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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Diary of a Cleanser: Part 3

Diary of a Cleanser: Part 3
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – Over seven pounds lost and now entering the homestretch of the Isagenix fat-burning/cleanse program, which I began seven days ago with the guidance of Westport-based Propper Cleanse Center LLC. Overall, I felt more energized and trim but also that I’d hit my endpoint, that this was the best it was going to get… and to achieve the further definition and tone for which I was looking, I would need to incorporate a consistent exercise program. My weekly Salsa dance class had wrapped… perhaps free weights at a gym?

Wednesday, June 23: Day 8
I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised, but I had actually bounced up a pound from 176.4 to 177.4 since yesterday’s weigh-in. I concluded that it was because the schedule had allowed for somewhat substantial “meals” over the last three days, so there was bound to be, if not some leveling, some potential weight increase.

I was now participating in the program almost robotically and, when I knew I had to be somewhere for a certain period of time, putting the necessary supplies in a Ziploc bag and my soft-sided cooler. To be honest, the novelty of the program had worn off and I was getting anxious to return to a more regular diet and to not have to restrict myself at a meal occasion wherein I was being offered a portion. I’d seen many good foods go by – and most were healthy meal choices – and I felt I was missing out unnecessarily. I’d gotten a better perspective about the body maintenance and that was good, but I was ready to move in. I planned to stick out the program through Saturday, Day 11, see where I panned out and reflect.

I started with a Shake and capsule, which powered me through to mid-morning when I wandered over to a local café to catch the World Cup soccer match between the U.S. and Algeria. Since that timeframe called for water, I patronized the establishment and discreetly popped my almonds and Isagenix Snack.

Lunch today was chicken breast with a side of whole grain pasta, a green salad and an organic apple. Another Shake followed at dinnertime then mostly water in the early evening. The latter was key as the day was sweltering and I’d opted to take a waterfront walk with a friend. It would have been a natural thing to bring a bottle of water to an activity like this, so I didn’t feel out of place or like I was doing something no one else was doing.

Thursday, June 24: Day 9
I was glad the morning weigh-in showed I was headed back down the weight scale, but there was only a smidgen of a decrease, from 177.4 to 177.2, which was still almost a pound above the lowest number I’d reached in the program.

The morning Shake that I enjoyed was my last so I’d have to improvise when it came to dinnertime and another was due. Though I’d received another canister, I did not want to crack it open. Besides, the final two days of this 11-day program would be Cleanse Days, which didn’t call for Shakes anyhow.

Lunch was a potpourri – turkey slices and a slab of tofu (a new introduction) on whole wheat bread with olive oil and a bowl of seasoned mixed green vegetables. It would be my last “meal” until Sunday, so I savored it.

My afternoon schedule got all kinds of screwy as I popped in and out doing errands and then boogied south to Stamford for a concert event. A few thousand people were gathered, some notable bands were headlining and there were food, beer and wine corrals everywhere. This was going to be a tough environment in which to stay strong, that was clear.

I went off menu and had a lemonade with my first Snack and almonds salvo. I stayed true to the second helping, obtaining water from a vendor, though the span between servings was longer than what the schedule provided for due to my being sandwiched up front in the audience and unable to extract myself easily. I also integrated two small walking-around packages of YumNuts, organic flavored cashews that I’d discovered.

When the concert concluded mid-evening, I was feeling pretty ravenous and really needed some real food. I passed up tacos and pizza for a grilled chicken wrap, which I thought would both satisfy and be a healthier choice, and happily enjoyed it sitting along a curb watching people stroll by.

A friend invited me out back up in my home area and, while she encouraged me to have a water at the bar at which we decided to roost, I really wanted a Corona. One became two before I pulled up anchor to finally return home. I thought I’d conclusively abandoned the program but perhaps would feel differently in the morning.

Friday, June 25: Day 10
The weigh-in this morning: 178.8. I’d paid for my transgressions with a 1.6 pound increase since yesterday a.m. Feeling a bit guilty for jumping ship, I made the decision to see through this 11-day program and tough it out down the homestretch to Sunday. All the elements I’d need were portable. I could do it.

I was back to the Day 3 and 4 checklists – true Cleansing Days – which began first thing with the Cleanse for Life juice, water and an Accelerator capsule.

Late afternoon, I got a call from a friend to meet at the beach and while I took my Cleanse supplies in my trusty personal cooler, I thought I’d treat myself to a freshly made turkey wrap and Caesar salad. My friend slipped me a pizza slice with grilled chicken on top, too, so, all combined, this constituted my only “real” meal of the day. I was faithful to the rest of the schedule.

I capped the day with two ounces of 94% fat-free microwave popcorn enjoyed during a family film showing at home. I savored it slowly, munching kernel by kernel.

Saturday, June 26: Day 11
It was little surprise that I was another pound up from yesterday, to 179.8, on this, my final day of the Cleanse program. It had been an interesting journey, of discovery, learning, willpower and commitment and I was glad to have experienced it. At the same time, I have decided to follow my own plan and instincts going forward, incorporating much of what I had learned about food and how to keep my body burning fat and not muscle. I also planned to incorporate a more regular and frequent exercise program, through a local gym perhaps… though a kickboxing class offer I’d recently seen looked enticing (another adventure!).

There were measurable results to point to: ½” off my neck, one inch from my waist, one inch from my chest… and from the program start to now, I’d dropped 4.2 pounds. If I had been truly faithful to the plan, the loss probably would have been in the neighborhood of 6 to 8 pounds. Could I have achieved this loss through cold water intake, small portions of food throughout the day and exercise? I’m sure I could have. Would I be able to maintain a consistent weight? With focus, again I was sure I could. I was not a yo-yo’er and know when I’m eating poorly.

I had a pretty active schedule planned for the day, hopping from art festival to flea market to soccer viewing and outdoor concert. With all the moving around over several hours and all the supplies needed – multiple water bottles, the big bottle of Cleanse juice and the little knick-knacks -- I had to break out my medium-sized cooler. With ice packs inside, it was good to go.

In my travels, I came across another chiropractor, promoting a similar Cleanse program, who knew Dr. Propper. I told him I was just at the tail end of the program and the results I’d experienced and he wished me luck.

After the morning craft/tag sale events, I dropped back home and invited some friends over for the anticipated World Cup match between the U.S. and Ghana. It was a celebratory occasion and I put out nibblies like pretzels, tortilla chips, dips and beer. But I also put out almonds and celery sticks so there was a balance with healthier foods. After all, a good diet is all about balance, right?

The outdoor concert followed the match and, again, I tried to make healthy selections with regard to what I packed in the cooler. I was essentially and effectively not following the Isagenix schedule at this point, but was trying to maintain vestiges of it. So in went water bottles, the celery sticks and the almonds, but also some rice and beans and chicken wraps. Calories would be limited without sacrificing the pleasure of taste.

It was a good strategy ultimately and, a scale check the following morning showed I had maintained the same weight.

I was cleansed, clear-headed and content. Mission accomplished.