From the time we enter this world, women are inundated with images – on TV, in the movies, in magazines – of what the ideal female body should look like. We hear our moms talk about dieting and see them trying the latest exercise trend. Then we get older, our bodies start changing, we start having the thoughts “am I fat? will this make me fat?” and we become each other’s worst critics. Nearly every women’s magazine has some sort of weight loss tip on its cover. We compare ourselves to supermodels, celebrities and athletes. We obsessively count calories, even if where those calories come from isn’t a priority. We judge people by how big they are on the outside rather than how delightful they may be on the inside.
I’ve seen those dear to me suffer from eating disorders. I’ve had my own self-deprecating thoughts about my body. I’m guilty of exercising to compensate for an indulgence, eating a Nutri-grain bar and apple for lunch in junior high because I was afraid of becoming overweight, and frankly, just being too hard on myself as I tried to live up to societal standards.
For about two months now, I’m proud to say I haven’t had many (if at all) self-deprecating thoughts about my body. I haven’t felt the need to over-exercise to compensate for my diet. I haven’t found myself comparing my body to ones I know aren’t realistically attainable for me. I’m tall with long limbs. I can’t help genetics. I run but don’t win every race. I practice yoga but am limited in my twisting, back-bending and flexibility. I stand tall because I can. I keep practicing running and yoga because I can. I may never be the fastest or you may never see my picture on a yoga site displaying some advanced pose. That’s okay.
What you will see is someone comfortable in the freedom she has from making eating & exercise choices right for her. People do the 28-day clean eating challenge for different reasons. I entered the journey because I physically wasn’t feeling good. I was tired of my stomach hurting, feeling gut heavy and bloated after I ate. I was tired of that awful crash feeling when I became hungry.
When I first was into the clean eating challenge, a dear friend expressed concern about it leading to an eating disorder. A valid, solid point, she made. I can see how following an eating plan might lead down that unhealthy slippery slope. I keep that in mind constantly and check in with myself to make sure whatever choice I’m making is for the right reason and not some superficial, shallow standard.
Fad diets and those that use harmful chemicals in their products and food make me crazy. They don’t address real health issues. They appeal to women’s insecurities about being skinny. They condone the unhealthy culture that teaches it doesn’t matter what you put in your body. All that matters is whether it will make you thin. For a time, maybe. Who cares about long-term health?
There has been a lot of talk recently about gluten – it’s a made-up problem, it’s just a trend, there’s no scientific evidence that such a thing as gluten intolerance exists … celiac’s disease, yes, but gluten intolerance, no. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley & rye and lots of other items, is one of the substances you eliminate during the 28-day challenge that I support. Along with dairy, soy, whey and artificial sweeteners. These substances have been known to slow digestion and elimination as well as contribute to other uncomfortable bodily situations. I’m not claiming to be an expert. All I can tell you is by eliminating those things, I was able to restore my digestive functions, my scalp & skin conditions improved, groggy feelings disappeared, bloating after eating became non-existent and I noticed my thought process became clearer as well as my writing (which is a plus since that’s what I get paid to do for a living!). And best of all, because of the support + suggested recipes I received, I NEVER felt deprived. Food actually tasted better. I still follow the eating plan for the most part, and when I do have processed food, it doesn’t even taste good to me anymore.
If you’re considering the challenge for weight loss, I share my mom’s story. My mom, who has become overweight for her small 5’4″ frame, recently completed the challenge. She lost 9 pounds over the four weeks. She called me yesterday happily surprised that she was down another 6 pounds, which means that during the week after the challenge was over she lost that additional weight. Mom is smart. She’s a math professor by trade and is an avid reader of all things. One area she keeps up with is the medical and health world. She pointed out she knows she will continue to lose weight because she eliminated toxins during the 28 days. And when you eliminate toxins, inflammation, excess weight and fat can dissipate.
In case this is your first time tuning in, the 28-day clean eating/detox program I tout uses Arbonne pure, safe & beneficial products + support from Arbonne real, genuine people like me ;). The Arbonne program is in line with Dr. Oz’s clean detox program.
Several friends have expressed something like this to me over the years: “I just don’t understand. I’ve been exercising and eating healthy. I just can’t lose weight.” I share with them and you the 411 on weight loss:
How and when weight loss occurs varies for each person. Everyone comes into the detox with a different level of toxicity, a different genetic history, and different hormonal patterns. For many, the body will not begin to reduce inflammation and release extra weight until it has found balance through the cleansing process.
Excess weight is often a result of consuming foods that do not work for the body, resulting in poor digestion and toxic overload. Detox helps the body re-balance itself and help repair the damage done by years of poor habits. When you lose weight without doing this important foundational work, the weight loss typically doesn’t last. It also doesn’t bring about the increased vitality, that in the end is what we really want.
How you feel is a more accurate measure of success. Instead of numbers on the scale, focus on your energy level, sleep patterns, digestion, elimination, mood and clarity of thought. And that’s what it’s all about.
I have found I love inspiring others to find their gut bliss, happy place. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re interested or have more questions about this life-changing challenge. As one of my “bootcampers” said, “The stewing is a lot harder than the doing.”