Week 16 - Detox
Wake Up! experiment week 16- breaking the habits... to cut out caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar for 4 days
This was an interesting weekly experiment for me. I often go through phases of withdrawing caffeine and refined sugar from my diet and I can see the positive effects this has on my well-being, especially feelings of slugishness and the constant tiredness, yet I regularly slip back into these detrimental ways. I have recently found fruit flavoured, caffeine free teas, which quench my thirst for a warm drink without the rollercoaster of the caffeine hit. The same is true of my relationship with refined sugar - I can happily live without the sugar rushes and cravings (and often do on the healthier eating regime I have embarked upon) but even sucuumbing a tiny bit leads to huge cravings and a downward spiral to emotional eating and personal frustrations at my total lack of self control.
Alcohol is a different kettle of fish altogether: I don't actually drink a great deal from one month to another, with the exception of December's Christmas festivities and August's long summer days off work (although these days I still don't over induldge). I'm usualy well within my allowances, even at these times of the year, however I have now recognised the negative impact on my weight and cravings that the summertime drinking brings and I am focused on changing my ways this year, once and for all. I have many friends who drink regularly (and lots by my reckoning) and despite my lack of drinking, I still feel compelled to state that "I can't wait to get home and crack open a bottle of wine" knowing full well that a) I don't have any wine in, and b) that I have absolutely no intention of following through on this promise. I can only presume that as a society it is the 'norm' to drink little (or lots) and often, and that I somehow feel the need to fit into this 'niche'. The reality is that I don't like the extra calories I consume through drinking or the unhealthy cravings I have following the occasional drinking binge. Then comes the drink-induced insomnia, resulting in tiredness way beyond caffeine or sugar, then the groggyness and headaches the following day (it's not just the in the morning and can no longer be 'slept off' these days) - perhaps a result of changing metabolism or simply my age (maybe even both) but it simply cannot be done. Perhaps my friends who drink more regularly have built up some form of immunity to the effects of alcohol but I'd much rather join the "soberista" society and kick the alcohol for good. I suppose my priorities have changed now and I have other things I'd rather spend my time and energy on, not to mention the expense of a night on the town. Don't get me wrong, I love a good rave and could dance all night but I really don't need a drink to have a good time, my hair is let down frequently and I love to have fun but I don't need to be totally wasted, I like to remember what happened during the evening at free recall rather than in the flashbacks of yesteryear.
Research is now showing that the negative effects of alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar far outweigh their positives and society requires a huge overhaul as with cigarettes and smoking. Just because this is how it's always been done, it doesn't mean that this way is right. We are definitely in a time of change: a change that I plan to embrace. I'm making the most of the opportunities I have with the body I've been blessed with. I'm embracing the change and living my life to the full."Let's get this party started!"
So after detoxing this week (and reducing carbs) I feel healthier on the inside and out; my skin is glowing and I look and feel less tired and groggy and I've lost 4lbs. I've had no significant cravings and I don't feel that I'm missing out on anything - there are plenty of healthier alternatives I have been indulging in over the past four days and whilst I might not go 'cold turkey' on everything, I will definitely be more mindful of my options and acknowledge that I have choices to make in life and that these decisions are mine (and mine alone) to make. I'm moving towards a healthier side to myself and I intend to do whatever I can to ensure that my future is of my own making; not influenced by peer pressure, societal expectations or genetics (my dad is diabetic and health issues my parents have are caused through their personal lifestyle choices, which I will not be imitating). I am (mostly) happy with the choices I make; I live without regrets and am the best role model I can be for my children, promoting personal health and well-being and caring for my body as the temple it is - you only get one chance at this.