So today is the last day of my 5-Day Detox Fast & Cleanse. It was not as difficult this time as it was when I did it back in February of this year, but I knew to mix the fiber powder with Odwalla juice, which made it much more tolerable to swallow, and also gave me a little more energy than I had the first time around. I did not notice as significant results this time, and I think that is due to the fact that I exercise and eat pretty healthy on a daily basis. However, I do feel much better overall since getting rid of all the toxins in my system, and even managed to lose a couple of pounds in the process. Now that I will be going back to eating food, I will of course 'ease' my way back in with soup and fruit. It's what I'll choose after that I'm still debating...
Up until about a month ago, I had been eating a gluten-free diet, which I began after the initial 5-Day Cleanse back in February. I know that I have an intolerance to gluten, so it's probably best that I avoid it, but quite frankly I do not always want to. I really love to eat the bread that I bake for my family, and also enjoy being able to eat what they are eating when we go out to a restaurant. I have also made it a point to avoid refined sugar and sweets in the past (and still do), but that gets pretty old sometimes, too. I love to bake, especially during the holidays, so it really is not very fun to be the only one not enjoying the goodies. Yes, I know I can make gluten-free/sugar-free versions, but my point is that I do not always want to have to make a special version for myself. Not to mention that I really enjoy the 'real thing' instead of the modified version.
I do have an easier time maintaining my weight when I avoid carbs and sugar, but sometimes I get really tired of 'avoiding' all the good stuff. I know that what constitutes 'the good stuff' is all relative, and that fruit, veggies, whole grains can be very appetizing to many, including myself, but I'm talking about being able to enjoy a cup of ice cream, piece of cake, slice of pizza, or hamburger on a real bun without feeling guilty or worrying that I'm going to gain the 5 lbs. I just lost right back again.
Right now I am starting to crave veggies again, and I think that eating as 'clean' of a diet as you can is always the best choice. Right now I don't really have a desire to eat a slice of bread or a piece of cake, but there is a good chance that I will again eventually, and that is where I am torn. Do I try to stick with a more rigid diet or do I ease up a bit on myself? I think that perhaps moderation is the key for me...after all isn't that what is truly best in all aspects of life? A few years back I approached eating with the mentality that I could have whatever I wanted...no limitations. If I wanted to have a cupcake I could. If I wanted an extra slice of pizza or banana bread I could have it. You know what happened? My cravings stopped and I didn't feel hungry or deprived all the time, because I knew that I could eat whatever I wanted, when I wanted. I am really seriously contemplating taking this approach again, and see if it works for me a second time.
One thing I do know is that my body shape and metabolism are changing the older that I get, and even though I do not feel as if I have kept on any added pounds, many of the clothes that fit me two years ago do not fit the same way now. Many of my shirts are tighter across the shoulders and even though I wear the same pant size, some of them do not feel as loose as they used to. Could this be the infamous 'middle age spread' I've always heard so much about, but never thought would happen to me? I must say that no matter what the cause, it is still frustrating and can be a hit to your self-esteem at times.
I have always wanted to be a woman that 'ages gracefully', one that does not care if the numbers on the scale move up a bit, who does not care if her body's natural set weight is not the same as her 'happy weight', who does not care about the crow's feet, laugh lines, and other numerous facial lines that have appeared, but as I continue to age, I am finding this a difficult thing to do. Why is that? I really do not know. What I do know though, is that I want to learn to accept and appreciate the natural changes that are taking place and will continue to take place to my body as the years go on. I guess that means for now I am still a work in progress...a woman trying to accept herself unconditionally a little more with each passing day.