I’ve always been a smaller person, but I’ve also struggled with confidence and self-perception my whole life. I was very skinny as a little one, but then as I got older I was a cheerleader and started to bulk up and become muscular. It was never enough for me though. I felt “too fat” or “didn’t even big enough boobs.” My legs felt too big and then my stomach felt fluffy, etc. Cheerleading in college was exceptionally hard, especially because I was the one they would throw in the air. It was such a hard position to be in because I felt like I constantly needed to lose weight, all while being in college. Thankfully, I was never a big drinker, but I loved my Ramen Noodles and More Than Pizza (those of you who went to Southern know what’s up).
Fast forward and I am out of college and grad school. I am done cheerleading and I actually felt like I was thinning out because I was losing muscle. When you just get out of college in the real world, there are still things that are hard to understand- like it’s better to have muscle than not have muscle, that being skinny isn’t sexy and that strong is, etc. I decided to take up some running, but really sucked at it. I worked at a group home and landed my first professional teaching job at an outpatient hospital for kids with severe emotional disturbances. I really didn’t have time to work out or eat healthy so I started to really lose my self-image. I also had a really tough break up, that my heart is still recovering from today, so that just threw me in a loop- poor self-esteem, feeling depressed, emotional eating, etc.
I met my husband in 2009 and I was probably at my worst. I wasn’t huge, but I wasn’t happy and I would rather be fat and happy than not and miserable. Howie met me at my most vulnerable state in life and I was trudging my way through life trying to find a job, a purpose, and a direction.
I would say around 2012 is when my life started to turn around and I started feeling like me again. II think I really found myself in college, but as they say, you often lose yourself and then find yourself again through experiences- good and bad. Howie and I got married, bought a house, I became a zumba instructor and I got pregnant with my first child all within 2-3 years. In the middle of it all, 2014, I discovered ISAGENIX, a nutritional cleansing program that is designed for losing weight and ridding toxins in your body. The program offers a different range of products depending on your goal- primarily focusing on healthy weight loss, increasing muscle, increasing energy levels, and improving your overall health. Like everything else, I was skeptical because everything is a multi-level marketing scam that gets you to buy all these products and then you go back to the way you were if your willpower sucks. I discovered this amazing woman named Tara Romano who is also a zumba instructor and I started using some of her choreography in my zumba classes. I fell in love with her and immediately felt connected to her when I reached out to her about Isagenix. I tried the program and LOVED my results, but more importantly, LOVED how I felt. I actually loved myself.
I got married and felt beautiful. I’m not saying I looked horrible before because some people would say that the picture to the left looks healthier, but ME?! I felt more beautiful and healthy in the right. It is 2018 and I never got back to the left picture.
In 2018, post 2 babies, I decided to jump back on the Isagenix bandwagon. I love the community and I love the products and results. I am in no way or shape trying to sell the program because let’s be honest, there are a million, but this one worked for me. I am currently on day 25 and lost a total of 6 lbs and 8 inches. I haven’t been able to cleanse because my chunky boy still has a strong nursing game and if you cleanse during nursing, the toxins can be released through the milk. At this point in my life, I am not looking to lose a ton of weight, but I want to feel better, more energized and feel less tired (even though I only sleep a grand total of 4-5 hours a night #babiesandtoddlers). The most important thing I learned about this program is that it’s not just 30 days, but it’s a lifestyle. I have become more conscious of healthy choices, my caloric intake (for a smaller girl I can inhale food, especially sweets), more confident, I have increased my running pace, and I have improved my overall mood. Between running being my anti-anxiety medication and now putting nutrient dense foods into my body, I could conquer the world!
