Master Cleanser: My Why

Drastic changes call for drastic measures: Why I am doing the Master Cleanser.

I wish I could sit down and write a well thought out journal entry about my progress on the Master Cleanser at the halfway point of Day 5, but my mind is all over the place and I think I need to back up and share my “why.”

Even though I have been feeling extra emotional the last two days, I think this cleanse is without a doubt worth the short term sacrifices. In fact, in the book, The Complete Master Cleanse, we are warned that there may be some emotional toll to undergoing the cleanse. I am not actually hungry. The lemonade mixture is actually rather satisfying.  Rather, the war is raging on in my heart and mind.  Most of my stress at this point comes from the fact that food has been my number one source of comfort and enjoyment for most of my life and with this cleanse, that has been ripped away.

But let’s say that again. Food is my number one source of comfort and enjoyment? Not God? Not my family? Not my friends? Not facing whatever is causing me anxiety head on? That is so messed up.

I want to eat to live, not live to eat and I need to make that change sooner rather than later. I have struggled during the last six months to break the bondage that food has on me. I have tried therapy, I’ve tried medication, and I have prayed and prayed.  Yet I kept coming back to my unhealthy urges to eat. My entire day would revolve around food: What I could have? From where? And when? As a family we have “wasted” so much actual food, money, time, and energy on these absurd cravings and I just cannot let it continue on. I want to raise a son with a healthy view of food, and I want to support my husband in his goals to be physically fit and nourished by what is good for the body.

I am not ashamed of admitting any of this. Most of my friends already know how much I love to eat (and how I never lost the weight after having the baby – FOUR YEARS AGO! – it is quite obvious). I also know that this same struggle is super common. In fact, I actually notice it more when someone isn’t food motivated. So many of us are in this battle together. I am hoping that by opening up about my story and resources that maybe I can help others to finally start making the changes they want for more healthy lives. This isn’t a quest to reach a certain size or weight, but rather a journey to feeling more complete and at peace physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

To reach that peace, I believe we have to start with God and rather than talk first with you about the cleanse and what it entails, I want to share a book that was life changing for me. Reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Made to Crave, opened my eyes to see that my obsession with food was a temptation from the enemy and not unlike any other sinful habit. I am not addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, or any other habit that generally brings shame. I am, however, addicted to food, and believe it or not, something that benign has brought shame and disruption to my life. It has caused self doubt, fights with my husband, feelings of inadequacy and defeat, and overall made me feel unloved and unwelcome as I battled the side effects from overindulging. We aren’t just talking about weight gain and body image issues, but also disappointment and regret at never being able to stick to any “plan” or “diet.” I have no self discipline.

The spiral of shame isn’t the only issue, but I’ve also been dealing with how the unhealthy balance of food made me feel physically: mood swings, lack of energy, bloating and discomfort, trouble sleeping, skin issues, you name it. If I so concretely know the source of so many of my problems, then why can I not fight back? That is a question that has haunted me for years. It is a constant battle to stay the course, to make the right choices, and fight for my goals when giving in and giving up would be so much easier. Yet I know that God wants so much more for us. To help stay strong I have recently added to my arsenal the Made to Crave devotional. It is so refreshing to start my morning in God’s word and His promises to provide a way and strength for us. The Bible actually has so much to stay about food and nourishing the body. As new as wide-spread obesity may be, the struggle with food issues has long existed. One of the best things to recognize is that I am not alone in this struggle and neither are you.

So there you have it all laid out. It is mid-afternoon on Day 5 and I am already dying to quit. Not because my stomach is growling or I am dealing with headaches or have low energy (none of those things, actually), but rather just because I miss the comfort of food. I am halfway through the cleanse and like all the times before I want to throw in the towel and not see it through to the end. Thankfully this time I have the full power of God with me. I will not quit, I will not fail, and I am remembering James 1: 2-4:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

Books I’ve Loved

Recently I’ve been on a mission to start loving to read again. As a child, I could spend hours wrapped up in novels, once in a while even choosing to sit alone at lunch just to read a few more pages. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I REALLY hit the brakes on reading. My mom brain just could not focus on even one more thing. I would often order books with good intentions (I am not a library kind of girl. I love the smell of bookshops and fresh pages!) only to let them sit on a shelf for months, some totally forgotten.

