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Hello there babes!
As you are all probably well aware, I have been embarking on a 30 day to healthy living challenge with Arbonne.
Hopefully you have been keeping up with me during my 30 days to healthy living challenge on Facebook and Instagram. If not, don’t fret, because this post covers it all.
For those of you who don’t know, I have become and independent consultant for Arbonne International. Arbonne sells vegan, GMO free, plant based, ethical beauty and health products. In my count down to going home, I wanted to make a significant stride in making my life healthier. It was so important to me to use botanical products that were ethical and clean in my journey and Arbonne offered just that.
After completing these 30 days, I feel so good and inspired to keep striving for a healthy lifestyle. I have seen such strides in my athleticism, my health and my confidence.
Why Did I Want to Do This Challenge?
I have always struggled with my body image, and throughout the years, my weight has fluctuated significantly. In high school, I went from a size 16 to a size 8 in my senior year. I continued working out and following a strict food plan through my Freshman year in college where I became a size 6. I had felt amazing, but college was starting to get more intense and I found myself with 3 jobs and going to school full time. This meant that my health was put on the back burner. Well, fast forward 5 and 1/2 years later where I gained a lot of that weight back.
I became very sporadic about working out, and I ate what I wanted, especially when the dinning hall had late night hours or when middle of the night Pho runs were encouraged. I went back up to a size 8 by the time I ended up in Scotland for my MSc. I wasn’t bothered by that, because I still felt healthy and could fit in most of my clothes. Plus, by this time, I was doing pole which kept me in okay shape.
Then, I moved back to Colorado in September of 2018. I have to say, moving away from my new home and away from my friends and my lovely partner was very hard. So much so, I stopped working out, stopped going to pole and took comfort in lots of mac n’ cheese. I didn’t notice the impact it had on my body until I went to Mexico for my brother’s wedding. I saw a picture that was taken of me and I felt so low. I had already started to notice that my pants were a little tighter and clothes I was buying in my normal size were not looking quite right. But this picture was the cherry on top. I had been reluctant to take photos of myself or wear clothes I like because my confidence dropped.
I was breaching a size 12 US. My jeans wouldn’t even reach around my abdomen anymore. This was when I decided that I needed to make more of an effort for my health. Not just to feel better about the way I looked, but to feel better about the way I felt overall. In May, I started hitting the gym and adopting a healthier diet. Around July, I had gone back down to a size 8. And better yet, I had started to feel better about myself.
Though I was happier and healthier, I knew I was on my way, but not quite at my goal. So, long story short, I decided to do Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living Challenge in order to push through the last month of me living in the States. After having completed the challenge, I am currently a size 6 and have made physical gains that have made me a stronger athlete.
What Did I do For This Challenge?
The 30 Day to Healthy Living Challenge kit comes with a few essentials and then some extra customisable things. What I got in mine was:
- 1 Arbonne vanilla protein and 1 Arbonne chocolate protein
- Arbonne Green’s Balance
- Arbonne Fibre Boost
- 2 Packs of Pomegranate caffeine fizz sticks (I don’t like citrus, which was the other flavour offered)
- 2 boxes of detox tea
- 1 box of digestive plus
- 1 box of 7 day body cleanse
- *Skin Elixir hyaluronic acid supplement (this wasn’t included but I got it to supplement my 30 day pack. It supports healthy skin and hair growth)
So after signing up and picking what items I wanted in my 30 Days to Healthy Living kit, I started my integrating 2 meal replacement shakes into my diet in a day.
Meal replacement shakes are a tad different from regular shakes, as you add ingredients into them that allow you to have all the nutrients your body needs. I clocked most of my replacement shakes at 400-500 calories. This was perfect for me because I have a daily caloric goal of 1500 calories a day. In pairing these with exercise and whole, clean foods I would create a good meal plan for my 30 day program.
My meal replacement shakes always contained the following:
- Healthy Fat (such as almond butter or avocado)
- Fibre (either the Arbonne Fibre Boost which came with my kit, or chia seeds! Chia seeds have 10g of fibre per serving so they are a great addition to shakes!)
