Detox is Done. Day 24 complete. Journey to Freedom - Just Starting.

Just like that, it's done.
In the midst of it, it felt like it would take awhile
and yet it really was only 24 days.
I mean, what's that in the grand scheme of life, eh?

Jack walked in the door at lunch with a gorgeous bouquet of TULIPS
and a VERY meaningful card full of wonderful words that he wrote
and that the card maker wrote.
And, it was a 'blank inside' card -- he bought a crease!
[ You really must rent a dvd of Brian Regan to understand all this great humor!
Quick, go find him on Netflix. ]

SO ...
I feel great and I'm SO happy that I challenged myself to this 3 week detox.
I couldn't have done it without YOU. And I mean that! -- 
so many of you wrote such beautiful,
wonderful words of hope and encouragement along the way.
Quite a few of you joined in on the cleanse and THAT was so inspiring to me.
So many of you prayed me through this journey -- 
could NOT have done it without prayer.

So it's all been good. 
I feel like I've just been catapulted into a new lifestyle that I'm fully embracing. 

There is, however, this part hidden way down deep that is slightly fearful.
Fearful of slipping back into terrible old habits.
Fearful that I'll fail. Again. At this journey of losing weight and getting healthy.
I mean, if I'm honest, I've been trying to lose weight and get healthy for decades.
So on this journey, 
there has been this little wee piece of me buried deep inside that is just afraid.

But, this day, I choose Hope over fear.
There is MUCH hope in this journey.
Great freedom has already been gained,
with much more freedom to gain sprawling before me.

There are two verses in the Bible that I love that talk about fear
and I've thought about them in the last few days:

2 Timothy 1:7 says
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline."

 Interesting to me that God puts self-discipline right next to love in this verse.
Rather fitting for this journey I'm on. 

The next verse I love is 1 John 4:18. It says, 
"There is no fear in love. 
But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment."

This journey that I'm on isn't about punishment, it's a journey to freedom.
And I love that God wants me to be free from the chains of past failures.
He loves me in a way that's really hard to explain and part of that love is
It's simply not allowed.
So, today I will walk in that.
And tomorrow I might need to remind myself to walk in love instead of fear,
because I tend to be a slow learner in some of these life lessons.  
I think I get afraid when I think of cooking at least 2 meals every day for the rest of my life.
That 'big picture' of all this is scary.
But that's not where I have to land.
I can land on today's meals.
And with all I have learned about the chemicals and junk that goes into processed food,
I really am sold on the fact that we, as a family, need to be done with processed crap.
Will we eat organic every meal the rest of our lives?
"No. That's just silly and TOTALLY expensive!"
But I will do my best to provide healthy meals, full of variety.
As Jack and I were eating lunch (leftovers) just a few minutes ago,
we were talking about the reality that healthy variety is a HUGE piece of this puzzle.
Even if all we ever ate again was kale and spinach, at some point, that wouldn't be healthy.
Variety gives us the nutrients and vitamins our bodies need.

As for variety, I myself am excited to eat eggs again.
I crave them. Isn't that BIZARRE?
Oh, and I crave popcorn, too.
Weird, because I don't crave Baker's Square French Silk Pie (just yet)
And I don't crave McDonald's french fries (just yet)
But I crave fried eggs.
So tomorrow, I shall make myself a fried egg.
Eggs are good for us -- packed with nutrition. 
And the funny thing is, the yolks are where the nutrition is at.
The whites are full of protein, but the yolks are good for us too.
Don't mind if I do!

Many have been asking, "So what's next?"
You're going to be sorry you asked because it's a lengthy response.

So here's my plan.

When I gave up Diet Coke back in June of 2012, 
I said "No Diet Coke for 20 weeks."
And I did it, and kept going and haven't touched the stuff since.
The impossible happened.
And when I trained for my half marathon, I trained for 18 weeks.
And that amount of time really was a big enough chunk where it helped me
to reap the benefits of the hard work. I gained a love for running that simply
was not there to begin with. 
The impossible happened. 

And so, I'm treating this food journey as the next thing I am training for so I'm
giving myself 20 weeks (from day 1, so I'm 3 weeks in) to really embrace clean eating.
That puts me basically through June 1st.
I can do that.
Because I believe the impossible CAN happen.
With God's help.
And my hard work.
And many, MANY prayers!
My goal really is to continue on doing a mix of our Clean program 
(not the detox but the Clean program where you can eat a wider variety of fruits and veggies and you can have some red meat and eggs, etc) and a Paleo diet. Not that I'm into Paleo because I think it's where we've evolved from (or whatever they believe)
but because it makes sense
to limit grains and eat things like eggs and meat, etc. 
I like eggs. And red meat.
I'm still doing research on this 
but I think I'm going to land somewhere in the middle of the two.

