work in progress

I am just three days away from my midway point and I am super proud of how far I have come. I can feel the changes in my body and cannot recall the last time I was so in tune with everything going on inside my body and mind. So, that’s progress!

What I consumed:

  • Cleanse Shake with strawberries and blueberries
  • Orange
  • Baby carrots
  • Grilled eggplant with basil and fresh tomato sauce
  • Sauteed mushrooms and onions with quinoa
  • Sauteed spinach
  • 19 gigantic supplement capsules
  • 64 oz water

How I felt:

Today was a strange day. I woke up feeling great and had huge bursts of energy this morning. I went to the gym, had a great workout and felt even more energized. However, by mid afternoon I was starting to crash both physically and emotionally. At first I thought it was because I had not eaten enough so my blood sugar was low. But, even after eating something and laying down for a while, I still didn’t feel great. After dinner, I felt an overwhelming sense of stress and anxiety and struggled to find a way to manage my feelings. I talked with my husband a bit, in order to get out some of what was on my mind, and then retreated back to my laptop to get some more work done. Once again, the absence of my narcotic of food left me feeling raw and I am striving to find ways to assuage my uneasiness.

Physically, on the other hand, I feel great. I commented to my husband tonight that I cannot imagine going back to eating the way I did before the cleanse. My body feels clean and lighter. My clothes are definitely fitting better, even after a week. I don’t feel weighed down by the food and my taste buds are alive as I try new foods that otherwise might not have been interesting to me. For instance, tonight I ate sautéed eggplant with a simple tomato sauce and some fresh basil. It was delicious and something I would never had eaten before without breading and cheese. I was delighted by how much I enjoyed the food. The rest of my family ate grilled burgers for dinners and, while they smelled and looked delicious, I knew how that meal would have left me feeling. The challenge for me is, once the cleanse is over, to figure out how to re-immerse myself into a broader array of foods without falling into the same bad patterns that previously existed. I want to be able to consume a burger now and again while still enjoying the fresh and clean foods that I have been eating on a more regular basis.

Physical Activity:

52 minutes on the elliptical plus an ab and arms workout. Great day at the gym!

As I mentioned, I do not recall the last time I was this tuned in to what was going on in my head. Usually, I am pushing things away, compartmentalizing and storing them for later examination. As much as I process what is going on around me at all times, I am very discriminate about what I let penetrate the outer seal and typically have a long wall of mental file cabinets in which to store that which I am not ready to tackle. Right now, I feel like everything is begging for attention and my filing system is failing.

Last night, I was having trouble settling my mind down because of some of some of the disruptions from my day. I have a lot on my plate right now and more stressors than usual between personal issues I am dealing with and the continued burdens of work. I have employed a strategy in recent years – and, more frequently, in recent months – of neutralizing the most daunting of challenges. As with yesterday when I received the troubling email while out shopping, I tend to store away the problem for later review so as not to get distracted or sucked into the eye of the storm. While I was trying to get to sleep last night, a dialogue was running in my head, compelling me to acknowledge how stressed and worried I am about various matters in my life. And I resisted. I have chosen to reject fear and embrace whatever is coming my way in order to arm myself in the best possible way to endure whatever rough waters I might encounter. And this has worked, sort of. Yesterday I started to feel overwhelmed. Today, I felt it even more. And I am unsure if my strategy of devaluing the fear and cordoning off the anxiety to keep it contained is as effective as I think. It might be just another tactic to numb or distract myself from what is happening around me. Or, possibly, it is just about the best coping mechanism I can scramble together at this moment in time. I simply don’t know.

Through all of this thinking – and a lot of what has been on my mind this past week – I thought more deeply about the anger I suppress. That pleaser does not like to set the anger free. Yet, when she does, it gets ugly and the anger becomes consuming. I am continuing to pinpoint my anger and try to make sense of it. I did have a small epiphany today as I was driving to the gym. Even after 47 years, I realized, I am still getting to know myself and understanding my behaviors. The awareness today was about my inability to let go of anger once it is has been aroused.  Once I have been stirred up, it is not easy for me to release it and move forward. It sits over me like a lingering storm cloud waiting to erupt. It was not as evident to me how much time I need and the process I need to go through to calm myself down and replace the inflammatory discourse streaming through my mind. When you suppress anger as much as I do, it becomes like a wild animal once it is let out. And is very hard to tame.

I am continuing to peel back layers of this onion at a rapid pace. Perhaps there is more coming at me than I am prepared to endure but I am trying my best to take it all in, work with it and find my way to the other side. I am grateful for this experience because it is rare that I get to snuggle up so close to myself and listen to my every breath. And, while I don’t like everything I am observing, I am respectful that it is all part of who I am and I continue to be, as long as I keep taking those breaths, a work in progress.

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