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DAY FOURTEEN (12/30/11)

My fourteen days with Jillian Michaels has come and gone and I can’t be happier that it’s over.  The first seven days, the cleanse, was fairly uneventful, at times annoying, and resulted in three pounds of weight loss.  The second seven days, the burn, was even more quiet and resulted in two pounds of weight gain.  Because I did not alter my diet and only ensured I didn’t eat over 1900 calories per day, I believe these results speak for exactly what these pills do for a person.

In two words: not much.  The detox and cleanse seemed to do nothing more than shed a few pounds of water weight, which I gained right back after the cleansing process was done.  The fat burning stage didn’t seem to do anything whatsoever.  I would not recommend even attempting the cleanse process to drop a few pounds because not only will you gain them right back, but you may also experience some of the less than pleasant side effects that I read about.

I didn’t follow the eating plan or exercise recommendations on purpose; if I eat amazing foods and work out 30 minutes a day, I’m not proving these pills do a single thing.  My goal was to tackle this the way the average person would; take the miracle pill and lose weight.  I kept my food limited to where I wouldn’t gain any weight, but that was it.

Since these last fourteen days were something of a waste, I’m going to post brief blogs over the next few weeks with a new approach to weight loss, minus the magic pills and empty promises in a bottle.  My husband and I are going to a Tool concert in less than a month and I would like to drop ten pounds by then.  Ten small pounds isn’t a lot, but when you’re not too heavy as it is, it can be a challenge.  Sadly for me, this is going to mean no drinking on New Years.  I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime please have a nicely chilled shot of Jager for me!

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DAY TWELVE: (12/28/11)

Today was quite a rough day.  A somewhat unpleasant morning left me in a funk.  I felt fat all day today.  Of course, I AM a woman and we do tend to have days when we feel less than pretty for no good reason.  I’m beginning to feel that this whole experiment has been a waste of time.  Rather than fill this blog with negativity, I’ll cut this short and check in later.

DAY EIGHT: (12/24/11)

Merry Christmas eve!

I’ll keep this short and sweet so I can get back to the holiday festivities.  I have little to report except that I am unreasonably hungry.  I eat and I’m hungry again minutes later.  If not for my self-control and my desire not to turn into a pleasantly plump female, I’d have a plate in front of me at all times.  Since these fat burning pills are the only thing that is new and different in my world, I can only blame them for my increase in appetite.

Other than wishing for plate after plate of cookies, nothing else is going on.  No stomach pains other than those for hunger and no side effects outside of the insatiable appetite.  I’m off to return to my husband and son, who are hopefully far away from the temptations of cookies and other goodies.  Merry Christmas to you all!

DAY SEVEN: (12/23/11)

I’m finally done with the detox and cleanse half of the Jillian Michaels program and I can’t be happier! My fear of experiencing one or more of the awful side effects I had heard about was more than a little distracting, so it’ll be nice to put that worry aside for the next several days. Burning fat doesn’t sound as worrysome as a cleanse does. Over the last seven days, I relaxed a bit on my calories and didn’t reduce them enough to lose weight from restriction alone. Despite that, I still managed to lose three pounds in seven days. I suspect that those three pounds were water weight and I expect to gain them back now that the cleanse portion of the program is complete.

Physically, I look and feel the same as when I began. I didn’t add in any exercise or special diet for this past week in order to see if pills alone would make a difference. One major problem with any type of weight loss drug is that it gives the user a false sense of security. You are more likely to skip your workout or add an extra helping of mashed potatoes because you are supported by the magic pill that will do its job of making fat vanish whether you assist or not. Many users experience stomach pains and other digestive problems because they consume fatty foods while taking the pills; many of these diet drugs warn users against this but their advice often goes unheard.

I’ve decided that in order to see if these fat burners can truly do anything on their own, I will not restrict my calories too much over the next seven days. I will obviously not overeat, but I’m also not going to reduce my calories in such a way to facilitate weight loss. I need to clarify that I do not think people should turn to pills when they are trying to drop pounds. I lost 30 pounds in 4 months last year by cutting calories and taking vitamins. My husband did the same, also without the aid of magic weight loss pills. If you take the time to read the package inserts, just about every diet pill out there instructs you to eat a healthy, low calorie and low fat diet while taking the pills and get lots of exercise. If you are disciplined enough to eat right and exercise, you don’t need to be popping Stackers or Trimspa because your habits alone are enough to help you lose weight. Of course, if you’re already that disciplined, you probably wouldn’t be turning to diet pills in the first place.

