The hubby cleanse – breakthroughs and realisations
For those who are following my husband’s journey on the Break Through! Program, here’s his first post and see below for his final instalment.
The Hubby Cleanse – Stages and Realisations
Sorry I didn’t recap the results of my first week of cleanse. I could feel in my bones how worried you all were, but frankly, I was far too busy strutting around with the pride I usually reserve for completing a rudimentary home handyman task.
This cleanse thing was easy! Brought it to its knees, I did.
It’s been just over 4 weeks now, which makes a mockery of my intention to provide weekly updates, and which is a little longer than the typical Break Through! program. But remember I’m using this cleanse to address some health issues, meaning not only will it take longer than 3 weeks .. or 4 (gulp), but that I reintroduce food groups as I go.
The results have exceeded my expectations by a considerable margin. Quite frankly, I feel terrific, and it’s noticeable to both myself and those around me. It’s almost like I’m seeing the world in colour for the first time in a while. I’ve even begun to notice these cute little creatures with wings that fly about, and colourful plants with pleasing aromas! The transformation has been quite amazing. I’ve almost literally gone from looking and feeling like this
… to this:
I’m sure you’d agree that’s pretty dramatic!
By committing to a more regular training routine at the same time, as well as getting more sleep, I’ve managed to shed a few kilograms into the bargain. This wasn’t my real objective at all, though I knew it would be a natural consequence. In the meantime, if you know anyone with a belt-hole puncher, send them my way, will you?
Although making adjustments to my diet turned out to be far easier than I thought (I can still pack it away), it hasn’t been without its fair share of help from my lovely wife Brenda. Without that assistance, which has mainly involved cooking and preparation (and gentle reminders to do it myself occasionally), this little cleanse update might have had a different and slightly ashamed tone.
And it’s not like the cravings haven’t ebbed and flowed along the way. I can readily identify a few distinct stages I’ve experienced so far, and I’m sure many people would agree.
The first couple of days are always the hardest. For me, it’s usually the first couple of minutes before I wipe my brow and claim that I really, really tried. But the reason I think these early days are difficult is that you haven’t built up any ‘time capital’ at this point. Because you’ve only just begun, it’s very easy to just cave in and begin again. What’s the loss, right? A day or two?
I’m pretty sure as I stared into the eyes of the cream-filled biscuits in the work kitchen in those early days, dressed so fetchingly in their smooth, tight-fitting, sealed glass jar, that I could hear them singing “Hello, is it me you’re looking for…?” It took all my strength to keep myself from lunging at them, and it had only been a day! But the last time I did that I ended up with a wife and two kids, so I inserted my knuckle into my mouth and backed away.
Once the initial two days were safely out of the way, it was fairly easy to relax into a routine of preparing and taking meals to work, nuts to chew on, and some fruit for snacks in between. The siren call of all manner of cookie and lolly jars became but a murmur, and I was beginning to wonder if it could really be this straight forward.
Moving well into the second week was a bit more jarring, however. And it was unexpected, as well as difficult to navigate safely. The old routine wanted to come out to play, but working in my favour though was time capital I’d built up. I had reached a point where I just didn’t want to start again! Even for the $1 chocolate specials at Woollies.
Truly, there is an element of psychology in making change, and I’ve found that the further you journey into the task (usually), the easier it is to mentally cope with the change.
So what have I learned so far?
The importance of an objective
– If you have a target in mind (health, weight, whatever your fancy), it’s far, far easier to commit to a routine, then stick to it.
The importance of an objective – If you have a target in mind (health, weight, whatever your fancy), it’s far, far easier to commit to a routine, then stick to it.
How much I actually ate – constant grazing for no other reason than something to do (and I do love food!), and often on sugary snacks, is not a great relationship to have with food. I know … my body rebelled. No wonder I felt bloated – my stomach never got a rest!
Lack of side effects – Not only do I feel fitter and more vibrant, but no headaches! Not one, and not even close. Perhaps that’s fortunate given stories I’ve heard from those with heavy addictions to things like sugar and caffeine, but I’m not going to argue. I’ve had more than my share already.
Preparation – You really have to be organised to maintain a strict routine, otherwise it’s too easy to scrape by with snacks that undo all the good work. Just as bad is going without a meal because you haven’t prepared food. The best thing about a bit of preparation is that it generally takes the same time as preparing one meal, but can last you days.
Lack of alternatives – Where I work in the city is not well known for cuisine. That’s a kind way to put it. And the options are limited, mostly carb or grain-loaded, and not really ideal from a health perspective. It takes quite a lot of groundwork just to locate even a half-healthy shop, which never seems to be within an accessible distance as well.
Lack of cravings – OK, I did miss coffee, but the way I used to attack chocolate made me think abstinence would be torture. Surprisingly, it wasn’t at all.
The importance of sleep – I do actually know and appreciate this (I’m reminded constantly by you-know-who) … it’s just that I never got around to going to bed early. Making a concerted effort to do so has definitely helped my moods, energy levels and alertness.
When I think about it, it makes a lot of sense to make some more permanent changes to my diet once the cleanse and food reintroduction are completed. If it makes me feel this good, why wouldn’t I?