Thankfully our trip to Europe changed that. For the 17 day trek I packed 3 books and several magazine that all came back home completely finished. It felt SO GOOD spending hours with my nose in a book rather than eyes glued to a screen. Instead of taking weeks to finish up a book, I was finally back to polishing them off with speed. My husband and I decided to make it more of a priority in our family to spend less time watching television and more time reading – and to be seen reading by our son who thankfully already has a healthy love of books.

Now our coffee tables are littered with books and magazines that aren’t just for decor, and my soul feels alive again from reading about new ideas and getting fresh motivation. While I still pepper in novels here and there, I’ve spent most of my time the last few years reading for personal development, anything to better myself as a child of God, wife, mom, and friend. Unfortunately, they weren’t all hits. The one I am reading now is dragging on, and with a little under 70 pages to go, I can’t wait to finish. I’ll spare you the details on that one – but it did inspire me to share with you the great ones. Ones that I felt changed me or pushed me in the right direction. The ones I just know I could read again.

Below you’ll find my picks divided into categories with links through to Amazon for ordering. If you’re local, feel free to borrow any of them but just know they may be marked up and highlighted to no end! I love each and every one of the ones on this list and I hope you find one that is helpful and inspiring to you. Feel free to leave me a comment of a book that you think I need in my life. I am always looking for the next best thing! ❤

 

HEALTHY EATING/LIFESTYLE

https://www.amazon.com/Made-Crave-Satisfying-Deepest-Desire/dp/031029326X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Made+to+crave&qid=1570560218&sr=8-1

 

HOMEMAKING

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0736963111/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

BECOMING YOUR BEST SELF/MOM

https://www.amazon.com/Uninvited-Living-Loved-When-Lonely/dp/1400205875/ref=asc_df_1400205875/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312132072158&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6883181581093699483&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010054&hvtargid=pla-433825286827&psc=1

 

 

7 out of 7

The last few months have been a blur, but the best is just beginning. I hope you’ll join me on this journey to a new found freedom of healthy mind and spirit.

Can you even believe it? I have worked out 7 out of the last 7 days and have no plans to stop any time soon. I am not sure if that has ever happened! There was a long streak of activity (seriously, like sixty days or something) back in 2015 where I met the goals my FitBit set for me before I got pregnant with Hayes, but ever since then I haven’t been able to stick with anything. Nothing. Nada.

And trust me, I’ve tried it all. Cleanses, detoxes, group workouts, gyms, virtual coaching, nutrition challenges. In the last 3 years I’ve signed up for anything and everything I could throw time and money into just in case it would be the ONE thing that would stick. But nothing ever did. Sure, there were bouts of success where I hit small fitness goals or shed a few pounds, but nothing could ever outlast my worst enemy: myself.

I had to get over myself and out of my own way if I was ever going to see light at the end of this tunnel.  After months of wrestling with my emotions and looking for the root cause behind my constant “failures,” I finally I think I’ve figured it out. I certainly do not think I am going to go headstrong into 100 out of 100 days of this new workout without waivering, but there is one thing I am not going to let get in the way. No longer will I allow myself to give into the feeling of unworthiness.

For the longest time I have felt unworthy. I have felt less than, left out, and left behind in so many aspects of life. I’ve battled depression and anxiety, and raged an internal battle always feeling like I was letting everyone around me down. I’ve hated my body, belittled my accomplishments, and felt small about my contributions to the world. It seems silly to say out loud knowing how blessed our lives have been, and I have not taken the goodness of God for granted even one second the last several years. Yet I am addressing this because I am sure I am not the only one feeling as if somehow we don’t deserve the goodness that comes our way. I know first hand how hard it is hard to make positive change when you don’t even see yourself as deserving.

But let me tell you, friend, you are deserving. You are worthy. Your life is of value. Not because of what you do, but because of who you are as a child of God. No matter past short comings, mistakes, and regrets, there is always hope for a future that is good. If God can know everything about you and still love you, if he can call you his own and send his son to die for you, you can rest assured that you are loved and deserving of love. Sometimes that has to start within.

For me, learning to love myself means taking better care of my body and mind. I am picking up healthy habits like workout routines, better nutrition, reading and quiet time. I’m also stepping away from unhealthy habits like Instagram, guilt inducing eating, and negative self talk. It isn’t going to be easy. Change is not going to happen overnight in my mind or my body, but I think I am finally ready to put in the work that is needed. This part will look different for everyone but there is one thing that is for sure:

If you truly want to make a change within yourself, you can do it. And you certainly don’t have to do it alone.

❤ Jill