How did my elimination diet change my life?
I welcomed the new year with an elimination diet. I’m not really big on making New Year’s resolutions, but this time I looked at it differently. I found the turning of the new year a great opportunity for a fresh start. Start the new year with a blank page and leave behind what I need to. This was especially true for me because, last year, I ended a relationship on a low note. So, the turning of the calendar year meant a lot to me; in many ways, it meant new beginnings.
I created a Facebook group to inspire and support people in their own resolutions. I wanted to keep them strong and focused and dedicated to their own journeys. Having the group helped me to stay focused and dedicated to my promises, too.
I made up my own elimination diet, but I took a very general approach. I eliminated alcohol in the first two weeks. I added processed sugars for the next two weeks after that and last, I eliminated coffee for three weeks.
The goal of this diet was to support the elimination of toxins, restore my liver, and help to rest and recover my adrenals.
That was for the physical level. On the emotional level, I wanted to get rid of all my bad habits and attachments or dependence.
The experience was life-changing. I have done many juice detoxes in my life, but I never got the same results as I got this time. The difference was that I made it a point not only to physically detox but to emotionally detox, too. I paid close attention to any resistance, any fear, any emotion that arose during the seven weeks.
While I did not have much challenge with not drinking alcohol, I still had to work through some things before I decided to start eliminating it from my diet. I had played with the thought of not drinking altogether for a while, but I never did it. Deep inside, I felt that when I did it, I will do it to align with my beliefs and my message.
Why didn’t I do it before? I actually can’t believe I’m saying this openly.
Drinking alcohol served me in the following ways
- To release internal pressure
- As a tool for socializing
When I became honest about the real reasons I drank, it was time for me to deal with them and resolve them. I don’t want to depend on anything to release any internal pressure because every time I reach for a crutch that’s outside of me, I’m giving my power away. I become weaker. And when I give my power away, I give it away somewhere else or to someone else. It will weaken my will, my self-esteem, my self-worth. It will make me a weaker person in every part of my life. Gosh, I don’t want that. I want to be my full self with all my willpower and to feel empowered. I consciously chose this path.
But I still needed to work through the socializing aspect. In our society, it’s normal to go out and grab drinks with friends, alone, strangers, family, etc. Most of our socializing is around food or drinks. This applied to me, too. It makes most drinkers very uncomfortable when there’s someone in the group who doesn’t drink, and to be honest not drinking in a social situation is when others do is not the same experience as when you’re drinking.
I realized it was a bigger issue for me than what I thought. I learned I was very scared to be alone. And it was not in the sense that I could not spend time by myself, which I don’t mind at all, but in the sense that I will live my life alone, without friends, without a partner, without connections. My whole family lives in Hungary, I moved to America alone when I was 21 years old. Besides my friends, I don’t have anyone in this country.
After an unsuccessful marriage and relationships, I felt I was losing my opportunity to meet people. I had to learn to be okay with the fact that it might not happen, that I will spend most of my time alone, and I might lose some friends over not drinking. I know that by changing my lifestyle that things I do in my free time will change and with that new people will walk into my life. I was also aware that it will take time.
After I made peace with that, my first two weeks of my elimination diet flowed. It was easy. I truly believed that this is what I wanted to do, had to do. I felt a sense of relief that I was free of this habit, and I was free from these beliefs that jailed me in a place I didn’t want to be in anymore. It was not struggle at all. What I felt was freedom.
After the first two weeks, I continued my elimination diet with eliminating processed sugars. I also eliminated rice (I actually had it twice in five weeks, truly out of boredom), bread, pasta, pastries. I only ate root veggies, oatmeal, buckwheat, raisins, or dates for carbs and once in a while, I added a banana to my shakes. I am not really big on eating fruits, but if I were, I would have cut back on them, too.
My challenge was to plan ahead and make sure I had food ready to eat at home. If I was out for a half a day, I made sure to take food with me so I didn’t end up picking up things on my way.
This experience helped me to plan better and eat more at home. It also helped me to cut all my sugar addictions and start eating more regularly, not skipping breakfast or not having too much time between my meals.
My real challenge came when I eliminated coffee from my diet. I knew it would be hard, and trust me, I was not a happy camper for the first week. I wasn’t really convinced about this last step. I really resisted it. I hated the fact that I totally depended on coffee. After the first week of struggle and adjustment, I felt much better. I learned I could get through 14- to 16-hour work days without any stimulation. My energy level was much more even throughout the day.
After I finished my seven weeks of the elimination diet, I felt as I were a different person.
I felt accomplished, and I felt strong and empowered. I felt I was in control of myself, my body, my mind. Seven weeks were long enough for me to rearrange my life.
I spend much more time with work, building my business, studying, learning, and reading. I did spend a lot more time alone, but it actually felt good, and it was and still is very useful. I didn’t get pulled away from the things that are important to me. I didn’t waste my time with anything that weakened me or my personality or who I am. I became much stronger about myself and my truth. I have never felt so aligned with myself.
This elimination diet freed me from the things I don’t need in my life, and it wasn’t only the attachment to those things that I was freed from, but also by working through them I could let go of the fear that held me back.
I also lost a couple of pounds in the seven weeks. My body started changing even more after that, because I didn’t go back to the same lifestyle I had before. This is only proof that getting results takes time, and when we make changes in our lives and lifestyle, we have to stick to those changes if we want to see results in our lives or in our bodies. The only way you can do that, though, is if you’re truly committed to what you want to do.
While I went back to drinking one, sometimes two cups of coffee a day, I never started drinking alcohol again. And I won’t stop myself having sweets once in a while, but I won’t let it become a regular thing.
I know most of us are scared about making changes in our diets or lifestyle, but I encourage you to do it.
And yes, change is never easy, and it’s even harder when we resist it. We feel surprised to see others who stay in an abusive relationship, but do we judge some of our behaviors or addictions as abusive to our own selves? What if we did?
The resistance we put up when we need to make a change blinds us to the possibility of a good outcome. The truth is that we’ll resist unless we’ve already found freedom in our souls. We just have to accept the resistance, and we have to make sure we’re not allowing it to drive our lives. We need to learn to expand and live our lives in different ways, to stay flexible with our vision and have the ability to expand our lives. Don’t let the resistance to change control your life.
Even though you don’t know what’s waiting on the other side, what you are about to experience can change your life for the better. Who doesn’t want to have a strong sense of self, to feel empowered and in balance? What would you give up to feel better and to free yourself? Whatever it is in your life that you’re dreading or avoiding, take the step, and watch a new life unfold before your eyes.
I wish you the courage, the strength, and the faith along your way!
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