With every new year, comes new commitments, new epiphanies, and a profound sense of hope for what the new year holds. Many often will forth their resolutions through sacrifice. This sacrifice represents a commitment to your better self. This sacrifice has many names: detox, cleanse, fast, withdrawal etc., but they all mean the same; give up something that you don't need to gain something in which you do need.
Everyone is different and has different weaknesses and vices. Because of this, everyone's cleanse will not be the same. If you are a hoarder, maybe clean your space so that it isn't cluttered. If you watch too much television or are always on your phone, maybe give yourself a "disconnection break" for a set time period.
As for me and my house, we give up solid food. My lover and I have started cleansing together as a way to grow closer to one another by holding one another accountable and encouraging one another to continue on the short, but laborious journey that is fasting.
There are different ways in which to fast or cleanse with food. One way is a vegetarian or vegan diet (If you are a meat eater), raw vegan diet (if you already have a relatively strict diet and want to challenge yourself even more without giving up solid foods), smoothie detox ( raw vegan detox with semi solid foods), liquid detox (this is where I am: juices, waters; no solid foods), water cleanse (JUST WATER, NOTHING ELSE), and finally, a hard cleanse (No water, no foods, no hygiene regimen, NOTHING should be going in the body or on the body).
Our bodies are such dynamic systems that when we do something that aids it in its natural functions, even if its something small, like drinking more water or getting more sleep; we get to experience and feel the benefits first hand. Because our functions are often overworked (eating unhealthily, lack of sleep, stress, drinking alcohol, smoking, and the like), our body functions get tired, which makes them slow and they may even malfunction (failed kidneys, unhealthy liver, etc.) This is why it is important, no matter where you are in your health conscious journey, to give your body a break to reboot and regenerate so that it can work at its optimum level. In layman's terms, your body is like a car, if you don't give it a break, it will break. Dietary sacrifices are also important because it allows your body to focus on cleaning itself out. To put this into more simpler verbiage, just like your car, if you don't clean it out every now and then, you run the risk of having funky, dirty, cluttered-ass car. Unfortunately for those who don't take the initiative to fast on a consistent basis, their car's mess manifests itself on the outside of the car. Imagine your engine not working or the paint peeling all because the inside of your car is dirty!
I choose to do liquid fasts because the pressed juices still provide the nutrients and minerals necessary for the body to function without the solidity of the fruits and veggies that would put my body to work trying to digest solid foods. I have tried all of these fasts at one point or another (yes, even the hard fast. If you know me, you know that didn't last but for a few hours, if that!) and they all have their benefits. The more intense the cleanse, the less amount of time necessary to achieve whatever goals you set. For example, someone who does a 7 day liquid cleanse would only have to complete about a 3 day water cleanse and a 24 hour hard cleanse. I choose the liquid cleanse because not only is it intense and challenges my body, but It's not overwhelming and I am able to go on with my day without the the risk of me falling out somewhere. It's important to test your body, however, you don't want to over exert yourself. Please find out what works for you so that you feel accomplished and stronger at the end of your detox. If you don't know where to start, please ask a licensed health practitioner.
In this blog entry, I will add an account of each day I am on the cleanse as this week progresses. I plan on sharing my feelings (physically and mentally), a positive and a negative of that day!
A real one is hungry than a mug! Not only is this my first day on this detox, this is the first day of me being back at work from the holiday break. I love my students dearly, but they are beyond excited to be back in the class with their friends and to see their teachers. My energy is gone and anything they do annoys the shit out of me. I'm like, "Stop having a face please!" Also, I smell EVERYTHING! During their snack time I had to hold my juice jug in my hand because the yogurt they were eating smelled soooo good to me and I don't even eat or like yogurt! I've been having to pee ALLLLLLL DAYYYYYYY. Right now, as I am writing this I need to use the restroom. This is hard when you have to stand in front of a class all day! Thank goodness that I have a co-teacher to pick up my slack when I need her to. They say the first day is the worst day, This day proves it!
One thing that was a positive in my day today is that my students check on me to see if I'm alright during the day (I've done this for the 4th time this year and my students know when I bring the liquid jugs in, it's detox time and my energy is low). Today, what I've noticed could be better are my energy levels. Normally, I'll start my detox on the weekend so that I have a day or two to just rest. Having the overstimulation of the my students and their excitement to deal with, has me zapped. I am happy that I have the opportunity and will power to do better by my body. I am declaring that tomorrow will be a better day for my energy!
So I feel a little better today. I am still tired. My students are still on 10, but because I have an idea of how my day is going to go, I can better manage my annoyance. I noticed today that when I moved too quickly, I would get light headed. I also noticed that when I would get super busy and not drink my juice, I would get nauseous. I know to someone on the outside looking in, this would be concerning and it should be. (thank you for your concern :-D) Us educators call these moments, teachable moments. (instead of looking at the negatives as a problem, look at them as the universe trying to teach you something so that you can be greater, this is called a growth mindset) I took these moments into reflection and came up with what I believe the universe is trying to teaching me: SLOW THE FUCK DOWN AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF GIRL! When I moved too fast, The Most High created a sense of lightheadedness within me to compel me to slow down and really take in my surroundings and be in the present moment. This teachable moment is one of the intentions that I set for myself for this fast; to take more time to be in the moment and enjoy the present. With my nausea, I believe The Most High was confirming within me that I have to find more ways during and after this fast to care for myself; another intention set for myself during the preparation of my cleanse.
