A Weighty Post

On my way down to the Outer Banks, I stopped at my friend Tina’s in Virginia for the night, to break up the drive.

As I sat on her couch, chatting with her, I reached for a pillow and covered my stomach with it. I haven’t done that in years.

For the past several months, I’ve looked at the number on the scale, refused to believe it, and kept coming up with a new excuse to justify it.

Oh, it must be water weight. I must be PMSing. Maybe something I ate had too much salt in it. Maybe my clothes are really heavy. This isn’t real weight gain.

At the beach, we had lots of delicious, indulgent, not at all healthy food. I took a plate…and then went back for more….every night…and every morning at breakfast. One night, I got sick to my stomach because I’d eaten so much – a feeling that used to be all too familiar, and that I certainly don’t miss.

In isolation, these are all fine. (Well, maybe not eating until you feel sick.) Combined? This makes me nervous that I’m going to fall down that slippery slope of gaining all the weight back.

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Maybe you saw me Instagramming pictures of Blueprint Cleanse today? I’d always said I’d never do a cleanse, but as I’ve heard more about them lately, I’ve been intrigued. Yesterday, the juices were on sale at Whole Foods so I decided to give a one-day cleanse a try. Am I expecting to lose weight from one day? Nope. Well, maybe a little water weight tomorrow but I know that’s not a permanent thing. No, I really just wanted a way to pump a bunch of nutrients into me and start to reset some of the unhealthier habits I’ve picked up over the past few months to make sure any recent weight gain isn’t permanent. I’ll do a more in-depth post about the cleanse and my thoughts on it soon, but I wanted to mention it in context with the beginning of the post.

I think that trying to be a “perfect” eater can be equally unhealthy, and I don’t want to follow a strict diet, so I’m just going to say this: more cooking for myself, less wine. Those are my two health downfalls.

Have you ever done a cleanse? Would you? I’m not sure if I’d ever do one for more than a day (by the way, doing it on a nice day in June in NYC? Walking past lots of al fresco diners? Sorta torturous.)

How do you reset when you’ve gained some weight or see yourself slipping back into old habits you thought you’d moved away from?

Unrelated: My running coach, Jess, BQ-ed at San Diego! Go read her recap and congratulate her!

47 comments on “A Weighty Post

  1. Katy Widrick

    Ugh…I know exactly what you mean about hiding what makes you feel bad about yourself. I think you look amazing — strong, healthy, confident — but it only matters what YOU see. So it sucks that you’re beating yourself up.

    I got on a juice kick a year or so ago, when I was feeling blah about everything…my weight, my skin, my energy. I never went on a cleanse, per se, but I did detox the toxic stuff that I knew was bringing me down. I’ll never cut calories the way I did in the past, because it’s just too dangerous and drastic, but I think eating (drinking?) extra clean for a few days is a good idea.

    If you’re like me, and I think you are, having a little bit of control in something that feels so out of control can make a world of difference.

    Reply
  2. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    I’m not one for cleanses (I’ve never done one before) though that’s not to say that I’d NEVER do one. The day may come because I like the way you used it almost like a “kickstart” to making healthier choices. My current living situation has made eating the way I’m used to a lot harder and while i’m still making healthy choices, I find it easier to give into my cravings than it used to be. I’m working to change that now instead of waiting for the situation to change.

    Reply
  3. Linda

    I’ve never been on a cleanse, but I have been juicing in place of snacks and breakfast. I usually just have a Kashi bar and water or coffee for breakfast or some tea and something from the Chinese bakery near my train station – not healthy. I tried one of the juices from Cooler Cleanse and I thought it was awful. It was one with some kind of nut milk. I’ve had and like almond milk, so I know it wasn’t that. Plus, I thought it was expensive. I actually really like the green juices at Juice Generation. I bought a Breville juicer and I started making my own green juice and it tastes just like the juice at Juice Generation. It makes me feel better when I have the juice, but I still need to cut out the late afternoon snacking on sweets.
    The cleanse could get you back on track by resetting your taste buds. How many calories does the one day cleanse come out to?

