As you may know, last Monday I woke up and decided to start a cleanse. It truly wasn’t something I planned. I’ve been dealing with a very emotional situation, a situation where I feel very out of control. In mentally internalizing my situation I decided that the one thing I could control in this time was how I felt regarding what I ate. So, I just sort of started a cleanse, my cleanse.
Before I go any further, let’s talk about the word “cleanse.” It’s a very confusing word. When most people, including myself, hear the word “cleanse,” they think of deprivation, starvation and colorful liquids. The word sounds positive and sounds holistic,but; it brings about negative feelings. When we think of cleansing or even dieting for that matter, we think of what we “can’t eat” instead of simply focusing on what we can eat.
When I announced I was starting a cleanse it was to focus on eating all “healthy foods” and eating completely mindfully. This I felt would be an attempt to cleanse my soul using food. Weight loss and energy would be a positive consequence.
Here were my four main rules:
- Majority fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grains.
- Plan every meal & snack, don’t just grab food at every and any hunger pang.
- Don’t use food as a coping mechanism (aka boredom, stress, sadness, etc.).
- Don’t be extreme (For me that meant, let yourself be 90% good & 10% not good & don’t change plans because you “are cleansing”).
Now, I know what you are probably thinking, you think if the above is true then so is the below…
- No Starbucks ( aka any coffee drink with dairy milks, artificial sweeteners and sugary syrups)
- No dairy
- No white foods, sugars, sodas or alcohol
- Very limited meats
you’re right. That’s what makes these things so hard but also yield the best results.The fact that I didn’t have a Starbucks drink for a whole week is beyond my wildest imagination. The biggest takeaways have had nothing to do with weight loss. I have had so many life epiphanies this week. (FYI, I will be compiling those all and posting next week).
Right now, I’d like to share the biggest lightbulb moment I had in my week thus far.
Like I said earlier, I announced it to my readers on my blog that I would be starting this cleanse. Then I decided to document every meal for 10 days on my Instagram account. Sure, I feared no one would care, I questioned why anyone in the world would want to see what I am eating and I worried I’d be “that annoying girl on social media.” And maybe I was. Sorry. I also knew it would keep me accountable. And sure enough, it did. My great friend, Sandi, actually pointed this out to me around Day 4 and I am very thankful she did.
Here’s the thing, no matter who you are or where you are, at some point we all have needed to “diet.” That could mean one million and one different things for different people. For the sake of this post, diet just means any time ever you needed to make alterations to your food or health for a specific purpose or goal, no matter how big or small.
I think often times we are scared to say out loud to others what our goals are when it comes to weight loss and health. We feel embarrassed to say the words, “I am on a diet.” We hide it from our closest friends and family. We give into peer pressure and temptations in an attempt to not draw attention to ourselves on our diets. We never want to be the girl or guy “on a diet.”
So why is that? Why is dieting such a dirty little secret? Why are we so embarrassed? It’s because we are all perfectionists. Therefore, when we announce we are on a diet, we announce an imperfection of ours. We scream to the world that we lack some confidence. We look at weight gain as a flaw and weakness. And now we feel exposed. The world now knows that we’ve gained weight when we assumed a did a great job at hiding it under loose shirts, leggings, skinny arms and filters on Instagram. For me, I have always felt that when I say, “I am on a diet” the world hears “you’re fat.”
We feel so vulnerable when we admit we are on a diet. It’s uncomfortable and scary. What’s worse, we think that if we announce our health and weight intentions it will leave us no out to fail or give up. And it reminds people that we failed the last diet we said we were on.
I think we need to stop thinking this way. But it’s ok to be vulnerable. It’s vulnerable to admit you are vulnerable. We are all flawed. Our flaws are our best assets.
So today, If you need help or support or a little accountability, Shout your health goals loud and shout them proud. Tell the world what you are doing, ask for help and accept help! Because if you fall down 11 times, there will be someone there to pick you up the 12th.