One negative that I can think of is I noticed the distance between my lover and I. We are both annoyed, not with with one another but it bothers me when we aren't connected as we normally are. We aren't mad at eachother, but I am trying to tell myself that our distance from one another is necessary so that our bond can be tested and grow stronger. We will see how tonight goes ;-) . I am also consuming Mullein to clean my lungs out. That shit is annoying and it burns my throat something serious. However, I have never done a lung cleanse and it is very necessary for my mental and physical capacities.
A positive from today is that I don't feel as annoyed with my day. I noticed that I laughed a lot ( I never knew how funny my students were, they had me joked out all day) Even though I felt the distance between my love and I, I did not allow that negative feeling to ruin my day. I wished him well and told him that I loved him and gave him his space. (Normally we are texting or sending memes to each other on IG all day and sometimes even facetiming when we are on breaks). Today I also talked to a holistic nutrition University to see about furthering my education in alternative medicine so that I can be the liscienced practitioner that you can refer to ;-) I'm still hungry but I believe I can handle it! Wish me well! 3 - 5 more days to go!
Today was interesting to say the least. It started out so well and I am grateful for that! My mind was super clear. So clear that I had time to change my mind about my outfit, put together a beautiful ensemble, put on a bracelet (I'm not big on jewelry, so if my mind was clear enough to think to put on jewelry is a pretty big deal...just saying), and I still had enough time to make me some warm almond milk and sea moss tea (don't forget this key detail). I was feeling great! I got to work on time and I got MANY compliments on my jumper! It was all good until...
It was after the morning announcements and it was time to take my students to their electives for the day. I stood up from my seat and that's when I felt it...My stomach. I felt soooo nauseous, and not the nausea that I have been feeling during this detox. This was that 'I'm about to throw my guts up in 2.5' type of nausea. You know, the kind that starts in your chest and moves it's way up slowly. However, if you know me, you know I'm a 'Thug it out' type of girl and I kept on trucking. I took my students to their electives and my co-teacher and I began our daily routine of trying to get shit done while we could. Even with me trying to persevere, you know that kind of nausea doesn't go anywhere, unless its up and out. We were in the middle of completing a survey when I just couldn't play tough anymore. "I'm sorry honey, but I'm 'bout to throw the fuck up", was the last thing I could say before I became a track runner, praying that no one was in the closest bathroom, because I knew I would not make it to any other. You can imagine my relief when it was free.
Child I threw up my whole "Breakfast" (orange detox juice and 'Firecracker' juice, green yoga juice and chlorophyll water); everything, but the seamoss and milk. I rarely get sick, especially this kind of sick, so my mind was racing a mile a minute to figure out what could've made me this sick this early in the morning. It didn't help my nerves at all that I still felt nauseous (you know that means it ain't over). I used the walk back to my room as an opportunity to breathe, reaffirm myself, and calm my nerves. When I got back I took a sip of my water and tried to get back to work. My co-teacher and I got through our survey and moved into independent preparation for the remainder of our free time. I figured that feeling of nausea would go away.
Ten minutes later, I'm running like I stole something down the hall to the closest bathroom, praying to The Most High that no one was occupying it this time. As hard as I tried to control my mind and my breathing, I couldn't help but get frightened at the possibility of having some type of stomach virus. This time when I up chucked, it was clear and white. This was the culprit; milk, sea moss, and a whole lot of mucus. This time the nausea subsided substantially. It was at this moment that my suspicions were confirmed. This made me feel a little better.
By this time, my co-teacher had grown concerned and all that...release had me utterly exhausted. I felt much better, but I knew there was no convincing my co-teacher that I was okay and to be quite honest, I knew that I was not going to be able to give my students what they needed after spending all my energy this way.
After discussing the matter with the Principal, I was allowed to go home. "At least I get to rest today", I thought. Boy was I wrong. Before I could turn the block, I had to stop traffic and open my door; more mucus. Long story short I up chucked mucus about five times (three times on the way home and two times once I got home). I am now okay. I drank some salt water and some ginger infused juice to settle my stomach and watched some Netflix. All is well.
I know you're wondering, "why are you still fasting? Aren't you scared your body's going to continue to react negatively? What if you faint? What if it gets worse?". Trust me, I have thought about all of these things. Within my Netflix meditation, I tussled with the thought of quitting my fast. However, as I stated before, I'm a 'thug it out' type of girl. Quitting is just an unnatural feeling to me. I have to see things through. (Another one of the intentions set for this cleanse) I see this as a test from The Most High to see if I'm going to withstand and ensure that my intentions are seen through until the bitter end. My friend posted a meme that went a little something like, "Do you trust the universe so much that you just don't give a fuck", my answer is yes! Yes I do! Plus, there were so many benefits hidden in this test.
