Arbonne 30 Day Cleanse

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I am starting a 30 Day Cleanse with Arbonne’s system of vegan, allergen-free products in addition to clean eating. Why Arbonne and why a cleanse? Arbonne has products that I believe in (allergen-free, vegan, tasty) and a system that is very easy to follow, which includes plenty of good food and shakes so I should not feel too hungry nor deprived. The cleanse is about detoxing and righting the gut flora in my body rather than on losing weight; however, the likelihood that I will lose some weight is almost guaranteed if I follow the program (correction: WHEN I follow the program). Following the program is not about perfection but about giving my body a chance to reset and start to heal.

During the past few years, there has been increased stress in my life from life changes, such as finishing my master’s degree, transitions in my career, getting married, building a new community in a new city, etc.  Throughout all of that, I have “self-medicated” by eating high carbs and tons of sugar and caffeine. I feel tired daily. I don’t fit in the clothes I wore a few years ago (my weight gain has been steady and has plateaued at a much higher weight range than is probably healthy for my bone structure, especially with regard to what I enjoy doing, which is endurance races, running, etc.). In addition to the weight gain and unhealthy eating, I had to have my gallbladder removed through an emergency surgery in January 2018.

Ok, so before I continue, I want to take a quick moment to say a few things about weight gain, body image, etc. I believe STRONGLY that every body is beautiful! I do not believe that people need to lose weight to be valued, loved, and/or thought of as sexy or beautiful. We are amazing people with gifts and strengths and purpose, and how we look is just one small part of our being. We are meant to live fully as the people we are and were created to be. Diversity in body shape is a gorgeous, amazing, and wonderful part of being human.

So for me, this cleanse is a way to start to live my best life. If I’m honest, the self-sabotaging with food has been a real negative aspect of my behavior. Not only have I gained weight, but I have literally beat up on my body from the inside out. Why do I do this? Food has been a source of comfort for a LONG time. Without going into too many details from my past, at a young age, “junk food” became a source of comfort and distraction when painful things were going on in my life. So when I am experiencing moments of high stress, sadness, anger, boredom, anxiety, I tend to reach for highly processed carbs, such as chips, candy, pasta, warm, chewy bread as a quick fix for a spike in energy to feel better about things in my life. The result is my energy will crash, I gain weight, I have dark circles under my eyes, and I feel tired most of the time.

So again, why the cleanse? I am tired of beating myself up with food. I’m tired of being tired. I have big dreams and big goals for my life and I want the energy to go after them. A cleanse seems like a way to start taking care of myself in a way that will allow me to have the focus and the energy to be my best self. I am worth it. Since time is a factor for me in eating healthy, I was attracted to the Arbonne program because you take different supplements during the day as drinks, make 2 shakes a day (with the Arbonne vegan protein powder and real fruits, veggies, good-for-you fats, and fiber), and one clean, whole food meal a day (eaten either for lunch or dinner). If eating better leads me to feel better internally, then AWESOME and GOAL ACHIEVED.

I will be journaling about this process, my results, how I feel eating the food, etc. If you are interested in learning more about the cleanse and/or wish to join me, please do not hesitate to reach out: livingsolutionfocused@gmail.com

I hope you are living your best life, and if you are not, then find out what you need to do to start living your best life: You Are Worth It!

Love Thy Self: Day #30

I have been dragging my feet because I have not wanted to fully end this challenge. What happens next?! I made it 30+ days of being positive and loving myself.

What has happened over that time period?

  • I have gotten better about focusing on what I love and embracing what I do not love.
  • I have started doing my hair, makeup and dressing in clothes that make me feel happy and beautiful, which helps me to stay positive.
  • I have started cooking regularly and eating food that makes me feel good and better physically.
  • I have lost about 3 pounds total since the first post on May 3, which really is not a ton of weight, considering the 30 day challenge took me over a month and a half, BUT to me that is a great sign that I am starting to take better care of myself. If it takes me 2 years to get to a healthy weight, SO BE IT! Weight loss is more about health and healing for me now. I do not need to lose weight to feel loved, valued or to feel good in clothes. I am working on those things right now, and though I am about 50 pounds overweight, I feel good in clothes, I feel loved AND valued right now. YAY!!!

Thank you for supporting me on this journey.

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #29

Yesterday I was riding high. I was rocking a new LuLaRoe outfit at work and feeling the flow of my life as a confident woman. Then I got on the T after work and caught a glimpse of my reflection in the train window. Have you ever had a moment when something is reflected back at you (could be your actual image or something you did or said), which makes you see yourself as others actually see you? At 5’4″ and 193 pounds, I know I am a “big girl.” But most of the time, I do not feel big. And before I caught a glimpse of my reflection, I felt awesome. 

Case in point: I went to Target last week to get some bright colored shirts to go with my new fun, fabulous and loud LuLaRoe tights. In the dressing room, I was trying on a shirt that did not make me happy and caught my reflection in the side mirror. To my horror, I almost did not recognize the image reflected back at me. Is that me?!?!!


I had a moment of panic followed by depression: “That’s it! I’m never going to eat again!” I wanted to declare. Then I wanted to run to the nearest ice cream parlor and give up. But then I stopped myself. Deep breathing helped. Ok, so that shirt was not a winner, but there are other shirts that look great. 

Secondly, how much confidence or bravery does it take to live boldly when you are skinny and in amazing shape?! Standing up and declaring my worth and value is way more meaningful when I’m overweight and struggling, because a number on a scale, and extra fat on my frame, does not determine my ability, talents, purpose or value. Now having said that, I do believe that living out loud and authentically is courageous even when you are skinny. I just sometimes mistakenly think it will be easier to be me when I am thinner. 

Anyway, right now I am at the salon getting my hair done, which always makes me feel good. I am going to stay positive and keep loving myself. Live boldly, friends!

