So I've been doing the Isagenix thing for 15 days now and I finished my second part of the 9 day cleanse yesturday. Here is my report, be aware that I'm dealing with ALL aspects of cleansing and diet plans--so I hope I don't embarrass anyone:
Shake Days: Replacing 2 meals with the Isalean shakes. These work good for me. I've tried a variety of fruits in the shakes and I like that, even though it does add calories. I usually do this for breakfast and lunch, then have dinner with my family. This works good for me and because I'm looking forward to dinner I have been cooking better, more balanced, meals for my family as opposed to my one-pan-wonders that I usually go for. I don't stick to the recommended 400-600 calorie meal, I just eat until I'm satisfied.
Cleanse Days: drinking 4 oz. of the Isacleanse juice four times a day. No shakes, no food aside from a few acceptable things. I hate these days and I will not cleanse again. I am tired, hungry, no energy, irritable, and the juice makes me nauseated. I finished the last two days yesterday and I couldn't hack it and had spaghetti for dinner last night. It's cruel and unusual punishment to be cooking for my family and unable to eat any of it. These last two days were better than the first set because the first time I was trying not to eat anything at all. This time I ate all the 'allowed' items each day, which kept me going and helped me recover from the nausea. I did lose weight, and I'm glad for that, but since that wasn't my main objective it is not motivation enough for me to do it again. There is a program where you do a cleanse day once a week, and if I decide I want to take more weight off I might to that--the first day wasn't too bad--but at this point I would be thrilled to never have that nasty Isacleanse juice again.
Balance: This was my main reason for doing this program, to find a better balance of my emotions. I found myself continually irritable, lethargic, pessimistic and unable to deal with stress. I'd constantly look forward to bed time, I wanted to be alone as often as possible and just had this overall feeling of "I can't deal with this!". After two weeks I feel more positive, I am not as irritable and I handle stress better. I've got more energy which allows me to keep up with the kids and the house better, which makes me feel better too (I dusted my bedroom for the first time in 3 months!) I'm not convinced that part of this is the psychological effect of having invested in something I want to work, but whatever the deep rooted reasons I've found some of that balance I'm looking for and am so relieved.
Snacking: I've always been a 'grazer' eating a handful of this and that and the other all day. I still have moments when I want to just eat something, but the Isasnacks take care of that. My freind calls them Scooby Snacks :-). When I feel the need to snack I eat one of them, then go do something like fold a load of laundry. Nearly 100% of the time I forget about eating by the time I'm done. It's really just crazy weird to me because it's so different than I've ever been. That alone probably has more to do with the weight loss than anything else--I'm not taking in those extra 400 calories worth of 'handfuls' throughout the day. I do get really hungry around 5:00 which is too early for our dinner. I've found that a hard boiled egg or an apple along with another snack takes care of it. Really, this is impressive for me.
Sugar: I've always been a sugar freak, in fact a few years ago, for health reasons, I went off sugar and honestly I think I went into withdrawals--I was shaky and couldn't think clearly. It lasted two weeks, my health stuff didn't seem affected, and so I went back to it. I know that sugar makes you want more sugar, I know it throws off blood sugar levels and alters your metabolic chemistries. I've known this stuff for years, but I could hardly go a day without something sweet and often baked cookies or brownies or something every afternoon--then ate it all the rest of the day. I'm shocked that I no longer have a craving for sugar, I don't need it. I cooked my first dessert in two weeks last night. It was for a family thing I now can't go to because #4 was throwing up last night, so I took a piece off the pan this morning. I ate it after my shake even though I wasn't hungry because I knew my other kids would eat it when they got up if I didn't eat it quick. It was good, but one piece was enough and I'm not planning to have any more sugar today. Julie Wright told me that her husband used to be a sugar addict and someone told them Chromium helps take that away. I checked the ingredients and the shakes and snacks are both loaded with chromium, so maybe that's part of it. Whatever it is, I am so grateful. I'm sure not having constant sugar is part of my finding the balance as well, but it's so nice to stand in the checkout line at the grocery store and not be fighting with myself about buying a candy bar.
Gas (It's part of life, people, please don't lose all respect for me:-): I wouldn't say I was a gassy person before the shakes, but I certainly had my moments and once or twice a week I would have a painful gas attack (for me and everyone else). I was in the process of trying to figure out what was causing all this when I started the program. I realized just a few days ago that I have not had gas issues since this started--not at all. I told my hubby that and he now worries I'm going to force him onto the program just for that reason--but that's a whole other blog.
