So I planned to do a 3-day cleanse yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I read a program in "Vegetarian Times" magazine that sounded good. I've never really done a cleanse before and was excited to do one. I also felt that my body needed one, as I've been eating more sugar lately and other less-than-healthy things.
On Friday I went to the grocery store and got the necessary ingredients for the cleanse (it's a 7 ingredient cleanse... all meals consist of some combination of these 7 detoxifying, purifying, whole foods). Yesterday was Day One.
Let me back up a day and say on Sunday was my grandma's birthday (98... let's hope I do as well as she has!). I had made a couple things for the party, and had left-overs. So, Monday morning, Day One of the cleanse, I was staring at these yummy left-overs in my fridge.
They're healthy... artichoke mushroom crostinis on whole grain bread. They're vegan. No added sugar (though I know some is in the bread... I bought it at the grocery store). I know I'm supposed to be starting the cleanse, but I figure a few of these in the morning (I was hungrier than usual) was alright. After all, I'd just eaten them the day before.
Then I resume the "cleanse." Well, after my morning juice... "My" juice isn't on the cleanse's official menu, but I figure it's healthy and good for me, and there's no reason to give that up. I'll just add it to the cleanse, I figure.
So, ok. By 11:00 am on Day One I've already deviated from the cleanse menu. But my justification is that it's healthy stuff. Ok, whatever.
I'm thinking about what to make for lunch -- from the cleanse menu of course. Then I remember I have vegan "chicken" salad in the fridge that I made on Saturday.
I had planned on just keeping it until I was done with the cleanse; it should be ok for a couple days. But as I was presented with the option of eating something already made and ready... or making something new... let's just say I don't enjoy cooking, so I went with the easy out.
Dinner time rolled around and finally I made something from the cleanse menu! Well, actually, I did make the smoothie from the cleanse menu earlier, as a snack (I really wanted a Frappuccino, but resisted). It was good!
Then my ego started to really rear up. The feeling that I "couldn't" have certain things was really starting to get to me. "It's 3 days!" I'm telling myself. "Surely you can do 3 days!"
"Yes. I know I can. I just don't want to," my inner-child, ego is shouting at me.
Here's where I tell my embarrassing truth.
I went to my grandma's house to watch the Pacers/Heat Game 7 play-off game (I cut my cable and don't get that channel) last night. You know grandmas. They have tons of sugary treats. I knew before I went there that I'd give in. Sure, I could have gone someplace else. But I didn't. I went to my grandma's house and I ate not just one little cookie to satisfy my sugar craving. But several different things (candy, cookies, pie).
And while I was there I realized something. When I feel like I can't have something, it makes me want it all that much more. When I "could" eat sugar... as in, when I wasn't on a cleanse and didn't try to limit myself... I didn't eat as much as I did last night. More often than not, I go in and out of my grandma's house without so much as putting a jelly bean in my mouth. It was the feeling that I'd been "denied" all day (remember that Frappuccino I really wanted?). Definite ego behavior.
I had initially wanted to do the cleanse. It sounded like a good idea. But more than that, I felt like I should do it. I'd eaten more sugar than I typically do lately, and knew my body would benefit from a cleanse.
But putting something on anyone that they "should" do, but don't really want to, usually doesn't work out. This obviously doesn't only apply to sugar.
Doing something, or asking someone else to do something, that you should do, but don't really want to do on your own (or their own) often leads to resentment and anger. If not right away, over time. That's why I'm not a big fan of "shoulds."
The choices we make have much more staying power if it comes from a deeper place. A place of wanting to do it (whatever it is), instead of feeling like you "have to" or "should" or you "can't" do something else.
When I've given up sugar in the past, it was because I wanted to. I wanted to see how I'd feel. I wanted to see if I could do it. I have the answers to those questions now. I felt great. And I could do it. For quite a long time actually (for over a year I had minimal to no sugar, even in processed foods I chose).
Ultimately, I believe in doing what feels right to YOU. Doing things solely out of obligation or to keep up appearances is not good. Get in tune with your inner Self. What is SHE/HE telling you to do? You're the only one you have to answer to. Make choices that YOU feel good about. Other people may try to limit you or place restrictions on you. Don't let them. And certainly don't limit yourself.
Clearly this blog has taken a turn from talking about whether to eat sugar or not, and how well I stuck to my cleanse.
But the ultimate message is to be true to YOU. Live your life YOUR way. Be the kind of person YOU want to be.
Go in Peace and Love. :)