A few weeks back I shared my struggle with a passion for eating. First, I must clarify … I’m not what one would call a ‘foodie,’ my palate is pretty simple. Fine dining is nice and fun on occasion, my previous piece was primarily about my love of simple fresh foods - produce and proteins … And of course water. Lots and lots of water.
In addition to a love of food I also enjoy an occasional adult beverage, also known by some as empty calories. Fortunately, I’m not a calorie counter and I live an active life so I don’t get hung up on such things. It’s truly about balance and happiness.
In keeping with my ‘active’ life, I’m pretty well in tune with my body and how it serves me. As of late it’s been a bit sluggish thanks largely in part to a bit too much of all of the above.
We live in a day and age of countless options in the way of cleanses and detox. A large number of my friends and family have journeyed their way through many and I’ve toyed with the idea a number of times. The commitment however of giving up so many things for a short period of time was hard for me to do.
In most if not all cases, that also entailed cutting physical activity back to minimal or none. I’m a runner. Running is my sanity which helps me be a decent human, so the thought of sitting still, not lacing up for seven consecutive days was unimaginable.
Following a couple of Giants games and a three day trip to Las Vegas, I felt my body was screaming for a detox. Right about this same time I had picked up the book “Why Kids Make You Fat … and How to Get Your Body Back” by New York Times Bestselling author Mark Macdonald.
Mark is actually a childhood friend. His sisters, along with my lifelong friend Katie and I enjoyed a lot of fun together as girls: sleepovers, beach trips, you name it. Some of my most memorable summers were spent with the Macdonalds and the McCarty’s.
It’s exciting to now see what we have all done with our lives, Mark’s just happens to be much more public. So as I opened his book and began reading I related to his words. I had no clue when I bought it that it was a health plan book, I was simply supporting a childhood friend.
The book outlines an 8-week plan and for whatever reason, this plan … spoke to me. It began with a seven-day detox and eating in threes. Hmm … I could do that, I thought to myself.
For those unfamiliar most cleanses and/or detoxes require you to give up a number of things which are clogging up your system. A major one being caffeine. Yes, this means no coffee, no tea, nada, none for seven days. Seems simple enough. It’s just seven days.
Then day two hit and I became one of the most exhausted miserable people one could meet. Cranky is an understatement. Oh, and I started this on a Monday, in the midst of celebrating the birth of my two children. In a word, dumb and quite frankly poor planning.
Fortunately, Mark knows what he’s talking about and has walked this journey himself. Gratefully, the book confirmed that exhaustion in the first three days was normal and for the true caffeine addict suffering headaches, one cup was okay – black of course.
I had also missed the piece which shared walking a bit each day was okay and 10 minutes of stretching was encouraged. I could do this, I thought to myself. Fortunately, I also have a supportive and encouraging mate, who tolerated me through much of the crankiness and reminded me it was only temporary.
I am happy to report, he was right. Yes, I did drop a few pounds as well, but it truly was less about a number and more about a feeling. That’s the beauty of being physically active on a regular basis, we truly rely and depend on how our body ‘feels’ and how it performs.
Additionally, I will likely re-evaluate what goes into my body more closely going forward. Feeling miserable in your own skin is just not fun. Then made even worse by a detox, which makes you aware of how bad those things truly are for you.
As the saying goes, ‘You can’t out exercise a bad diet.’ It truly is about balance and moderation.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.