I know, I know. Those things are evil, deadly and dumb. For the most part, anyway. But some good friends of mine have done the one I'm on, and they're fitness pros with brains. Another good friend encouraged me to try it, and is doing it with me. And honestly, if University of Illinois at Chicago (in conjunction with Rush Presbyterian Hospital) did a study using the products I'm using and had pretty stellar results, I'm pretty sure it's at least worth a try. So I'm almost done with my 11-day Isagenix Cleanse.
I'm not going to go into the cleanse itself or how it works here. Literally hundreds of bloggers have documented their experiences on it, and mine are pretty similar. Instead, I'll just give a few details of what I've learned.
The cleanse, for me, is a way to reignite my passion for fitness, and recharge my energy for keeping my eye on the prize of ultimate health. I've stalled lately. It's been hard to stay on a schedule and keep the pounds going down. Continuing to take off the weight is something I have to do for my overall health. Also, I wanted to retrain my brain to be okay with being hungry. Obsessing over everything that goes into my face for an 11-day period has helped me with that. So what have I learned? Here goes.
I can live off of a lot less food than I think. On "shake days," Isagenix allows for a shake in the morning, a healthy lunch, and a shake at night, with a few snacks in between. That's it. Well, except for this nasty herbal shit that I can barely choke down. Anyway, that's all I eat on shake days, and it's really enough. On "cleanse days," you're down to the vile herbal shit once a day, a cleanse drink four times a day, and intermittent snacks. I spend those days thinking about food, but I am still able to function pretty well.
- I obsess about food. A lot. Since starting CleanseFest 2013, I have craved a cheeseburger. Every day for 10 days; for serious.
- Food triggers are everywhere. Heading home one night, I passed a billboard for Jersey Mike's Subs. Now, I am not a particular fan of subs. I don't think they're evil or anything, they're just not something I crave. Until I knew I couldn't have one and it was suggested to me. Then, all I wanted to do was find the nearest Jersey Mike's and gobble one down.
- Coffee. Oh, I miss coffee. While on the cleanse, it isn't strictly forbidden, but the way I like it - with sugar and plenty of real cream - it isn't allowed. I've had a cup, black every day. But I honestly cannot wait to get my java back.
- I take comfort in food. The thing I have missed most is the act of settling in for the night with a nice, warm (or cold; it's summer) dinner. It feels nurturing to me, so I feel like I've missed out on some great nurturing.
The most vivid realization is that food temptation is everywhere. Being focused on it made it possible to avoid it, but it hasn't been easy! Also, my energy has been pretty low, especially on the cleanse days. That's just really not like me. So I'm looking forward to getting back to real food, but I will dive back into the pool with my eye on my relationship with food. I am determined to make a change in my eating patterns based on what I learned about myself and hunger over the past 10 days!
That being said, now I crave peanut butter. Also, I will certainly be having a burger or a slice of pizza (or both) over the holiday weekend! But I know I can keep it to a reasonable amount, and I will enjoy every bite.
And isn't that the point?