12kgs. 12 days. Cleanse done

That’s what it boils down.  Twelve kilos in 12 days.  Lost.  Gone forever.   All as a result of doing the Chris James 12 day cleanse.

I read the outer sleeve that came on my box of goodies nodding:

Do your eyes and skin look fatigued?

Do you sleep restlessly and wake up tired?

Do you lack the willpower to kick bad habits?

And do you suffer from mental lethargy?

Have you over indulged and under exercised recently?

Yep and yep; Yep and totally; Oh yes; Oh god I so do; Yes and all my life were my responses.

Having bought it the box then sat on my desk for about a month.   Starting it meant committing to twelve days of healthy eating.  To drinking litres of water a day.   To finding some time to meditate.   To being in the right frame of mind to not only give up meat, dairy, wheat and alcohol, but also tea.

Tea.  Me, who cannot function without a cuppa would have to go without for twelve days.   Other than herbal, when I am a committed Tetley with milk kinda girl.   I take extra tea bags and fresh milk to hotels with me.  Rushing to breakfast for tea in a hotel with no kettle in the room I fell down concrete steps and couldn’t walk for a week.   I need tea.

Along with all the other things I would be committing to cutting out.

I couldn’t bring myself to start it.  There were things in the diary, weekends away, events, meetings with friends.  How on earth could I do all those things whilst suddenly becoming a non sandwich eating vegan?  I just couldn’t do it.   I also have a habit of starting diets / health regimes / new ideas and getting bored after a week.   I didn’t want to fail at something else, so if I didn’t start it, I couldn’t fail, right?   With nobody to really do things with in the past or to discuss them with they have all fallen by the wayside.  It’s hard to do these things whilst still cooking “normal” food for a family, or doing the morning routine and finding time for an hour to do a 5K power walk.

So the box sat and stared at me.

Until one morning when I had already had six intense cluster headaches by 10am I said “enough”.   To say I was desperate was an understatement.  I cannot describe the pain of a cluster headache but they are exhausting.  They only last ten minutes but they come on suddenly and are like a post ice cream brain freeze times ten.   I sat at my desk with a mug of tea and sobbed.   Actually sobbed.

This is my face that morning

I picked up the box and thought “you have nothing to lose, just do it”.

Seems I did have something to lose, twelve flipping kilos.

For twelve days I have done it.  I invited friends for a barbecue and ate nothing but couscous and falafel and drank nothing but water (how smug did I feel when they all had hangovers the next morning?).  Went to the beach and didn’t have ice cream or fish and chips.  Faced an event buffet and ate fruit.    I have taken the supplements in the box, I have tried to stick closely to the meal plan, though I do admit to having wobbled a couple of times.  I won’t call it cheating because it isn’t.  The only person I would have been cheating was myself, I had a wobble.  A hotel breakfast the day after I started, a meal out with Caity and friends I had a salad with duck, and I had some chicken on another salad for lunch one day.    But I have had no tea, no chocolate or sweets,  no alcohol, no wheat and no meat other than that for twelve days.   No potatoes, no rice, no sugar and no salt.

I feel completely different.  I can’t even describe it.  This morning the alarm went off at 6am and I have had 4.5 hours sleep (blame Riviera, how good is that?  We did the last four episodes in one hit, starting at 9pm) yet I got up feeling more refreshed than I ever remember being after less than five hours sleep. By 7.30am I had emptied bins, loaded the dishwasher, done a load of washing, fed the animals, tidied the lounge and sat at my desk with my cuppa.   I am not exhausted as I would normally be after an hour of doings at home (add chronic fatigue syndrome to my list of ailments and you will get some idea about this perpetual, do things, get exhausted, sit down, have things to do, do things… vicious circle I am always on).

This morning’s cuppa has been savoured.  How good does it taste after twelve days without?  I cannot begin to tell you how good it tastes.   It didn’t occur to me that by starting on a Wednesday I would finish on a Sunday which meant I could start my Monday morning with a proper cuppa.   That pic above is me at 6.30am today, with no make up on.

Now, I should say here that my headaches have not been cured.   To be honest I didn’t expect them to be, but… what has happened is that I am better able to tackle them.   My head in general is clearer and I feel better equipped to breathe through them and accept it is happening.  I can’t really explain it but they have just become easier to deal with as my body is not also trying to deal with a multitude of other things.   My fatigue has lessened.   This morning I didn’t need to sit down for twenty minutes after a shower and getting dressed as I would normally.   I was able to do all those things, and tidy the bedroom without feeling faint.   It’s been about a year since that happened.

So, what comes in this box with pertinent label?  Well, all the supplements you need to support you through the twelve days.  Along with a manual that has a very clear “Allowed foods” and “foods to avoid” table, and some recipes to give you ideas to begin with and tells you how and when to take the supplements.   It really couldn’t be more straight forward.

That said, I do have some tips if you are planning on doing something like this.

