Ending the Cleanse

I’ve always been told that the way that you do a cleanse is the way you do everything in your life.

In the past, I have followed cleanses to the letter. And I did pretty much the same this time – that is until I ran out of the herbal supplement that I was taking for detox a day early! I was sort of horrified for about a minute and I immediately found myself falling down the rabbit hole of “Oh my god! I don’t have enough a stuff to finish the cleanse! This is awful, etc, etc.” Luckily I snapped out of it and forgave myself for 1) being bad at math – that is, not knowing how many servings I’d need for a 14 day cleanse – and 2) not keeping track of the house supply of Clearvite.

Does this mean that I ruined by cleanse? No. It means that I started the Body Ecology ritual (as opposed to regime or regiment, because, yes, Virginia, words matter) a day earlier. No big deal.

So a few posts earlier, I set my pre-goals for this cleanse.

I jokingly said that I would like to lose 10-15 pounds, but that my real goals were to slow down my eating, to eat smaller portions, and to learn to love my body (note the new tagline). I didn’t lose the 10-15 pounds, but I feel lighter and my clothes fit better. In fact, according the scale, I lost nothing and may have even gone up.

Am I disappointed? Actually, not at all, which is both surprising and surprisingly true.

So what did I accomplish in the last 24 days? Well, I think the biggest thing that happened is I bought a weighted hula hoop and I am having the best time…EVER. I never had any idea my belly was so much fun (not to mention talented)! Thank goodness it’s summer, because I’ve actually started running around in jog bras and crop tops so that I can hula at will and there’s something delightful about feeling the hoop grip your skin. It’s sexy. It’s fun. And my inner child, who never really has gotten the hang of crunches (who can blame her, really?) or yoga loves it.

I also started letting stuff go. Emotional stuff. Physical stuff. I shed clothes and shoes and anything that “didn’t serve me” or was ugly. Even things I had spent money on – especially things that I had spent money on and never used. Because even though I didn’t realize it at the time, when I would look at them, I would feel guilty or start to beat myself for wasting money – and goodness knows that guilt never serves. In the immortal words of Willie Nelson, “Regret is just a memory, painted on my brow, ’cause there’s nothing I can do about it now.” There is something you can do: learn the lesson. Bury (or give away) the evidence. Then move on.

I also stepped into my feminine. Well, it’s probably more appropriate to say that I continued the process of stepping into my feminine because it’s been going on for a while and it’s a process. I started small: I started listening to female artists again. I realized that since I have been living with Michael, I have adopted a lot of his music: The Grateful Dead, Daniel Lanois, U2, Talking Heads, etc (though I must admit that I drew the line at Zappa)! While he was away, I went through the music collection and picked out a female artist for every letter in the alphabet and worked my way through. Now, I’m not talking Britney Spears or Lady Gaga – my typical workout partners – I’m talking divas, like Annie Lennox, Barbara Streisand, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Jewel, Melissa Etheridge, Nora Jones, Patsy Kline, Sade…. You get the picture. A range of women sharing their experiences of the world.

I have also started doing yoga and meditating. I discovered essential oils. Essential oils help me with meditation because they smell so damn good that it’s pretty irresistible to just sit quietly with them and breathe deeply. I’ve been putting my fork down between every bite and remembering to breathe when I eat; especially to take three deep breaths before food ever passes my lips and to stop and take three more if I catch myself rushing.

I also rediscovered the sensual pleasure of dry skin brushing and wearing short skirts with flip flops on a summer’s day. And I’m sorry to say that I’ve only now fully discovered the importance of presence – not only in my relationships with food, but in my relationships with others, be it family, friends, or strangers. Being in the moment also helps with hula hooping, so it provides a great field in which to practice.

Last night I had dinner with Michael and a a couple of his friends (now my friends as well, as it was the first time we’d met). I drank my water while Michael and Jackie had wine. I ordered the swordfish without the sticky rice or mango sauce, while Jackie ordered the striped sea bass and the sweet potatoes (yum!). I had peppermint tea for dessert while Jackie and Paul split a creme brulee and Michael had an ice cream sundae with extra chocolate sauce. And on the way home, I realized that hadn’t felt at all deprived. I didn’t feel like I was cheated out of having a good time because I didn’t have the wine (I did smell the wine and, I’m not going to lie, it did smell fabulous). But, in retrospect, the peppermint tea (which, unfortunately, was not brand identified by the tag) was the best I ever had and I woke feeling awesome…much better than I felt the last two or three times I’ve had wine.

So today I started the next three month phase of trying to reclaim my immune system. What have I learned so far?

Own every part of myself.
Have more fun.
Laugh more often.
Be present (or as has been said better than I ever could: Be Here Now).
And love yourself – regardless.

2 comments so far

  1. Tish on

    I just finished my own cleanse that was, shall we say, less than perfectly executed? But it had its own benefits and discoveries. I realized that every cleanse will be different because *I* am different in that moment…

    • KJ on

      That’s a really excellent point, Tish! I’m looking forward to my next phase of healing. Good luck in your journey as well!

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