I decided I’d do one of those 10-day detoxes recently.
I’d have to eat clean (so definitely no emotional eating of Oreos or pints of Ben & Jerry’s after a long and stressful day), only eat within certain timeframes (so definitely, definitely no sneaking the Ben & Jerry’s post-bedtime when one would really need it), and no caffeine (it somehow didn’t dawn on me at the time that going from three to four cups of coffee a day to none at all would be tricky…), among a few other rules.
I was ready to finally lose the baby weight from baby No. 3. I was determined to find a way back to myself. I was ready to DO THIS.
Now, did I mention I have a 5-year-old, a 3.5-year-old, and an almost 2-year-old? Oh, and that I stay home with my children but write on the side and attempt to manage our home and drive the kids so many places and cook so many meals and take a class on Tuesday nights and never go to bed before 11pm and have a husband I try to interact with at least a little bit during the day and haven’t gotten a solid night’s sleep in about six years?
So, guess how I did with my detox plan?
Well, I ended day 1 of my 10-day detox sitting in the McDonald’s drive-thru line at 10pm at night, soOoOo… it was pretty awesome.
I know, guys.
McDonald’s is considered crappy food. But, you see, for some odd reason I decided to start the detox on my longest day of the week — a Tuesday. The day I needed to drive into the city for my class from 6-9pm. A day where I would typically lean toward the four cups of coffee, fo’ sho. And also, did I mention I had my period that day? So, my hormones and lack of caffeine got together and created a horrendous migraine for me on top of it all.
Mercury had to be in retrograde or something. It was a wild day.
I couldn’t cope. I needed a fountain soda. (And fries. And a hamburger.) So, basically what I’m saying is this — McDonald’s saved my life that day. A day where I was only supposed to eat leaves and snack bars that tasted like cardboard and spend two hours — at minimum — cooking a gourmet plant-based dinner for myself after already cooking at least two or three other meals for my children. (Listen, I am not a chef. I should not be spending that much time in the kitchen.)
I was destined to fail this detox program the minute I started it.
My body couldn’t physically handle the caffeine withdrawals, I couldn’t emotionally get past the overwhelm of the meal plan I was supposed to cook, and I decided I was tired. Tired of feeling shame because of my soft belly. Tired of looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, if only you were skinnier… Tired of wearing multiple pairs of Spanx under dresses to squeeze my flesh and hide my rolls. Tired of buying into these programs that promise a thinner, happier me. Tired of feeling like I’m not enough because my body’s too much. Tired of comparing the size of my waistline to that IG influencer’s.
I couldn’t emotionally get past the overwhelm of the meal plan I was supposed to cook, and I decided I was tired. Tired of feeling shame because of my soft belly. Tired of looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, if only you were skinnier…
Tired of the bullshit standards set forth by the beauty, fashion, and diet industries that prey on us and our insecurities in order to make billions of dollars. You see a wrinkle? God forbid. Get this $200 cream on it immediately. Stretch mark? Shame on you. Laser those off. Eyelashes too short? Get extensions. Here’s a pill, here’s a supplement, here’s a cover, here’s a mask…
…here’s a lie.
A lie that tells us we’re not good enough.
I know it’s a lie because I know we are good enough. We really are.
My soft belly grew three children and carried them each for 40+ weeks. My body is strong from lifting multiple children at one time. My heart is so much bigger than my rolls I squish with shapewear. My programming has shifted — from weight loss to longevity and health. My worth is not determined by the number on the scale. My waistline has changed, and so have I. My standards have increased.
That day taught me a few things.
“Failing” before I even finished Day One would have crushed me a few years ago. I would have come down so hard on myself. It would have added to any anger, anxiety, or negative self-talk I already had going on.
But, this time, it didn’t crush me.
Instead, I found myself wondering what the hell I was thinking in the first place. That plan was not meant for me.
I’m focusing now on building my strength back up and moving my body every day because it makes me feel great.
I’ve since decided I needed to get myself back on the health wagon after spiraling out of control with what and how much I was eating — but not in an extreme way. I’m focusing now on building my strength back up and moving my body every day because it makes me feel great.
I’m monitoring my emotional binge eating and seeing what triggers certain cravings. I’m not making gourmet plant-based meals, but I am cooking with real foods and eating proper proportions. I’m watching what I’m putting in my body, I’m listening to what my body is saying, and I’m paying attention to what and how I’m feeling.
I’m setting healthier patterns for myself and showing myself some grace along the way.
I’m respecting my body and all it has given me.
And I’m trying not to end my days sitting in the drive-thru line at McDonald’s as much as possible.