I was standing in line at Meijer last week, and all of the magazines caught my eye. Every single one of the women’s magazines was either about how to cook delicious food (that was no doubt extremely unhealthy), or it was a magazine that somewhere within was offering a “quick and easy” way to get fit and lose weight. Hmmm…
I pondered this as I thought about how I’ve been “nourishing” my body over the last few months. Let’s just say this…it hasn’t been pretty. Starting in December, it began with the mindset that “it’s the holidays, I can eat whatever I want!” Moving into January, I fell into the “I’m running 100 miles this month, I deserve to eat whatever I want!” way of thinking. And I realized that once I start eating whatever I want, whenever I want, it is a very hard habit to get out of. My body was CRAVING sugar. All.The.Time. And I was giving in to it. Eating 6 Oreo cookies a day, a half a bag of Goldfish crackers, candy bars…seriously. It was bad. And I felt bad. My energy was low and I just couldn’t stand the way my body NEEDED junk food.
So, I decided it was time to do a “cleanse.” As always before trying something new, I tried to get some of my Sparkle.Pounce. ladies to join me so that I would have someone to hold me accountable, and honestly, I just really wanted someone to go through the discomfort with me! To my surprise, these ladies had a long list of “reasons” (ahem! – EXCUSES) for why it wasn’t really a good time for them to do it right now. I was on my own.
I began looking online for a simple cleanse that would help curb my sugar cravings. Apparently, the words “simple” and “cleanse” don’t actually go together. I think they call that an “oxymoron”? Most of the cleanses that I was finding included drinking shakes, juicing, and/or a list of ingredients that appeared to be written in a foreign language. Not.My.Thing. I like to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible, and I can’t stand being hungry, so drinking shakes and juice instead of eating real food just wasn’t going to cut it.
Finally, after continuing my online search, I found a cleanse that I thought might work. It was only three days, and I could basically eat as much as I wanted as long as it was a vegetable! There was a meal plan to follow that seemed manageable and not too complicated (meaning, I could read all of the ingredients and actually owned most of them!). So, I headed to the grocery store after work on Monday, and on Tuesday morning I began my cleanse.
Tuesday: I actually can’t even eat everything that is on my list! I’m not hungry enough! Maybe this will be “quick and easy”! (And I’m not even tempted to eat the two boxes of Girls Scout cookies that were brought to me today and are sitting under my desk at work!)
Wednesday: Reality check. I like bread and bagels and crackers. I can’t eat any of those things! I don’t want to eat another bite of spinach salad or carrots or peppers. BLAH! I’m starving. I don’t want to do this. Why am I doing this again? I’m never going to give up eating all of those things. This is silly. I will just stick to the plan until dinner, and then I will add bread with my chicken. Yup. Day 2 and I’m a cheater already.
Thursday: Well, since I already cheated yesterday, I’m going to go ahead and have half of a bagel with my egg whites this morning. That’s more realistic. Then I’ll stick to the plan the rest of the day. But, I’m still craving sweets. Maybe this is a waste of time. Oh well, I’m going to stick with it for the last day…
Which leads us to today! Valentine’s Day! The perfect day to NOT be on a sugar detox cleanse! But, do you know what I ate for breakfast? Egg whites and half of a bagel. And do you know what I ate for a snack? An apple with natural peanut butter. And do you know what I ate for lunch? A sweet potato, peppers, and celery. And do you know what I haven’t even opened yet?!?! The two boxes of Girls Scout cookies that are sitting by my feet, under my desk!
So, what’s the point? It takes time, effort, pain, discomfort, and not giving in to temptation in order to start a new habit. But it’s possible! I’m definitely not saying I’m not going to dig into those cookies at some point, but after my three days of hard work I’m definitely not going to eat half the box in one sitting! (And yes, I’ve been known to do that with those darn cookies…)
No matter what it is that you want to improve about yourself, you can do it. Don’t let minor setbacks keep you from working towards the end goal.