My somewhat of a detox journey
Last week I decided to do something that is a little drastic for me - finally dig deep down and take real control of myself and what I put into my body. Before I begin, I should preface that I am not a health and wellness expert, I’m not overweight and I’m not an athlete either. I have slowly been taking my eating habits and fitness goals more seriously in the latter half of my 20s, and I’ve been blessed with pretty optimal health up to this point. But I’m not perfect and I still have a lot to learn about kicking and moderating cravings, using food as fuel, sticking to a routine, not cutting myself short, putting myself first, getting more sleep, finding balance, washing off my makeup before bed, basically all of the things the Internet says are important. I also have a lot to learn about Medium, so I thought why not use the Internet as a positive tool for documenting my experience during this “re-focusing” period as my first set of posts?
So what is this “re-focusing” I speak of?
Starting yesterday and continuing up until St. Patrick’s Day (convenient, I know), I’m going to go 24 days without alcohol and processed foods. For those of you who automatically hear those words and say “BUT EVERYTHING IS PROCESSED TO AN EXTENT!” let me clarify what my definition of processed foods is for this purpose. During this time, I will only be eating whole foods or packaged foods, such as natural peanut butter, made from whole foods. Basically, I will not be eating anything with ingredients that I can’t pronounce or added sugars as a preservative. For me, this pretty much means I’m cutting out all bread products, condiments, sweets and most dairy. The only dairy I will have is fresh mozzarella cheese, which is just milk and salt. It’s the easiest thing for me to limit since I don’t eat a lot of it anyway. Condiments and bread products will be slightly tough and sweets are going to be torture. How would you like to have a giant chocolate stash in your desk drawer that you can’t touch for 24 days?
The alcohol portion of this comes into play because I’ve finally realized I can’t drink like I could in college. For perspective, I did 16 shots on my 21st birthday and still remember the entire night. If I attempted this now there is a 100% chance I would be in the hospital. It doesn’t happen every time, but more often than not drinking on a Saturday night leaves me hungover and exhausted on Sunday. I get completely out of my routine and undo all of the progress I made that week. So I need to go cold turkey for a few weeks to give myself enough time to build up positive habits that I will not want to lose for the sake of one too many craft beers, glasses of wine, or gin and tonics. I also think 24 days without a drop to drink will hopefully prevent me from over-doing it on St. Patrick’s Day out of fear. I’ll check back about this goal on March 18.
Why the need to re-focus?
I have a really bad habit of falling into bad habits. I spend too much time on social media worrying about what other people are doing than focusing on myself. In real life, I care a lot about other people and like basically every woman on earth, I tend to put other people’s needs before my own. I never want to give up my compassion for others, but I need to learn that having self control and declaring what’s important to me aren’t going to make people like me less. There are probably a million ways I could go about this, but the most fundamental and challenging for me is around what I eat and drink. I believe what you put in has a great effect on your outputs into the world. Everything can snowball into good and bad based on what you eat.
How is this going to work?
I’m not going to lie, there is a strategic reason as to why I’m doing this now. For the first time in awhile and probably the only time in 2016, I have a pretty big stretch of no plans that revolve around traveling, weddings, birthdays and baby showers. This removes a huge amount of temptation, even though I know some will come about spontaneously. Yesterday there was a boozy coffee and treat bar at work. That was day 1. Today, the leftovers were right in front of my face.
I will also mention that I have two planned cheat meals - they were already in the books before I made my choice to do this. One is a Lenten lunch and one is a Lenten fish fry. The good thing about both of these is they are as homemade as restaurant food can get. Other than that, I am holding myself accountable and sticking to my plan.
How I feel so far
Yesterday was hard with the boozy treats but honestly would have been worse if it were day 10. Day 1's are always so full of focus, but mid-way into things is when people start to fail or grow stronger. Today was harder than yesterday - I was hungry most of the day and wanted nothing more than to break into my treat drawer. I’m preparing for next week to be the worst because I will be on my period. Emotions and cravings will be in peak form. In the meantime, I’ll be documenting how I’m feeling and learning a little more about this platform along the way.
Any tips about clean eating and/or Medium are welcome!