Friday, March 09, 2007

Spring Cleaning ...

Why does so much good thinking happen in the shower?

Today is Day 1 of my annual cleanse. I wrote about last year's Day 1 and posted daily updates up to - and beyond - Day 10.

Some of my friends thought I was nuts, others were intrigued. But pretty much everyone had the same question: "Why?"

So today in the shower, I was thinking about how to explain the cleanse to those who want to understand my motivation and I came up with this: It's like cleaning out your closet.

In order to really clean it, you have to take everything out of it and then vacuum and wipe down the shelves and then assess the pile of crap on your bed and start deciding what you're going to put back in. Example: Ugh, I don't want that red sweater anymore.

The cleanse is the same thing. You stop eating (take everything out of your digestive system; we won't get into the discussion that a 10-day cleanse isn't really enough time to rid your body of all the toxins in your cells), you clean the newly cleared-out space (that's a joint effort between you and your cells; you're giving your body basic nourishment in handy, easy-to-assimilate liquid form which frees up your body's energy to deal with all the gunk inside you, since it doesn't have to deal with today's burger-and-fries gunk), and then you decide what you want to put back in (old habits die hard, to be sure, but in the days and weeks immediately following the cleanse, you are much more reticient to eat fatty, heavy food; your palate doesn't want it and you're mindful of how taxing it will be to your body). Example: Ugh, I don't want red meat anymore.

Last year, Day 1 was a bitch. I mean, it was HARD. By about this time on Day 1 last year, I was whining on the phone to L.A. Dave that I wanted to quit.

You don't realize how much food consumes your thoughts until food is off the table. (Food puns unintended but unavoidable; food on the brain.) And, of course, every frickin' commercial on TV tonight is for food. Damn you, talented food stylists!

Likewise, Day 1 is up to its old tricks this time around. The habit center of my brain is elbowing me: "Come on, Beth. You don't want to do this. You want Oreos, don't you? Or a pizza? Hey, wouldn't Doritos be really good right about now?"

But tomorrow will be easier. The sense of triumphing over Day 1's temptation goes a long way. And one full day away from food is remarkably enough to lessen its death grip on my thoughts.

Day 2, here I come.

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