October 11, 2012 § 8 Comments

It’s now 5:33 pm, on Day 7 (out of 21) of a detox program. I just prepped ingredients for dinner while waiting for the husband to return, and I’m sorely feeling the absence of a glass of good Californian Pinot.

This isn’t a hard-core cleansing diet. It’s more like a ‘part-time’ detox. I whip up a 10 oz smoothie in the morning, a mixture of five different types of powders and the rest of the day, I eat whatever I want. Well, that’s not really true. I need to watch what I eat – i.e., organic, whole foods, no junk – but, I need to leave out the caffeine and alcohol.

I die.

My nutritionist calls it an “oil change” to help with the changing seasons. I also have a hormonal imbalance, which is playing itself out in annoying ways, so this cleanse is supposed to help strengthen the liver and support what its supposed to do. In addition, I thought it would be a good idea to cleanse and strengthen the gut ahead of six weeks in India. At least when I fall sick there, I’ll know that those bugs deserve to win.

To be honest, I am pretty surprised that I’ve stuck with it this far, and the coffee cravings have been mostly non-existent, happily. I think it’s because the smoothie’s a substitute for my breakfast, and by the time I’m done with it, I’m so full it takes away the craving for anything else.

The hard part is giving up the alcohol, and the longer I go without it, the more I realize how much of my consumption of it is out of habit. I don’t crave a glass of wine for its buzz. I crave it because opening and sharing a bottle with my husband is the activity that tides us through dinner prep and conversations about the day. And it helps that it tastes good. The problem though, is paying for it on the mat the next morning, which is a truly horrendous experience. I know that, having slogged through hungover practices enough times to, logically, not do it again. And yet I still do (did).

Some habits are really hard to break. And yet, compared to the mental habits entrenched over 33 years, giving up alcohol and coffee for 21 days shouldn’t be that difficult in comparison, right? Granted, it’s not as tough as giving up smoking or drugs. This wine craving only hits during “happy hour” – between the hours of 4:30 and 7pm. And it’s hard enough.

The upside is, I’ve felt more calm and clear-headed this past week than I have in recent memory, and it’s been easier to wake from a full night of quality sleep and get on the mat. My practice is starting earlier these days (I try to get on the mat before 6:30am), so that I can fit everything in and still have time to hang out for a post-practice chat. My mind, though still distracted, is easier to rein in and to tune out. So far, so good.

But those darned happy hours keep taunting me every day. Damn.

Day 7 and counting. We’ll see how long my willpower holds.


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§ 8 Responses to Habits

  • mariavlong says:

    Mysore?? When? Did you already mention it and I missed it/forgot? From an ex smoker and occasional faster: If you have cleared day seven, you are good. The body is content, even thrilled. The mind starts it’s own 24 hr. cable food channel, even in your dreams. You just have to realize/remember that you are in fact not hungry at all!

    • D says:

      Mysore, yes! I’m leaving Nov 7, will be there for six weeks. I don’t know if I ever made a formal “announcement” here….hmmm…maybe it’s time I did so.

      Thanks for the support and encouragement. You’re right that the body is content – it is SO content right now. I also find that I’m more aware of when I’m full and find it easier to just say stop, even when my plate is still half full. The other tricky part in the first few days was missing the act of eating itself, even for just a meal. I would start snacking (on granola – no junk!), even if I wasn’t hungry simply because I just needed to EAT. To get those jaws moving. We certainly are creatures of habit…..more than we realize.

  • dellacroce says:

    It’s great from you to share this because I’m in the same page. Same age, same thing going on with alcohol and the “after office ritual” with my husband. Completely get the feeling of practice the after day. I’m not on a detox diet, but what I’m actually doing is giving it up on weekdays, trying to achieve the goal of loosing the habit… Tea is helping me a lot. A lot of teas; green tea during the day, chamomile during the night. Hope it helps…

    • D says:

      Yes, I’ve been brewing lots of tea as well, especially in the afternoons! Hope your wine weaning is going well – my challenge will be to manage consumption to moderate amounts until I leave for India in a few weeks. Fingers crossed.

  • YYogini says:

    Yay! Congrats! Mysore caters pretty well to westerners/foreigners, but expect all kinds of random things that can happen on the way there and be ready to laugh about it all. It *is* India after all. I certainly think going to India is an eye-opening/mind-broadening experience for everybody.

    • D says:

      Have you seen The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? There’s a line in there that pretty much sums up what India is like: “Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end!”

      That’s my mantra for this trip 🙂

  • YYogini says:

    Oops.. the above comment was meant for the India post not this Habits post. But I admire you for doing this cleanse.. I have so many bad habits that I’ve been meaning to tackle but right now just letting them take over me because I’m kind of stressed out.

    • D says:

      Yea this cleanse is baby steps, and its not as difficult as I thought it would be. It was my resistance to fad diets in general that was driving the faffing and hemming and hawing before I finally did it. I really feel more connected to my emotions, and more intuitive as well – interesting isn’t it? If you’re facing a lot of stress at the moment I don’t recommend going on a cleanse – it would stress your body even more!

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