14 Days of Clean Eating, why am I doing this?
I’ve spent the last nine days exploring a clean eating diet and have five days to go. I’ve been honestly fascinated with the process and my reactions to it, but I’m boring people on Facebook with my updates and I can only process so much thought through my husband, who is suffering through this with me, I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a while but wasn’t inspired to write, so this was the perfect impetus.
The biggest question I get is why am I doing this? Usually followed by a few assumptions; lose holiday weight, New Years Resolution, etc. And I will admit, that shedding some festivus poundage was a part of it. January is also a good time to do these kinds of things because generally everyone is trying for some form of moderation after two months of holidays, so you’re not missing out on a ton of parties, get-togethers and general hedonism. Willpower is not an unlimited resource. I had other reasons though.
I was bored with my usual ‘healthy eating’ regime that I followed and thus was falling off of it more and more. Said regime was also largely developed through my own trial and error via making weight while fight training and getting through the winter while planning a spring wedding (and wanting to look good in the dress, obviously). The Clean Eating plan came along through one of the gyms I worked at and was overseen by a registered dietitian. No meetings, a flexible meal plan and freedom to email with questions and get responses throughout the plan. Perfect.
Another big reason was sugar. So much research has linked sugar to cancer and cancer seems to just be looming closer all the time. My uncle passed a few years ago, my aunt is a more recent survivor. My husband's aunt survived one bout, but was not as fortunate the second time. My friend/ex-boyfriend survived throat cancer and my beautiful friend Erin recently passed from colon cancer. Countless other friends are still fighting. These are people directly connected to me. These aren’t friends of friends or even ‘really old people.’ Erin was only 41. I think about her a lot.
Cutting out sugar entirely for two weeks seemed like a good idea.
Now, I am a sugar FIEND. I'm the girl who asks for the corner piece of cake with the rose and then also scoops up any icing that's been left along the edges and scrapes the knife on the side of the plate. I didn't start drinking coffee until age 25. If you can call drinking dessert 'coffee.' We're talking frappucino or a vanilla (or peppermint) mocha. With whip, thanks. Only when I started fighting and then racing and wanted to cut unnecessary calories did I force myself to switch to regular coffee with skim milk and about three Splenda's. I've recently made an effort to cut back on the Splenda. I tried to go to raw sugar, but two wasn't enough and I shuddered at all the calories that I was adding with more than two raw sugars packets. Might as well just get a mocha. I'm now down to one Splenda in a small coffee, two in a medium or large. If after this cleanse, I can switch to one raw sugar packet, I'll consider that a victory.
Basically, I viewed this cleanse as a jump start into making a few permanent, healthy changes that I knew I should be doing anyway, maybe getting some new recipe ideas that my husband and I could enjoy cooking together and hopefully "learning something." (And if I dropped a few pounds along the way, hey, lagniappe!)
I expected to have some small physical improvements. I had no idea that I would be examining my relationships to food and alcohol and I wasn't prepared for how fascinating it would be to watch myself deal with not having certain favorite things. My husband's reactions and the things he missed were totally different than mine. Or maybe he just wasn't as vocal about it as I was.
So this was my why. I'll write more about the fallout in subsequent entries.