28 days, 8 pounds, 7.5 inches

On March 18, I embarked on a new adventure. For the first time, I decided to make some major changes in my life. I’d lost 20 pounds in 2011 before I went on the New Kids on the Block cruise. The thought of being seen in a bikini by my favorite guys definitely motivated me. But in the three years since then, I have slowly gained all that weight back, and then some. I reached my highest weight ever. 😦 I never wanted to see 165 on the scale again, and when I did, it was a wake-up call. Not that I was obese by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly not where I wanted to be. In fact, it even said 167 at some point and that is the heaviest I’ve ever been. I didn’t want to get to the point where I would be heavy enough to be a contestant on “The Biggest Loser,” so I decided to do a detox.

No. 1 priority: giving up Diet Coke. People, I was up to 4 Diet Cokes a day. And after I drank that many, I would feel bloated and ginormous, and then I would wonder why in the hell I drank so many. I gave up Diet Coke in 2011 for the cruise, but as soon as I went on a road trip again, about a month after the cruise, I started drinking them again, and by the end of the year, I was gaining weight again. :-\ I tried several different products, bottled green tea, Gatorade, etc. but I always came crawling back to Diet Coke. I believe that’s what they call an addiction. And then I started drinking sugar-free Red Bull as well. Quickly got addicted to that too! Finally, my Twitter friend, Jennifer Edgerton (@jenleephoto) responded to a tweet in which I said I’d given up Diet Coke but I was drinking sugar-free Red Bull now so that was better, right? (I knew it wasn’t, but told myself it was.) Jen responded that it was somewhat better, but not really, and she introduced me to a product that has seriously changed my life: Fizz Sticks.

Pomegranate fizz sticks!

This is THE ONLY thing that has helped me get over this Diet Coke addiction. I haven’t had a Diet Coke (or a Red Bull for that matter) in over a month and I don’t even want one. These fizz sticks have taken their place. And yes, they’re definitely not as cheap as a soda, or even a Red Bull, BUT the price is worth it to me because I look and feel so much better.

Anyway, so after I got the sample of the Fizz Sticks, and decided I wanted more, Jen told me a detox through a company called Arbonne would be starting on March 18.

Detox can be a scary word, and I wasn’t entirely sure at first that I wanted to commit to it. BUT, then I got to thinking, how else am I going to see the changes I want? The “take away” list was daunting at first: no dairy, gluten, processed soy, table sugar, artificial sweeteners, farm-raised fish, non-cage-free eggs, non-free-range chicken, non-grass-fed beef, processed corn, nitrites, nitrates, MSG, vinegar or white potatoes. The most common reaction I got when I told people about this was: “What CAN you eat?” Well, the answer’s simpler than I thought: I replace milk with coconut milk, which I’ve actually grown to prefer to regular dairy milk. A lot of people switch to almond milk, but I’m allergic to nuts. We already bought cage-free eggs so that was no big deal. I was worried about giving up cheese, but to tell the truth, I haven’t really missed it. I flavor my meals with spices and cook with extra virgin olive oil. Instead of French fries or baked potatoes, I’ve grown to prefer baked sweet potatoes (and they’re grown in North Carolina so I get to buy local as well!) I eat lots of fruit. I have brown rice or quinoa as side dishes. I’ve found that I actually prefer free-range chicken and turkey as well. It tastes better. Yes, it costs more, but again, it’s worth it to me.

In the end, I’m so happy with the results I’ve seen, I’m going to stick with clean eating from now on. I don’t know if I will ever go back to dairy or gluten… maybe just to treat myself every now and then. But for the most part, I am sticking with this from now on. I feel so much better.

And, the numbers don’t lie. At one point, I’d lost a total of 11 pounds, but unfortunately I gained that back at the last minute. Not sure why… hopefully it’s muscle from my workouts! But my final total is 8 pounds lost, and a total of 7.5 inches lost around my upper chest, lower chest, waist and hips. Also, I hope this picture shows the difference:
BEFORE & AFTER

I’m hoping to get those abs even more toned in the next few months. Stay tuned!!! And if you would like more info on the detox or Fizz Sticks, let me know! Message me on Facebook, or tweet me @abs1399/@abswrites! 🙂

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