So as I told you yesterday, my fairly lousy race experience (only in terms of how I felt, not my time) resulted in my decision to end my 10-day detox. I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss my feelings about this, but forgive me if this isn’t perfectly organized. Basically, I decided to end the cleanse because of several reasons:
1. I didn’t feel better, worse or different: I will say, my clothes were a bit looser and I had lots of energy on Thursday and Friday. Most likely, this came from eating a much cleaner diet for several consecutive days rather than from eliminating a food I shouldn’t be eating, like wheat or peanuts. In that sense, the cleanse was very successful. While I wasn’t very concerned about identifying food sensitivities or allergies, I was happy to give my body a break and know I was feeding it only revitalizing, energizing meals, not too little and not too much. I also rekindled my love for green tea, which hopefully will be a habit that sticks around for a while instead of my morning coffee.
2. I was using it as an excuse not to exercise at all: I know I wrote about embracing my missing desire for exercise, but I likely should have kept up some kind of cardio schedule in preparation for the race. It also might have helped my body flush toxins out better if I’d broken a sweat other than during a visit to the steam room.
3. It was bringing up lots of old eating tendencies: This was the biggest factor. Yes, the race was tough and all I wanted to do was eat a bagel after. But I didn’t. I waited until I was home, thought things through, and was really honest with myself (which is something my detox guide encouraged us to do all last week). Even though I was enjoying the experience, I realized a part of me was clinging to the rules and guidelines of the cleanse as another form of restriction. I enjoyed saying no to foods just because I wasn’t supposed to have them on the cleanse and I was taking pride in my restriction. I could try to frame this as commitment to a goal, but I’ve been down the restriction road before. Thoughout the week I fantasized about the possibility of sustaining the detox meal plan indefinitely. What if I just kept eating this way? Would I keep losing weight? Would I look thinner without having to exercise? Wouldn’t people be envious of my self control? THOSE words and thoughts were the reason I stopped the cleanse. Sure, I probably could have stuck it out for three or four more days. And of course I’m a little frustrated b/c I feel like I failed. I even tossed around the idea of brushing my decision under the rug and writing posts this week about other topics, just so I wouldn’t have to discuss this. But I had to be honest with myself and my time for introspection couldn’t be done while in the midst of a behavior I’d abused so much not that long ago. The perceived piety of my “self control” and “cleanse-worthy meals” wasn’t lofty, it was destructive.
So instead of restarting my cleanse yesterday, I opted to make meals I wanted, but I also kept the tenets of the cleanse in mind.
While I’d been enjoying the smoothies, I knew my afternoon/evening meals would be heavier and I didn’t want to have such a big breakfast. Instead, I opted for a “Super Charge Me! Cookie” from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (healthified a bit further). I used spelt flour as suggested, dried blueberries, walnuts and Happy Herbivore‘s peanutty spread. As mentioned above, I wanted to honor my hunger and felt the best way to nip the binge/restrict cycle was to allow myself to have peanut butter without going overboard. Thankfully, I have no peanut allergy or sensitivity so reintroducing them back into my diet wasn’t a problem.
For lunch, I tested another Happy Herbivore recipe – Cheater Pad Thai! Again, this dish involved peanut butter, but in the form of the peanutty spread, and I made the dish with lots of fresh vegetables and soba noodles (no wheat).
I’d sent several recipes to The Huz and asked him to choose – dinner was “grown up grilled cheese sandwiches” with a fresh greens salad and homemade vinaigrette. Even though the recipe called for bacon, I made it separately and only added it to The Huz’s sandwich. Mine was loaded up with sauteed onions (in just a touch of olive oil and Newman’s Own Organics balsamic vinegar), sundried tomatoes and a bit of organic, locally made sharp cheddar cheese. All melted on my panini press and served with a sliced plum:
Dessert was one more cookie and a scoop of Sharon’s chocolate sorbet.
Would I do the cleanse again? Possibly. I think I have some more work to do on my relationship with food before I can embark on any kind of “cleanse” because I still don’t know how to use the restrictive nature in a positive way. Would I like to be able to do it again someday? Sure. My interest in giving my body a break from traditionally clogging and heavy foods remains. And it didn’t hurt that I really did enjoy the food I was eating. Also, I so appreciated the support I had from Andrea, the Spark! Wellness counselor who lead our group, and from the other participants. Andrea, the other women at Spark!, and Gena, do great work for many people and I have every intention of asking them for support as I continue to mend my relationship with food.
How do you deal with disappointment/failure?
Do you have any questions for me about the cleanse/detox?