One major positive is I got to go home early and get some much needed rest. Also, I was able to cleanse A LOT of mucus out of my system; which is one of the purposes of cleansing. I also feel much, much lighter. AND I wasn't around too many people to be annoyed as I have been during this fast. I feel great now and I am ready to get through the rest of this fast!
Now that the dust has settled and all the excitement has calmed down, I am ready for day 5 to get here so that I can be finished with the cleanse. I took out my frustration of getting sick and missing work on my king last night and I feel terrible about it. What makes it worse is that he was the one who initiated resolve. He has forgiven me, but I have yet to forgive myself (I'm not beating myself up, I just like to really get to the root of my shortcomings so that I can grow and be better. Once I reflect on my childish behavior and really discover why I let my emotions get the best of me, then I will breathe, stretch, shake, and let it go!) Today, I ran out of the 'Yoga' vegetable juice that I like, but I do not feel up to going to buy any more. Plus I have so many other juices in the fridge; no need to waste money. One of my intentions set was to become more discipline over my finances so that I can invest in my business more! Little things like that add up. Plus, tomorrow is the day the B2K tickets go on sale and I'm investing in good seats ;-) Someone at my job is getting a promotion and they left a boat load of interesting books. I picked up American Studies by Louis Menand (in an effort to disconnect from my phone and television; another intention set) and I've been trying to read through it. I can barely get through a page a day with work and being so exhausted when I get home, nevertheless it is interesting and when I do get a chance to sit down with it, I am totally enthralled! I have noticed that I've been thinking about food a lot (why I have decided for a 5 day fast, so I can eat on saturday) which makes me even more hungry than I already am.
One negative that I noticed is my emotions have been getting the best of me and I have been taking it out on my love. Another is that I noticed that I breathe heavier in an effort to slow my heart down and I still get a little light headed when I'm moving too much or too fast.
One major positive that I noticed is my students missed me in my absence on yesterday. Because children are so real and have no filters, they are going to tell it to you straight. So the fact that all of my students' eyes lit up when they saw me this morning and the fact that they checked on me constantly throughout the day and gave multiple hugs show they really love and care for me as their teacher. One of my babies got scared when I got stuck in a meeting all morning because she thought that I got sick again, so when I walked back in she all but jumped out of her seat in relief and excitement. Another thing that made me smile today was the fact that my love and I made up today like grown ass adults. We talked it out (well...texted it out) without any aggression or attitude and he let me know just how much he loves me and what he's willing to do for the sake of our relationship. (we are abstaining due to our fast, but don't worry I plan on showing him what I'm willing to do for him as well ;-) ) Also, I'm noticing that inches are coming off of my legs and waist and that I have a lot more definition in my arms. I had a great day with my students and they had so much fun toward the end of the day with the team building exercise we did during social studies. In addition, they got extra brain breaks (videos of dancing or exercising and the children can follow along to give their mind a break and to get their blood flowing), so I had more opportunities to hype their non-dancing asses up (my co-teacher be joked out when I do that because she knows they are all rhythmically challenged) . I even did some of the first brain break with them (only so they can see what real rhythm looks like :-D), but as you can imagine I got winded easily, so I sat my ass down after the first one.
Well it is officially Friday eve and I have to get in a cat nap so I can be ready to buy my B2K tickets. I won't eat until after my workout and hydro colon therapy session on Saturday, but I honor where I am in this fast and I am happy I was able to incorporate and use my intentions more during this go 'round. It is time for me to reflect on my actions, read a little of my new book and get ready for zaddy to rub my booty. Peace!
HEY YALLL HEYYYYYY! It is over! I am so happy that I was able to get through it! As I wait on my Ethiopian food to arrive, I want to just use this time to let you all know that it is possible to get through something this intense. If I, the spoiled brat who hates to be hungry can do it, so can you! I am here to show my people that we can be healthy. We can take the necessary sacrifices to achieve optimum health. Not just physical health, but mental health, spiritual health, psychological health, vibrational health and beyond! This fast was not only for me, but for my people to see that you CANNOT take a passive stance on your health or your life! If you want it, go and get it! You can pray and ask The Most High all day, but if you don't use your GOD given abilities to put some effort forth for the betterment of your life, then it's useless.
Compared to the beginning of my fast, I feel super light! My waist is SNATCHED, and my brain and throat feels light (I'm not sure how to really explain this, but my brain is clear and I'm able to intake more oxygen when I breath in). My skin is brighter, my energy is extremely high ( you should've seen me at the gym and I didn't have any food on my stomach. I was getting it in! ) I have been working on channeling my energy properly (knowing when to exert energy and when to save it) and I can say that this week proves that I must continue to practice this in order to get better. However, the energy I feel within myself is positive and I can see that based on the interactions I have been having with people today that others can feel and are drawn to the positivity that is radiating from the inside out. This positive energy is what I wish to focus on. I want to nurture it so that it can grow and spread to others!