Things have just been feeling off lately. Despite maintaining a 5 days a week workout schedule for four weeks now (!), my weight and measurements haven't changed. Sluggishness overcomes me and 'irritable' seems to be my default emotion. A bloated belly, lethargic limbs, and hammering headaches are regular occurrences and my brain seems to be in a fog most days.
I know this is all my fault. I know I brought it on myself. I know these things are within my control and yet, up until now, I haven't had the energy or motivation to do anything about it. It's far too easy to reach for the sugary pick-me-up or the satisfying starches that, like their contraband cousins, give instant pleasure but leave you jonesing for more a mere minutes or hours later. Instantly filling and yet leave you empty at the same time.
So, with a little inspiration from my latest read Better Than Before, I decided it was time for a change. A drastic change, if I'm being honest. I needed a big reset button to boost my energy and push me to be my best self. For the next 30 days -the entire month of June- I am abstaining from sugar, dairy, grains, and alcohol. I've also decided to practice daily yoga, even if it's just for 10 or 15 minutes, stick to a 10:30pm bedtime, and journal daily about my progress.
There was a lot of thought and mental preparation that went into this decision. Even the words I'm using to describe the reset are carefully thought out. It's not a cleanse or a detox. I firmly believe our bodies are capable of removing toxins all on their own without the need for extreme liquid diets or fasts. It's what organs like the liver and kidneys were designed to do, after all. And I'm not saying those particular things are "not allowed" or "off limits" because I know my Rebel tendencies would immediately view that as an opening to cheat. No, this is not a blanket prohibition. This is a choice. I am choosing to abstain from certain foods for a set period of time because I believe it will help me feel healthier and happier. I am choosing to engage in yoga everyday and personal reflection of my progress to help me stay mentally and physically motivated.
So far, it's Day 2 and I actually already feel less bloated than I did yesterday. I woke up with a minor headache and some neck and back soreness, but nothing warranting meds. And, after this morning's 30-minute yoga session, I feel more alert and aligned than I did before. I fully expect some major sugar cravings to kick in and some other uncomfortableness as my body withdraws from its favorite drug but I'm hoping by this time next week, I'll be well on my way to a successful mental and physical reset. I've never done anything this drastic before. Even my Lenten promises, which I'm so good as sticking to for such a brief time, have been relatively easy in comparison. But this one isn't motivated out of external obligations or remnants of religious guilt. It's inspired by truly feeling like crap the majority of the time. And who wants to feel like crap most days? Not this girl. That alone should be inspiration enough to stick with it. After all, it's only 30 days. Less than 10% of the whole year. It can't be that hard, right?
Have you ever tried a reset or a Whole 30 program? I'd love to hear about your experience and any tips or advice you have to share!