Well. I made it. Two weeks of no sugar, no alcohol, no dairy and no wheat. It had its ups and downs, but it was also totally do-able, and I’m so happy I made the time to try this programme, inspired by Anna Richardson’s Body Blitz Diet*.
Today, Day 14, my last day, was a breeze. Recovered nicely from food poisoning episode (24 hours of my life wasted, thanks staphylococcus) and, much to my utter delight, I woke almost as bright, healthy and refreshed as I did on Day One of this regime.
I felt happy, enthusiastic and just… clean. I could literally feel the clean, smooth channel between my mouth and my er… exiting-area – unclogged and clean as a whistle. I felt light, in a great mood and just… HAPPY.
This regime, although it certainly had its moments, was not anywhere near as difficult as I expected it to be. When I told people about it, they made jokes about what on earth I’d exist on – air? But seriously, all I did was banish refined junk, fat and sugar. If you banish these elements, there’s plenty left to eat, and I only ever felt deprived when I… drumroll, please… craved some junk.
I was never a big wheat- and dairy-eater anyway, so that was easy to cut and I did NOT miss them in the least. The alcohol I also was fine without, save one or two nights when I could have scraped a drop of Chardy off the floor, but that was probably only due to stress.
The no-sugar was harder for me, but only because I’m sugar-addicted, and this was remedied by eating more fruit (a body fibre and vitamin bonus!) and the occasional sugar-free chocolate binge.
Exercising more was easier to fit in because I made it a priority. This helped lighten my mood and give me even more energy to exercise and be active. It also inspired me to see my body in a new light, and to want to take care of it more.
Sure, as this programme ends and Normal Life creeps over tomorrow’s horizon, I’ll warmly welcome sinking my teeth into a hot cross bun slathered in butter. I’ll also look forward to toasting my success with a glass of bubbles. But I also know how vital it is to limit these ‘treats’. Just as a plant will keel over and die if you give it too much water, our bodies can only take so much of anything. We need to know our poison and ration our poison as effectively as we would when taking care of a plant.
If I want to feel this great all the time, I can only afford the occasional slip up. And there must be days that I cruise through with NO slip ups. And as I age, I want to make those no-slip-up days MOST of my days. Choosing vibrant, healty, live foods that nourish us is NOT deprivation and we really need to get out of that mindset. Giving up a bag of lollies for a punnet of fresh blueberries should not be seen as punishment. Giving up McDonalds fries in favour of baked and spiced sweet potato wedges should not be a step down the flavour ladder. Swapping fresh fruit granita for full fat ice cream should not make us feel deprived. We really need to define our understanding of ‘treats’.
Basically, my goal is to make food and exercise a lifestyle choice that centres on The Best. The best food, the best actions, the best ideals. In other words, I want to find satisfaction, comfort and relief through people and nature and my work and beautiful things, rather than what I can stuff down my gullet to numb some ancient pain.
So. Enough on all the philosophical hoo-ha. Want to know how I fared? Here are the basic stats…
- 1 cm from my bust
- 5cm from my waist
- 2cm from my hips
- 1/2cm from my upper arms
- 1cm from my thighs
But I also gained, oh how I gained. Other than improved muscle tone and a flatter stomach and brighter eyes, I gained… vivacity, energy, happiness, crystal clear skin, mental clarity, more emotional stability, waking in the morning without seediness, a massive reduction in headaches and nausea and bloating, more flexibility, contentedness, an elevated mood overall, greater ability to focus and a noticeable reduction in stress. I am less frustrated, persnickety, intolerant… and more calm, amiable and organised. I also look fabulous (if I may say so myself).
And I also gained a deeper understanding of the value of health and how we can’t put a price on feeling great – physically, mentally, emotionally. This holistic balance is something we strive to give our children, but regularly fail to attain for ourselves. As we age and feel the effects of a lousy lifestyle on our bodies and mind, we come to understand that great health is synonymous with a great life, and that every one of us has the power to turn our lives around and fulfil the best level of health possible.
I love the instructions flight attendants give passengers in case of emergency… ‘fit your own oxygen mask before helping children’. Honestly? If we don’t take care of ourselves as women and wives and mothers, how on earth can we adequately nourish our loved ones? We owe it to ourselves to take the time – to MAKE the time for good health. For better food intake, daily exercise, alone-time and more balance.
Let nothing stand in your way. If you can feel anywhere near how wonderful I feel after two weeks on this programme, nothing could stand in your way.
I wish you good health, always.
*I did not follow Body Blitz Diet to the letter. I followed the basic premise behind it and still enjoyed major changes.