The Thank You Melissa Blog

I am a 40 year old over-weight female that came to Beachbody, Tony Horton, P90X, and ultimately to Karma Chow in a search to lose the 35 pounds I have gained and lost 4 times in the same amount of years for the last time, and get back to my goal weight.  I started with Turbo Jam and eating better on February 1, 2010.  I started P90X just a little over two weeks later.  My 30 day Cleanse with Karma Chow was from April 1-30, 2010.

Before I started the 30 day vegan cleanse I was searching for a way to feel better.  I was eating what I would have called clean at the time and had been for about 6 weeks.  I wasn’t actually planning on doing a 30 day cleanse, just wanted to try it for two weeks, but I was searching for help and the RIGHT way to do things.  You see, I had tried to go vegetarian and vegan in the past and always stopped because of the detox and lack of meal variety.  I felt like I was always eating salad and I sure didn’t like not eating those favorite, comfort foods.

I found Karma Chow through a Facebook post on Tony Horton’s page.  It was a letter from Chuck Waterman (!/notes/tony-horton/the-cleanse-by-chuck-waterman/376457667403) about his experience.  There was a group in the Beachbody forums planning a two week cleanse and I was searching for more information because I really wanted to learn a lot from participating in that challenge.

I was too late to join the current Karma Chow Cleanse group and didn’t want to wait for the next, so I did the 30 day cleanse solo, with Melissa Costello’s help.

I first spoke with Melissa on March 29 thinking I would do a 2 week cleanse, then go back to caffeine, wine, gluten, cheese, and eggs post cleanse.  After learning from her, on that call, about the cleanse process I understood that to properly cleanse from these toxins I would need to cleanse for 30 days.  I took a deep breathe at that point, but listened to the reasons why.  She had me on board.  I would start April 1 and by May I would be cleansed and while I wouldn’t go back to meat, I would re-enter my life simply a meat-free vegetarian that drank caffeine and wine and ate “normal” breads and pastas.

I stopped eating meat the next day (March 30), just to try to help with the detox.  I stopped eating dairy on 3/31.  April 1 I was all in.  I never looked back.

I listened intently on that first cleanse call with Melissa.  I took notes, I started reading all I could and learning about the issues these toxins cause.  I had so many of them.  I float in and out of obesity never really able to stay out.  I had joint issues, bad skin, sinus issues, fatigue, never felt rested, the list went on.  Every single one of these symptoms could be tied back to my diet.  I decided I was going to give this everything I had in me, just like I was trying to do with P90X.

Was it easy?  No.  Was it worth it? 1000%.

I blogged every step of the way, so I am not going to re-blog the details now; I just want to say how happy I am to have really dug down deep and changed my life in this way.  I also want to thank Melissa for all of her support and help.

When I freaked out, she was there.  She guided me on making better decisions, provided lots of reading material, ideas and suggestions, and recipes.  She really encouraged me in so many ways.  Knowing she was there made it that much easier to get through the few rough days of detoxification, which I still think I am experiencing a little each day.

I guess when you eat gluten, sugar, and animal products for 40 years, then drink alcohol and caffeine for at least 20 you can’t expect your body to get over it in 30 days.  I am not trying to scare anyone but rather tell them why I agree so much how important 30 days IS and anyone who tries to detox in less time than that is doing themselves a disservice.

Just to be clear, I had more than 35 pounds to lose (I have just about that much to lose now), but I know that it is a process or eating healthy that gives me the body I long for, not a “diet.”  I was not healthy.  I had a static lymph system and really needed to treat my body kindly.  I will be detoxing as every fat cell unloads and I lose the rest of the weight my body is now ready to release.

I really want to thank Melissa for offering me so much guidance and support.  Anyone considering doing her cleanse should erase the “I can’t” from their minds and go for it.  It has changed my life on so many levels.  I really feel alive again in, well, I cannot remember how long.

  • I sleep soundly, have vivid dreams, and wake up feeling refreshed.
  • The digestive issues I had have been replaced with what I think is healthy digestion.  Heartburn? GONE.  Constipation? GONE.  It is wonderful to take a healthy poop everyday, more than once a day.
  • My skin looks AMAZING.  I feel ten years younger.
  • I lost 14 pounds of fat in the 30 days.  14 pounds of “grisly, grimy, gunk, that nasty garbage.”
  • I crave healthy foods now, no sugar, or even dairy and to be honest butter and cheeses have always been my biggest downfall.  I actually crave greens, grains, and beans.  CRAVE THEM.  Sweet things turn me off.
  • I kicked caffeine once and for all.  It has taken me years to really be able to say that.
  • My life has improved.
  • My confidence has increased.
  • I have gained knowledge and while I have a lot to learn I feel like I am armed to live my life without these toxins, and do it in a way that is just delicious and satisfying as my previous world with the added benefit of feeling GREAT doing it!

I have been having people weigh in with their protein and nutrient opinions.  Everyone is entitled to those, I am just grateful to so far have the respect enabling me to make my own choices.  Everyone has their own needs, I just know that I have found a place to meet mine and I feel and look better for it as well.

I would not push this lifestyle on anyone but it is working for me.  If anyone asked about the cleanse, I would recommend it and point them as quickly as possible to Melissa Costello and Karma Chow ( and recommend it.

“Life is a journey, not a destination”… we each have to find a way through it that works for us as individuals.  This works for me.  I hope it helps you find something that works for you.

Thank you, Melissa, for all you have done and continue to do to help me.  I will be participating in another 30 day at some point, even while living the “cleanse” everyday, just to keep myself learning, motivated and on-track.  Thank you so much for all you have done to guide and encourage me!


About amkaz

A Virtual Assistant is a highly trained and skilled administrative professional who works in a collaborative partnership with successful small business owners and entrepreneurs providing administrative support and personal concierge services, without having to be physically present in your office. Communication and collaboration is easily accomplished through phone, fax, e-mail, and the internet. True assistance is no longer bound by geography or nine to five, Monday through Friday business hours. I am an accomplished and versatile professional with 10 years management and entrepreneurial experience in retail sales, buying, and store operations and another 8 years experience with office operations management within the banking and merchant payment processing industry. I am a determined individual who consistently achieves desired results in challenging environments while building and maintaining strong relationships with clients and colleagues. My areas of expertise include document creation and management, process improvement, organization, and coordinating classes, meetings and events. Contact me for more information about how I can help you grow your business! Mission Statement: My mission is to create time, opportunity, and results by delivering the highest level of administrative services with integrity, diligence, and responsiveness. I am not successful unless my clients are administratively successful.
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