE
Saturday I thought I’d end on a high note. No coffee, but I was excited to drink one the very next day!
This plan went against my biggest healthy weight loss Rule:
In order to achieve lasting weight loss results, you’ve got to find a plan that fits YOU and your lifestyle, otherwise you won’t follow through, you’ll feel like you failed, and just as important, the weight will eventually come back and find you.
But somehow I chose to do my “tainted” version for the whole 4 weeks (although I guess my small adaptations do show I added an Alicia flare).
I admit, I wanted weight loss, and I got the results. Over 4 weeks, I lost 6 pounds, and 3 inches from around my waist.
But it wasn’t worth it.
I know I would have gotten the same results by following my own nutrition values.
In fact, I probably would have achieved more weight loss because during this plan I lost 3 pounds initially, and then my weight stalled until I had my first popcorn cheat.
Then I dropped another three.
After that, it did the infamous “yo-yo”. Up 2 pounds, down 1 pound, up 2 pounds…
Not to mention, I felt exhausted, angry and useless even with my mini cheats.
Maybe it was my mini cheats that caused the plateau, but honestly, I could care less.
I went against my biggest value to test whether this plan could be right for me.
Give it a shot, what did I have to lose, but the weight, right!?
Well, I lost my energy, my strong, toned arms and ability to get things done! NOT WORTH IT!
Like all plans there are a few great takeaways:
- My skin glows.
- The dark circles under my eyes have momentarily decreased (although, it could be because I was asleep without coffee)
- My depression is gone
- My stomach feels soothed and healed
- I have no cravings. (Could this be because I’ve given in to my biggest craving? I’m drinking coffee again)
Plus I’ve learned some Fabulous new scientifically researched health tips I’ll be sharing with you soon (no restriction required, I promise).
Most importantly, I learned that more than ever, the only way to achieve lasting weight loss is to find a plan that DOESN’T feel like a punishment. A plan that gives you energy, and strength. That includes a stress relieving fitness plan as well delicious nutrition options.
A plan that fits YOU and your body on your terms.
By the way, two days have passed since the plan officially ended, and I’ve already gained a pound.
A coffee sits on my desk and I drink it with pleasure.
I’m excited for the upcoming weekend. It’s my husband’s birthday and I plan on enjoying the delicious festivities.
Then, back on track.
This time I’ll be doing it my way.
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