Rose: The 3 Day Refresh

I’ve now completed the 3 Day Refresh three times, and I have yet to post about it on the blog. Consider this an official review!

The 3 Day Refresh is similar to a cleanse but involves real food. It uses specially formulated shakes, snacks and simple meals designed to break bad-eating cycles and improve the way you feel. You eat around 1,000 calories per day which includes vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. It’s broken down into roughly 6 “meals” so you feel satiated throughout the day.

I first did the Refresh last summer, when it debuted. I’ve used it both after Thanksgiving and Christmas as a way to reset. Each time I’ve done this, it’s gotten progressively easier. That’s not to say it isn’t difficult. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done related to eating. But it’s also been most worth it.

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For those who care about numbers: The first time I did the cleanse, I lost 5 pounds. The second time I lost 3. I’ll weigh in tomorrow for my official results. Keep in mind — much of this is bloat and water weight. But that’s actually what I want to eliminate. Most of the holiday food I consumed was salty and not part of my normal diet. So my body was really thrown off kilter. I basically did the Refresh to get rid of these toxins and feel rejuvenated again.

Here’s what the three days looked like for me this time:

Day 1: This was my hardest day. I had a light headache most of the day, and I felt very hungry. I could tell my body was detoxing. Lots of little trips to the bathroom (tons of water). However, each time I had a shake or the Fiber Sweep, I felt energized and renewed again. It gives you the nutrients you need. When I got home, I did my workout. Never felt faint. I slept like a baby that night.

Day 2: I woke up feeling chipper, better than I’d felt in a week or more. I was super productive at work. I was hungry throughout the day, but it was a dull kind of hunger. I got my workout in after work, surprisingly. Lots of trips to the bathroom again (lots of water). I went to bed early and slept incredibly well.

Day 3: Lots of temptations today. We had a work lunch, and I didn’t know what to do. I got a plain salad, no dressing and used lemon and 1 tsp. olive oil. Also had a bit of butternut squash soup. Got home and felt pretty tired/weird in the stomach. Relaxed most of the evening. Had my veggies + shake for dinner. Really just wanted some of M’s pasta or chips with salsa. Resisted. Said no. Drank 48 ounces of water. And that brings us to now.

Afterthoughts

I love doing this Refresh as a tune-up for my body. I can always tell that I need it. But before going into it, you have to know: it’s not for everyone. If you are a person who easily gives up, this won’t be for you. It’s a mental battle. You need willpower. You need to remember why you’re doing it.

I had a goal this time around: to not complain. I stuck to that. Why would I complain about a cleanse I CHOSE to do? That’s not right. I decided to suck it up, put in the work and get the results I wanted. More than anything, I just wanted to feel renewed again. And that’s exactly how I feel.

I have to say, this time around, it really wasn’t about the weight loss for me. I never peeked at the scale early. I’m even considering not weighing myself at all tomorrow. For me, this was a mental war. This was me vs. me. This was a chance to see what I’m made of.

One thing I’m excited about is the days that follow. In the past, I’ve continued to lose weight and keep off my loss, especially if I stick with clean eating. The way I look at food also changed. I became incredibly grateful for the food I have. Think of the people who don’t. This is how they feel daily! Also, I just generally consume less after I complete the Refresh. I fill up very quickly, and my body reacts to fried or heavy foods (in not-so-great ways) so it forces me to stay away. It’s like my body resets, and now it knows what it needs to properly be fueled. That way I stick to my guns.

I will likely do this cleanse again. I might hold off for a couple of months, but I like the mental test plus the results. I’ll keep you posted on how I feel going forward. And if you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

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Rose: Insanity Max 30

Yesterday I officially started a new workout program: Insanity Max 30. This is like a condensed version of the Insanity program but harder and, in my opinion, more cardio-based. I’m now two days into the process, and I thought it might be fun to share my thoughts so far. Hopefully I can read this after 60 days and look at how far I’ve come.

Day 1: Cardio Challenge.

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I feel like this photo sorta sums up how I felt. EXHAUSTED. While I don’t look sweaty in this photograph, I can assure you that it was pouring down. This workout is probably one of the hardest I’ve ever done, next to Kam’s classes in Pittsburgh. It seems to tap my heart rate the most. At many times throughout, I just wondered if I’d ever catch my breath again. My heart was beating FAST.

As you can see, I “maxed-out” early (this is the point when you have to stop and take a break or modify). The five-minute intro itself is dizzying. That said, I liked the balance of cardio moves throughout. They feel effective, especially for my legs. By doing this program I’ve realized how much my legs are out of shape. I don’t run very much, and the workouts I did over the summer were more geared toward my arms. So this program is definitely putting the emphasis back on my thighs and calves. All in all, I’m glad I finished!

Day 2: Tabata Power.

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I did a little better today in terms of my max-out time. But this workout is a different animal altogether. It is much more focused on strength and using your own body as weights. Think: tons of push-ups (unlike any you’ve seen before), tricep dips and core work. What I love about this DVD is the new moves. I have done thousands of push-ups but none like these. Shaun has you go down, lift back up and bring your arm up to your shoulder (like a row). It is HARD. I can only do a few and then I have to modify.

This workout seems to affect my back the most. My muscles must need improvement in that area. Last week, I was sore for days after doing this workout. I sense the same thing will happen tomorrow. Either way, I know I’m working parts of my body that have long been ignored.

Overall Thoughts

I am going to stick with this. I love the shorter length. It’s manageable, and I can fit it into my day. I truly feel like I am pushing myself to my potential — which I love. This program is not for the faint of heart. Good thing I am a determined son of a gun!

Wish me luck, friends.

Rose: Gun Show

There is a reason for posting this photo that goes well beyond vanity:

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For once in my life, I have arm muscles. Things take shape when I move my arms. There are indents in places that used to be squishy. There are sharper lines and curvatures. There is real definition.

I realize that posting a picture of yourself post-workout in “gun show” position seems a bit narcissistic. And honestly, that’s usually the case with blogs – they are designed to be self-centered. But posting this picture goes beyond that. This picture is proof that, even when I feel like I’m slacking, I’ve spent the past several months working hard. We all know muscles don’t come overnight.

The old me would have never, *ever* posted a photo such as this. I’d spent years being embarrassed by my body, trying to cover it up. It’s not that I flaunt it or anything now. I am still a work in progress. But I’ve gained a confidence I never had before, and it was all through a few daily pushups (and some serious Shaun T. training).

This year I’ve completed Insanity, Focus T25, and I’ve trained and ran a half marathon. At the moment, I’m looking for something new. Since time is in high demand, I’m re-doing month two of T25. But, as I feel every couple of months, I want to kick things up a notch again. Focus on a new program or exercise.

I’ve contemplated CrossFit, but I’m not sure I can fit the daily WODs into my schedule (they are at a bad time), and I don’t want to become obsessive with exercise or suffer from a muscle meltdown. I am thinking about running another race, at least a 10K, now that I live next to a beautiful trail. Thoughts? What do you suggest should be my next endeavor?