A friend reached out to me this week and asked me if I ever do the "cleanse/detox/juice thing". I told her no. I told her I was not allowed to… by me. Now, don't get me wrong, I too am influenced by the glamour (starvation) of juice cleanses and detox plans. My insecure self-image longs for a fix that will make me ethereal and 'pure' (and, of course, skinner!). And, on some days my mind actually tries to convince me that if I weighed less my life would somehow be better/easier/without struggle. Um, really?!…
Turns out, my thoughts can be a bit of a dick.
The Emotional Truth About Cleanses
Cleanses appeal to our underlying sense of self-loathing and the notion that we need to be 'fixed'. They appeal to the part of our mind that has a broken belief which says: ‘If my body looked like this…’ Or, ‘I’m out of control…’ Or, ‘... then I’ll be lovable.’ In this way, cleanses work to reinforce self-critique, by behaving as toxic-thinking capital.
In truth, most cleanse are driven by a toxicity in the mind. We do not decided to cleanse when we feel complete and loved as we are. We cleanse when we are feeling powerless and ashamed. We cleanse when we are hurting. And, by cleansing we subtly tell ourselves that our self-critique is justified. This abusive thought pattern needs to stop.This is why cleanses are emotionally dangerous. Also, important to state, there is no medical reason why a healthy individual should detox or cleanse. Period.
Can you drop the self-loathing and gain your life? Can you love the part of you that feels ugly, harsh, and (ultimately) scared? Can you do it now?
What REAL Detoxing Looks Like
REAL detoxing is a process of cleansing the mind not the body. When our minds are clear we can better make effective choices about how we nourish our body and how we accept ourselves. Remember, the goal is health. We need to stop trading emotional reactions through our food behaviors.
Take a thought detox. Allow yourself some time to not begrudge or judge your body. Allow yourself the freedom to not be a project. Find mental balance and watch how the number of cookies you ‘need’ to eat lessens.
Eat, Drink, And Allow For Merriment
I'd be lying if I said that I've never thought of cleansing. Hell, I’ve even flirted with them. But I chose to stop. Instead of fueling my underbelly of self-loathing, I make an active choice to stop playing 'not good enough' with myself. I remind myself that I am already good enough with thighs that touch and dishes in my sink. I am good enough when I stay up late watching Scandal and when my morning meditation consists of me thinking about cheese (True story!). Simply, I am good enough as me.
And, So Are You
Listen. Trust your body. Eat. Drink. Allow for merriment!