    Reply
    1. Theodora

      @Linda: I’ve started to like green juice a lot more lately – I like it from Terri, as well as the ones Starbucks has – so that sort of eased me into this. That, and the sale. 5 of the juices were 6.99 (normally 9.99) and one of them was 4! (Normally 9.99.)

      Calorie-wise, it was 1070 calories. I ran this morning before all the juices and did a yoga class tonight and that amount of calories seemed to be okay. Though we’ll see how hungry I wake up tomorrow 🙂

      I’m really craving a spinach feta wrap from Starbucks, and know they’re not bad calorie-wise, but the processed-ness (new word alert) is probably not the best way to break the cleanse…

      Reply
      1. Linda

        @Theodora: if you have the supplies, make yourself an egg white spinach and feta omelette (or scramble – what all my omlettes end up as). That stuff at Starbucks isn’t too bad calorie-wise, but nothing but the coffee is made fresh there – all the food comes ore-packaged from lord knows where!

        Reply
  4. Rebecca Ann

    I know how you feel! I have been in that same state of denial since last summer, but instead of getting myself in control again, I gave in. So I ended up gaining almost all of the weight back that I had lost. And now I’m back at square one, except this time, I don’t have a girls trip to Vegas to look forward to, so my motivation is basically at zero. I wish I could go back every day to when I stopped working out as much, and started introducing large quantities of bad food back into my diet and kick myself every time I made a bad choice.
    All of this is to say, congratulations on spotting the issue, and working to stay on track. Don’t be me, and slip into old habits!

    Reply
  5. Patty(reach-yourpeak.com)

    I just did a 3 day cleanse (well, I actually only got through 2 days) lol. But I did it for the same reasons you did…I’ve gaine 10 lbs recently and really wanted to reset my body and get back to healthy eating. Excited to read more about the cleanse you did!

    Reply
  6. Alison

    So I have done cleanses, and I think they’re great (and once upon a time I swore they were totally ridiculous!). I feel like Gwyneth Paltrow has made juice cleanses a spoiled celeb cliche, but GP aside, I think there can be some benefits. It isn’t about weight loss (because you’re right, that’s temporary) – but just about feeling better.

    Like you, I turned to a cleanse when I was just frustrated by what the scale was telling me. I was eating pretty well and working out plenty, but I was hungry all the time and just felt like I was constantly thinking about food and eating for the wrong reasons. I felt uncomfortable, all of my clothes were tight, I was tired, etc. I felt like I needed something a little drastic to hit reset…and it totally worked.

    I did Mastercleanse, which is definitely extreme (this was in the days before BP Cleanse). The first time I did it for 2 weeks; a year later, I did 3. Like I said — totally extreme, but right for me. After a few days I felt great – lots of energy, not hungry, not sluggish. I fell asleep easily and woke at the crack of dawn — and then headed to the gym and rocked some tough workouts!

    My experience was extreme, but I think there are some great benefits from less restrictive programs. I would really recommend trying to stick it out for 3 days — it really takes a few days before you get all of the benefits (the first few days you feel a little tired and you’re definitely missing real food).

    Good luck! Maintaining weight loss is the hardest, but I’m sure you’ll be feeling good and back in the zone in no time!

    Reply
  7. Joan

    Ugh. I so hear this. I’m one month and two weeks away from my black belt test. In some ways, I’m in the best shape of my life (definitely the strongest), but I’ve undone so much of my progress by packing on pure ol’ fat in the midsection, so much that I’ve hit an all-time high. And no, it’s not that I’m denser with muscle. Trust me when I say muscle doesn’t pouch over your elastic-waist martial-arts pants like that. 😉

    The problem is, when do I have to feel “bad enough” to do something about it? My stomach is a mess. I’m tired all the time. But I can’t seem to care quite enough to start rebuilding my good habits and ditching my crappy ones.