Regularity (see the gas disclaimer): They have these Isaflush tablets you take at night, and they have helped keep me very regular. No constipation or diarrhea, just nice regularity. I wouldn't say I had big problems in that area, but I don't think I've been this regular for a long time either.
Exercise: I have been running semi-regular for about a month. Dropping the doghouse on my toe threw me off, but I'd say I do 45 minutes of cardio 2-3 times a week, in addition to my other daily activities which have increased because of 1) more energy 2) needing distraction from the kitchen. I realize I should really step it up and be MORE consistent and really look for the ultimate benefits I can get from this program, but I haven't yet. I was glad to see that I didn't get wiped out when I exercised, I worried that I would, and I feel good when I finish. I haven't seen anything 'amazing' but neither has the program had an adverse effect on my exercise schedule.
Weight: According to the chart I've been keeping, I've lost exactly 10 pounds. Now, that's not to be perfectly trusted because I did my 'before' weight at night and my 'after' in the morning. But even if you cut that in half, it means I've lost five pounds and that's awesome. A few of my pants now need belts, and some of the shirts that were too tight around the tummy and therefore uncomfortable to wear, are now fine. So I'm quite happy with that. Since day 1 of the cleanse, and today, after it was over, I lost 1.8 pounds, and both those weights were done in the morning, that's pretty good for 9 days.
Inches: I've lost a total of 10.5 inches from those first measurements, including and impressive 3 inches around my waist as well as an inch on each thigh and 1.5 from my backside. I'm very happy with that.
$$: The program is expensive, to get the set up for this month was $400, that included the 2 shakes a day for a month, the cleansing system, all the suppliments, a box of the Isadelights, a shaker, two flasks and the Ionix Supreme--basically the whole shebang. I didn't pay for that out of my budget, hubby gave it to me for my birthday, but next month will cost about $200 and that ones up to the budget to make room for. However, I'm not worried. I have spent a lot less on groceries these last two weeks because I'm not feeding my cravings which means it's easier than it's ever been to just walk past those things that I wanted in the past. I've been really surprised by that and I'm interested to see how it all adds up next month. I've been buying healthier snacks so that if I do get hungry it's fruit, not candy, that I go for, which means my kids are eating the healthier stuff too. I really like to cook, but instead of baking I'm cutting up vegitables.
Tips I've learned: I've made a few discoveries about myself that have been interesting. The first one is that full is full. Whether I eat a 3 egg mushroom omelet and a short stack of pancakes, or I have a chocolate banana Isalean shake, I'm full and regardless of what took me to that fullness, I'm full. I'm not 'happier' because it's omelet and pancake getting churned up in my stomach--I'm just full. So, even when I really want a tuna sandwich for lunch instead of a shake, once I've had either one I'm just full. For some reason this has been a breakthrough for me, and makes it easier for me to have the shake, knowing that in fifteen minutes I'll be full, I'll be fine, and I won't be 'missing' the tuna sandwich I didn't eat. On the reverse, if I eat the sandwich, in fifteen minutes I'll be full, I'll be fine, but I'll have eaten 150 more calories and I'll think about that. Another tip I've learned is that keeping better food around leads me to eat better. I know, rocket science, but it's true. I cook better meals, I serve fresh veggies because I HAVE fresh veggies. Amazing, huh. The third thing I've learned is that there can always be more. I realized through this that a lot of what I'd eat was because it would be 'gone' if I didn't (kinda like my dessert I had after my morning shake today). With four kids, things disappear fast. So that leftover stroganoff is in the fridge and if I don't eat it now, someone else will later. The cookies I made, if I don't eat some now, they'll be gone later. Not being driven by food cravings has helped me see that it's okay if I'm not the one that eats it, that even if it does get gobbled up I can buy more or make more if I HAVE to have some. I'm not sure why this has anything to do with Isagenix, but I've had a hard time rectifying that and now I seem to have worked it out.
Future plans: Overall I'm happy with the program. If take out the misery of the cleanse days, I'll give it an 8 on a scale of 1-10. My biggest complaint, outside of the cleanse, is that I wish it tasted better. Danyelle mentioned Herbalife and that it tastes good, I wish this was like that. I still don't like the chocolate shakes, the Isadelights (dark chocolate look-a-likes) are better if you cut them in half and suck on them rather than chewing them, but they aren't great. The Ionix Supreme (you drink 1 oz. morning and night) is also really nasty. If those things tasted better, I think it could likely be a near perfect program. I do plan to continue, and I think I'll keep doing the 2 shakes a day for July.