Last spring, I took about 8 weeks off from drinking alcohol. I realized that in about a decade, I hadn’t gone more than a week without a drink. I decided to do it partially to see if I could, but also to give my body the rest and to reset my relationship with alcohol. After working in bars for so many years, it got so easy to have a drink or two after work, and if you work 4 or 5 nights a week, that’s a lot of drinks, especially when you include wine with dinner or a few pints with friends on a night off. It became too habitual to have a drink after work, so I wanted to eliminate the habit and adjust my relationship with alcohol. It was just what I needed, and it did just what I wanted it to. It’s something I feel I should do at least once a year.
Recently, I started a new job at a restaurant that includes a bakery. Without going into too much detail, the bakery is where most of my on the job “nutrition” comes from. The last few weeks, I’ve been eating in a very out of control fashion. I love food, sometimes I wonder if I don’t go through periods of food addiction. When I’m eating well, it’s relatively easy to avoid the refined stuff, but once I start on it, it spirals out of control. I’ve been able to mitigate my exposure to sweets and super refined calories by not keeping it at home, but it’s in my face constantly at work, and I’ve succumbed. I feel like in the last few weeks, I’ve had a very dysfunctional relationship with what I choose to put on my plate. I’ve been making poor food choices, eating too much, eating when I’m not hungry, and quite voraciously regardless of the status of my hunger. I’ve often read of food addiction being compared to drug or alcohol addiction and heard it said to be a trickier thing to control because you can not cut food out of your life, you have to eat it. The thing is, you can cut it out temporarily. That is partially why I am trying out the Master Cleanse for ten days, it’s my food rehab. Much like the sabbatical I took from alcohol, I am taking one from food.
I started the cleanse yesterday and most of the times I craved food were when I drove by a place that I’d normally stop if hungry and nearby. I noticed how many times I’d have the impulse to reach for food out of habit over hunger. I’d get excited like eating something “bad” was a fun thing to do on my day off and have to remind myself that I’m off food for the moment. When I sit down at the computer, I habitually have food. I know that’s an awful habit and that’s why I want to break these. I want my impulses to eat food to stem from hunger; to feed my body, not overload it.
Yesterday I felt mildly headache-y most of the day, but my mood and energy were pretty good. I had a haircut and there were a few hours where I got rumbles in my stomach, but nothing too bad. Today I haven’t really had any rumbles, though I can definitely feel it when the lemonade wears off and it’s time for another. I was under the impression that today was supposed to be the day where I felt bad physically due to toxins being released, but actually I feel pretty good. As for the saltwater flush, I couldn’t get the whole quart down this morning, the taste was just dreadful. I think I got enough down for it to do the trick, though, as elimination is a very important part of this cleanse.
In general, I’ve eaten real food, most of the time in the last couple of years, as my diet and learning about food evolves. However, in the last few weeks I’ve chosen way too much refined flour & sugar. In the last ten years I used to smoke and work in a smoke-filled environment, I used to drink diet energy drinks, I used to microwave plastic wrapped veggie burgers, I used to drink Slim-Fast as a meal replacement at work… aaaaand I’ve been on medication for almost 5 of the last 6 years. I’m sure there are plenty of toxins built up in my fatty tissue that are keeping me from feeling my best. I’m looking forward to releasing it as well as my toxic relationship to food.