I recently decided to try a 9-Day Cleanse for the first time (you can read about the first 5 days of my cleanse here). So how were my last few days? Here's how it turned out:

By Ysolt Usigan
March 22, 2013

I recently decided to try a 9-day cleanse for the first time (you can read about the first 5 days of my cleanse here). So how were my last few days?

Here's how it turned out:

On the last day of my Isagenix cleanse, I discovered that I lost a total of 6 pounds.

I was just 2 pounds shy of my goal weight, but it’s okay--victory was mine because I looked great and most importantly, I felt great. Here's my daily diary.

Day 6 (Shake Day)

The cleansers in my Isagenix Facebook group said it would be easier after day five, and they were right. I got used to drinking a shake for breakfast and a shake for dinner, and looked forward to my low-glycemic lunches like it was Christmas morning. (I was salivating as I put pieces of lettuce into a container at the salad bar.) Though I didn’t lose any more pounds than the previous weigh-in, this didn’t deter my motivation. For the first time in a long time, I’m feeling good--digesting food nicely (in the past, I’d have a bit of a rumble here and there), and oddly, I have more energy than ever before.

Day 7 (Shake Day)
I cheated, and I hate myself for it. I drank a half a cup of a chai latte with skim milk. (I can’t even believe I’m saying this.) Rewind two weeks ago, and I was drinking grande-white-chocolate-mochas-with-whole-milk-and-whipped-cream on the daily; sometimes even twice a day if I wanted a sugar high mid-afternoon. The culprit on day 7: an outing with my friend, Stephanie. You can have green tea on these cleanses, but the café we went to didn’t have such a thing. I drank the chai latte reluctantly, guilt-ridden, and hurting (mentally) later. I felt like I had failed. No will power here.

Day 8 (Shake Day)
I don’t know if it’s psychological or not, but that chai latte is throwing me off my game. I haven’t craved coffee for days, but now I’m feeling the shakes and I’m so close to running to the Starbucks across the street. Like a shock to my system, that chai latte was. Damn that chai latte to hell! I know I’m being punished for cheating, my stomach isn’t feeling so hot… But I’m going to be strong and drink water instead. I’ll drink it warm and in a coffee cup to trick myself into thinking it’s the real deal.

Day 9 (Shake Day)
I’m not looking forward to the next two cleanse days--I know I won’t be having real meals on days 10 and 11. It must’ve taken me 20 minutes to pick what to buy for lunch--had to choose wisely. I savored every bite. I also drank my shake for dinner like someone was taking it away from me. Mentally, I’m a little shaken up, but physically, my body is feeling great and I have a lot of energy.

Day 10 (Cleanse Day)

This is definitely easier than the first two cleanse days. I didn’t have a freak-out about being hungry. In fact, the day flew by and I felt so energized to the point where I wanted to go to the gym. (Note: I never go to the gym.)

Day 11 (Cleanse Day)

Okay, so this cleanse day is not as easy as the one prior. You know when you are so close to something you can taste it? That’s what I felt like today. I’m longing for sushi. Heck, I’d be happy with a bowl of plain white rice sans protein. I went to bed early so that I wouldn’t be tempted.

What I discovered:
Now that it’s all said and done, even if I didn’t lose the 8 pounds I wanted to, I’m still glad I went on this journey because I learned a great deal about myself and my relationship with food.

The most important lesson for me: I was an emotional eater. And no, I don’t mean the “I’m depressed and I’m going to eat a tub of ice cream” kind of emotional eater.

I’m talking about how certain activities and moments would trigger this desire in me to snack even though my body didn’t really need it--from the TV shows I was watching to where I was sitting in my living room. For instance, I knew I wasn’t hungry, but the minute I turned to Bravo to watch Andy Cohen or any of those Real Housewives, I suddenly felt the desire to pick up a bag of chips or order Chinese food.

Why? Because that was part of my routine and my mind had gotten used to it. Not because my body needed it. I mean, whose body needs General Tso's?

Your body is really smart, but your mind--not so much. During this cleanse, I realized how much my body should really be consuming (calorie-, sugar-, sodium- and caffeine-wise). It’s not what I was ingesting daily pre-cleanse.

How do I know? Because during my shake days, I felt okay; in fact, I felt better than ever before. During days prior to this cleanse, my days were filled with lots of ups and downs, highs and lows. I would get a quick fix from a candy bar or cup of coffee, but would feel lethargic hours later.

I don’t think anyone should deprive himself or herself of delicious treats, but moderation is key.

The aftermath:

A handful of days after the cleanse, I was still dropping pounds and eventually reached my goal weight. It truly changed my eating habits for the best.

When you put yourself through 11 days of food detox, you really take ownership of your body. The investment in your nutrition and the progress that you’ve made suddenly become more important than wanting to eat cheese fries--really.

This cleanse really gave me the jumpstart that I needed to make better decisions for the rest of my life. My Isagenix coach once said, “There is a reset button.” And it’s the cleanse!

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