Starting a diet or buying a new shade of lipstick won’t put you on a path to freedom. It might make you feel good on the outside, which is a natural part of your womanhood, but the change must begin with the transformation by the Spirit- the renewing of our minds. -Candace Cameron
I will say, change is so hard, especially when you are already stuck in a routine. I was eating Costco ancient grain granola with unsweetened almond milk every morning, drinking decaf coffees, but with TONS of creamer (1 tbsp= 5g of sugar!), going to Dunkin’ EVERY day for a medium iced coffee with caramel swirl and cream (the swirl itself is almost 30g of sugar and carbs), 2-3 snacks before lunch because I am hungry every hour- most snacks were empty snacks. For lunch I was eating almost 2 meals including a quest protein bar. Then I would come home and would snack on all my kids snacks until dinner. Then I would eat a snack before bed, sometimes 2 and let me tell you, I would eat until I felt like I was going to puke. Cue to my stomach hurting and feeling bloated all the time. Most of the time I just blamed it on breastfeeding and thought I could eat whatever I wanted since I was running too.
For real deets on Isagenix- it was hard for me. I had to change my whole lifestyle and renew my willpower. I had to be ready in my mind before jumping into such a big change. The 30 day program is about $350 and then you buy your products as needed per month. When you pay $22,000 per year in daycare, $350 SUCKS. But my health is way more important. Happy wife, happy life. Happy mom, happy family. The 30 day consists of 4 protein shakes- French vanilla, dutch chocolate, strawberry, or chocolate mint (you can mix and match). It also comes with 2 bottles of cleanse for life for deep cleansing or daily cleanse, ionix supreme (which tastes gross), which is a nutrient-rich tonic with adaptogens designed to protect against stress, 4 packets of amped hydrate (like a healthy powder Gatorade), a natural accelerator (a metabolism pill with cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, etc), isaflush (pill to take at night to help with regularity), isasnacks (wafers to help with cleanse days), and my favorite, isadelights (dark or milk chocolate infused with green tea for cleanse days). This is the 30 day product review in a nutshell.
As far as the program goes, ideally, you would take all your before pictures the night before and take all your measurements. Take an isaflush at bedtime and you are ready to start day 1. Day 1-5 starts with 1 oz. of ionix supreme, 2 oz of daily cleanse (which I do because I can’t deep cleanse due to nursing), 8 oz of water blended with a shake, and a natural accelerator. Then about 2-3 hours later, you can have a healthy snack before lunch.
Here is my daily routine-
My snacks of choice are the Kirkland egg whites microwaved for 2 min with garlic, pepper, and salt, a green apple sliced with cinnamon, 1/2 IsaLean bar or 1/2 quest bar (I love the Kirkland protein bars), a slice of Ezekiel bread with almond butter, cucumber with lemon garlic salad dressing (high in good fat, low carb, no sugar), or strawberries/blueberries. For lunch, I LOVE myself a good hearty salad- I love getting the chicken skewers from Costco and cutting them into little pieces for the week, spring mix salad, 1/2 avocado, and lemon garlic dressing by chosen foods. SO YUMMY!!! I will usually have 1 isadelight for my chocolate fix right after lunch. When I get home from work, I will try to bang out a 2-3 miles on the treadmill alone while the kids are at daycare and I watch Friends, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Grey’s, or This is Us on Netflix/Hulu- Running after work is NOT EASY at all! But remember, it takes about 10 days to create a habit. After my run, I try to eat some good carbs and my FAVORITE thing lately is cutting sweet potatoes into chunks and putting them in the oven at 400 degrees sprinkled with olive oil, cinnamon, Himalayan salt, and pepper for about 45 minutes. OMG YUM!!!! Sometimes I will have a frowned upon treat and have my own homemade decaf iced coffee with Coffeemate sugar-free French vanilla creamer and 1 stevia. I find that it fills me up until dinner. For dinner, I always cook a veggie with a protein. I love the organic steerable bags of Brussel sprouts with olive oil and Himalayan salt. I also love steamed broccoli, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers for veggies.
By no means am I trying to push Isagenix on anyone, but also showing that different things work for different people. I am a firm believer that if you are ready in your heart, mind and soul to make a change, you will. Even if it’s in small steps. Do it for you. Start with the inside and work your way to the outside. In a world with a million choices and all these money stealing scams, find what works for you and go all in.