After extensive blood work and other diagnostic tests, the doctor sat me down and told me I have high inflammation (read: acidity), and issues with my thyroid, liver, and blood sugar. I’ve never been so happy to hear bad news! After three years of inconclusive tests and doctor visits, I finally had clear proof that there was a reason I was feeling so sick all the time.
Before the ‘lifestyle’ plan begins, there is a month-long period of detox. Many of you may know of this diet referred to as ‘The Elimination Diet.’ This diet is used to allow your gut to repair itself with easily digested foods and also removes many potential allergens that can create inflammation and disease in the body.
At first, I was excited.
And then … I was terrified.
I have tried many different diets in my lifetime, and none of them stuck. I always had horrible detox symptoms, which I realize now is because my body was in such a state of dis-ease. So – what was going to be different about this time?
The night before I started the detox, I laid awake all through the night. I was scared to give up my social life drinking with friends and going to the bar (I go to MSU – drinking is practically a sport here 😛 I was afraid of all the things I would miss out on – restaurant outings and even simply missing out on good food.
However, with the help of my doctors, I was given the treatment to make this detox as pleasant as possible. I was given medical shakes specially formulated to support my body and mind through the process, as well as ease cravings. I was given supplements that were specially chosen for me with respect to my blood results. With all of this, I had faith that this time would be different for me.
And it was!
I am now just 3 days away from finishing the detox part of the program, and I can already see huge changes. Although the doctor said that the first month I probably won’t feel much better, I can already see little bits and pieces of progress along the way.
Here are some of the things I learned while on my detox. Enjoy 🙂
1. You Don’t HAVE To Drink To Have Fun.
I know parents tell you this all the time, but it’s actually so true. In fact, I didn’t drink Halloween weekend and still had such a great time. The bar was actually MORE fun sober than it was when i’ve been drinking.
If you can’t stand the thought of going out without drinking, ask yourself why. Is it because you feel like you’re not charming, funny, or outgoing enough without alcohol? If that’s the case, sobering up for a few nights might give you the wake up call to change and some insight about your insecurities.
If you feel pressured to drink, now is a good time to see who your real friends are who will stick with you even when you aren’t getting wastey-pants at the bar.
2. Pay Attention To Cravings.
Although my cravings were not as intense as I had thought they would be, there were a few times when I thought I was going to die if I didn’t have some chocolate 🙂
What I realized is that when I was REALLY ‘needing’ chocolate or sweets, it was usually for a different reason. Maybe I was feeling extra tired and run-down and needed a pick-me-up. Or maybe something bad happened that day and I wanted it to cheer me up or ‘numb out.’ Usually there is a feeling or real biological reason for a craving – find out where it’s coming from and treat it accordingly.
3. Do You Love Yourself Enough To Eat Well?
Food can either be nurturing or harmful to our body and mind. For example, binge eating or drinking is a direct way of ignoring our body’s intuition and disrespecting ourselves.
Through this detox, I re-learned how to respect my body. I see eating as a way of caring for myself and showing myself love; Not as a way of punishing or disrespecting my body.
What we eat literally BECOMES the cells that make up our body and mind… do you want your cells to be happy, full of oxygen, vitamins, and minerals… or lacking the nutrients to make your body function at its best?
Eating well has made me have a new level of respect for myself that I didn’t have before. It allows me to say no when I don’t feel like doing something or eating something, and allows me to say yes only when it feels good.
4. Being Healthy Isn’t Easy! BUT – It Really Is Worth It!
In no way am I “cured” yet – I still have more than half the program left! – but I am already reaping the benefits of eating well and taking care of myself.
Especially if you are in college, eating healthy is not going to be easy. There is ALWAYS going to be an unhealthy option that will be easier, faster, and cheaper. However, once you realize this and accept it, you begin to prioritize your health. You wake up early to make breakfast because you refuse to grab a sugary muffin at Starbucks, you spend the time bringing healthy snacks with you to avoid fast food, and you stop after a few drinks to avoid the drunk munchies.
It’s not going to be easier than eating unhealthily, but the extra effort you put into your health will be returned to you tenfold.
PS – once you’ve been eating well and treating yourself with lots of love, it will actually be HARD to make an unhealthy choice!
5. Take Everything Day by Day, Little by Little.
You know the phrase, “How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time?” Well, it could not be more true.
At the beginning, the idea of this detox seemed daunting. 28 days with literally NONE of my ‘usual’ foods?! How would I survive?! Just the thought of that alone made me want to give up.
Luckily I didn’t! I decided to take things meal by meal, day by day. I never think about what i’m going to eat the next day, I simply focus on what’s happening right now.
When I had horrible cravings (mostly for sweets), I just told myself “Just get through the next hour without it.” The next hour turned into two, which turned into three, which turned into a new day without the craving.
Focusing just on one piece of the puzzle at a time has been so beneficial for me. I’ve even taken this theory into my school work and other areas of my life. When you just think about what is here and now, you release so much extra stress from your life.
So there you go! That’s all for today. I hope you all enjoyed reading and can get up the courage to start your new beginning 😀
Lots of love,