I’ve had belly issues every now and again for the past few years. Nothing major and no discernible patterns. It generally happened after I had eaten too much cheese.

On Easter, I dealt with issues worse than I ever had before. I wasn’t in pain, but I definitely wasn’t comfortable.

I had gotten to a point where I drank almost nothing but pop every day. I also started my mornings with a which chocolate mocha, either one that I made at home or one that I picked up at either Starbucks or at the coffee shop that I work above.

I thought that this might be a big factor in the issues I experienced on Easter. So I decided to stop drinking pop altogether. And I stopped drinking my morning coffee. After cutting out pop and coffee, my belly issues appeared to have gone away.

In addition to cutting out pop and coffee, I decided to try out a product that a friend of mine had been talking about on Facebook. It’s a product called Thrive from a company named Le-Vel. It’s a vitamin and mineral supplement program (that’s the best way I can describe it). It helps with weight management, digestive support (i.e. belly issues), appetite control, metabolic support, and a few other areas. I take 2 pills first thing in the morning, slap on a patch after I finish getting ready for work, and then drink a shake every other day … that’s it.

Thrive isn’t a miracle program. I’m not going to lose weight just by popping the pills, drinking the shake, and slapping on the patch. But it WAS the kick in the ass that I needed to get myself to make some changes and actually care about myself for a change.

I kept the following “journal” during the first week I was on the program. It’s more random thoughts than anything else.

Day 1 – Apr 28 (Tues)

  • mixed the shake with milk and a little chocolate syrup; tasted better than I thought it would … a little thick, but not really gritty (or gross)
  • felt a little weird in the morning at work, but that could have been because I was running around the house before I left to get everything I needed done by 7:10
  • weird feeling eventually wore off
  • felt a little tired around lunch time, but that eventually went away
  • usually tired around 3pm but not today
  • actually had energy in the evening at home … so much that I actually wanted to work on my website, and did
  • had issues falling asleep, but that’s normal; went to bed at ~10pm, was still awake at midnight
  • left DFT patch on when I went to bed, but ended up taking it off at around midnight

Day 2 – Apr 29 (Wed)

  • there was a mark on my shoulder from the DFT patch, but that might have been because I left it on when I first went to bed
  • forced myself to wait a little longer before leaving for work, so I had extra time
  • the mark from the patch is now fading (just before 8am)
  • don’t feel that weird feeling like I did yesterday; but also didn’t run around the house like a chicken with my head cut off
  • didn’t have my normal mocha this morning; drinking water with a pink lemonade pouch in it
  • had a can of Diet Pepsi with supper
  • didn’t have as much energy in the evening as yesterday, but I also was just sitting watching tv (did dishes and my back started to hurt)
  • took off the DFT patch before I went to bed (~10pm)

Day 3 – Apr 30 (Thurs)

  • alarm woke me up
  • didn’t wake up with as much energy as yesterday; wasn’t dragging, just not as energized
  • day 2 with no morning mocha
  • didn’t feel tired in the evening; did go to bed early, but that was more because I was bored and wanted to make sure I got enough sleep
  • slept with the DFT patch on
  • no coffee or pop or any other caffeinated beverage all day; drank water with Crystal Light in it at work and bought some lemonade powder and had that for supper

Day 4 – May 1 (Fri)

  • woke up before alarm (had to go to the bathroom); didn’t feel tired like some mornings; didn’t want to get out of bed, but that was more because it was so comfy
  • no shake this morning … info I had found said to drink them Mon – Thurs; going to change to every other day starting on Mon
  • ate a granola bar for breakfast around the time I would have had the shake
  • again … no morning coffee
  • had a can of pop with supper before running to Danni’s dance recital; ended up drinking only half of it; drank the other half after I got home

Day 5 – May 2 (Sat)

  • set alarm for 7:30am; ended up getting up a little before 8
  • another no shake day
  • went shopping starting at 9
  • had a pop with a quick lunch before running to Danni’s bday party; ended up drinking only half of it and didn’t finish salad (chicken taco salad from Qdoba); ended up finishing the pop after I got home
  • got supper from Panda Express since I was at the furniture store next door; got 1 entree and a side rather than 2 entrees (chow mein and orange chicken)
  • ate the rest of my salad as well; wasn’t really extra hungry, but I ate it anyway

Day 6 – May 3 (Sun)

  • set alarm for 8:30am; woke up earlier than that, but didn’t get out of bed ’til about 8:45
  • feeling pretty good … not tired
  • doing stuff around the house … helps to not be tired

MISC NOTES: Generally in the evenings and on the weekends, I never felt like doing anything but sit in my recliner and stair at my tv. I didn’t have the motivation to do anything around the house, whether it was clean or work on my websites. After 5 full days of Thrive, I actually feel like doing things. Don’t get me wrong, I can still be a lazy ass in the evenings, but it’s not the norm any more. That fact in itself is a win.

Day 7 – May 4 (Mon)

  • no pop again today and no morning coffee
  • had energy until I went to bed
  • didn’t hit the 3pm wall like I did before starting Thrive

Day 8 – May 5 (Tues)

  • woke up by alarm from dead sleep (possibly even having a dream)
  • but didn’t feel really tired
  • no shake today … starting the every other day routine
  • no morning coffee; had half a glass of the almond milk for “breakfast”
  • went to KFC for supper, got a Diet Pepsi with the combo … it didn’t even taste good; not sure if that is because it was fountain pop or because I’ve cut back so much

I have now been on the program for a little over 5 months. It’s not the cheapest program to be on (it costs between $150 and $180 per month or more depending on which products you order), but I’m willing to spend it each month because I’m feeling better than I have in years. And I don’t want to think about the alternative.

A little over a month ago, I switched from the regular Thrive patches to the “Black Label” patches that Le-Vel had just released. I couldn’t believe how much even better I felt with these patches. So I decided to stick with these over the regular ones.

In June, I started going for walks … either at Rendezvous Park, around my neighborhood, or in front of my tv to a workout DVD. After doing this for about a month in addition to the Thrive program, I lost around 10 pounds. I admit … I haven’t kept up with the walking over the past couple months. But I’ve only put about 3 of those pounds back on. So the weight management aspect of the Thrive program works. I’m trying to get myself to start the walks again now that it’s cooler out.

Even though I haven’t lost as much weight as I had hoped (I can only blame myself there), I’m still glad that I’ve continued with the program. I don’t feel as tired as I used to, and I haven’t had very many “tummy trouble” episodes. So I call it a win!

If I’ve piqued your interest or you’re interested in checking out Thrive for yourself, you can go here and sign up for an account. It’s absolutely free. You’re under no obligation to make a purchase.

Disclaimer: If 2 people sign up for an account under me and purchase an auto-ship package, I get a free month’s supply of my products.