New Beginnings

the C9 way....


I have been known to try a diet or two in my time and for the last 4 years or so my weight has really yo-yoed. Prior to this, I was 2 to 3 dress sizes smaller than I am now, much fitter, much healthier and felt much better about the way I looked.  I had just come back from a year living in Singapore.  I was running 3 or 4 times a week as well as working out in the gym with a trainer, 3 times a week.  I was the fittest I have ever been.

I have had back problems for over 30 years (yes it’s really that long) and suffer with lots of different over use injuries as a result of this.  It’s a management process rather than a cure and I’ve spent what feels like a lifetime of finding out what works for me.  In reality, Pilates and Yoga, need to be part of my daily routine, just like brushing my teeth.  I seem to go through phases where I manage this and phases where life takes over.  The weight has crept up and each year I say I’ve got half a stone to lose, a stone to lose.  This year I have really struggled. I now have over 2 stone to lose.  I weighed myself yesterday and in fact I have more than 2 stone to lose.  Big fail.  I am determined and desperate to get my weight down.  This impacts how I feel about myself.  I don’t feel ‘me’.  This is not ‘me’.   So it’s time to do something about it.  No more excuses.  No more feeling bogged down.  Just do it.  For me.  Nobody else.

I was talking to Melanie Perry, a Forever Living Consultant about the Forever Living C9 cleanse.  I read a lot of reviews about it and they seem to be mostly positive.

It promises to deliver results, cleanse the body, make you feel healthier, give you energy and I actually agree with what it does in terms of cleansing your body and no processed foods etc.  I feel as if I have consumed a mountain of food over Christmas and prior to this, I was in a really bad food eating habit.  Working at home on my own, reaching for anything in sight.  It has worked remarkably well for some of my friends which is why I have decided to give it a bash.

I said ‘yes’ to Melanie, let’s do it! She delivered my box, showed me what to do and answered all of the questions I had and told me she would be on hand whenever I needed her! Easy peasy!

The basics are as follows:

2 hardcore days of lots of tablets, some disgusting gel that you drink like a shot (all natural and good for you) that suppress your appetite, gives you energy, cleanse your body (we will get to the Aloe gel later) and 1, yes 1 milkshake! Plus, if you are really struggling, you get to have some free foods.

The good news is that it’s just two painful days and then you can have a milkshake for breakfast and lunch plus a 600 calorie meal which must be natural ingredients and no processed foods.  But wait for it, you can have carbs! She jumps up and does a happy dance!


The C9 comes in a pretty box and these are the contents:

 Aloe Vera Gel

* Cleanses the digestive system

* Improves absorption of nutrients
* Helps metabolic disorders

Forever Lite Ultra Shake

*Meal replacement

*Contains 18 amino acids

*Two servings provide the daily intake of soluble and insoluble fibre needed to regulate the release of nutrients.  Basically, keeps you regular!

*Fructose is used as a natural sugar to assist in keeping blood sugar levels balanced.

Garcinia Plus

*works on existing fats by inhibiting the enzymes which convert calories into fat

*makes us feel fuller and less inclined to snack

*contains chromium which builds muscle, balances blood sugar levels and lowers the production of cholesterol and fatty acids

*boosts your metabolic rate

Forever Therm

*This carefully created formula contains a special combination of vitamins including B6 & B12, which contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

*Vitamin C will also contribute to a normal energy-yielding metabolism.

*Forever Therm also contains caffeine in the form of guarana seed extract, coffee robusta bean extract and camellia sinensis leaf extract (green tea).

I can hear the health and fitness gurus amongst you shouting – Nooooo! A healthy and balanced diet is what you need.  For me, I need a kick start.  I need structure, something to follow, something even when the excuses are screaming at me, I can’t wangle my way out of it.  I am an all or nothing kind of girl.  I need to get back on the wagon.  I need to lose a bit of weight.  I need to feel less bogged down.  I need to cleanse my body.  And I need to do this.  More importantly, I want to do this.  I am 48 and I know I need to find a better lifestyle for me.  I do have a busy and complex life and as I approach the big 50, I am desperate to find more balance.  Part of this is about MY health and well being and how I feel about myself.  I am doing this for me, nobody else.

Before getting down to the nitty gritty of the actual C9, I had to weigh myself and note down those all important vital statistics.  Not particularly a pleasant process.  Hopefully, it will be the last time I am looking at those numbers!

If you want to find out more about the C9 cleanse, you can get in touch with Melanie.

If like me you are embarking on a health and well being challenge this New Year or indeed any other challenge, please follow my journey, comment and let’s support each other.

This is just the beginning of this particular journey and I hope the start of a happier, healthier and indeed lighter me!




I have decided to do a warts and all account of how I get on over the next 9 days so that I am accountable.  Plus my word for the year is INSPIRE.  If I can inspire just one of you to make a start, then keeping a diary will have been worth it! Good luck to everybody else who has started on a new journey this year.


Day One


I got up and took two bullet sized tablets and then I waited for 30 minutes (as stated) before doing my two shots of Aloe Gel.  I have been told the Aloe gel was bad.  I read a whole load of stuff about it and thought perhaps everybody was exaggerating.  Surely it really could not be that bad?  I sat in front of a little 120ml shot of the Aloe Gel for 10 minutes deliberating whether to do it.  My husband told me to get a grip.  It really can’t be that bad.  It is seriously bad.  Terrible bad.  It tastes like a combination between a swamp and rotten food.  It is simply disgusting.  Luckily for me, Melanie had also given me a small bottle of Joost.  This is very new and a bit like a cordial mix.  She told me not to use it unless I really had to.  But I had to.   I squirted some into the second shot. This made it bearable.  The prospect of drinking several shots a day of this stuff without it was not something I can do.  So yes it is really terrible but with the Joost it’s bearable! For 9 days, for the health benefits, I’m in!

My mid morning snack consisted of a Forever Fiber supplement.  Yummy!

I really, really looked forward to my milkshake at lunchtime and I had the vanilla and popped a couple of strawberries in, some ice and it was actually very tasty.

I was doing really well and I wasn’t hungry at all. Not one bit. That was until my husband came back with my daughter armed with KFC.  Oh dear.  This followed by him cooking a proper macaroni cheese with all the trimmings a left me feeling somewhat miffed.  I wasn’t hungry but to curb my desire for food because they were eating, decided to knock up a very small bowl of rocket, spinach and asparagus from my free food list.  Finished off with a squeeze of lemon.  It was positively delicious and I felt full! There was even more Aloe and more Garcinia in the evening and that was about it!


It was interesting that although I did not feel hungry, I had something.  I know its all in the mind.  Need to look at that more.

I also drank over 2 litres of water.  I was popping to the toilet very frequently and it was a struggle to drink that much but I am driven to do this properly and see the results for myself.

Melanie kept checking in with me throughout the day to make sure all was well.

I went to bed feeling as if I had achieved something.  Day one over! Hoorah!

Day Two

And repeat! There really there isn’t much else to say, a round of aloe and Forever Therm! – with a side of Garcinia to keep the hunger pains at bay!

Melanie told me to be prepared to get headaches but I woke up without one.  A win!

Thanks to the Joost, the nose holding Aloe shots have been absolutely fine today.  I have to admit to not been hungry again but did dip a little around 6pm so decided to treat myself to another bowl of asparagus! Day 1 and 2 really haven’t been as bad as I thought.  I don’t think I could do more than two days and I am REALLY looking forward to my milkshake for breakfast and dinner tomorrow!

I am positively brimming with excitement about having an evening meal.  So much so, I have been scouring the internet and recipe books for 600 calorie and less meals. Perhaps I should do a video of me cooking just like The Body Coach, skipping around the kitchen! I am also looking forward to less Aloe shots too.  I had it very cold tonight, almost frozen cold and dare I say it – it wasn’t that bad! honest!

I am fighting the urge to weigh myself daily but I will weigh in tomorrow so will let you know how that goes……. wish me luck!

I forgot to mention that yesterday, I didn’t manage to exercise.  Although running round the house, taking down the Christmas decorations, up and down the stairs – I think counted as something!

The C9 cleanse states that for the 9 days you should only do light exercise.  I walked the dogs today which was good to get out in the fresh air.  My plan is to take up swimming and then get back to some Pilates and Yoga once I have got through the 9 days.

Day Three


I went to bed last night and realized I hadn’t taken the 2 shots of Aloe gel.  In a complete state of panic, thinking I would ruin the good I have done, I jumped out of bed and went downstairs to have them.  I told you I was going to follow it step by step! This was then followed by excitement that tomorrow is day three.  The feeling of waking up today was amazing – yippppeeeeee – I had to get my daughter to school and then back home a milkshake was waiting for me! It felt like a real treat.  I popped a few blueberries but not many.  I am really liking the shakes.  I have tried others and the texture, the taste seems to me to be spot on.

First things first the big day three weigh in! – what will the scales say! Anything was better than what I was, but I’m secretly hoping for a good loss and I was not disappointed with 8lbs! Yes, I have really lost 8lbs in 2 days! I have lost an inch from my chest, an inch and a half from my waist and an inch from my hips! I definitely feel lighter.  Maybe this aloe stuff really works!  Despite not being that hungry I have only consumed two milkshakes, a bucket load of tablets and some revolting gel in those two days.

The Aloe gel just doesn’t seem as bad today.  Maybe that’s because I get to eat! But I would say that’s progress!

it really doesn’t feel like a diet at all and I look forward to another shake at lunch time.

Day three feels like a bit of a breeze.  Although I have to own up to obsessing a bit about what I was going to have to eat.  I started to prepare it all at 3pm!

The order of play is slightly different today and I need to keep checking to make sure I’m not getting it wrong.

I also managed to squeeze in a 45 minute hike around Marlow woods with two eight year olds in tow! I still have one daughter off until next Wednesday which makes doing any other exercise a little bit difficult.

So dinner – I had a version of the burrito bowl as suggested in the booklet.  A portion of brown rice, black beans, home made salsa, a small portion of spicy minced beef with peppers, freshly chopped avocado and a few green leaves to finish it off! Seemed a lot of food, in fact a HUGE amount and I felt very very full!



I thought I had another Aloe shot but it’s day three so I am done.  Result! I am going to resist weighing myself tomorrow as I know that your body adjusts to the food and healthy eating

My dinner was huge, I am full up and I AM NOT going to weigh myself tomorrow as instructed! – promise!

The 600 calorie meals aren’t just about me.  I am adapting what I am having for the whole family.  A Mexican feast including some chicken, tacos and tortillas were all laid out in the kitchen and went down a treat.  If you have any tried and tested recipes under 600 calories, please let me know!

On a serious note, I wanted to say this cleanse seems to be working for me.  Maybe my optimism is slightly swayed by the 8lbs weight loss but who cares! Maybe it’s demonstrating how much weight my body needs to lose.  Perhaps it doesn’t like carrying all this extra weight.  I definitely don’t.

I like the structure and being told what to eat and when.  It removes some of the stress. I’m impressed that you get to eat a sensible amount of calories a day.  Day one and two are hardcore, but it’s only two days and worth it.

Day Four

I find myself sitting at Rush Trampoline Park in High Wycombe for the second time this week.  I am sat with my 2 litre bottle of water and I had taken a rather juicy red apple to keep me entertained.  It was interesting munching away at the apple and watching everybody coming in with their frothy cappuccino’s.  The skinny version or not, they were still drinking coffee.  I was somewhat jealous but persevered with my apple.