Twenty Week Goals:
1. Introduce wheat back into my diet tomorrow and Saturday to see if I have an intolerance to it. I'm praying that I get really sick so that I just KNOW that I have issues with wheat. Iy'll just make it easier for me to say no to wheat if I know I'll get sick! Weird, I know. 
But that is what I've been praying for. 
I promise I'm not a wacko.

2. Once I figure out if wheat is an issue, I'll stop eating wheat, clean up for a couple days, and then introduce milk/cheese to see if those affect me.

3. Even if those don't really affect me, I am going to try to limit those going forward. I have felt absolutely FABULOUS without those in my system these 3 weeks, so I don't want to slip back into feeling lousy. I will limit my intake with those to minimal per week or for special occasions or when I find myself eating in a situation where I am served food that I don't have control over.

4. I will continue to drink gobs of water. 
It's SO good for me. 
Not sure yet what I feel about a little orange juice in the morning. 

5. I will continue giving myself 12 hours of not eating each evening.  
Mr. Clean says -- and I so agree with him -- 
that our bodies were made to naturally detox on their own. 
BUT, that means our body needs time where we are 
NOT eating so that it can actually perform its duties. 
From what Mr. Clean says, our body takes 8 hours to actually digest the food we just ate,
 and then another 4 hours to do the detoxification. 
So every time we take a little snack, it has to start again at the 8 hours of digestion and that's why we have so many toxins build up in our systems, 
because we never give our body 12 hours of rest to do the work it needs to do. 
This makes TOTAL sense to me, and that's my goal. 
So if I do happen to have a late supper, or an occasional snack at night, 
my goal is to then wait 12 hours to eat again.

6.  Signing up for a 10k in May or June. 
Hoping to get back outdoors running by March 1st at the latest.

7. Core workouts each day. Not crazy - just a few.
Part of the problem with not being able to run these days is my core is weak. 
Dr. B., my chiropractor, says that he thinks the key for me is strengthening my core 
so that I can get back to running, pain-free. 
I REALLY want this! 
So I'm committed to doing the core exercises he has shown me.

8. Along with that, I'm going to ATTEMPT to do sit ups each day and leg lifts each day, and try to get to the gym 3 times per week. This is a lofty goal, but I want this. 
So I'm printing out a calendar to put on the fridge with little boxes to check off each day when I've done those things. 
Hoping the visual reminder actually reminds me to do this. 
I have the best of intentions about a LOT of things, 
and often they go undone. 
You too? Please say yes.
But I found when I was training for my half marathon, 
having my training plan right in front of me, 
TOTALLY helped. 
So I'm treating this as part of my 'healthy training plan.'

9. I'm still committed to working through the emotional reasons why I eat. I don't want to just transfer over my wants for food from unhealthy food to healthy food. I want to get at the root for why I eat when I'm sad or mad or happy, etc. So that's a huge part of this equation for me. I don't want food to control me. I don't want to run to food when I should be wanting to run to God with whatever emotion it is I'm struggling with at any given time. I can't underestimate this piece of the puzzle. 
I really do want to be FREE from the idol that food has been in my life.

10. And last, but certainly not least, I'm committing to having at least one piece of Lou Malnatti's pepperoni pizza in the coming weeks, once I figure out if I have wheat or dairy (or both) issues. I just need to get that out of my system and then I'll be good to go!

On on the local "what did you eat for supper" front,
today's supper was clean waffles.

I now remember EXACTLY why I've only ever tried making waffles ONCE.
Because that little waffle machine is a pain in the buttocks.
That might be the last time I ever use the blasted thing.
It took almost an hour to make about 14 waffles.
And they all came out like CRAP.
See below for proof.
I sprayed.
I followed directions.
And they still stuck.

Even Coco is leery of the waffles.
 But, they did taste good. 
Coconut flour and almond meal 
and eggs and baking powder and coconut milk.

And so, if you're still reading, you get the treat of hearing the 'numbers' ...
After 24 days, I lost 12 pounds.
And I lost 15.75 inches from all over.

Feeling great about both those numbers.

Thanks for traveling along on this gal's journey to freedom.
It's only truly beginning.


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