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #28

This might sound silly, and saying it out loud while looking at the above picture makes me giggle, BUT I love my big forehead. I used to hate it. I spent most of my childhood and my twenties wearing bangs to cover it up because people told me that’s what I should do, but I enjoy having a bangs-free forehead. I like showing off my cranium.

I have two more days left of this challenge. On one hand, I am kind of relieved to not have the self-imposed pressure to post, but on the other hand, I have really enjoyed the public accountability to focus on the positive. For example, today I paused at the full length mirror in the women’s restroom to admire the way the above brightly colored top made my skin almost glow. I was focused on what looked good rather than focusing on what did not look good, which is something I would have typically done before this challenge. For instance, I could have spent way more thought and focus on the fact that my lower belly bulges and is noticeable in my outfit, BUT I did not even pay much attention to that thought. As soon as I had it, I dismissed it and focused on how much I love the skirt I am wearing. I focused on the aspects I loved and stopped worrying about what I did not love. Who cares if my tummy is larger than it “should” be anyways, right?! Because I focused on the positive, I am smiling more, which in turn makes me look more beautiful anyway. Win/win and tummy bulges be damned!

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #27

Yesterday I was running in the evening, trying to avoid some of the heat, and I had to stop to take the picture above. I feel so lucky to live so close to the ocean! I am also lucky to be training for an Ironman triathlon. This weekend I had a 50 mile bike ride and got the chance to ride with some local Team In Training folks. It was a great ride with good people! I am thankful to be on my journey. I am thankful to be me, flaws and all. 

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love They Self: Day #26

I am almost through this challenge. I have four more days to go! Doing a little reflecting, I think this exercise has been helping me evaluate a few things and feel better about myself overall. I have been focusing on enjoying healthy and whole foods and not beating myself up when I eat something that may not be so nourishing to my body. I am working on challenging my inner narrative and changing my story to be more in line with my truth. I am taking time to celebrate my body by wearing clothes that make me happy and feel good, even though I have not lost a single pound. And I am taking time to have fun and do my hair and makeup because it makes me feel good, not because I have to or because I feel any societal pressure.

Overall, I am happy to be me. I am starting habits by doing this challenge that will help me to continue to work on being happy and healthy because I’m worth it.

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #25

In addition to learning to love all of me, I am also learning to believe in myself and celebrate my dreams and aspirations. I LOVE this video. I hope it inspires you today as well. We all have our own challenges, but this video reminds me to not give up on my dreams or the things that make me happy. Sometimes the things in our lives that feel or seem impossible, are absolutely possible if we just try…and not give up.

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

 

Love Thy Self: Day #24

I am slowly getting through this challenge with a few breaks in between each day. Today I am thinking about the messages I tell my self about who I am. I keep saying things like “I’m a slow athlete,” as just one example. I was recently listening to the Rich Roll podcast, episode 290 with David Clark. In the episode, David Clark talks about how he went from being over 300 pounds and struggling with an addiction to becoming a world-class endurance athlete, who won long-course races. He said for the longest time, he lived out of a certain image, such as “I’m 300 pounds and I am not an athlete.” So he started to challenge those beliefs and started to run. He said he had to fake it at first (his motto was to just do what he thought an athlete would do). He finished a marathon and found himself saying “I’m a slow athlete and I will never be at the top of the pack.” So he started to challenge those self-imposed restrictions, and he started to train and run faster until he started to win.

I have always defined myself as a slow athlete. But I need to start challenging the ways I define myself. I can be who or what I want to be! I am awesome! (I strongly believe in faking it until you make it – tell yourself amazing things until you genuinely believe them.)

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #23

One of the reasons I love the statement “I am enough” is that the message implies that there is nothing I need to add or takeaway in order to be loved, valued, or whole. I just started reading Emergence by Derek Rydall, and so far, the book is speaking directly to where I am at and why I started this challenge: to realize and know I am perfect as I am.

Rydall compares each of us to an acorn, which has all it needs inside of it to grow into an oak (it just needs a little nurturing to grow). He goes on to ask us to imagine that we are holding a baby as she snuggles into our arms. How do we feel about that baby? Would we say things like, “gross, that baby is so fat?!” Or “Yuck, that baby hardly has any hair and cannot even walk. What a loser!” Yet, we say horrible things to ourselves.

“In contrast, when we recognize that everything we need is already within us and begin to reconnect to that feeling of innate wholeness and perfection — the way we felt toward that baby — we lay the foundation for the Law of Emergence to operate a process that is about becoming (or, rather, revealing) more of who you truly are, unleashing your infinite, often imprisoned potential” (Emergence, Rydall).

In some ways, I think I have been searching for this idea. I have always been in love with self-help because I am always looking for a way to heal or fix myself. I go through work and other aspects of life thinking I’m less than or not good enough. It is why the statement “I’m enough” resonates so much with me. We are all perfect creations waiting to grow and fulfill our destiny. The code is written into our DNA, like an acorn knows to grow into an oak tree. And yes, not all oak trees are the same or have the same conditions, but they still know what they were meant to become.

There is more than enough good in this world for all of us! When we live out of a place of inner love and peace, we are free to live the life we are meant to live.

I. AM. ENOUGH.

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #22

Today I want to share two stories that are beautiful and worth sharing (they make me happy to be me and to love ALL of me, flaws included):

  • The movie Embrace is on Netflix!! The movie is about loving ourselves and stopping the body shaming.
  • “Wear the Damn Swimsuit”, which is a great reminder to live life and stop worrying about appearance.

The picture above also makes me smile today. I took it at the college where I am working on my graduate degree. I am proud that I have continued to work toward getting my master’s degree.

Go out and live life: screw the bullshit!

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge