(me, a couple of months ago)
I hesitate to write a post like this. Putting things like this out there creates a whole new sense of awareness that I’m never sure I want. I’m living it regardless, but now everyone else knows I’m living it. I have committed to it in a whole new way. But this morning I woke up and decided to write about it instead of drinking coffee.
I have struggled with the idea of fitting regular exercise into my life, really my whole life. I really don’t like it or enjoy it and convinced myself I could slip through life being a “non-exerciser”. Getting my diet on track has been an issue too. Although I don’t eat terribly, I really impose no limits on myself. Doing what I do each day requires a lot of time at a desk in front of a computer screen, sedentary. Working at creative projects in my studio, while fulfilling in so many ways, does not require aerobic activity either. Sure, there may be the occasionaly running up and down the stairs to the basement when a project is getting exciting, but other than that… Often it is quite the opposite. I work at home, I snack whenever I want to. Wine every evening. I knew this was not good, but I always justified it somehow. I am working and active, right? I am not sitting each day, doing nothing. I am productive.
But in the back of my mind, I knew this all needed to change drastically if I were to live a long, healthy life.
Subtle changes are hard for me. I detest change of any kind. Yet I realize that its been major moments of change in my life, mostly the uncomfortable ones, that have resulted in huge growth for me. This applies to all areas. In 1996, I cried every single day for a month after we moved from North Carolina to Seattle. I hated it. Now, when I think of the person I am, the life I am living, I realize why things happened the way they did.
Back several weeks ago, I began working with a fitness and life coach and trying on some new thought patterns about caring for myself. That work is ongoing for me, but its slowly taking effect and it feels pretty good to make my own health a priority. Then, after talking with a friend, I decided to try the 21 day detox as outlined in the book Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. Without going into a ton of detail, this is a major, healing reset for anyone, which requires a whole new way of thinking and living without things like sugar, caffeine, etc. A nutrient-filled, organic diet that consists of liquid meals for breakfast and dinner, with a midday meal that falls within certain requirements. I decided that I could do it for 21 days, or at least try. This sort of short-term project has its appeal to me. Its like a book deadline in some ways. A beginning and (hopefully) happy ending.
I started a week ago, with great reluctance but a lot of determination. I gave up caffeine completely that day. (Me. No caffeine, I know.) I also gave up processed food, flour of any kinds, sugar… The first few days I felt foggy and weird, a little headachy. I slept alot. Why am I doing this again? Peter would ask me questions about my new diet, shake his head, and say “life’s too short“. I was starting to agree. Miraculously though, by day 4 or so, things began evening out greatly.
This morning, day 7, I woke up completely alert and feeling good (its 5:30 am). Although I had some things on my mind last night that prevented a good night’s sleep, this morning I do not feel as if I had been hit by a truck as I often do after nights like that.
But that’s not all. During this period I am exercising daily, as its part of the detox process. I am exploring different types, and trying to figure out what appeals to me most. Realizing that some days its Just Dance on the wii with the family. Other days its doing something physical outside.
I feel pretty damn good, and its hard to put into words. The combination of the coaching and this detoxing period seem to be accomplishing important things in my mind about how I want to live and feel.
I realize that 7 days isn’t long, however its long for someone who only a week ago was living the opposite of the life daily she’s living right now. Realizing today that I’m a 3rd of the way in, I’m going to keep on going. I hope I can make it through the entire detox. I write about this here only because others seem interested and I thought it may be helpful. I promise not to fill blog posts about how detoxified I feel. And not to say the word “cleanse” too often.
Shani JaneJune 18, 2012 at 6:13 am
Brilliant! Well done, it takes serious guts and determination to succeed at a detox, I hope you continue to reap the rewards, not only during – but are able to maintain somewhat of a balance with a healthy diet and exercise routine! x
PaigeJune 18, 2012 at 6:16 am
Congrats! I’m in the midst of some life changes myself and am trying to get into the exercise habit. It’s tough! But the longer you do it the more of a HABIT it becomes – I hope!
Just a suggestion for exercise, have you tried roller skating? I skate outside and have my own skates (and pads!), but going to a rink with its cheesy music is fun too. I like it because it’s low impact and as high intensity as you want to make it.
domesticaliJune 18, 2012 at 6:17 am
I am impressed (yet still welded to my chair, it seems)!
betsyJune 18, 2012 at 6:30 am
Blair, I’m very inspired by your post. I’m at a similar crossroads and know something has to change, but haven’t made the leap yet. Thank you so much for sharing your leap. xo
KateJune 18, 2012 at 6:45 am
Congratulations on the progress you’ve made! It’s a hard journey to start (I need to take that first step but am too reluctant/scared/lazy-pick the word you like best). I wish you the best. Thank you for sharing.
bethJune 18, 2012 at 6:48 am
ditto. you are brave for writing in such an honest way and i wish you all the best in meeting the 21 day goal and then moving forward from there. i’ve made a similar shift and have cut back on week night wine and started walking in the morning and after dinner…the morning is good project planning time and the evening is for reconnecting with my partner : )
YvonneJune 18, 2012 at 6:50 am
Good for you Blair!! I’m still in the middle of my life change as I’ve lost quite a lot of pounds but I’m still going strong to loose more. I want to be fit and healthy too. I wish you good luck and lots of success xox Y
BetzJune 18, 2012 at 6:55 am
I totally could’ve written that second paragraph. I don’t know that I’d ever do a “c*****e”, but never say never, right? After 40 something years I still haven’t found an exercise that I like. Right now I am trying morning bike rides with my son. Just a 20 min loop through the neighborhood but he motivates me and I know he won’t want to ride with me for much longer!
