I went to a meeting of Biz’ee Women (my local networking group) and one of the members of the group pointed out that I was a wreck. I should say now that I know her fairly well now; and to be honest I think everyone else had just been polite until this point, as it was pretty clear that I was out of sorts!
I have to be clear here, for the past 6 years (since losing 5 stone through exercise and calorie counting) I have calorie counted. I have not had time for meal replacements as I assumed they were the easy way out. I have always felt that it is better to increase knowledge of food and learn to feed oneself well. That said, the idea of only having to think about what I was eating for one meal a day did appeal to me, and I thought it might give me a little freedom to clear my mind for other areas needing my attention.
I agreed to give it a go, and was given 6 vanilla shake mixes, 4 snack bars and 2 packs of roasted soya beans. I was also given 8 capsules of the “magic powder” and two sachets of a new (Cristiano Ronaldo promoted) energy drink powder. I went to bed on Monday night actually looking forward to the next day and hoping that I would start to feel better.
At 10.30am as I listened to Pop Master on Radio 2 (I never miss it!) I got ready to go to the gym, including filling up my water bottle with the energy powder mix.
This mix was meant to taste subtly of raspberry. I have to admit that for me it was not subtle at all, and was very sweet. I would liken it to raspberry flavoured refreshers. That said, I find it hard to take water when working out and usually add a dash of squash, so this didn’t bother me. I can see why some may find it a touch too sickly though.
I started my workout with 20 mins of cardio, which seemed easy and went quickly. I’m realistic though - I hadn't been to the gym for a week and had slept for 11 hours the previous night, so I don’t think I was being tested against a constant range of factors, and would find it hard to pin point whether the drink helped me. One thing I do know is that I had not had any coffee that morning, and so I didn’t have my usual caffeine rush, which sometimes leaves me shaky at the gym.
I had my second shake in the early afternoon, and I discovered that if I put the milk in my shaker first it was easier to dissolve all the powder (I guess it wasn’t getting caught in the corners of the cup?). For my afternoon snack I had a little bag of roasted soya beans. These were lovely, and took some time to get through the bag; it was also nice to have something firm and crunchy to eat as I had missed that sensation, and this is a feeling that I did have in the back of my mind each afternoon for my 3 days. I discovered that the capsules were bother tea, there are claims that drinking a cup of bothers tea can burn 80 calories. I very much enjoyed the tea I drank that was made from the powder form, but I did find that these capsules didn't dissolve quite as fully as the powder. A quick stir towards the end of the cup and they were perfectly drinkable, but I would definitely recommend getting the powder version.
AFTERNOTE: I have been informed that I was meant to take this whole as a supplement, rather than try to dissolve it. No wonder I wasn't having the same experience as with the powder! What a numpty...
I did feel a little better as my first day of the trial progressed. I’d be lying if I said that the sleep hadn’t had a great impact on me, as had getting to the gym for the first time in so long, which was obviously going to help. Apologies if the following is too much information, but I had definitely been more “bunged up” on the Monday and less so on Tuesday, which naturally gave me more of a spring in my step.
That evening I was out for my Dad’s birthday. I looked at the menu ahead of time and chose a meal that would be less than 600 calories and just doing this helped me feel in control. Admittedly that night I had a few drinks and a little bit of birthday cake, but I still felt that I was more controlled than I would have been before. I went to bed feeling better than I had for a while.
On Wednesday my day progressed largely the same as the day before. The only differences were that I did 1hr of cardio at the gym and no weights, and that I had a lemon snack bar (which was nice but I prefer my lemon food to be sharp rather than sweet.) I was more aware of drinking water, and added slices of lemon and lime to it, which felt like a real treat. I was starting to feel more alert - and while I was still in a bit of a haze with how my life was playing out, I wasn’t worrying at quite the same level. I discovered that adding a few drops of a flavour (obviously as I bake I have all sorts of flavours available) really could totally transform a shake.
Once again, on Wednesday I received a couple of very supportive texts from Andrea throughout the day. She reassured me that she wasn’t stalking me, and said she just wanted me to know she was there should I need her! I was also added to a private group on Facebook for people who use Herbalife, so I was able to pick up some hints and tips from there. It did seem like quite a happy community to be part of.
On Thursday found myself craving something naughty, and while the day was largely the same as the previous two I then did buckle and have a couple of curlywurlys in the evening (I’m so grown up!).
Then I woke up on Friday and it was time to visit Andrea and stand on her magic scales again. The results were quite satisfying, for me this was because they were realistic. I had dropped 1.1% body fat, lost 2.6lbs, and my water percentage had increased a touch at 0.7%.
I know that you need to have a 3600-calorie deficit to lose 1lb of fat, and I know that I didn’t have a deficit that huge over the 3 days. I know that some of the weight lost will have been “food in transit” and the fact I had flushed myself out by drinking a LOT of water. I know that I would have been slightly clearer headed due to the water, and that I would have had an uplift in mood by simply getting my behind back to the gym.
The massive difference for me was my mental wellbeing. I took a huge step personally by doing this, as I was admitting to myself that I didn’t have to do everything “perfectly” and that I was allowed to seek some help.
I’d liken it to something someone said about adult colouring books. They were saying that they are not a cure for anxiety (I’ll point out there that there is no magic cure) and that they are simply a distraction from a mental health issue. Now I take my medication and am waiting for some more therapy, yet I still like to have my colouring books as a distraction to calm me down if I am feeling particularly tense.
In a similar way, for me having these shakes and snacks is not my cure for feeling overwhelmed or sluggish, but they have helped me to free my mind for a few days while I try to claw myself back into an upwards spiral. They have also forced me into healthier habits such as going to the gym, not having sugary snacks, and drinking a lot of water.
This is obviously not a post all about weightless, and I didn't intend it to be. I can certainly see why some people would opt for this way in order to address their weight, and there are a lot of other blogs and reviews out there that would help you to decide if the method is right for you.
I can say that it helped me on a different level to most, and the biggest thing I have gained from the experience is to be kinder to myself and not to exclude any options out there as being complete no-go areas. We all have so many things to deal with in life, so to do them all “perfectly” is impossible. It is also ok to have a little help sometimes.
Andrea has not read this blog post before I have published it, and all of the views I have expressed are just that – my views on my personal experience. This is not a post encouraging anyone to use a product to lose weight, or trying to convince anyone to buy. I simply wanted to share my experiences and the (possibly less commonly considered) benefits I experienced in the three days.
Andrea was aware that I had decided to blog about my experiences though, and has said that if anyone would like to do the 3 day trial then they should contact her here and quote 3DAYBU, and she will be able to discuss with them whether it would be suitable for them and how they could proceed.
This has been a long blog, as I wanted to ensure I was clear about my experiences. I hope it has been a helpful.
I’m off to drink some water, a newly formed habit that I am trying to carry on with...
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