Part of me wants the Jillian Michaels plan to work, but part of me wants to prove that it’s all bull. So far, I’d have to admit that the cleanse seems to have succeeded since it rid me of some weight. I would not recommend it though, as I had one day where I was in pain almost nonstop and there are far too many reviews describing horrible side effects. I also can’t prove that it detoxed or cleansed anything at all. I would rather trim my diet down to salads and lean meats than do this portion of the program over again. Tomorrow I will begin the fat burning half of the program. Fingers crossed…..

DAY SIX: (12/22/11)

As tempted as I was a couple of days ago to throw in the towel, I managed to hang in there.  For science!

The random rumblings have all but ceased, as have the stomach pains.  With any type of detox and cleanse, the body will experience some unpleasant side effects as you go through the process of changing your body.  Nothing is without its price and I sure as hell paid mine on Tuesday.  I’m quite happy to say that through it all, I didn’t experience any of the less than pretty effects that others have reported.  Upon looking at review after review, I’ve found that it’s fairly evenly split between the people praising cleanse diets and people shouting about bowel movements, or lack thereof.

I’m itching to weigh myself, but I have another 24 hours before I’ll allow it.  I’ve heard that most of the weight lost within this time period, if any, will be water weight and will be easily gained back.  This method of taking pills seems a bit safer to me than some of the cleanse diets I’ve heard of.  The Lemonade Diet, where you cut out food and rely on a liquid diet only, seems pretty frightening to me.  I don’t trust anything that tells me I must stop eating in order to improve my health and/or lose weight.  Obviously I’ll shed pounds and won’t introduce toxins into my body if I’m not eating.  I’ll also be destroying my body with the extreme calorie deficit I create and the nutrients I deny myself.  That aside, I love to eat and I won’t do anything that reduces my food intake by too much (1000 calories or less per day) or cuts out entire food groups (low to no-carb diets, for example).

That being said, pills have their own fear factor for me and I only trust them a little more than the more natural cleanses.  Remember the side effect of Alli?  The maker encouraged users to wear dark pants as they may experience anal leakage as a result of taking the pill.  Xenadrine was one pill that used to contain ephedra, which has a laundry list of negative side effects.  Hell, even my birth control pills have a giant page of small printed unwanted effects they could have on my body, both short and long-term.

I’m almost halfway through Jillian’s program and I’m neither optimistic nor have I given up hope.  At this point, I’m just along for the ride and not concentrating too hard on the process except when I post these blogs.  Anyone care to put money on whether or not I’ve actually lost or gained any weight?  I’ll be hopping on the scale tomorrow night!

DAY FOUR: (12/20/11)

You ever notice that when you comment on how it hasn’t rained in days, it will rain that evening?  I just had to open my big mouth about no stomach pain and what do I get?  A giant stomach ache.  It’s similar to the cramping I’ve experienced in my sides after a run or some other strenuous activity.  I can’t seem to get rid of it or ease the pain by any means other than lying down on my stomach.  Today has been bad enough to make me want to say to hell with these pills and call it quits.

DAY THREE: (12/19/11)

My initial fear of forgetting to take my pills turned out to be a silly thing to worry about.  I’m keeping the oversized box right next to my toothbrush so Jillian Michaels and her You Will Lose Weight Or Else face can remind me twice daily.  My calorie counts have been staying between 1500 and 1800 for the past three days, which is also what I was doing prior to beginning the program.  It could just be in my head, but I feel lighter than I did when I began.  I also noticed that the “I just ate a full turkey” look that I sometimes get after dinner hasn’t been happening.  I doubt I’ve lost any weight in these few days, but I definitely feel better and feel a bit more confident.

The downside?  Do you know the noise your stomach makes when you’re hungry?  Mine has been doing that at various times of the day for reasons I cannot explain as anything but an effect from the detox and cleanse pills.  Thankfully, I’m not experiencing anything like Laura, who posted this comment on a review site“day one. so much gas in my stomach, not really painful per se but rumble rumble rumble. THEN it hit me. at least 5 episodes of diarrhea. like water.”  I do think I’ve got the rumbles though.  It’s loud and a bit embarrassing, but there isn’t any pain or discomfort.  At least it’s not accompanied by the ugly trips to the restroom.  I’ve found that it usually acts up and gets loud once I lay down for the night.  My poor husband.

