YAY – I FINISHED!
Yesterday was the final day of my self-imposed 21-day detox reset plan and I am feeling accomplished! In this past year, my busy schedule has gotten the better of me and I was reaching for nutritional quick-fixes like protein bars, packaged foods and eating out. I wasn’t planning my meals, I was drinking way too many craft beers and just not taking care of my body like I should. As if post-menopause wasn’t enough to deal with, consequently, my body responded to the neglect – I gained 10 pounds, I was feeling bloated and sluggish (OMG, can you spell, I-N-F-L-A-M-M-A-T-I-O-N?), mushy and all around frumpy so I decided, enough is enough! I’m a fitness professional! I was tired of feeling chunky and it was time to reset my hormones, reduce my inflammation and feel human again!
Now, I’m not saying that I ate and drank like this every day, but you’d be amazed at how quickly this stuff adds up! Habits form VERY quickly and before you know it, you’re in a rut.
What I did
So, for the last 21-days I would say I eliminated the following crap from my diet:
- Sugar in any form other than fresh fruit – no chocolate, candy, muffins, baked goods, NONE!
- Protein bars – NONE! Every protein bar is packaged and contains some form of SUGAR!
- Any Processed foods – any food that was pre-packaged was off the list – these contain preservatives, chemicals and, guess what: SUGAR!
- Beer – this was a hard one and I wasn’t perfect, but, I was shocked at how much beer I was drinking each week! I think I may have had 2 total beers in the last 21 days. This is a far cry from my prior consumption and just think of all the carbs I eliminated. And you guessed it, carbs = SUGAR!
- Wine – off the list…SUGAR.
- Anything fried – no chicken wings or chicken tenders for me. Again, I wasn’t perfect and I did break down 1 time, but hey, I’m only human. 😉
- Pasta and bread – I tried to keep these to a minimum and derive my carbs from veggies.
- Processed deli meats – too many preservatives!
- Fast food of ANY kind – NONE!
One of the most important aspects of my detox reset was I re-introduced regular exercise into my life. I had fallen out of habit with my regular routine and being post-menopausal, this is a recipe for weight-gain disaster, hence the extra 10 pounds! I’ve started swimming laps twice a week – just 30 minutes of intervals gives me a TOTAL body workout. I’ve also incorporated 30 minutes of power-walking no less than 3 days a week, 2 of those days includes 30 minutes of resistance training.
Don’t get me wrong, this was HARD! And, making big changes like this is probably likened to going into rehab but I’m not one to ‘ease’ into anything; it’s gotta be all-in for me. The result has been an interesting journey and I have paid very close attention to how my body felt and what my cravings were.
The Hard stuff
I’d say the hardest thing I have dealt with was not having a beer at the end of my day – I viewed this as a reward for hard work and it was a well-practiced habit for me. But after the first 4-5 days, I didn’t think about it at all. Lots of sparkling water in a cold beer glass for me. A surprising early epiphany for me was that my sugar cravings were gone almost immediately. I LOVE chocolate. Once I set my mind to not having any, I didn’t even think about it.
How did I feel
I did notice the first week feeling pretty tired and a little sluggish (more than usual) which I believe was my body’s way of detoxing. I also noticed that whenever I ate, I would become sluggish and tired soon after, like I wanted to nap. Again, I likened this to eliminating a lot of carbs and refined sugars from my nutrition. My body was very used to having this crap to function and suddenly, it was no more. This was easily remedied with a piece of fruit or a handful of grapes after a meal or at the slightest hint of tiredness, I would head for the treadmill (seriously).
Oh, and I was (and still am) was hungry A LOT – eliminating cruddy, processed carbs = hunger. I filled in the gaps with lots of salads, veggies and clean protein for me.
How do I feel now
I feel GREAT! It’s like I’m back in my own skin again! My belly is no longer bloated, my clothes are fitting better and looser, and last week the scale started to move and I’m down 3.5 pounds since I started. More importantly, I have rewired my brain and eliminated some REALLY bad habits that I had formed. It truly is amazing how our bodies respond to the environment we subject it to – both good and bad. My amazing machine is feeling amazing again!
Every now and then it’s a good idea to take stock of our present situation; how we’re taking care of our bodies, ourselves. Every now and then, it’s a good idea to “reset”. It’s not easy, but the result will leave you feeling accomplished, strong and simply amazing!!
As always, yours in health,