When most people think of detoxing they think of a period of deprivation in order to gain greater health. My detox story is nothing like that. I am an absolute self-deprivation failure. If I try to remove anything I enjoy from my diet, I am quickly throw out of whack and end up feeling ill or binging on the food I was trying to ignore or worse. I have no self-discipline at all and I require instant gratification in most delicious food situations. On top of that I am South African and so was brought up to consider wine to be one of the major food groups. I genuinely didn’t want to drink wine during my second pregnancy and my father actually lectured me about it. He told me this great story about a French couple that was on holiday sort of parallel to my parents many years ago. “One day they were sitting in the restaurant drinking wine. She had a bump. The next day they were sitting in the restaurant drinking wine and she had a baby.” Isn’t that a happy story?
My greatest detox nemesis however is chocolate. Give me a chocolate coconut truffle and I am anyone's. I come from a long line of chocoholics. Us Murray/ Simmonds/ Stephens women have softened life's edges with chocolaty sweet smoothness for generations. However, I am happy to say, it ends with me. Not the chocolate exactly. The great news there is that chocolate in its purest form is actually a superfood. Amen to that. But the unconscious binge eating of sugar laden treats in order to feel that 'party in the mouth' short lived high. That ends with me. Or at least I really hope so. My own particular brand of “detox” is one that has encompassed the gradual, honest, gentle release of less than healthful substances as and when I was ready to let go of them.
Sometimes you have to look back to where you started in order to see how far you have come. I used to drink about ¾ of a bottle of cheap wine PER NIGHT, often accompanied by half a box of cigarettes and possibly a bag of chips or box of chocolates. Very Bridget Jones. Now I have the occasional glass of really good wine at home on the weekends and I only eat quality chocolate. That’s a beautiful detox story I think. I used to eat meat daily and mindlessly because someone else cooked it and because I couldn’t be bothered to make something else for myself or cope with the questions that my not eating it would raise. Now I only eat meat if I really really need it and then I make sure it is of great quality. I think that’s detoxing.
I say to my clients often that the place to start when it comes to detoxing is with your senses. If you truly focus on what you are doing when it comes to the substances you ingest, it’ll only be a matter of time before you start to gently drop the “bad” stuff and welcome in more “good”. For example, I love the smell of coffee. It lights up my days and puts a bounce in my step to smell it. I cannot drink it. I try to drink it and I certainly have drunk a lot of it, but if I am genuinely tuned into the experience of ‘Nix ingesting coffee’, there is no denying the negative effects it has on me. I start to shake, I feel off balance, my blood sugar levels make me feel weak and confuse my stomach. I get gastritis and it's just not very pleasant.
A wonderful author by the name of David R. Hawkins wrote that, “wisdom is doing that which makes us stronger.” Don’t you just love the simplicity of that? Coffee makes me weak. Drinking it is dumb.
Well, not so easy. First of all we all have our reasons for wanting and craving those less than healthful substances. Secondly, there is “science” out there to back up every dietary claim if you want it. According to science, coffee or anything else could be good or bad for me. Luckily I ignored it all because most of it suggested I had to deprive myself of something that I wanted. Instead of following any diet fads or believing scientific claims, I have slowly but surely learnt to listen to my body and nourish it how it wants and needs to be nourished. I have “Crowded Out” the less than healthful substances with healthier options. It’s so liberating and I want that for every person I meet who wants to “detox” or shift to a more healthful diet. I notice what I eat and I only eat what I love.
When it comes to the bits and pieces I still indulge in despite my “inner knowing” that it might not be best for me. The 4th chocolate truffle in a row that finds it’s way into my mouth for example…well, I see myself as a work in progress. I mostly eat a vegetarian diet comprised of lot of raw fruit and vegetables. I do it because it works for me. Since I started listening to my body and giving it what it wants I have lost 10 kilograms, I exercise four times a week (and love it), I sleep better, I worry less and I feel more happiness within myself than I ever have before. That’s detoxing. My definition of detoxing is moving into a state of optimal health directed by your body’s inherent and unique knowledge of what it requires.
How about you? What do you think detoxing is and where are you in the journey? Are you stuck and needing some help with finally shifting the weight or letting go of what you KNOW is not good for you? If so, I’d love to support you in anyway I can towards living the most healthful life you can imagine. I give private coaching sessions and the first introductory session is free so that you can determine whether or not this process is right for you. Get in touch! Your personal detox program is waiting for you.
With love, Nix.