As many of you know, I was able to take someone along with me for this ten day detox journey. My dear friend and reader, Kara, who is always game for a good fit time, wanted in and I wanted her there. If you know Kara, she is one of the kindest, most inspirational and motivational people in the world. She is also the greatest cheerleader, so why wouldn’t I want her by my side. I made Kara promise me that she would write about her experience with this detox and she did. So, without further adieu, here is Kara’s take on the craziness:
I’ve never been a person who believed in quick fixes where diets are concerned. In fact, I never thought I’d ever do one myself. That is, until Julia asked me if I would do the 10-Day Detox Diet with her. I totally respect Julia’s judgment, and so I read up on what Dr. Mark Hyman’s philosophy is behind his book and the diet. I was really excited to explore how I could take wellness to the next level.
I was in.
I have to admit, the day before we started, I started to wonder if I could pull this out for ten days. No dairy or gluten? No coffee or wine? NO SUGAR AT ALL?! Ok, I have two kids, so this was going to be a test. There was every reason to bag it and run, but I remembered the one reason that mattered the most-my dream for myself. More on that thought in a minute….
The first few days were actually easier than I expected. I was feeling OK, except for dizziness, feeling tired, and one day of feeling nauseous. These, surprisingly enough, were all normal reactions that my body was having as it released toxins I had been holding inside for God knows how long! Yuck!
There was a LOT of prep work-the meals were all spelled out for you in the book, and there was lots of chopping, measuring, and planning ahead for meals. I got a few eye rolls from my husband, but he was a real sport and ate most of the dinners I made (and liked them, too!). I had to admit; it was kind of an adventure to try new foods, spices and ways of cooking. Who knew I could make a cauliflower soup taste creamy without milk?
I will say that the hardest part of these last ten days was feeling really tired after my workouts. I typically do 5 days a week of high impact exercise (Flywheel, AsOne, yoga, and weight training)which leave me really spent if I don’t fuel up fast and often. While I could eat as much as I wanted, some of the things I normally would have used to replenish my body after a workout (bananas, apples with almond butter, protein shakes) were off limits. This was pretty frustrating. I was left feeling pretty hungry all day long, and now I was grumpy too because my body didn’t have the strength to work as hard as I wanted. I was told that this was a “retreat for my body,” but my body wanted to work out. So what do you do when your mind and body aren’t working together?
Usually, when you think about a detox, it usually means it’s all about the food, right? Well, yes, but here’s where that dream part comes in and the stuff I really loved the most about these last ten days. I realized that the root of all of this-the reason that I decided to do the detox, why I push myself so hard in my workouts, why my thoughts came screaming out in my journal each night- started two and a half years ago after my second son was born. For eight months, I worked really hard to lose 46 pounds by eating right, exercise, and sleeping enough. What I realized was so key to all of that was the connection to seeing my goal, learning to love myself through the process, and learning to accept that I was on a journey to make this my change for life. Down the line, I lost that spiritual connection with myself after getting to my targeted weight and somehow replaced that with a person who just used exercise as a means to manage stress, or overcompensate for eating too much over the holidays. I started to hear my own voice in my head telling me that I wasn’t working hard enough, wasn’t strong enough, fast enough….on and on. As I recognized this “brat” inside me and wrote down these thoughts, the power behind them lost its hold on me. I started to remember what it felt like to achieve that dream of losing the weight the first time and what I could dream next for myself. More importantly, I learned to be kind to myself. This ultimately gave me more power to create something on paper that I now look at when my mind starts telling me that I’m not doing enough or looking a certain way, or needing to “be the best.”
So after ten days, I have not only shed my body of a few pounds but also purged my mind of some really bad stuff. On a deeper level, I’ve seen what my actions do as a result of what I think and how I act on how I think. There’s no quick fix in living my dream. I have to take what I’m thinking in my head and pause and decide if it’s really going to serve me or not against that dream person that I’m journeying towards. My thoughts will only hurt me if my actions make them real. So, if I’m stressed out and want just one (or three) more glass of wine instead of taking a few minutes to breathe deep, I’m going to think about that path that I’m on and whether that person I want to become really needs it.
I am also thankful for my amazing husband and friends (especially my pal Julia!) who are my strength and always behind my dreams. To inspire my kids to make positive choices and to love themselves as they are and be happy is not easy in this world, but as long as I honor myself I am doing my best. That makes me feel proud.
I wanted to leave you with the dream I wrote to myself in my journal that I look at to keep my journey alive in my heart:
I am strong. I am positive in my thoughts that drive my power in each limb when I work out. I am thankful for the peace that surrounds my heart and soul when I nourish it with food that fuels and thoughts that empower and inspire me. I see a woman who loves herself. I am dedicated to health and passionate to bring this positivity in all aspects of my world.
Today is a new day. Dream bigger.
Sending hope for a better you,
Kara Van Norden
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