I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime since my last post on intuitive eating. Somewhere in the last couple months I decided I was sick of living by rules when it came to eating and decided to throw them out the window. Now I certainly didn’t go off and start wolfing down candy bars and french fries and I remained married to my juicer but I kind of just…stopped caring. I decided to take a conscious pause from my colon cleansing regime. I stopped bringing food with me to events and ate whatever was in front of me. If the group I was with was going out for a heavy brunch or having drinks in the middle of the day or organic-goat-cheese-nachos at midnight, I did too! I was sick of being the odd one out! I was liberated! Sort of…I don’t know when I realized how badly it all was affecting me…how sad and listless I felt. Maybe it was when Britney gently mentioned that I didn’t seem as vibrant and that she missed me, even though I was right there. I forgot how prone I used to be to depression and apathy. I forgot why I got into cleansing. Then I was just angry. Why do I have to be so careful and try so hard? How can my friends live on turkey sandwiches and coffee and seem fine?? There was a post on the Detox the World facebook page the other day that addressed this perfectly:
“Don’t fall into the trap of assuming everyone around you who eats normally and doesn’t cleanse is fine. I hear this all the time: “Everyone else is pretty and thin, happy and heathy and they are living ‘normally’ eating mainstream foods.” You don’t know what their life experience is like on the inside, you only see what they want you to see. I’ve been behind the scenes of countless people’s lives – people who made it look easy to be beautiful, healthy, thin, powerful, stylish (you name it) on the outside but behind closed doors of their homes and hearts they are self-loathing, self-abusive, physically unwell, on medications and otherwise imbalanced in multiple ways. It really is a trap to compare your call-to-cleansing to other people’s life path. If it is time for this work for you, I suggest honoring that!”
I can’t pretend to know what anyone else is feeling or experiencing. I don’t assume that everyone else is miserable just because I struggle when living “normally”. I can only know my experience and I’m remembering why it is so worth it to me to keep my body clean and clear.
This little experiment has impacted me hugely. I don’t feel as burdened by “rules” as I did. I’m still learning to what degree I can eat intuitively and where I need to plan more carefully. When I was in Natalia’s advanced training something that she said really stuck with me: we can’t eat intuitively because we don’t live in an intuitive world. I disagreed a little at the time and even more later but now I see what she means. I live in a very planned and scheduled world full of social expectations that easily keep me from living in the experience that I want. When I “go with the flow” (eating what other people eat, etc) I eventually start to break down. My mental and emotional states are difficult even though I’m trying so desperately to relax and enjoy myself. I just feel “off”. When I’m more cautious, when I take the time to notice what my body really needs (in terms of food, movement, time alone, etc) I feel like I’m myself again. Not to mention colon cleansing, something that I’ve integrated into my life so regularly for the last couple of years that I had no idea how detrimental it would be to remove it.
I still love the idea of eating intuitively but in order to do that and still feel like I want to I have to be more prepared. I have to care more. The question I’ve started asking myself now in terms of what to eat next is “how do I want to feel?”. Not “what sounds tastiest to me right now?”. I refuse to be dogmatic about juicing until any certain time of day and I insist on enjoying my food and choosing things that align with my cravings. Bingeing is not an option but occasional overeating is not the end of the world. A simple vegetable centric diet supplemented with juices and colon cleansing are where it’s at for me- beyond that, I make the rules. I’m learning how to find the greatest amount of freedom and pleasure in a lifestyle that requires certain boundaries.
I’ve been back on track for about a week now and I couldn’t be more grateful. I feel like myself again, actually alive with the ability to CHOOSE whether I want to react positively or negatively rather than just feeling like a robot who’s default is “apathetic”. Now I’m off to enjoy my lunch: carrot/romaine/fennel juice blended with an avocado, sweet potato, carob powder and stevia. I’ll be savoring every last drop 🙂