Again I wasn’t really hungry but I am mourning my morning cup of tea.  I have tried just about every herbal tea we have in the cupboard.  Some don’t even pass the smell test, let alone the taste test.  My peppermint tea which was my flavor of choice now makes me feel positively nauseous.  I am in the mindset now of hot water and lemon which seems less torturous than the herbal teas!

The shakes really are enough for me and they seem to taste nicer each time I have them.  And I am putting less Joost into the Aloe gel.  I think probably because I am not having to have four servings of it a day, as per day one and two.

Not so good about today, is that my throat started to feel really scratchy by late afternoon.  My husband has had a bad throat and cold and I think it’s caught up with me.  I managed to still cook a very healthy and somewhat delicious chicken and chick pea curry with brown rice.  It really was yummy! I spotted the recipe on somebody else’s Instagram feed!

I spoke to Melanie because I was struggling not being able to have hot drinks other than herbal tea.  She suggested a hot water with lemon and a very very small squeeze of honey.  This did the trick and I then replaced the honey with Joost.  A much better option and Joost is packed full of B Vitamins.  Joost has become my newest bestest friend this week!



Almost halfway there and apart from the scratchy throat, feeling pretty good! I am very much in the zone.  Not feeling tempted at all and know this is doing me the power of good both emotionally and physically.  My new found hobby is scouring the internet for healthy and clean recipes!

Day Five

I woke up today feeling pants to be honest! My throat was on fire and I felt pretty rubbish.  Even the ice cold Aloe gel tasted quite good this morning! I decided to go to the doctors who gave me antibiotics for a throat infection.  I do suffer with throat infections.  They seem to be my weak point.  I spent the day at home with two eight year olds pretty much drinking hot fluids.   It would have been very easy to falter today but I didn’t.  I desperately wanted to sit on the sofa with mugs of hot, sweet tea eating left over Christmas cake and biscuits.  But I didn’t.  It was hard not to but I just kept telling myself, I have come this far, don’t waste it.

I wasn’t much in the mood for cooking so ended up having leftovers from the night before again! I was glad to go to bed and looking forward to waking up hopefully feeling better.

Day Six

I woke up feeling a lot better than I did the previous day.  Throat still scratchy but not so bad.  Weigh in day again for me.  I decided to weigh every 3 days and was very happy to see I had lost another 1lb so 9lbs in total so far! – hoorah! I know the weight loss really slows down now so will be interesting to see what the final number is.

I knew the weekend would be hard.  Saturday morning meant hockey in Marlow and the temptation of the van selling sausage in a bap with brown sauce and a frothy coffee! I resisted and just had water.  I did at this point feel a tad cheated.  I made everybody some lunch and sat with my milkshake.  Things have almost become second nature now.

I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon sat in a very hot swimming pool whilst my daughter did a swimathon.  Not the best place to be if you are feeling under par.  On the plus side, it was so hot and made my throat feel croaky that I drank loads of water! Every cloud and all that.

My husband made delicious cod, prawn and scallops with lentils and some veg.  I gave up trying to work out the calories but figured it was probably not over 600 calories but might have been a little bit.

I had a little cheat this evening before I went to bed.  I was craving something hot and sweet.  I just couldn’t face another herbal tea or water with lemon juice in so decided to have half a cup of almond milk with a squirt of honey.  I know I shouldn’t have.  But I did.  It was just lovely.  I really haven’t cheated at all throughout the cleanse.  I gave myself this one!

Melanie has been fab and has been checking in with me daily and moreso whilst i have been feeling under the weather.

Day Seven

What a difference a day can make.  I feel so much better.  Since day 3 the days have flown by and apart from missing my cups of tea and the odd sugar crave, I am pretty proud of how much I have committed to this.  It’s got me thinking more about what I am point in my mouth.  I feel as if I have achieved something and I don’t feel as bad as I did about the amount of weight I have put on.

I know this is only the start and I need to carry on eating clean and healthy.  I haven’t exercised as much as I have wanted to this week but it’s been so difficult with the children still off school.  I am looking forward to getting back into a routine.