  1.  Plan when you will start and stick to it.   I shouldn’t really have started on a day that saw us staying in a hotel over night but I was desperate.  You need as clear a diary as possible, and one that will allow you to make about 8 trips to the loo during the day as you are going to be drinking a lot of water.   There are three days in the middle that are solely juice so if you have a corporate lunch, or a full on day of running around you might struggle.
  2. Stock up on all the foods you need to be eating and plan what you will have in advance.  Don’t get to 7pm and think “what’s for dinner”.   I have learned that meat is a quick convenient food, as is anything with bread or pastry.   A vegetable curry for dinner can’t be started at 7pm when you are starving.   Ditto snacks, if you are prone to a particular time of day when you snack (I have always been a 3pm grazer) have some nuts or dates to hand so you can eat those before you go and grab chocolate or biscuits.
  3. Tell people around you that are doing it.  Their encouragement and support will be vital.   It really is hard to do these things on your own.  I only got through this with the support of gorgeous friends on line who checked in with me every morning and who told me on Sunday when I shared a pic how amazing I looked.     That was such a massive boost and was so great to hear.
  4. Know you can do it.  The hardest part is starting.  Honestly, if I can do this, so can you.

I didn’t start this cleanse to lose weight.  That wasn’t why I did it.  I am not interested in being beach ready, though I do want to be lighter and fitter for Caity and Dan’s wedding next year, my immediate goal was to just try and feel better.   And not only have I achieved that but I have lost 1.8 stone, whilst still eating a stack of food.  I haven’t starved myself and never had a healthier diet, filled with vegetables, fruit, and water.

This might have only been a 12 day cleanse but I feel I have actually cleansed my body of the last twelve months of accumulated health related crud.

They say you can’t put a price on good health.  Well I say £100 is a damn good place to start

 

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  • You have done so brilliantly. Day four here and I am definitely finding it hard. Thank you so much for all the encouragement. This has inspired me to keep on going. Amazing achievement and you look fabulous!

  • This is amazing T! Having done a 3 day juice cleanse before I know how hard it is to keep focussed, your willpower is inspiring x

  • Well done Tanya!! I was telling my husband about this as he is desperate to lose weight and so far no diet seems to work.

    • Thanks Emma. I think because I approached this as not being about a diet but as being about lifestyle it worked for me. Diets are all about your brain anyway, it isn’t about food, it is always about so much more than that. I have a lot to lose which is why this fell off. I don’t one minute think the last 12kgs will come away so easily! Good luck to Mr V if he does try it

  • You’ve done amazingly well T, what determination! What do you think you’ll do now? Is this something you can come back to?

    • I am definitely going to stick to the food related principles. The no wheat, no dairy (other than milk in my tea) and as little meat as possible whilst eating all the green stuff. I will be having tea, and I will have gin because that is a social thing for me and a great way to relax at the end of the week. But the food stuff I can now see that I can live without. I can have a vegetable curry when we have a take away and dont need a potato stuffed naan and six poppadoms to go with it!

  • Thank you so much for sharing, and well done! You’ve inspired me to try this myself, looks like a great plan xx

  • you are so motivational T. this is amazing – you have done so well. I lack willpower when it comes to biscuits, cakes , sweets and cups of tea, so I know I would struggle to do this. BUT having said that ~I was noting my head along and thinking its only 12 days and what a huge difference it has made!
    I did a 30 day shred today – first time in 3 1/2 years and in part I have you to thank. its not the same I know, but seeing you post your pics made me think, I need to do something.
    well done lovely xxx

  • The biggest battle is always in your head and reading this, it sounds like you’ve got over that hurdle. I know people pooh-pooh these type of cleanse diets but do you know what, I think everyone has to find what works for them and this has obviously been the kick start you needed. You’ve done brilliantly to stick at it and you’re clearly feeling the benefits. So what’s next? I’m guessing this is only short term so how can you keep this good feeling going? x

    • Thanks Clara, that is exactly it. As I mentioned in a comment below, diets are all about the mindset. You have to be in the right place mentally or they are never going to work. And I am not a fan of diets anyway, diets make people fat. This is about healthy eating and being conscious of what I eat, when and why. I will stick to that now. I have really missed tea with milk. And I have missed a Friday night gin so I will be having those again, the food stuff though I will try and stick to as much as I can. I wrote a post yesterday about “Reducetarians” and the idea that we can be veggie and still have meat once in a while, and that is pretty much how I see things now. I really need to feel better, I was running on empty and really couldn’t function so something had to change and if I go back to feeling how I did two weeks ago I really think I will end up in hospital!

  • Hello Tanya, I am very proud of you for having completed our 12Days Cleanse – you have done very well, and have evidently benefited greatly from this experience. I am sure this will be a new beginning for you.

    We always recommend 2 x 12Days Cleanses yearly to help maintain optimal levels of health and vitality. I personally do 3 – 4 12Days every year.

    If any of your followers are interested in the work that we do and our products you can visit: https://www.chrisjamesmindbody.com/product/12-days-cleanse/
    or email hello@chrisjamesmindbody.com for further queries.

    You also have an option to buy my new book Mind Body Cleanse (Penguin) that came out last month:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Body-Cleanse-Plan-Re-Energise-ebook/dp/B01DTQYXAO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492248117&sr=8-1&keywords=chris+james+mind+body

    The book is also available at Waterstones, and all leading bookstores.

  • wow! i have seen others have some great results on this.

    I am about to resume my healthy kick again and hope to loose 6 stones and my addiction to diet coke in the process. I am seriously impressed Well done T!

  • Well done T. I certainly couldn’t do that….I’m on a much more scenic route to healthier & lighter & am in awe of anyone that can commit to a regime like that! :0)