About two weeks ago….no, wait. Let’s back up. Maybe a month ago or so I was Elvis-kicking my way into a pair of jeans I had affectionately nicknamed, “My Shame Pants” when I realized they were about 3 ounces from not fitting onto my body. And truthfully, they got that nickname because they were tight enough where I always had a muffin top and a thigh hug constantly from hip to knee….an all day reminder of how they were too small. And how I was too big. And the shame of it all. I’m all for body acceptance, but this is what it is. When I gain wait, I gain shame, too.
So, about a month ago I was trying to figure out how to change things. I was consuming way too many calories. Empty calories, to be exact. Delicious, gourmet, extravagant, vacation-worthy calories. They hurt so good.
I knew I had to do something. But no idea what. My heart wasn’t in it for a juice fast, though I do love fresh juices. I’d been struggling with depression and knew I’d need to be able to eat some feelings, even if they were whole food versions of comfort food. Not up for Weight Watchers even though WW had helped me shed 120 pounds about 10 years ago. I cook from scratch with no recipe most of the time and it gets impossible to count points. Same with counting calories. I needed a PLAN, but I needed an easy plan. My mind kept drifting back to a book that several of my coworkers had read, called Clean by Alejandro Junger.
I checked it out from the library, started reading and one day when I walked into Kitchen No. 324 for breakfast, instead of ordering a party for my mouth, I ordered a whole table of green things.
Do you see all the joy on that table? Eating avocados nearly every day has been a beautiful element of Clean eating. Not that you have to but they are on the acceptable list. If I start to look a little green, you’ll know why. (Clockwise: Sliced avocado, green tea, shaved asparagus and arugula salad with cured lemon vinaigrette, Clean by Alejandro Junger and brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and roasted hazelnuts.)
I didn’t know much about the plan but I figured I could learn as I went. I ended up eating three “Clean” meals a day for 4 or 5 days to prepare my body a bit then started the official program on January 19.
There are 21 days to the plan. By the time my Day 1 had arrived, I already felt better. The mental fog was clearing. By about Day 5 I was 10 pounds lighter (but not really any smaller). Today is Day 14 and I’m maybe 12 pounds lighter and my Shame Pants fit! I celebrated this morning by taking a 15 minute indoor bike ride while I watched half of a Sex and the City episode. (No judging, SITC is my candy.)
Has it been totally easy? No. I feel a lot of social isolation when I can’t drink any alcohol and I have to speak my needs when choosing lunch spots with friends. There’s no gluten in me right now. No dairy. Those are the big ones I’m avoiding, but I can still eat grains and nosh fish. And bushels of fruits and veggies. I break a few rules, like….not all the fish is wild game caught organic free-range local salmon. BUT IT IS NOT A BURGER, and that counts for something, dammit. Due to circumstances for which I did not prepare, I did have a couple of turkey burgers on lettuce buns. I didn’t mind the bread being gone, I order them this way most of the time at Tucker’s. Not exactly on plan, but not worth feeling bad about.
I am off the coffee right now, too. I’ve been compensating by drinking all the Green Coconut that t, urban teahouse will sell me along with a fair amount of Earl Grey Roobios. And so much water that I am now considered to be a wild game caught organic free-range local fish.
There’s a lot more to the plan than food, though. Without all the toxicity having its way with my body, I am operating at a different level of mental clarity. Some days this is good, other days this is baaaaad. But it is all very real and necessary. (Maybe when I get further along this will be a separate post?) I encourage you to pick up a copy and learn more about how your body works and what it needs to thrive. It’s been fascinating.