My dinner today was a good old fashioned roast chicken.  I roasted a whole sweet potato and had loads of veg.  Plus allowed myself to have a spoonful of cauliflower cheese.

2 more days to go and feeling very positive!

Day 8

The end is near!

Feeling somewhat chipper today.  Not sure if that’s because I only have another day to go or whether I feel definitely lighter and so much better than I did, almost 9 days ago! Probably a combination of both I suspect!

I almost forgot the Aloe gel today.  I took the other supplements and had a panic mid morning so I took it then.

I had 5 child free hours today and had to get my head down with work.  Interestingly I found today much harder.  Sat at home on my own, I was tempted to munch my way through the cupboards.  I didn’t but I know this working from home lark contributes to my bad habits.  It’s all in the mind and it’s something I need to work really hard on.

I had a coconut grain pouch from Tescos for my dinner because I wasn’t feeling particularly enthused about cooking.  It was pretty revolting! Looking forward to tomorrow and Day 9 – yippee!!!

Day 9

I’m done!

I wouldn’t say the Aloe was my friend, but I got used to it and the Joost made it bearable.  I have some left and will continue to take it until it’s finished so it can’t have been that bad!  The shakes I love and found very filling.  The diet itself is easy and it works!

I am looking forward to a final weight in tomorrow!

Weigh in Day

A whopping total of 12lbs down! Yippeeeeeee! I am doing a very happy dance. 2 inches off my chest, 2.5 inches off my waist and 2 inches off my hips!

I have seen some amazing pictures and results over on the Facebook groups and I think it would be fair to say that this diet is a good one and it works! I really hope that people who do it actually stick to a healthy eating plan afterwards and make some life long changes.  I can see how it really helps to adapt how you eat and think about what you put in your mouth in the long term.  It certainly has me!


So does it work? Yes it does work. It has worked for me.  I have stuck to it by the book.  It is nowhere near as extreme as some of the articles suggest and from what I have read the results seem to be consistently good.  I am surprised by how much weight I have lost.

Is it easy? Yes and No. The first two days are tough – and reading the posts on facebook, they are tougher on some than others. I didn’t find them that bad, even though I struggled with the Aloe to start with.  After that in my opinion it is easy.

This diet however has a different aim and that is to cleanse the body. The problem is that us women are so much more desperate to lose weight than we are to cleanse our bodies.

Talking about diets and our weight is as British as talking about the weather!  So for now the diet that is Cleanse 9 is viewed by many as a fad diet – because that is how some people treat it.  I 100% don’t agree with this.  I am no nutritionist or fitness expert but I set out to do this to give myself a kick start.  I know me and I know I needed a reasonable amount of weight loss to get me motivated enough.  I achieved more than I expected and it has really given me the confidence and motivation I needed.  It has also and probably more importantly made me very aware of just how bad my diet has been.

The facebook pages are full of results and pictures and not many people are mentioning the health benefits of which there seems to be many! I have popped pills and drank the Aloe gloop without questioning the benefits behind them.  Melanie has constantly educated me about this side of things.  I certainly wasn’t thinking about clearer skin or if my bowel was cleansed as I was going through the cleanse.  My skin is much clearer and I do have more energy.  Perhaps rather than thinking about this as a fad diet we need to think more about the health benefits too.

Would I recommend the C9 cleanse? Absolutely 100%, yes, yes, yes!

It has worked for me.  It has done exactly what I wanted it to do.  I intend to carry on eating healthily and I am so much more focused to look after myself than I would have been.

There are follow on programs and you can buy all of the elements of the diet separately so I plan on talking to Melanie and figuring out what might work for me.

Watch this space! ……

For more information on the plan, follow on plans and all of the amazing health benefits of the individual ingredients or the cleanse itself contact Melanie as  below. She has been a complete start and has been very supportive throughout the whole process and has answered all my questions, however small they are.

Melanie Perry

Forever Living Consultant



Amanda Ayres

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