I woke up with that thought this morning. This is not just the end of my fasting, it's the beginning of the time when I need to do better than I have done. To treat my body better, and by doing so, feel better.
I admit that brings me some anxiety. Ten days is the "normal" term for the Master Cleanse, and so on the one hand I'm proud of myself for getting this far and for being true to my intentions. On the other hand, I am fully aware that the same temptations are out there awaiting me. Sugar, bread, late night eating, emotional binges - all the things that I was battling before didn't magically disappear in a week and a half. Just as I made the decision to take a break from food, I now have to make the decision to reintroduce food that nourishes, fuels, and sustains me.
One of my online buddies has chatted and blogged about the importance of perspective when it comes to eating right. She has been a Weight Watchers counselor fors some time, and she counsels that it's key to look at healthy eating as a choice you're making for a better you, and not so much as a denial of all these things that are tough to give up. That resonates with me.
Because I have a laundry list of food intolerances and have trouble with some foods that for other people are beneficial, I often wear that like a heavy cross. When I'm more rational, I think of it more like a gift. Most of the things I'm allergic to or can't tolerate well (dairy, eggs, wheat, corn, caffeine, chocolate, wine, vinegar, yeast) just bulk me up or make me downright sick when I consume them. Admittedly they taste good, but if I see them as the system clogging substances that they actually are, they hold less appeal. My ideal eating plan includes all the vegetables I can stand, and most meats. Not bad, right? So many options there.
I am grateful for some of the clear and complete thoughts that have come to me over the last 10 days. One in particular I will carry with me. The way I use (or abuse) food is my choice. I'm blessed to live in a time and place and financial standing that allows me to eat the way I want, the way I should. I can choose to be reckless or responsible with that blessing. So at least one resolve has come of this realization: the way I eat must be a choice I renew EVERY day.
I am going to work at putting food in it's rightful place - something to be enjoyed in moderation, and to be used as fuel for all the things I want to accomplish. When traveling for work, I will find good alternatives to airport food and hotel vending machines (Anywhere I travel has a local grocery store). When good options are not available, I will drink plenty of water and wait until it is. I will take my time when deciding what to eat, and I will not eat late just because it's been several hours since my last meal.
I don't know if I'll write again about this experience today, so I'll finish up with a big THANK YOU. So many of you have reached out to send your support and it has helped more than I can express. This is one of those endeavors that might seem crazy to some, but in typical fashion you have only been kind and shared just the positive feedback and encouragement that I needed. Thanks for sticking with me while I externally processed all this.
For my friends still on this journey over the next several days, or for those considering a start - You CAN give yourself this gift. I've got my pom poms out for you, and a ready and willing ear.
Have a FANTASTIC weekend all!