A day and a half into my experiment with an all-liquid, water and green-vegetable juice cleanse, I’ve already learned something huge.
It has nothing to do with alkalinity or raw food or how all I want to do right now is eat something (solid, for the love of god).
It’s just this: Real food is so damn comforting. Far more than physical hunger, not being able to eat is leaving me with a feeling of—wait for it—sadness.
Food as a Crutch
Before I started this cleanse, I was listening to a recording of a live Tony Robbins seminar where he said something resembling the following (I’m paraphrasing here).
A few days into the cleanse, you’ll think about food and realize that you’re not really hungry for it. You’re used to eating all the time as a way of dealing with stress, and when you can’t do that anymore, you have to face that stress, and you have an opportunity to grow emotionally.
Ok Tony, I thought. Sure. Sounds applicable to someone with a weight problem who uses food as a crutch. But come on dude, I run all the time. If I don’t always eat mindfully, it’s because I think of food as fuel. But it has nothing to do with emotions for me.
Apparently, I also give myself too much credit.
Until yesterday, I didn’t realize that when I finish an hour of work and take a break, the first place I head is to the kitchen. When the day is wearing on and I’m stressed and thinking about the reprieve when it’s all done, cooking and sitting down to dinner is what signals that reprieve. And when I think about how nice it’ll be to sit down and watch a rerun of The Office later, that thought revolves partially around eating a snack or drinking a beer while I relax.
This is all stuff I didn’t notice until yesterday, when the food part was no more. When the food is taken away from all these situations, so is the deep, wonderful comfort that I associate with the routines. And what’s left is an emptiness like I had never imagined.
Even though I hate to admit it, I could have told you this about coffee, and about that drink at the end of the night that I probably enjoy a little too often. Much as I’d like to say it’s the taste, I kn0w that it’s the distraction.
But I’d have never said this about healthy, nourishing food.
Yet now I can say without a doubt that I use food to relieve stress and (temporarily) deal with problems. And I am the absolute last person I would have ever suspected of that.
How’s it Going, Otherwise?
It’s okay. (My pee is turning the test strips a darker color than it did at the beginning, so I’ve got that going for me!)
Yesterday was fine, minus the aforementioned general suckiness of life without real food. No major hunger pangs, as the pureed soup made from avocados and other vegetables does a decent job of filling me up.
Today, the headaches started. So did the fatigue.
They say it gets better after this part. I don’t know if I’ll make it there.