- Plant based protein powder
Out of all the shakes I made, the Blueberry Lemon Twist one was my fave! If I felt like I wanted some extra freshness, I would add some basil from my garden.
In addition to the nutrition, I followed a 300 minute exercise routine. I integrated some of my favourite forms of exercise into my weekly routine to keep a balance. I did a mixture of pole, zumba, barre, les mills body pump, and vinyasa yoga.
It was only a couple of weeks before I started seeing physical progress in my fitness. Tricks I’ve tried to master for months became easy for me! I could do that cross leg release all day!
So while this program was so rewarding for me in a lot of ways, and allowed me to push myself in ways I had not done before, it was hard.
I am a very food-oriented person. So going to work and having a shake for lunch every day while I had food trucks and Poke galore at my fingertips was so challenging! Plus, I am living with my parents until I go back to school, so if there was a dinner my parent’s made, or they wanted to go out to eat, I would go with them. But for me, I do better when I follow a 90/10 rule. As long as I am adhering to my nutrition and putting good things in my body 90 percent of the time, it’s okay to splurge for 10.
I took my before pictures! I had already been working really hard on my weight loss journey before I had started this challenge, so even though these are before pictures, I felt really good about myself here. I had lost a lot of weight and was getting leaner. I was ready to let this 30 day challenge push me to the finish line!
I was always surprised at how full I was after the shakes I’d had. My dog was also very interested!
I did fall through the cracks as you can see! I ended up eating out for lunch on of those days thinking I would do my meal replacement shake after Pole for my dinner. However, my Dad ended up in the ER after running into a wardrobe and that plan kinda did not work out.
The biggest challenge for me was when lunch rolled around and I wanted so so badly to go downstairs to the food truck extravaganza that happens outside my work at lunch time. But I was good, and I had a chocolate spinach crunch shake. I don’t think I could have raided the downstairs food trucks even if I wanted to after that! I was so full!
I had so much liquid during this first week and I had to pee constantly. I had 2L of water, plus another L between the teas and the various drink powders I was taking. But I felt more hydrated than I had in a very long time, especially in this dry Colorado climate.
I went to a bar bike for my friend’s birthday Saturday night, so the end of week one was a bit rough..(had a wee bit of a time the next day as I really don’t drink anymore). But, the beginning of week two went off with a bang! I found some new recipes 🙂
I realised that I stopped tracking my water intake halfway through the week. So I have an app for that! It claps for me every time I log water intake, which is the kind of positive reinforcement I need in my life.
Week three was when I really began to notice changes in my physical abilities. I was able to hold on to the pole for tricks, I could last longer in weight lifting class without needing a break. I was really proud of myself and my performance during workouts! Plus the shakes were a great way to follow workouts I found. So I switched drinking them for lunch to having them for dinner, since I work out at night.
I also began putting my digestive plus, which is probiotics and enzymes in my shakes, because I read that the blender won’t harm the bacteria. The only thing I needed to not do was put them in warm drinks. I couldn’t drink those without them being masked by my smoothie. It’s not that they tasted bad, but they had a weird yeasty aftertaste I did not enjoy. Putting them in my shake worked well though, I couldn’t even tell it was there!
I also saved my 7 day body cleanse for the last week of my challenge. I felt like it would get my to the finish line!
week four was more like 2-3 days! I finished up the entire vanilla protein powder bag, and had about half a bag of chocolate left. I learned that the next time I do this, I will be getting two vanilla proteins, because the chocolate was okay, but I definitely preferred the vanilla. I am not really a chocolate person though…
I took my afters. I know I had slimmed down a little, but I didn’t quite see the difference until I put the before and afters side by side. I look less bloated for sure! I also feel so good. I am in excellent shape, and I am just getting stronger and stronger. Plus I feel so good inside and out.
I think this 30 day to healthy living challenge was a really great way to push myself farther in my fitness and health goals. It inspired me to eat better and to track my healthy habits.
I also did a lot of research on fitness routines that will produce the best results. I designed my routine specifically to help me achieve what I wanted to see. If you have not had a chance to read about how I structured my fitness routines, you can check it out here.
Overall, I am really glad I completed this challenge. I feel so amazing and I would definitely do it again!