Greetings, blog readers! I have finished my Juice Cleanse, which I decided to just have be one week this time around. I am feeling physically amazing as always happens when you drink a lot of green juice, and am very glad to have this spring cleaning. I’m looking at this lovely spring bouquet in my window. It’s sunny outside and nearly 50 degrees!
Days 5-7 were great and fine. Physically, there is not much to say other than that I felt fantastic and productive – I almost always feel even more productive and efficient on Juice Cleanses than otherwise – and grateful for the bounty which allows me to make fresh juice!
Today, I wanted to share a story about my own compulsive eating urges and juice cleansing. As you may know, I firmly believe that juice cleansing can be an amazing way to tap into our underlying emotions for why we use food addictively. In my years of healing my own food addiction and eating disorders, I’ve found that juice cleansing throws me right into those reasons, and during juice cleanses has been when I’ve had some of the biggest chunks of healing happen for me. This time around, a few days ago, I had an experience which made me want to compulsively eat, and I wanted to share it with you. It could be swapped for any other story — the story isn’t so important, rather the process of emotional release.
I was leaving my local post office when I ran in to the property manager of my building. Known for making his female tenants cry and generally being very aggressive, he already looked angry. I won’t bore you with the details, but the important thing is that when he was talking to me (yelling, really) he was purposefully towering over me, gesticulating wildly, cutting me off, saying sarcastic and accusatory things, and had his voice raised. He stormed off after he finished what he had to say.
For me, this was really traumatizing. I very, very rarely have confrontation with people (and generally avoid it if I can – sometimes healthy and sometimes not), and angry, accusatory confrontation is really, really hard for me. Immediately after I got home, I wanted to eat. I felt anxious, angry, upset, and shocked. I paced around not knowing what to do with myself. I felt like I couldn’t breathe deeply. If this was many years ago, I’d have eaten a lot of food the whole rest of the day and into the next. At the point in my current development, if I was not on a juice cleanse, I still might have grabbed a couple almonds to distract and calm. But I’d resolved to do a cleanse – in a big part for the purpose of inner work – and so I wasn’t going to eat. I’ve done enough emotional work that I don’t spontaneously break my Juice Cleanses mid-way, but I really wanted to this time.
As it happened, I went about the next few hours doing normal things, and still feeling those emotions. I took the opportunity to look at where in my life I had first absorbed this dread of someone being angry and critical with me. I looked at why my reaction to someone doing that would be panic and anger and feeling like my throat and chest were clenched. I cried a little, I tried to release the anger, and breathed through my heart beating fast and my general panicky kind of feeling. And if I’d have used food – even if I hadn’t overeaten but let’s say eaten an apple or two – I think that emotion would have been effectively stuffed. But because I wasn’t using food, the feelings stuck around. And it took several hours before they went anywhere and finally released. I didn’t control them releasing, though I did choose to stay open to the emotions rather than running away. After a few hours all of it released and I felt peaceful again.
This is what much of my journey in healing emotional eating – and my success in getting through juice cleanses – has looked like. When we use food compulsively, the equation looks like this:
Life situations happen; I get triggered –> I feel something I don’t want to feel –> I eat –> Feeling gets buried
On a Juice Feast, if you really want to heal yourself, and if you want to keep going on your cleanse (or even if you’re not on a cleanse!), it looks like this:
Life situations happen; I get triggered –> I feel something I don’t want to feel –> I feel all the feelings, fully –> After as long as it takes (minutes, hours, days, weeks) the emotions release –> peace around that issue
I hope this story helps you the next time you want to eat to avoid how you’re feeling or comfort yourself. It is possible to heal compulsive eating, and it is possible to make it through tough situations and painful feelings without using food.
Anyways, I’m finished my spring juice cleanse, and feeling great! Next up: sometime this summer! I must say I look forward to it being hot when I do it!