Other than a small paragraph in this post, I never really made a public (online) statement about the fact that I was participating in an Advocare 24 Day Challenge. A lot of people do, as it keeps them accountable. I made the decision not to cheat and thankfully have a husband who was wanting to eat whole anyways so the food changes were a breeze.

After our move, I started to noticed that my jeans were a little more uncomfortable and that the number on the scale was a little higher than I'd like it to be. I was eating way too many flour tortillas and refried beans (I moved to Mexico for crying out loud!) and I needed to make a change.

With a neighbor who makes dinner for us almost nightly while in Mexico and who's favorite thing to say is "comé! Comé!" (eat! Eat!) I knew I needed something strict so that I could give her a good reason I would only be eating ONE helping of her fajita meat and not eating any tortillas nor drinking any more cokes!

She was actually so great. She started making squash and veggies with the meat to accommodate. We have an angel as a neighbor, I'm telling you. Luckiest missionaries alive.

Eating during the part of the week while we're in Texas was easier. But I spent a LOT more time in the kitchen. I told Wade I felt like I was living in there this month!

For the most part, my Advocare challenge experience was as follows:

At the time I decided I wanted to make a change, I weighed in (at night) at 131 lbs.  I started exercising and eating better for about 4 days before I started my Advocare challenge. On day one I weighed in (in the morning) at 127.6.

Days 1-10: Cleanse Phase:
This phase is all about cleansing (obviously) so I was drinking fiber drinks, taking herbal cleanse tablets, and pumping my body with pro-biotics. I also had omegaplex with dinners. I ate only protein and veggies with some fruit or carrots and natural peanut butter for snacks in between meals. I was also drinking spark in the mornings. I gave up coke and coffee cold turkey. Ate no sugar, no bread, and only had complex carbs (oatmeal and black beans) three times throughout the ten days and only at breakfast or lunch. I also drank about 6 bottles of water a day. I was supposed to do 4 but I really love water so I usually hit 4 bottles by mid day. Especially with workouts!

By day 11 I had lost 4.2 lbs.

Days 11-24: Max Phase:
During this phase, I continued on the protein & veggie eating plan. I had Meal Replacement shakes in the mornings and stopped snacking on fruit. Instead I ate carrots or raw cashews (which I am now obsessed with!) I included a complex carb about every 4 or 5 days with my lunch (black beans every time). For 14 days I took MNS-Max3 packs in the mornings. I continued omegaplex and spark, and added in catalyst before workouts and at night before bed. I really began to notice my muscles building during this phase. I feel leaner and stronger.  I still drank a ton of water throughout.

At the end of the Max phase, I had lost another 1.6 lbs. (plus built a lot of muscle!)

I exercised throughout the challenge, but really picked it up during the Max Phase. I didn't cheat (even on Valentines Day!) with my diet until about day 20 when I had a piece of Wade's sushi (white rice isn't allowed.) They say you should try sticking to the diet 90% so I think it's ok ;)  Although I did feel pretty sick the next day. Not sure if that's related. I love rules. Like, seriously love them. So it wasn't terribly hard to me to stick to the plan.

OK. Onto the before and after photos! I actually do not want to post these because it feels so "infomercial-ly" but I think it's important to not just focus on the number on the scale but on how you feel in your clothes.
It's obligatory to have a straight face for your "before" picture, right?

The difference in day 1 and day 11 is pretty incredible. What's strange is that throughout the whole challenge, my pants size didn't change. They just got more comfortable. I didn't have to go down a size. Still a size 6. But I don't care about the number as much as I do the way I feel when I sit down in them (you know what I mean!?)



Post Challenge: 

I am going to try and stick to a mainly protein and veggie diet, but will be introducing some things back in like black beans and oatmeal and milk and mushrooms (I still don't understand why I couldn't have mushrooms during the challenge!) I will eat the occasional sushi and yes even chick-fil-a sometimes. Let's be real. But I am going to try and make it about 80/20 on my healthy food intake. I will continue exercising regularly and plan to keep taking catalyst before workouts, and I love spark in the morning. I'm reading up on Paleo and might consider doing the cleanse portion every three or four months.

Products I Used:

Cleanse Phase:
1 box Spark Mandarin Orange
1 Herbal Cleanse Kit - Mandarin
1 box Meal Replacement Shakes - Chocolate Mocha
Omegaplex

Max Phase:
1 box Spark Mandarin Orange
1 MNS Max3 kit
1 box Meal Replacement Shakes - Chocolate Mocha
Omegaplex (same bottle as during the cleanse phase)
Catalyst

Well, there you have it! I don't sell the products, but my friend Ashley does so all of the links in this post go to her page. While I'm not crazy about diets and programs, this was great for getting myself into the habit of eating well and exercising regularly. I needed the motivation BAD! If you're thinking about trying it, I give it two thumbs up! Click here to order your 24 Day Challenge Kit!

If you have any questions about my exact schedule, workouts or eating plan details, feel free to comment blow or email me at lifeonamissionblog{at}gmail{dot}com

*I should also note that this program is not cheap. I was able to obtain the products at a reduced price.
I was not paid or approached by Advocare to write this post. I only wish to share my opinion and experience with the product.

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