So this is a little bit of a different review, as you guys can probably already tell, I'm not your typical blogger. I'd say that beauty and in general, feeling good about yourself, goes a lot deeper than just eyeshadow and blush.
After a lengthy battle with my weight, I've decided, once again - to start getting healthy. And by 'getting healthy,' I mean several things. First, I want to start eating more veggies and fruits. I've always been the picky eater in my family, and I want that to change. I want to crave fruits and fresh vegetables instead of cookies and chips. Second, I want to keep up with my in-laws on our Christmas trip to the States. Josh's family is all of your mountain-climbing, ninja-athlete types - and I am not. With the walking and 'hiking' we've been talking about doing, I don't want to be the one that is slowing the pack down. Third, I want my digestive system and skin to be happier. I've noticed that a lot of the foods I eat (namely the processed, durum semolina, caffeinated foods) irritate my stomach within minutes-to-hours of eating. This is reflecting in my overall health and well-being, essentially. And finally, to be a better steward of the body that God has given me - by losing some of the weight that is hurting my health, and feeling more confident in the beautiful person God has made me to be. Fourthly,
I got interested in the 90-day Body by Visalus Challenge after having several friends and family members boast extreme success in the kits. I thought that I might as well hop on this bandwagon and see what all the commotion was about. I attended a Challenge party and bought my first installment of the mix, heck, we even purchased a blender from good old WalMart.
|Photo credit: www.visalus.com|
I went on the challenge for about 90 days - though never religiously following the challenge as it is intended. I couldn't force myself to replace two meals of my day with a mere shake - no matter what was in it. I'm one of those people that needs to chew food at a meal... not drink it away.
The most radical and fantastic difference I experienced was in my sleep patterns. I noticed within the first week that I was having more restful sleeps at night. Additioanally, I would wake up earlier without feeling exhausted and sluggish. Most days I could get away with 7 hours of sleep, as opposed to the 8 or 9 I had been accustomed to getting prior to starting the Challenge.
I didn't notice feeling exceptionally 'fuller' throughout the day - in fact, I was often more ravenous than before because I needed the sensation of chewing to feel comfortable after a meal. My appetite wasn't curbed or suppressed. It remained the same, mostly.
I found the shake mix flavorful and easy to use. It easily mixed into oatmeal (for breakfast) or shakes, should I have made the more frequently. Quite often, I just mixed the shake powder with water and gulped that down in lieu of breakfast (likely a large mistake in potential progress) as I didn't have time to whip out the blender and mix up a smoothie before I waltzed out the door in the morning. And who has time to mix one of these up at work, I ask you!?
In any event, the whole Challenge business got more overwhelming and frustrating than helpful. I started using the shakes less and less, because I felt that I didn't need them and they weren't exactly tipping the scales in my favor.
Now, don't think that I'm dissing the product because I'm not. As I said earlier, I know of several close family members and friends who have had stellar results on the Challenge. If you have the tenacity, patience, and determination to commit to the Challenge and follow it through, I think you'll see the results you're expecting and then some. I think that for those in a fast-paced lifestyle, this is an excellent alternative to making a meal (or in some cases, skipping out on a meal).
That being said, this is not a miracle product. You won't use the shakes and have 20-some years of obesity just melt away; it's merely a tool as a means to an end. In all honesty, I firmly believe that if I cut back my calories, replace highly processed and refined foods with more fresh and natural things like fruits and veggies, increase my water intake, and commit to spending at least 30 minutes a day (5 days a week) doing cardio exercises, my chances of achieving the same results as participating in the Challenge are very high. And they'll last longer (provided I maintain these changes), because they'll become part of a habitual healthy lifestyle that I will be accustomed to. It might take longer, but the results will be more concrete, in my opinion.
Personally, this product didn't work for me. It's not something that I could seamlessly incorporate into my everyday life, and I found it more cumbersome and intrusive than I did helpful and beneficial. Maybe further down the line when I've managed to make some new healthy habits in my life, it would be worth trying again, but for now, it was a flop and not something I'll likely be repurchasing.
Tell me, have you tried the 90-Day Challenge? What did you think of it?
I'd love to know!