feed yourself – a word about diets and cleanses

I don’t believe in cleanses. I don’t think they’re necessary. There, I said it.

I believe that our bodies like to eat, want food, need fuel, crave calories. I don’t believe in not eating for periods of time.

Yes, I realize there are certain cleanses where you do eat. I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the ones where you drink juice.

I don’t have any scientific evidence to support my disbelief in cleanses. Although the Mayo Clinic does say, “The digestive system and bowel naturally eliminate waste material and bacteria — your body doesn’t need enemas or special diets or pills to do this.”

That. I like that.

Just Mary’s Mary Rambin is on a cleanse right now. I know she’s done cleanses in the past and I’m sure she’ll do them again. I don’t know her personally, I only read her blog, but I remember her once explaining via her blog her reasons for doing a cleanse and they all seemed valid and justified.

To each her own and I know Mary knows what she’s doing when it comes to her body.

Me? I don’t believe in cleanses.

While we’re on the subject of dieting and restrictive eating, I read something very interesting this week on Happiness Awaits, my friend Fitzalan’s blog. (Fitzalan is a great name, right?) In her post entitled “Nourishment” she talks about getting her resting metabolic heart rate tested. Here’s what she learned:

“I actually need 2187 calories a day…my goal is to maintain my weight. I have been getting ~1400 calories a day. I have basically been starving my body and that is why I am always exhausted and want to go to bed at 8PM.”

My jaw hit the floor when I saw that. She has been inadvertently denying her body almost 800 calories a day! I’m so happy for her that she discovered this.

Naturally, now that she’s challenged with the goal of consuming MORE food, not less, she’s nervous, like many of us would be. She said, “Eating more in my head equals gaining weight, which is something I obviously do not want to do.” She’s consulting a nutritionist to find out the best way to go about it.

I don’t write about Fitzalan’s situation to wag a finger at her – she was doing what many of us do – striving to maintain her weight, to be able to have an indulgence every now and then and not have to pay for it later. She was doing what she thought was best for her body.

But she was unknowingly starving herself to avoid gaining weight. I think her story is important.

Ladies, let us not go crazy with the rules and restrictions and 2, 3, or 5 pounds. In fact, I’m going to lighten up on myself about by my own goal to lose 10 pounds.


(Let’s be honest, I’m still trying to lose 10 pounds.)

My point is, crash diets and cleanses and not eating and not eating enough and over-exercising and stressing the fuck (yeah, I said it!) out about it all has got to stop. It’s good to be mindful about your health and weight, but Love First.

4 thoughts on “feed yourself – a word about diets and cleanses

  1. Amen! I tried a juice cleanse that my local juice place (Arden’s Garden) stands behind, and I quit by 1pm on the first day. I was irritable, hungry, and just wanted to eat real food!

    BTW- I sent your buckeyes to my friend Kate and she loved them! Now I need to order some for myself…

  2. Wow. It really means a lot to read your words and see the understanding and appreciation you have of what I am going through. I was completely blindsided and shocked that I have gotten myself in this predicament. I thought I was eating healthy and treating my body well and then I learn that I have actually been nearly starving it.

    I’m sure you’ve seen that I have been aiming to lose a few irrelevant pounds. When I found out how I have been treating my body and how unhealthy it is, the thoughts about those pounds went out the window. I could care less about a few stupid pounds. I am more concerned about any lasting damage I am doing to my body.

    I couldn’t agree with your post more. The most important thing is about treating our body with love, respect and goodness. Not about some stupid number on a scale. I am turning 30 this year, aiming to get pregnant and live a full life. Starving myself simply does not support the goals I have for myself.

    Now if only we could go back in time and teach these lessons to teenage versions of ourselves, think of all the troubles we could be avoiding!

    happiness awaits

  3. Pingback: Living Happier with Our Bodies: The Happy Medium Place « Nancy Jane Smith, Career Counselor

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