What have I learned? First of all, I'm not completely done yet, I still have one tough day to go, but I'm so close that I thought I'd wrap up my thoughts while they were fresh in my head.
1. Set Point Theory - It Really Does Exist (?)
I know weight on the scale is not the be all and end all of weight loss, but when you are in a plateau, you know you are in a plateau. You are working your tail off and nothing seems to budge. There is actually a theory out there that because our bodies love homeostasis, they find a certain weight and will fight to stay there. Some argue this is prescribed by genes! The only way to truly lose weight is not to try to take off as much weight as possible as fast as possible, but to try to change your set point. To change your set point, the theory says, you have to do something out of ordinary in your routine, and you have to keep making changes as to not allow your body to adjust and go back to your set point weight. So for example, when I started P90X I was practically sedentary and then went into P90X - that is a shocker! Probably how I lost the first 20 pounds that got me into the 170 range, but then I basically stayed there for a long time.
I have no proof of this theory except for anecdotal evidence, and possibly some studies you can look for online. I guess my point is, I was doing Insanity, P90X, or Asylum for 5-6 days a week for nearly 52 weeks and my weight and body basically stayed the same. My endurance increased, my strength increased, my power increased, but I still looked the same and the scale didn't budge. However, I decided to stop working out and got rid of alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, eating at night, and processed foods for 19 days so far, and started taking supplements that balance acidity and help with digestion, and suddenly my body is making huge changes. Just something to think about, that the "go-go-go" lifestyle that we think burns off the pounds is not always the answer, change of routine whether that is a new type of workout, a break from working out, a refocus on diet, etc. seems to be more effective!
2. What did I "lose?"
You might think that the 12 or so pounds I've lost might be muscle, or water, or something else. The truth is, it's probably a little bit of everything. I'm sure, for example, I've lost a little muscle tone on my legs, not a significant amount, but realizing how large those muscles are in ratio to the rest of the body, it can make an impact. I have never been this hydrated for this long in my life, which means I am less stressed and retaining less water. My digestion has never been better, which means I am not holding onto toxins like I might have been before. And my waist is going down, you'll see in my before/afters that a pair of jeans that barely fit at the beginning are now loose. With waist inches going down, I am definitely losing fat. The good news is I don't think I'm just losing "flab" on the outside, but I am eating away at the layer of fat on the INSIDE of the abdomen muscles, and the intercostal fat in between the ribs, etc. We often forget that no one is "big boned." If you have a big frame and don't think you have flab on the outside, you are harboring lots of intercostal fat, which in some ways is more dangerous than fat on the outside of the muscles. I am relieved that I am now targeting this area!
3. 5-9 Servings a Day - Was Never There Before
Everyone and their brother is recommending you/I eat 5-9 servings of vegetables a day. Fortunately for many of you, Shakeology counts as several servings of vegetables. But realistically, was I ever eating that many servings of veggies per day? The answer is a definite no. But now, I have a vegetable at nearly all 3 meals a day, and BIG servings. I am still drinking vegan Shakeology, and eating plenty of food total, but having those extra servings of vegetables is nourishing my body in a way that it was never getting nourished before. I know this because I am no longer hungry at nights. What's up with that? I was the king of eating before bed, before this!
So I can preach, but I wasn't following my own advice. I will be extra conscious to continue this trend of eating vegetables all day long from now on.
4. No meat. No Coffee.
These two "food groups" have been the biggest challenge to me. I love my lean proteins, and I love my coffee. Yet by dropping them, I have had these amazing results. I will slowly introduce them both back in, I simply cannot keep it up. But by ridding them for this short 3-week period, I think I did a lot of good. I will consciously drink coffee when I need it, or as a social drink instead of relying on it as a daily drug. As for meat, I see no harm in eating chicken, fish, and pork, as well as eggs and greek yogurt (my only dairy for the most part) on a regular basis.
5. Supplements - Help Your Body from Fighting So Hard
Diet has been a huge factor, but I have to hand it to the Ultimate Reset supplements. None of the supplements are "man-made," they are either minerals, vegetables/roots/seeds/fruit in powdered form, pre or pro-biotics, or enzymes. Many of the substances, particularly the enzymes in the Optimize pill, are already manufactured in the body. You might ask, why take them? Well let's look at the Alkalinize formula. Your body needs to hold a pH slightly above 7 to survive, you'd die if it wavered too much. Well, your kidneys work hard to make sure that your body's pH stays where it needs to be so you don't die, but when we drink soda and coffee, or eat refined sugars and fats, our body has to work doubly hard. In fact, Diet Coke's acidity is the same as stomach acid, so when that is put in your body, for example, you are going on overdrive to preserve alkalinity. A lot of nutritionists are trending towards the low acidity diet. If you could take a simple supplement made of grasses and sprouts as part of a cleanse to help your body maintain alkalinity, wouldn't you?
So - in conclusion, I've learned a lot. I'm still trying to figure out what I learned, and am still learning. I can tell you - 21 days is a long time to not have coffee and to not workout for me! But I am more sure each day I made the right choice.
I want you to know, I mostly tried this for YOU guys - the readers and the people I coach. Ultimate Reset is a brand new product in our line, and I didn't want to promote it before actually trying it. I was kicking and screaming the whole way, I really DIDN'T want to do it. Yet what I have gotten out of it is both amazing and profound. It's funny - sometimes the things we want to do the least are the most important for us to do!!