Overall, I can’t complain.  Noise, I can deal with.  Pain, not so much.  As long as the only side effect I am stuck with is a drum line in my belly, I am good to go.  The urge to weigh in is heavy, but I don’t want to hop on the scale too soon and be discouraged if I don’t see the results I expect or desire.  Today my clothes feel normal, but yesterday they felt a bit loose.  Chances are, the only thing that has changed between yesterday and today is my attitude and my optimism.

DAY ONE: (12/17/11)

My biggest challenge today was ensuring I drank a full glass of water with my two cleanse pills.  To say I’m not a morning person would be a great understatement; I would punch morning in its face if I could locate it.  I popped my two pills after my shower and went about my day.  I did notice I was slightly less hungry than normal around lunch time, but it may have been a placebo effect from my eagerness to see some actual results.

The second set of pills went down at around 4:30pm.  No real noticeable effects in the evening.  I will admit, I am a bit afraid of the “cleanse” part of this program.  Here are a few things people say about cleanses in general and the Jillian Michaels program:

“Vitamin deficiencies, muscle breakdown and blood-sugar problems — not to mention frequent liquid bowel movements — are some of the seriously unpleasant drawbacks”

“Side effects include irritability, headaches, insomnia and possible stomach irritation.”

“Is blood in urine happened anyone to else while using the Jillian Michaels Detox?”

“I took this product for only 2 days and I have become very dehydrated, aside from the intense migraines!”

So far, I am happy to report that none of the above apply to me and I’m sure you can already guess that I hope they don’t apply in the future.  Day one has come and gone without too much fanfare.  I’ll weigh in at day seven and report any weight loss or gain.

LET US BEGIN: (12/16/11)

Tis the season to eat way too much at family get-togethers and work pitch-ins!  Deck the halls with cakes and cookies, fudge and candy canes, all free for the taking and so difficult to resist.  At least once a day, I hear someone declare their diet to be on hold or describe their plan to gain 5 pounds now and get rid of it once the new year is here.  The easiest way to spread holiday cheer is by sharing your favorite dish or dessert with any and every hungry person you come across.  Many offices host a pitch-in in lieu of gifts or Secret Santa, others bring homemade goods “just because,” and the office is always delighted.  November and December are not only classified by their holidays but also by the food that goes along with them.

While shopping in Walgreens and studying the vitamin section, I came across The Jillian Michaels JumpStart 14 Day Cleanse & Burn.  The box stated that it “combines the Triple Process Total Body Detox & Cleanse Plus Probiotic Replenishment plus the Maximum Strength Fat Burner.”    The detox half guaranteed to help reduce belly bloat and body waste buildup, support your colon and digestive system, help support the liver’s natural detoxification process, and help you feel lighter and more energized.  The fat burner promised to encourage lipolysis and inhibit the activity of phosphodiesterase, which is important to help drop the pounds faster.  Normally I write these things off as a cheap gimmick to hook people who want a miracle pill to do the work for them while they continue to enjoy Big Macs and Hershey bars, but for some reason my curiosity got the best of me.

My plan is to continue to watch my calories as I have been doing for over a year now, but to allow the pills to do their job with little to no assistance from me.  I will ensure my calories are between 1400 and 1800 each day, but I will not be overly strict.  The first seven days will be spent taking the Detox and Cleanse pills; two in the morning and two in the early afternoon with a full glass of water.  I will also be continuing to take my normal handful of vitamins each day as I normally do; Women’s Multi, B12, B Complex, Chromium, C, D, Calcium, Green Tea, and Niacin.  After the 7 day detox, I will begin the Probiotic Replenishment and Fat Burner half of the program.  Each morning I will take one probiotic and two fat burners.  In the afternoon or evening, I will take two fat burners with whatever the largest meal will be.  During the fat burning phase, I will restrict my calories to ensure I am between 1300 and 1600 a day.

During this time, the calorie restriction alone won’t allow me to lose more than 2 to 3 pounds.  I will not be doing any physical activities that I don’t normally do either.  Two weeks isn’t a significant amount of time to see a big drop in weight unless you’re dealing with an obese person who has a lot to lose.  Last year, it wasn’t unreasonable for me to lose 2 to 4 pounds a week, but I’ve come a long way since then and my expectations aren’t too high.  I do trust Jillian Michaels though and can’t see her slapping her Get Fit Or Die Trying face on anything that won’t provide results.  I’ll be posting my progress on here so don’t forget to check back in with me in a couple of days!

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