Had someone told me a month ago that I would be no longer eating sugar or drinking wine I would have scoffed at such an absurdity. For years I have told myself and others that those were the two food items that I was not going to eliminate from my diet and I made every excuse I could as to why they were not harmful to me.
I facilitated a 21 days ‘cleanse’ where the participants were encouraged to eliminate five items from their diet; gluten, animal products, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. In addition we practiced yoga, meditation, yoga meal guidelines, and journaling. As the facilitator I felt that to be in integrity and authenticity, I needed to participate in some form for the 21 days.
Having once been a very large woman, I have found what works in my body and I am cognizant of where I have been, and where I never want to go again. Participating in this cleanse meant that I would be challenging myself and my body and expanding my awareness of what works in my body. I have been a vegetarian for three years and once I moved away from that diet, I realized that it was horrible for my body–inflammation, fatigue, digestive issues, and overall malaise. So the steak were going to stay. I am already gluten/grain free so no biggie there. Caffeine? Uh no. At the time, I was not ready to eliminate coffee–reduce yes–eliminate no. So that left sugar and alcohol.
It is astonishing how once I put my mind to something, it was relatively easy to complete it. Initially, I replaced wine with herbal tea and the post-dinner chocolate with teeth brushing. I realized the drinking and eating were simply habitual and that I really had no cravings. I had a day or two of feeling post-sugar grogginess, but overall I was astounded at how clear I felt in both my mind and my body. Not only was my mind clearer, I now sleep better, I have more energy, and I managed to drop a few pounds.
The work ahead of me now is to make it through the coming holidays with awareness. Not just the awareness of sugar and wine, but the awareness to enjoy. Find that balance between habitual and mindless eating/drinking and enjoyment. And perhaps my next challenge will be to eliminate that coffee. Or not.