    Maybe I SHOULD cleanse…

    Reply
    1. Theodora

      @Joan: I hope this post didn’t come across as cleansing is the best! You should do it! Because I’m honestly still working through my thoughts on it. The bottom line for why I tried it is I saw a decent price, and I’d been thinking about it, so it was sort of a perfect storm.

      Oh, so that’s not muscle peeking over my yoga pants? Damn.

      Reply
  8. Mary @ Fit and Fed

    “Reset” sounds like a good word for what needs to happen when my weight has crept up a bit. I think your plan of more cooking for yourself and less wine sounds very reasonable! I am at the same point myself and thinking that the summer season of abundant produce will be a great time to lighten up my meals. Just snacking on fresh fruit preferentially should help me.

    Reply
  9. Kristine

    I really like this post. I’ve done one 3-day juice cleanse, and I was HANGRY, freezing and starving. That said, I understand the need to “reset”. When I have an indulgent weekend (like the past 72 hours in Lake Tahoe – Rombauer, Rombauer and more Rombauer), I take it one day at a time. The first thing I do in the morning is go for a run, and make healthy/clean choices from there. Sure its a few days of indulgence but you didn’t lose all that weight in a few days (or even weeks) and you won’t gain it back in that time either. (Esp when marathon training starts again!) I think taking it one meal and one day at a time is key. (and maybe adding in some extra workouts!) You’ll bounce back fast!

    Reply
  10. Kayla

    I have done a 3 day cleanse (ish I had usually a handful of almonds and a handful of pretzels during the day) with juices from Liquiteria supervised by my acupuncturist. I love blueprint green and red juices but I think in NYC Liquiteria is a better bet. I lost 2-3 lbs doing it (though it didn’t necessarily stay off) but it absolutely was a reset and shift in my mind set.

    Before that drinking greens or greens in smoothies seemed weird. Now I love it. But I think but most interesting thing about it for me was to actually have a reset of my sweet tooth (I had the pretzels because I craved salt not sugar which surprised the hell out of me). Afterwards things I had before that tasted normal to me were EXCRUCIATINGLY sweet. It didn’t last forever but it made me re-think and re-balance in what I ate a lot more going forward.

    Reply
  11. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy

    When I feel like I’m getting off course, it helps me to make sure I have plenty of produce and protein in my diet. I often challenge myself to either make 1 green monster or a big salad per day when I need a reset. I also try to remind myself that I feel better when I stop when I’m full and not overly full. And of course, lots of water, tea, etc to flush stuff out.

    My skin tends to breakout when I’m not being nice to it (eating too much dairy, extra treats, etc) so that’s a nice visual reminder that hey, I don’t want my skin to look like crapola.

    And then of course just being mentally nice to myself even if I have a slip up. It’s easy to just start feeling crappy when things go downhill and just want to keep on indulging. 🙂

    Reply
  12. cara

    for what it’s worth, i think you look terrific, but i totally get that feeling of wanting/needing to push the reset button after some indulgences. i’ve done a few blueprint juice cleanses (two or three days each time) and i alternate between being like, “this is awesome!” and “this was a terrible idea!” mainly i miss chewing food. and i was recently talking cleanses with a friend, and she told that she allows herself to eat the ingredients included in the green juice (so raw greens, apple, etc.), which i think is a good way to keep from going crazy on these things. also, blending the cashew milk with ice totally makes it an pseudo-acceptable milkshake 🙂

    Reply
  13. Jane @ Not Plain So Jane

    I know the feeling. I think one of the best ways to get back on track is to keep an honest food journal again, if you have stopped. You may notice you’ve let your portions grow or you have added more to your afternoon snack or you are eating out more, etc. I don’t really believe in cleanses since your body cleanses itself, if it didn’t you would have some pretty serious medical conditions like kidney failure.

    Reply
  14. Irina S.

    I really appreciate your honesty. I can definitely relate and am also struggling to maintain my weight loss. Poor habits are hard to kick but oh so easy to pick back up again. Take care!