Good for you! What happens after the detox?
erinJune 18, 2012 at 7:01 am
i hate change, too, but at the same time, something here has got to give and i know it has to do with what i intake. the exercise part is the easy one for me. i’m not a happy person without it. i’d really like to do the cleanse, but i am struggling with finding a block of three weeks where i am home and can control what i consume. that said, i put the book in my amazon cart this morning. baby steps.
HeatherJune 18, 2012 at 7:05 am
I have heard it takes 21 days to make a habit. Sounds like you are well on your way.
AkhilaJune 18, 2012 at 7:27 am
That is awesome. I wish you the best of luck. I been doing this soup thing where you have a regular bf. Then for lunch and dinner just drink the soup and i work out everyday only on the treadmill due to my rsd. I have seen such great results so far. It took a week to see some change i had lost about ten in a week then in three months you can see a major difference in my body.
MariahJune 18, 2012 at 7:46 am
Blair, I am so happy that you shared this with us… I am going through a similar process in trying to put myself (health) first. I have started to eliminate processed foods and animal products and am feeling much better. I must admit that I have owned the book Clean for over a year and have not committed. Maybe this is the inspiration I need! I look forward to hearing your journey unfold. BTW – I try to run outside when the weather is nice, but I also found a series of dance dvds called NIA, that I really enjoy 🙂 http://www.amazon.com/Nia-dvd-Debbie-Carlos-Rosas/dp/B002B2QZA4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340030777&sr=8-1&keywords=nia+unplugged
KatyJune 18, 2012 at 8:50 am
Good for you! I starting going to a bootcamp, that meets at the basket ball courts at Greenlake, back in October. There are 2 sessions – 5:50 or 7:00 am. I have really been loving it. I definitely need a class – no lonely tread mill for me. If you do better with a class, I highly suggest this bc. It is only for women and it is a work at your own pace type of environment. I also occasionally take a drop in step class at Ballard Health Club with Jose. Again, if you like classes. He has amazing energy and you will leave feeling energized. For me exercise is the most important part of feeling good. Good luck to you! Here is the bc link – it says “weight loss” but that is really not the focus of the group.
allbuttonedupJune 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm
Hey Girl. You are rockin it.
(I started the eat to live plan… It’s a kinder approach and one I can do while nursing. Paul and I have both done the clean cleanse and you can totally do it! I have crappy resolve.)
Lisa P.June 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm
I’m a big believer that opening yourself up to change and casting it out to the world, whether its big or small, is the best way to make yourself accountable. I am also working on my own life changes and I find that knowing others are trying to do the same thing really helps. I wish us both lots of luck and a healthier and happier existence.
dianaJune 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm
That’s excellent! It’s amazing how that fog lifts when you rid your diet of processed food/sugar/caffeine. (For me, add wheat to the list. Not only do I lose the fog, but my belly disappears. Poof, gone!) Keep up the good work. You’ve given me a kick to get off the coffee.
megJune 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm
Good for you!! I did a 21 day vegan challenge last summer, and it was a revelation. I say this even though I didn’t last the whole 21 days…but I’m about to hit a re-start myself because I do remember how terrific I felt. Who knew?!
You’re off to such a great start — keep up the good work!
amy hJune 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm
Go, you! I’m glad it’s helping you feel better! I’ve been thinking about doing this, too. Will you keep some of the changes after the 3 weeks? I always wonder how long these detox type things keep making you feel better, or if long-term changes are more the goal… I don’t know if I could give up caffeine forever. 🙂
LynneJune 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm
This is a very timely post, since I just started the Whole30 program a few days ago. Giving up my coffee with cream is a big step for me, but like you I needed to get to it and commit. Every day I continue to be amazed and educated by reading the ingredients in some of the most common foods I used daily, (sugar in seasoning salt?)and can’t have for the next 30 days. And I thought I ate pretty good!
Good luck with your plan. By putting it out there in writing you also helped give some of us the push we need towards a healthier lifestyle.
BTW…I’m really enjoying your CAL. Can’t wait for the next block!
AnneJune 19, 2012 at 1:19 am
Good for you! All the best with your healthier life!
ChrisJune 19, 2012 at 7:57 am
I also wonder what happens on day 22. Can you have coffee again? I’m not sure I could live in a world without coffee, but I am intrigued by the notion of cleaning the system out. Also, if you are curious about trying out running, the Couch to 5K app for your phone really worked for this non-exerciser. I did my first 5K in February and will probably sign up for the Torchlight/Seafair one coming up. Good luck!
BonnieJune 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm
Good for you! I am on Day 30 of the 30 day Vegan Workshop, and I never thought I’d get through it as easily as I did. While I don’t plan to stay vegan, clearing my body and mind felt great, and it really made me realize that a healthier lifestyle is possible. Now I need to figure out the exercise bit…
JeanMarieJune 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm
This was really inspirational! Thanks for posting and sharing. 🙂
reginaJune 21, 2012 at 11:00 pm
Good for you and thanks for sharing such an inspiring post. I have reserved this book at the library –looks very interesting. I eat well (minus the wine and coffee) and I exercise, but I have horrible portion control. I can just munch all day long if I’m not careful and with the kids around all summer long, there is food everywhere! Keep on groovin’ it!
KarenJune 23, 2012 at 6:17 am
Well done, and thank you for sharing this post. I am not happy with how I feel and look just now, not in a vain way but in a health way. I have done the detox thing before but I’ve never combined it with exercise and thought processes. What has helped me tremendously and is something I keep going back to, is advice from Lisa Byrne at Well Grounded Life. She wrote a great article on returning to centre with the general advice that we all stray off the path now and then but that as long as we learn and know the basics of how to take care of ourselves we can just get back on the path whenever we falter a bit. This can be something as simple as having a glass of water. I’m off right now. Ooh thank you all you lovely, inspiring women out there in blog land.