7-day Juice Feast Blog by Mary Ann:
I am an emotional eater. I love chocolate and alcohol – ugh. I have been trying to figure out why I choose to “numb out” and decided that a Juice Feast would help me find the answer. My goal is to unhook from sugar, let my body heal and my cravings cease. And start the road – again – to losing the 40 pounds that HAVE NO BUSINESS ON MY BODY! (Whoa, that sounded a bit angry.) What a thrill to be starting this Feast with the wisdom and guidance from Courtney, who coached me through 21-days of juice feasting last March. I had such fun filling my cart with produce as I got ready to plunge into Day One. Tip: Clean out the fridge before you go shopping – it’s a ton of veggies!
Day 1: Courtney got right into it with me on the first coaching call. “The most important step to healing compulsive eating is being with and fully feeling the painful, harder emotions. Keeping them under the surface doesn’t make them go away; they stay around and influence our behavior anyway.” So I am on the hunt for the under-the-surface emotions that I evade by choosing sugar highs instead. Since I am an all-or-nothing person, I won’t have trouble not eating for seven days–I won’t even be tempted to listen to my irrational voice. I am using this time to think proactively, to understand my triggers and to learn to tune into my emotions and prepare to pause and feel my emotions the moment I hear the irrational voice that tells me to consume what is less than life-giving. Headache? Yes, I dove into this without tapering off caffeine – not a good idea.
Day 2: My body, mind and spirit have already settled down into a closer relationship. It feels refreshing to not think about food and to be free from the burden of excess. It’s like having a clean slate on which to write my new story.
Day 3: When I was outside getting wood for the fire, I tumbled and wrecked my back. Most of the Juice Feast will now be horizontal. The plus side is not going to work. This whole week is about taking care of me. Lots of time to read, write, reflect. Courtney and I talked a lot about emotions yesterday, and today – the beliefs behind the emotions. She also gave me some back-healing tips – MSM, which is great for inflammation and is often used on a Juice Feast to break down scar tissue.
Here are some friends that are glad I decided to juice feast. Live pulp! In the dead of winter:
Day 4: I was depressed today, thinking about how long I have longed to drop this excess weight. Then I feel guilty about the harm it has done to this beautiful vehicle of soul. So I shifted to some quantum thoughts: we are only energy and information. What I feed myself is energy = from food. I also feed myself information = with thought forms and emotions. Once again Courtney gifted me with her support, “No matter what someone’s age is, damage can be reversed.” I asked her about visualizations, and was surprised to learn that you can get stuck in visualizing and not really believe it. More important than affirmations and visualizations, she felt, is working through your beliefs. I’m not sure how to do this yet.
Day 5: More challenges: a snow blizzard. Now not only am I horizontal but I am without electricity, water & heat (just the wood stove). I’ve shifted to drinking lemon water and tea, hoping that the power will come back on later today. Honestly, the best part of this week is talking with Courtney. Yes, the juices are exquisite, and hooray for the enemas releasing toxins. Every day I feel a purer version of myself. But the life-changing part of this Feast is Courtney’s coaching. I am discovering the link between emotions and beliefs. Beliefs belong to the mind but also to the emotions. In order to release the belief, you have to experience the emotion. Sometimes you experience one (anger) and find another (sadness) underneath. And it can take a day or weeks or longer. You can have so many layers of emotions that are driving the beliefs and muddying up the Radiant Self. A lot of the ‘gunk’ has been thrown onto us by others when we were young. But you don’t have to DO anything. Just feeling is removing layers and then true belief, the belief that serves life, shines. (As she said the word “shines” the electricity popped back on!) As I think about this daunting task of feeling what I don’t know I have to feel yet, Courtney reminds me of the power of my soul.
Day 6: I have given up “working” to figure out what emotional stones are left unturned for me and rather into understanding what makes me eat if it’s not hunger. With surrender comes the grace of awareness. If I am present with myself, present with how I feel in the moment, then that is enough. Making a commitment to show up for life, and not hide under bag of chocolate covered raisins on the way home from work or vodka with lemon and “The Good Wife” when I get home, is a start. I commit to keeping company with my anxiety. I will stay present with the feeling: maybe my emotions have a message for me.
Day 7: Courtney said something that stopped me in my tracks, “If we use food as entertainment, to make our days exciting, then perhaps our days aren’t quite as exciting as we think they are.” I am now marking the day with my hunger for new comforts: the next lavender bath, hitting the hay with the hot water bottle, back to Deepak Chopra’s latest book. It is certainly a bump up from, “Okay, what will I eat next?”
Transition Day 1: My first solid food today. It is amazing that just a little lettuce, cucumber and lemon could be so satisfying. I was concerned about gaining weight when I start eating again. But learned that the body doesn’t go into that primal brain mode where it starts to hoard food just because you haven’t had enough calories. Not if there are nutrients involved. So – one green drink is most likely 20 times the nutrients one might get in a SAD day meal plan where even 5000 calories could mean starvation. The take-home word of the day is TRUST. “My body, trust you will make the right choices as I make the right choices, and — thank you.”
Transition Day 2: Tough day – I went off the farm and into the world. After 8 days staying at home, mostly flat on my back, I was happy to get to the chiropractor. Not so happy to be in my car – the den of iniquity. Long drives and me often involve some sort of binging. But the stop at the co-op for new juice supplies yielded only juice supplies!
Transition Day 3: I begin to realize how many times during the day the idea of coffee, sugar or alcohol comes up as a release to get through stress, or as a reward for surviving it. Looking at it from the outside, I begin to also realize how much stress I carry through the day. Here is the practice. Feel it and use it, not abuse it. Pause and ask, “What is the lesson here?” It is about alchemy – finding the gold. When I look back on my day, I realize that the times of greatest stress are where my opportunity for growth lies. To be fully present and vulnerable in moments of distress are the dumb bells of spiritual weight lifting.
Me after 7 days:
Transition Day 4: Remember learning to ride a bike? Someone is holding on behind while you get used to pedaling and suddenly before you know it, you are riding solo! That joyful feeling of moving differently in the world is with me now. The word for the day is FREEDOM. A smoothie, a small bowl of quinoa with veggies, and juice was my fuel for today, and I am completely satisfied. I have too much energy for Netflix which means I am moving forward with so many things for which I never had time. Hmm. Perhaps I will start wearing a gold bracelet on each wrist to reflect how I feel — Wonder Woman-ful! Thank you, Courtney. I can ride!