Well day 15 of the 28 day cleanse hit and I failed. It was a gradual slope of triggers and something that I gracefully danced my way out of. Yesterday I met with my nutritionist to reflect and strategize to move forward and I am writing from a place of peace, not defeat. So lets reverse, unlayer and chat about what went down. First things first, I am really proud of myself to be witting from this place, truthfully not breaking myself down. I did not crash and burn and go out and eat fro-yo. Shit got real in life , I fell off the bandwagon, I picked myself up and got on a different bandwagon. If a failure like this had happened to me over a year ago I would have handled it from a place of self frustration and anxiety. I refrain from using the word hate because I really never hate myself, but a super super frustrated emotional place of f*ck it I am going to eat everything in site and make myself sick because I am a cleanse failure kind of place. So in my opinion this is progress in a season of baby steps.
Come day 15 and I was finished with the intense portion of the cleanse. I marched my booty to Sprouts excited for my fruit and veggie freedom. The purchase that broke me was date rolls sprinkled with coconut, opened those babies while I shopped and had consumed 4 before hitting the checkout line. Now still a fruit, still “on my cleanse” but at 100 calories and 24 carbs a piece….slow down there girl friend. That trigger of consumption kickstarted into high gear and all those emotions I had been recognizing of not feeling hungry, eating more mindfully were left on isle 5. From there I hosted a brunch a few days later where I found myself back at Sprouts, I caved an made from scratch almond flour bread. I was hosting a brunch for my previous interns and I did not want them to be stricken to my cleanse. Rather than buying them already made croissants….too easy…. I wanted to make them home made almond bread. This required me to purchase things not on my cleanse, but still things aloud in the approved ‘Ashley’s Body Can Process List’ so it was this juggling act of wellll it is not technically bad for me, just not cleanse friendly. So what did I do. I ate the bread. I ate the bread with the almond butter. I polished it off with an almond milk latte and champagne. THERE I SAID IT! I toasted champagne from a crystal glass! That moment was the ‘Ashley over board’ moment of the cleanse. What followed after that was a Memorial Day weekend of wine, cheese, crackers and a whole lot of bloating and pain for this girl.
Oh! Right I told you I got back on the bandwagon. After a complete feast and major moaning and pains I pulled myself out of the hole and took inventory of my emotions and how my body was feeling. I knew a few things. The weekend had not gone as I envisioned, I was disappointed in a few minor things and rather then embrace the reality and live in the moment rather than the envision of the weekend I totally let it affect me. Pouty McPouterson (me) was in full moodiness. AKA emotional eating. I was with girl friends in an environment I very easily could have avoided the ‘Non approved Ashley foods’ yet I choose to be part of the group. AKA social eating. When reflecting upon the place I was eating from it was familiar territory, but a territory I had not danced within since the start of my cleanse. I was not eating from a place of fuel. Those previous two weeks, eating from a place of hunger and to fuel my body I felt more energized, I felt stronger during my workouts and the mental aspect of success was really building up my confidence. I liked all of those feelings and that alone made me want to at the very least to get back to strictly eating only from my ‘Ashley approved’ list of foods. I also recognized I still had many questions for my nutritionist that were making me question certain areas of the cleanse that made it easier to walk away from it. There was not clarity and from my confidence comes from clarity.
The following weeks up until yesterday I realized I drink a lot. It is actually rather easy to eat from my ‘Ashley Approved List’. That journaling what I was eating is a major help. And lastly, my focus, sleep strength, endurance and happiness are all in better places when I have less sugars and grains. When I met with my nutritionist I was all about diving back into the cleanse and trying again, simply from a place of accomplishment, not a place of body strength. I was already hearing from my body. She over rode my request for my gold cleanse star and we decided I would continue you to food journal, continue to listen to my body and come back in a month after eating from my ‘Ashley Approved List’ and see where I am at. Now, insert hard core eye roll here because literally a food journal is the oldest trick in the book and I hate the idea of keeping one. Not for any particular reason, simply because I am lazy and also don’t want the honesty of how many times of day I snack. BRUTAL. But truthfully I am learning so much by keeping my journal, AND it is not difficult. I keep it in my kitchen and I log when and what I eat, as well as my exercise. Days mesh together so easily. Without this accountability tool I really am not in a place of structure and strength with my eating habits. And I am ok to admit that, because it is the truth and I recognize that I can change. I did change and I actually enjoy the changes. GASP.
What was important for me was to recognize that I put a stop to the “failure”. Recognize emotionally the reasons I was drinking or eating. I did not want to get back on the cleanse bandwagon as I really was not feeling comfortable with some of the unanswered questions, but I did respect that this new lifestyle HAS to be my life and that my body was screaming in pain when I ate those foods that do not agree with my body.
The place I am still struggling is going out to eat. I am enjoying cooking at home. I am enjoying cooking for friends. I am really and truly enjoying the foods my body likes to eat. But going to a restaurant is a bitch and there is no other way to put it. You either be a total diva to the waiter ( aka ask him for salmon even when there is absolutely no salmon on the menu) or you just say screw it and eat what you think is going to be soy free, dairy free, non GMO, blah blah blah and see what your stomach does later. I have danced with both the last few weeks. Being social and eating clean are a C H A L E N G E. There is no getting around it. It is worlds better than it used to be, but I still have to decline all Fro-Yo invitations because that is somewhere I simply can not go to just “hangout” and resist to indulge. When that day comes that will be a SERIOUS accomplishment.
You know why I can sit here and be really proud of myself and honest with you all. Because I am trying. I truthfully am. I am really staying in a place of awareness in my body. All change comes from mindfullness and man are my body and I chatting away. There is so much change going on in my life and I am acknowledging it and experiencing it with grace. Health is so serious. Our bodies are the Lord’s temple and when he makes it clear what to put inside of it we must obey. I want to live a strong, happy and healthy life, prepared for all battlefields and dance floors he brings me to. I know what I need to do and it is about developing the muscles to stay true to it. I encourage you to breath. I encourage you to listen to your body. I encourage you to log it. Do not let mistakes defeat you. Be aware of your triggers. The devil is a quitter. The devil is not creative and he attacks familiar weak places. Perseverance and Patience are virtues of the Lord.