Anatomy of a Cleanse

While the prospect of a “cleanse” may sound like it has a desirable final result, all too often, I think many of us shy away from ever even getting started because we’re afraid it will be too difficult, too restrictive, too tasteless. And, you think you’ll be hungry.

In short, you associate a cleanse with pain.

But, I’m here to tell you that this does not have to be true for you! Not that long ago, I did a 30 day cleanse that I did initially as an experiment, just to see if I’d feel any better. Trust me, I went into the idea kicking and screaming. I didn’t really want to do it. I didn’t want to put limits on what I could and couldn’t eat. I had no interest in a “diet,” especially with the beginning of summer right around the corner. But, my friend had amazing success with a superfoods nutrition system, and she looks great. I thought to myself, hey, I’ve been feeling a bit toxic lately; stressed out, too little sleep, diet sodas (yikes!), some processed foods (yuck), snacks from the basket at work (no!), too many Starbucks coffee drinks (expensive), sugar (evil) and one or two too many light beers. Ugh. Yup, I was feeling sluggish and not that happy about it.

Enter the 30 Day Cleanse …

Things changed immediately.

  • I had energy—I drank coffee before my workouts instead of a pre-workout drink.
  • I wasn’t hungry—I felt full and satisfied most of the time.
  • I ate real foods—for dinner each night, I had a healthy whole foods meal, usually a really big salad with dressing I made myself, fresh herbs from my garden and a nice big portion of lean protein.
  • I didn’t have cravings–what?! No, seriously, I didn’t. Why? Because I ate chocolate every single day! Yes, I really did.

And, I lost weight. Kind of a lot … more than ten pounds. Did you know that body fat is where your body stores toxins? Yeah, so there’s that … I got rid of ten pounds of toxins. No wonder I’d been feeling less than stellar.

Oh yeah, and there’s more:

  • My work pants got really loose on me (awesome).
  • I actually got a lot more done in the evenings because I wasn’t slouched in front of the TV watching mindless trash, wondering what I could eat next (yup).
  • My reflection in the mirror no longer looked bloated. I willingly went to the pool with my fiancé … in a bikini. (Yes, that happened; more than once.)
  • My migraine headaches actually went away (that was weird, but very cool).
  • My severe allergies that required a daily Sudafed-D suddenly morphed into only a mild annoyance. (I only took one Sudafed-D over the course of the entire 30 days, and that stuff’s expensive.)
  • My daily use of my “emergency” asthma inhaler tapered down to … well, actually, never.
  • My skin was less sensitive and itchy (which, believe me, gets super annoying, so I was excited).
  • Like my body, my face no longer looked bloated and, interestingly, I looked refreshed (aka younger!).
  • Clearly I’d had some general inflammation going on before because now, when I felt the glands in my throat, well, I could barely find them (not swollen!).
  • I also kept all my hard-earned muscle-mass, and if you lift weights, you know how radically important that is and how impressive it is to keep your muscle mass while dieting.

Does that sound like it was “hard” to you? Does it sound like I was in pain, deprived, sad or crazy?

Was there some sacrifice? Yes, there were a couple of parties we attended that were all you could eat and drink and everything looked delicious. We grilled at the pool a few times and all we wanted was to sip an ice cold beer or pop open a bag of chips to go with our burgers. Yes, we skipped the movies and the popcorn, the french fries and the homemade ice cream from the fudge place down the street (still not sure if that was worth it, haha).

Translation … we saved a ton of money by not going out to dinner and instead eating at home. And, oh, guess what … our grocery bill was pretty much a thinner version of its old self as well, since I was drinking two shakes a day and having one whole food meal. Plus, there were a couple of super-cleansing fasting days thrown in there, so that meant … well, obviously, NO grocery bill.

Yes, don’t get me wrong, let’s be realistic. There were a few days, correction, a few moments, where I got aggravated because everyone else was eating donuts or pizza or incessantly talking about food in front of me. But, I knew the fasting phases of my cleanse were short and temporary and that could always eat whatever I wanted … later. And, I also focused on the fact that when you’re fasting, your body is not working on digesting food. This gives it time to work on your immune system and on ridding your body of toxins. Think of it as a big spring cleaning! Plus, you are burning copious amounts of body fat when you’re fasting because you’re literally taking in no calories. Fat just melts off your body.

Oh yeah, and by the way, when you’re fasting, you have a lot of clarity, the (rare for me) ability to focus and a strange feeling of power and control over yourself and food. If you’ve ever felt the grip of food and wrestled with it, then knowing that you have broken its grip is a mighty empowering feeling, just saying.

So, if doing a Cleanse isn’t really what’s hard, then what’s hard? Well, for you? I guess nothing is hard. Once you’ve experienced the power you have to make great choices and avoid bad ones, and you understand that mentally, you can do anything you put your mind to, you will feel powerful. And, things just aren’t quite as hard for you powerful people once you’re in on the secret: that YOU have ALL the POWER!

If you want to experience the power you have within, you want to cleanse your body and mind from the inside out and you want to feel fantastic with limitless energy, then try a cleanse for yourself. If you want to know exactly what I did, let me know and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!

As always, my friends, Be Fit.  Be Fierce.

 

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