Days 11-24

The Max Phase.

In all, the Challenge went really well. I lost about two pounds and my energy was through the roof.  I don’t have the quintessential before and after picture because there wasn’t a huge transformation. My goal was not to lose weight; I wanted to gain more energy.

There was only one real drawback throughout this phase. The amount of supplements I had to take was a little obscene, and I felt compulsive when I had to leave each meal to grab a pack of pills.

My advice? If you want to challenge yourself, then this is a good way to start. Nothing is better than exercise, drinking plenty of water, eating correctly and sleeping enough. No challenge can teach you that; you have to motivate yourself to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

If you have any questions about my venture, feel free to ask! I will say this…I gave up coffee for almost a month, and I feel better than ever. I think I’ll stick with Spark no matter what.

Days 7-10

Day 7, 8 and 9:

I have nothing but energy on these two days. I’m beginning to see why people love these products. At the gym, I feel more energetic. On my runs, I want to go a little bit farther. At work, I can use my brain more than before. And best of all: NO COFFEE.

On Day 9, I was staring at a computer for 12+ hours. Needless to say my energy was lacking and I decided to crash instead of hitting the gym. I’ll make up for it in the morning though.

Day 10:

I’m finished with the cleansing portion! Now for the Max Phase, where my body will be retaining more nutrients and my body will receive the “best tools to achieve my next weight-management goal.”

My next weight-management goal? I’m really not sure what they are. I know I’m feeling great right now, and I hope that feeling lasts.

Days 4-6

Day 4:

RULE NUMBER ONE: FOLLOW THE RULES.

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My Daily Guide

So I was wondering why I was feeling a little sluggish. I realized that I was taking the wrong supplements at night. Instead of using the herbal cleanse (first 7 days to clean system), I was using the probiotic supplements. Ugh.

My plan now is to use the cleanse pills throughout the remainder of this phase and use the remaining probiotics at the end of the phase (last 3 days). I’m a little aggravated with myself that I didn’t fully read the directions. In fact, the Challenge comes with a Daily Log book. If I had just paid a little more attention, I would be feeling phenomenal.

Day 5:

I used the herbal cleanse pills last night (as directed) and I felt incredible this morning. I woke up full of energy and the energy has lasted throughout the day. I haven’t had any caffeine at all, a feat for a coffee lover like me.

I’m impressed with the change I’ve felt from finally following the plan correctly. Don’t overlook the small things! The devil is always in the details.

Also, my Fitbit Flex came in today. I’m so excited to start seeing results. If you haven’t heard of this fitness gadget yet, you should look into it. It tracks your meals, your activity levels, and even your sleep patterns.

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Here are my results from Sunday, Jan. 12.

Day 6:

I felt great this morning.  I woke up and went for a run (3.5 miles) and finished a good bit of work I have to do before classes start on Wednesday.

My energy level is at an all-time high, and I know that coupling the Advocare products with Paleo-friendly foods is the best way to go.

I’m now fully cleansing, and I’m excited to finish up this phase and move into Max.

Days 1-3

Day 1:

I woke up for my workout at 6:30. I had the Spark Energy drink and a Catalyst pill. I was more energetic during my workout, and I was able to complete more sets of reps.

I checked my weight and measured my waist. Here’s my Day 1 picture:

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My waist (belly button) currently measures 32.25 inches, and I weigh 157.6.

I had the fiber drink with breakfast — Veggie packed omelet…yum. I have to admit the texture caught me off-guard, but the taste is pretty good. (Especially for a fiber drink that packs 10 grams of fiber and 50 percent of my daily value for Vitamin C.)

For lunch, I had salmon and brussels sprouts as well as a few cups of raw veggies. I also snacked on oranges and roasted, unsalted pecans and almonds.

Around 2 p.m. I began feeling a little sluggish. I blame this on trying something completely new to me. Any time my body goes through a “cleanse” of sorts, it tends to get sluggish for the first couple of days. Instead of  drinking the second Spark of the day before lunch, I’m going to have it an hour afterward. I have a feeling that will prevent being tired.

After 7 hours at work, I was tired of looking at my computer so I went to the gym and ran a few miles. The cardio felt great…better than usual, I would dare to say.

I’m going to eat some chicken breast, quinoa and broccoli tonight. I’ll take the Omegaplex supplement with dinner and take the probiotics and another Catalyst right before bed.

Day 2:

Today went well. I went to the gym in the morning and noticed something though…I am sweating more than usual. I’m fine with sweating. I’m not trying to make an impression at the cost of a good workout. Just a heads up: you might sweat. Get rid of those toxins!

I decided to switch up the suggested routine and have the Spark drink after lunch. That decision worked in my favor, and I had energy throughout the day. I was able to get outside a bit downtown and do a few blocks worth of walking, so that helped increase my energy level.

So far I’m feeling more “clean.” I’m sure a real difference will take place within the next few days.

Day 3:

I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I had so much energy when I tried to go to sleep that my mind was running nonstop. I’m hoping my body gets used to the excess energy and some added melatonin will help me get to sleep faster.

Also…I advise kicking your coffee drinking habits if you decide to do the challenge. I had a Pike Place medium roast (size tall) this morning. Six ounces of the roast have made me antsy and even a little lethargic. I’ll let Spark do the work from now on.

I’m hoping for a beautiful night of slumber after the awesome run I had tonight.

#ChallengeAccepted

Confession: I’ve hit a plateau.

I never had a set weight goal. My goal was just to feel good. So after 50 weeks of living well (there have been some weak moments, of course) I’ve hit my first wall. It’s not that I have a sincere lack of energy. I’m just worried that I’m not feeling as good as I could.

I was approached by a friend to check out the Advocare products, particularly the 24 Day Challenge. At first I was skeptical. What ingredients are used? Are the products tested by non-paid endorsers? Are they natural? Can I maintain a Paleo-friendly lifestyle? Will the supplements I’m already taking interfere with the Challenge products? There were so many questions. And I’m sure there will be more at the end of each day.

ImageThe truth is that I don’t want to disregard the holistic approach I’ve been taking to obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I’m not looking for a “quick fix” that will help me drop a few pounds. I just want to cleanse my body…and after the amazing food my family made throughout the holidays, my body is begging for a cleanse.

My plan is to blog about my experience. I haven’t yet decided if I will post each day or every few days. (I’m not trying to bore you if nothing interesting is happening.) This is an experiment for me, and I’m going to be as candid as possible.

Have you used the products? What was your experience like?