Arbonne 30 Day Cleanse


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:

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 Thy Self: Day #21

Today I am thankful that I am physically able to stand, run, swim, bike, and train for an Ironman triathlon. The picture above is a collage of places I have run in the past few months. I am grateful to have a body that heals. I am grateful to have access to healthy food that nourishes my physical self. I am grateful to be someone who is stubborn and fights to achieve her goals. I am thankful to be me.

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #20

Know your why.

So this post will probably be a bit random and a bit bumbling (bee pun intended). I have recently¬†been introduced to LuLaRoe. I have a few friends who are selling products on Facebook and I have been so curious about the company. One of the things I have loved so far is that when I Google “LuLaRoe,” my web browser is instantly filled with bright pictures of women of all different shapes and sizes wearing clothes that clearly make them feel good. I love that the sizing changes per item: you can size up or size down, which makes the whole notion of “I’m a size ___” feel obsolete. Basically wear what makes you feel good in that particular style. A number no longer needs to define who we are or where we want to be. Notions like “I am a size 14 but want to be a size 10” do not really matter. I also love the bright patterns and the mixing that people do (traditional fashion rules be damned). I recently purchased some items from a friend (the items have not arrived yet, so I cannot vouch for the quality or fit), so I was curious to learn more and found LuLaRoe’s all the feels page with videos from retailers. Most of the women talked about “their why” or their reason for doing what they are doing. Their stories range from wanting to help women feel good about themselves to wanting a lifestyle that allows for more quality time with the people they love most. They have a defined purpose or why and selling LuLaRoe matches up with their vision.

In my first Love Thy Self post, I talked about trying to figure out my why. One of the things that has become clearer is that I love the idea of helping people feel loved and accepted. I love the idea of spreading validation and hope. I love the idea of living boldly and authentically. I also love the idea of feeling good in our physical bodies, no matter our shape and size. So how does LuLaRoe fit? I think learning more about the company and watching their videos has resonated with something deep inside that is still trying to find a voice and take shape. My counseling internship is going to be at a women’s recovery home, which feels a bit like divine intervention because I was not actively looking for a specific population, but I have a lot of empathy and heart for women’s issues (are you seeing a common thread yet? I think I am). I am learning to stop and take notice when something excites me, like the fact that LuLaRoe is empowering women all over the nation. All of these pieces are helping me put my own puzzle together.

Sometimes I wish life could be simple: a bee flies around collecting nectar and pollinating plants, which to me is a very clear “why.” Some days I wish I was a bee (in a metaphorical sense), and other days, I am so glad to be complicated. I kind of feel like I am on a treasure hunt to discover my why.

On a more “love thy self” note: since I have been on this journey, I have been working hard to be more positive. I have noticed that I am trying again to do my hair and makeup, eat healthier, and take care of myself out of love and appreciation (I do not feel like I “have” to do these things, which is really freeing). I have also been taking a multivitamin that is supposed to help with skin and hair, which I think is working (and I am TOTALLY ok if the vitamin is just a placebo!). The overall effect is that I enjoy looking at myself in the mirror again. I feel beautiful and I have not lost a single pound. YAY! I think that might also be why I am so fascinated with LuLaRoe. Fashion has always been intimdating for me. I have always thought that I would love shopping once I lost a certain amount of weight or was a certain size, but LuLaRoe is helping me feel excited about fashion and the creativity that it can represent no matter what size I wear.

Anyway, I am going to buzz off and get on with my day.

Lots of love, peace and joy to each and every one of us!

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #19

Today I was on a run and was feeling pretty bad. The run was a struggle and ended up being mostly a walk. I was thinking a ton about how I should be stronger and not walking as much as I did today at this stage in my training. On top of a bad run, the day before, I was at a concert and just felt frumpy and bad. For some reason, I usually feel too old or out of place at concerts now. Of course, I was comparing myself to 20-somethings who have flawless skin and killer bodies (ladies, you look amazing – enjoy and celebrate it!). I have wrinkles and not the best fashion, but why do I care? My wrinkles are there from years of smiling and laughing and being expressive. And if I feel good in my clothes, who cares what anyone else might think. So today I decided to do my hair and makeup and decided to adopt a “fuck it” attitude. I am celebrating the fact that I got out and exercised despite how I felt about the run, and tonight I am going to dance and enjoy spending time with my sister at day two of the Boston Calling festival. Life is fucking good. And I am fucking beautiful!! 

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30DayLoveChallenge

Love Thy Self: Day #16

Lately I have been thinking a lot about forgiveness of self. I am learning to forgive myself when I fall short of my expectations. I am learning to forgive myself when I make a mistake or do not follow through on something I said I would. I think sometimes it is much easier for me to be accepting and forgiving of others than it is to accept and forgive myself. Even with this journey, I have found myself feeling stressed because I have missed a day or two on this 30 Day Challenge, but this journey should not be stressful. This challenge is meant to be an exercise in love, not an exercise in perfection. If I believe in authenticity, then these struggles are just part of the process. I would rather talk openly and honestly about my struggles than pretend that life is perfect. Oh the irony: I hate perfection yet secretly strive for it.

But on a deeper level, I think I have been questioning my intentions with this challenge lately. I constantly focus on the need to lose weight. I always fall for some scheme that I think will get me to where I want to be, which is thinner. I have tried diets, prayer, meditation, different exercise plans and so much more. Maybe I thought that by starting this journey, I would find inner peace and magically I would drop 40+ pounds. I have always been fascinated by stories of people who lose weight. There always seems to be some “ah ha” moment that motivates them to change their life. They experience a shift in perspective that changes their relationship with food. I think I was hoping that love and acceptance would ultimately change my relationship with food. But then if my secret hope is to lose weight, then loving myself is not the ultimate goal. If I am working to love myself with some ulterior motive in mind, then am I really authentically doing the work to find peace, love, and healing? Or am I going through the motions to find acceptance with a condition attached (i.e. I will only love myself if/when X, Y, and Z happens)? I love and accept others no matter their size, so why do I find it so hard to love and accept myself no matter my size?

These are questions I am asking right now. Is my life really that horrible because I am 40+ pounds overweight? The truth is that my life is pretty great. I am surrounded by people who love me and accept all of me. What if I do not lose one single pound going forward? Is my weight really what is stopping me from loving life and experiencing all that I have been created to be or do or enjoy? No. My weight is not the real issue. My perspective on my weight is the issue. And this is where my brain gets a little fried when I think about being overweight: I want to accept myself, but I also want to be healthy and I know that carrying a significant amount of extra weight can have negative effects on my health. But I think focusing on the negative impact of my weight is just another way to beat myself up: if you love yourself, you will eat whole foods and lose weight and be healthy.

Gosh, I am so tired of this same mental discussion. I have wasted so much mental energy on this problem.

Kelly Marie (using middle name for extra attention grabbing emphasis), woman up and get over this sh*t once and for all. You are awesome. Forgive your faults, including that bag of candy you ate earlier today, and celebrate the beautiful, smart, incredible woman you are! Can I get an AMEN?!

#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30DayLoveChallenge