I'm going on a juice fast!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A few years ago I got busy with exercising regularly, eliminating sugar from my diet, and eating a much higher percentage of raw foods.  (probably 50-70%)  In about a year I lost 30 pounds, yet I didn't feel good.  Exercise never yielded any wonderful energetic high--only aches, fatigue, and hunger.  While some aspects of my diet felt good (my blood sugar seemed very stable, I found that I could feel satiated with reasonable/smallish amounts of highly nutritious food), my health did not feel good.  I still felt surprisingly tired, achy, almost always feeling like I was on the verge of getting the flu or a cold.  How could I be doing so many of the "right" things and not be getting the health payoff I was looking for?  Yes, the weight loss was wonderful and I was very glad about that, but still feeling tired and junky well over a year later?  No thank you!

Eventually as my homeschooling responsibilities increased and my schedule changed, my exercise time was crowded out and never replaced with anything.  Eventually I started making a little exception here and a little exception there on my no-sugar policy, and before I knew it, I was back to eating pretty much like I had been before all of my health efforts.  (which, truth be told, is still *quite* healthy, certainly much moreso than most Americans.  Everything I teach you in my class--I was doing it!  But, alas, that combination of moderation in all things was not working for my waistline!)

You know the rest of the story, don't you?  Oh yes---all of that lost weight found the way right back onto my body, plus bringing a couple extras along for the ride.

Interestingly, although I wouldn't say I feel *great* these days, I would say that I feel better physically than I did back when I was 35 pounds thinner than today.  Obviously being overweight is not a positive thing either for my self image or my health, but feeling less junky all the time has been nice.

In my confusion about what has happened I have considered many things, mostly without finding answers.  Some advocates of healthy diets will claim that if you feel bad it's because of "detoxing."  So, how on earth am I to know if I'm detoxing, or if something is just not working for my body?  I HAVE NO IDEA!  (but I can tell you that after well over a year of staying the course and not feeling one bit better, that was a long enough experiment for me!)  I read things that talked about eating more or less of various things that I was/wasn't eating a lot/a little of.  Just a couple weeks ago I came across the book Wheat Belly and read it.  That book tells me that wheat is evil and basically all grains are bad for me too.  Oy.

So here I sit, overweight and unhappy with the way my body feels, moves, and looks.  I still have some health ailments that I would like some relief of.  (bulging disc in my lower back causes pain and difficulty at times, some joint pain, not as much energy as I would like, not as much mental clarity as I would like, generally not feeling as healthy and vibrant as I would like to)  While I know that obviously I need to get away from eating sugar again, I have no idea about the wheat/grain/gluten issues for me, and also don't really feel like I can tell any more about which foods are working well for my body, and which are not.

Which brings me to the juice fast.

The other night I came across the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  (it's on netflix instant play)  The guy in the documentary does a 60-day juice fast in order to try to heal his body of a chronic illness as well as obesity.  I have done some juicing before, usually on a daily basis while I was being consistent about it, and I have really enjoyed the juices.  I have all of the equipment, and I no longer feel like I know what I should or shouldn't be eating half the time! As I considered how a juice fast could help me, here are the things that stood out to me:

--a juice fast can let me break free from sugar, wheat, grains, and anything else "bad" all at once, getting the whole thing over with in one withdrawal effort, and hopefully moving me to a point where I am at a healthy base line for my health.  When I end the fast, I can carefully try out various whole foods, and hopefully be able to evaluate which foods feel nourishing and beneficial for my body, and which do not.  (I will admit that I am not sure if feelings are 100% accurate on things like this, but I am hoping to get some more information about this before ending my fast.)

--juice fasting is supposed to be incredibly efficient at helping your body detox and clear out all sorts of bad junk from your body. When I worked with a naturopath back when I was looking for answers about why I was still feeling so bad even though I was going so much "right" she suggested a detox to me, though the one she recommended was not one I felt comfortable with doing.  I like the idea of clearing out the junky toxins from my body and seeing how I feel without them.  (several years ago I did a candida kill-off and wow!  It was amazing how much different my body felt.  I hadn't realized how much of a negative difference those yeast bugs were making!)

--Juice fasting is supposed to be an efficient way to lose weight. Once those toxins (that are stored in fat cells!) start to go away, so does the fat.  Boy Howdy I could stand to say goodbye to some fat cells!  (can I get an amen?!)

Since so many ideally healthy things have not seemed to work that well for me in the past, I feel somewhat hesitant to boldly declare that THIS IS THE ANSWER FOR ME.  Obviously, I'm optimistic, but I won't know until I try it.

I plan to see my doctor and get some baseline blood work done, in the hopes that if later on I feel like I'm not doing well for some reason, we could compare blood work and hopefully identify any problems or deficiencies.

I do not know how long I will do the fasting.  From what I have read, most people need to get past the two week mark before really hitting their stride with the fast.  I'd like to get beyond that and then see how I'm feeling.  If I feel good and all is well, I'll carry on and do what I can to blast away this extra weight.  (wouldn't it be awesome if I could juice fast myself to a more ideal weight?!)  I'll also be continuing to read, learn, and consider what nutritional goals I will be working on post-fast.

I'm not a person who does well with pressure, either real or imagined.  Originally I had this idea that I would blog or do video posts each day of my juice fast, but then I started wondering if that would feel like too much pressure both to produce, plus to live up to, plus to deal with any naysayers or honest concerns at a time when I might be not feeling my best or unsure about my experience.  So for now I've decided to compromise: I may blog or do videos, but I am not going to release them right now.  I'm hoping to start my juice fast on December 29, but I'm going to hold onto what I have to share until maybe Feb. 1 or so.  It feels like it might be safer for my head and heart to just keep my juicing journey close while I'm still toddling my way through unfamiliar terrain.  I hope I have a wonderful story to share with you all at the end of this, but if not, I don't have to add on the pressure of living some sort of example along with all of the other challenges involved in this experiment.

1 comment:

April Ann said...

I enjoy reading your blog!