    Reply
  15. Alicia at Poise in Parma

    Right after I saw my local Whole Foods advertise on their FB page that they now have these juices, I click over to my reader to find this post. And like you, I’ve always been “Oh, I’ll NEVER do a cleanse!”, but I am intrigued. As well as a bit softer in the midsection that I prefer to be. I’m interested to hear your thoughts if you do a full three days on it. Until then, I’ll stick with more pup walks and less wine. (BAH.)

    Reply
  16. Jen @ Jens Best Life

    This is SUCH a hard thing to admit and I have TOTALLY been there. I’ve used those exact excuses, too. I’ve been considering doing this exact thing — a one day cleanse by buying the juices at Whole Foods. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts post-cleanse!

    Reply
  17. Tricia

    When I saw that picture of you, Tina, and Anne – I did say to myself that you looked great. A week of indulging can definitly get me down. I love Blueprint cleanse i do 3 day. They were just on sale at gilt and i bought one for when we come back from SanFran/Napa detox time. If you do another one be careful coming off. My first cleanse i was in horrendous pain and had to leave work early – i was dizzy amoung other things. i had a protein shake after a run that morning and the thickness of the shake and my stomach did NOT agree.

    I love it for reset mode.

    Reply
  18. Michelle

    I’ve done the three-day Blueprint Cleanse twice and while I can’t say I’ve ever lost a ton of weight from it (despite water weight), it was a nice reset button both times towards a cleaner diet. You don’t even want heavier foods afterwards b/c it will sit in your stomach like a rock, making you feel awful. I was never hungry during the cleanse, but I was very cold throughout and did miss chewing after a while. Best of luck!

    Reply
  19. Katie

    I tried a 1-day blue print cleanse after thanksgiving this past year and liked it (they had 20% off) and I’m thinking I’ll do a 3 day cleanse at some point, but am not ready to make the commitment yet.

    Reply
  20. Richard

    I so know that feeling of putting the weight on. I went to Mexico (All inclusive) and ate all salty fatty foods. To remove this weight I focused on 80% veggies and fruit and 20% fibre/iron. Also drank 10-12 cups daily of lemon water.
    Never tried a cleanse, would be interested in finding a quality tested one, there are so many on the market now, so I really need to do my homework. 🙂

    Reply
  21. Kiersten

    Oh sister, I hear you. Last night I was basically in tears, because I felt so gross. My boyfriend just moved in, and I have gotten in the habit of overindulging on a daily basis. It is at the point where I don’t even enjoy what I am eating and feel like food is in control of me.

    Reply
  22. Courtney

    I’ve never tried a cleanse but after my annual checkup this week and being dissatisfied with the number on the scale (even though my doc was like: “oh that’s great – esp since you are running daily”), I’m definitely reviewing the quantities I eat and all the “mindless” eating I do. My main meals are great. But it’s the little snacks here and there that add up to a lot of calories for me. Props to you for doing the cleanse – hope it hits your reset button!:)

    Reply
  23. emily @ 2:design:cents

    I think cleanses are good to reset. When I find myself off track I just focus on working out, limit alcohol and sweets, and be extremely mindful of portion sizes. In general I juice in the morning which I personally think makes a huge difference in getting nutrition back in your body.

    Reply
  24. Bridget

    Great post! Thanks for being so open about a difficult topic.

    I have never done a cleanse, but I drink green juice regularly and love it. Naked and Odwalla make tasty ones that are easy to grab and go. Good way to make sure I get enough fruit/veg when busy or eating out a lot.

    Quick question about the weight gain though — didn’t you recently lose several pounds in your review of Uplift?

    Reply
  25. Devon

    I wouldn’t be able to do a juice cleanse, even for one day! I’d get too hungry and go nuts. I do identify with the feeling of getting off-track, putting on a few pounds, and needing to “reset.” I just take that opportunity to eat healthy and avoid all the things that I know make me feel bloated and blah (processed carbs, dairy, sweets). I see eating lots of veggies, protein, and healthy fats as sort of a “cleanse” in itself. I mean, pack enough veggies in and you’ll get a natural sort of cleanse, if you know what I mean. After a day or two, I feel back to normal and like I’ve “reset.” It’s just more realistic for me than going on a juice cleanse that is so different from a more sustainable whole-food diet.

