arthritis

Countdown to Plant Strong

noeats (Mobile)My boyfriend bought me the juicer I wanted for my birthday and yesterday it shipped from Amazon! The more I read (and since getting a Kindle, I am reading A LOT!) the more I think a juicer will be very helpful for my Plant Strong lifestyle.

I have detoxed before, specifically with what I call the Brown Rice detox, but I have never done a juice detox, and I am not a fan of drinking my food.

I like water, wine, coffee, tea, the occasional beer and speciality cocktail, and even rarer still a chocolate milkshake or iced coffee. I have never been big on the smoothie, never been crazy about juice … or even soup!

Traditionally for me, drinks are fluids that accompany solid food or quench your thirst … or just help you relax and get high! So the concept of incorporating juice into my daily life is way out of character and totally bizarre … unless it helps me to relax and get high! 😀 Actually from all accounts there is a level of euphoria associated with juice detoxing that you can’t get from starvation alone, so perhaps it will be a bit like drinking wine minus any drunk dialling or hangover.

My plan is to do a juice detox of at least three days (but hopefully even longer), and then adopt a whole food plant based diet that incorporates one or two glasses of juice every day. I know from past detoxing that the first three days are the most difficult because your body goes into withdrawal from your addiction to salt, fat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or whatever your poison of choice has been. Caffeine has been a big one for me in the past but I drink way less coffee and tea now, so hopefully that will make a difference, because salt, fat and sugar are gonna kick my ass! Since Christmas I have been living on a steady diet of chicken strips from the SuperStore deli, Kraft sweet ‘n sour sauce, whipped potatoes, french fries, nachos with cheese, frozen yogurt, ice cream, potato chips, waffle cones, macaroni and cheese, pizza, garlic fingers, hamburgers, chicken burgers, hot dogs, bacon, cake, cupcakes, muffins … and that’s pretty much it. I do not ever look at myself in the mirror with wonderment and ask How did I get so fat, so quick?! There is no denial going on here. I totally did this to myself.

I actually don’t worry about being fat in the sense of not feeling comfortable in my own skin or being ashamed to be seen in public. Once upon a time I had those sorts of body image issues, but they are long gone (and maybe that’s not even a good thing because it makes it easier to allow myself to bulk up). I don’t look in the mirror and see a fat lady. I just see me and sometimes I think Damn girl! You got it going on! and sometimes I think Damn girl! You need to get some more sleep, you look like hell! But I never think Damn girl! Why you so fat?! It is the strangest thing. When I was much younger, just an itty bitty little thing, I was starving myself to death because every time I looked in the mirror or saw a photo or just looked down at my body, I thought I was fat. I wasn’t fat. I was unhealthy, but I wasn’t fat. Now I am the largest I have ever been and I look in the mirror and don’t see it at all. I am taken aback when I see photographs though. Whoa! Is THAT me?! Am I really that big?! But my mind doesn’t immediately start going to the self-hate talk that I had when I was in my 20’s (and not even really fat) … You are so ugly! Nobody will ever love you! You are no good! Now I think instead, Wow! This is a major health issue. You need to fix this before something bad happens. 

So back to the battle of the lifestyle change. I did make a lot of changes over the past decade or longer. I learned to enjoy foods I never would have eaten before. I got into using a pedometer and then later an activity tracker to measure steps and activity. At one point I joined a gym (I am not a gym person, but I got my money’s worth out of that membership). I discovered I enjoy walking on a treadmill (I don’t have one, but I do enjoy them). I experimented with vegetarianism and then I lived as a vegetarian for well over a year, maybe two. I joined online communities. I read books. I tracked food. I tracked sleep. I tracked my water intake. I got down to a pretty good size at one point and maintained it for at least five years … and in amongst all this my personal life blew up unlike anything I could have ever anticipated and I suffered a major loss and was deeply scarred. I lived as a vegetarian AFTER the trauma. The landscape of my life had completely altered but I was still trying to change my lifestyle and be a healthier me. I failed obviously, but I learned a lot. I am also dealing with the issues of a woman reaching a certain age … peri-menopause … sigh, my body doesn’t behave like it did 10 years ago, or even five years ago. So yay me! I have fattened myself up right at that time in my life when my body is going to refuse to lose weight!

But that’s okay, because I have demonstrated time and time again that I am resilient and I won’t give up. I have learned enough to know that I do want to adopt a whole food plant based diet in order to achieve optimal health. I know that I need to lose weight in order to be healthier and reduce my risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and all kinds of nasty things. I know that I cannot be my healthiest self with diet alone and I need to adopt a more active lifestyle as well. I have this vision of myself in my mind … and it hasn’t wavered in all these years since I first decided I wanted to change my lifestyle a long, long time ago when I was bedridden with arthritis …

I am healthy. You can see it from the clear complexion of my skin and the brightness of my eyes. I smile and laugh all the time because I am happy deep down in my core and I exude a certain joy and zest for life that is contagious. People enjoy being around me and spending time with me because I am fun to be around and we laugh a lot. I am energetic and active, some might say I have pep in my step. Yet, I am calm and have a zen-like quality about me that helps others to relax when they are in my company. I am full of love for my partner, my family, my work, my hobbies, my friends and life in general.

The vision lives on.

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