    I’d be interested to see the nutrition facts of the juices you tried (calories, sugar, carbs, etc.) just out of curiosity! Are they just the juice of all the ingredients, and not blended smoothies?

    Reply
    1. Theodora

      @Devon: Your comment makes total sense! I just have lacked that willpower lately so I wanted to do something that would force a little willpower into me. I’ll def include all that info when I do a full review!

      Reply
  26. Shauna

    I recently went through the same thing. Not my regular water-retention variance but actual deep-dish weight gain. Too much of the things I know aren’t compatible with my body. For a couple months, I felt borderline obsessed with the way my body felt (and more, looked) but I was too discouraged to reset. I finally did and after only about two weeks, all of that weight is gone.

    For me, reset means going back to the things my body likes: lean protein, fruit, veggies, nuts. My carbs only really come from sweet potatoes and larabars. Lots of water. Oh, and I don’t drink. 60, wait, 100% of the time it works EVERY TIME.

    ::ducks to avoid flying wine glass::

    Reply
  27. Kyla

    I think the key to feeling better is this, plain and simple, move your body more, eat less, and drink lots of water! After an indulgent month( ironically celebrating the end of my dietetic internship, yep dietitians get off track too) I have been working out harder, keeping a food journal, and drinking a ton of water. I love diet pop, but it makes me bloat and I always want more than one, so I’ve been limiting that to once a week. I feel better than I have in a month!

    Reply
  28. Lauri

    I went through some health issues earlier this year that caused me to pack back on some pounds, and then the depressed feelings about it all added some more on. And when I started I was already a few up from where I wanted to be. I’ve been struggling the past few months to get back to my happy weight and have ben working out like crazy and eating well for the most aprt but it’s a slow process. This week I finally fell for a gimmick and I signed up for one fo those challenges on “Dietbet” – I have 28 days to lose 4% of my body weight. even if I don’t do it, knowing I ut in $25 is helping me say no to beer, cookies and cake 🙂

    Reply
  29. Mollie @Sprinkles of Life

    I’ve never done a cleanse but I love juicing!! I do it at home quite a bit. I tried that cashew kind at Blend, too, and LOVED it! I didn’t know Blue Print sold here in Iowa but when I found it in our Whole Foods I was sad I didn’t grab more buy one, get one coupons that were laying out at Blend 🙁 lol

    Reply
  30. Alexa

    How exactly do you do the Blue Print Cleanse? I looked on their site, but didn’t see whether you drink all the juices in a specific cleanse in one day, or spread them out with clean eating for six days. Do you know? Thanks!

    Reply
  31. Jay3

    I hope this helps it was a revelation to me.

    If I can share 2 truths about weight loss that fly in the face of everything we have ever been taught about the subject they are:

    (1) Fat does not make you fat
    (2) A calorie is not a calorie

    Since I discovered the truth I’ve approached my weight issues from a new perspective. Think blood sugar and insulin rather than the 1950’s outdated science calories in calories out. This is an equation we all want to believe because its simple and we don’t want to believe that this is a complex subject. I’ve lost 1.5 Stone since January 5th 2013 and 3 ” off my waste. I put this down to reverting back to full fat foods as low fat foods actually make you gain weight. By reducing fat the carbs are increased. Carbs equal sugar and sugar equals insulin. Insulin equals fat and fat equals hunger and lethargy. A vicious cycle. There is hope though given the new science which has been discovered in the last 5 years. Check out my blog by all means but I have recently been given permission by the Uni of California to post some videos to a new site I’m building. The science is amazing. You can get the website address from my blog and just take a look at the video library. It’s all 100% free. I only launched the site 2 days ago. Anyway I hope this helps some people. >

    Reply

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