My Thoughts On The Juice Cleanse

So, a few weeks ago I did a juice cleanse.

A bunch of my clients & fellow instructors had talked about having done them before, so I figured, I would give anything a shot once. I ordered the cleanse, and it came fully frozen. As I started unpacking this giant cooler box, a big wave of doubt hit me.

Will I actually be able to do this?

Blake was gone on a work trip to Europe, so I knew I wouldn’t have much temptation to eat at home. Admittedly, since it was just me, and I was going to be drinking my juice, I didn’t even go grocery shopping – just to make sure I wouldn’t give into temptation.

The idea? Drink six juices a day, for three days, and be cleansed.

I did it. I posted on my story all day every day. I didn’t cheat. I basically lived in the bathroom. I wasn’t hungry. I wasn’t awake. I just… was.

SO – here’s the thing.

I don’t drink a lot of juice in general. They are really sweet for me, and I just would rather drink either water or a smoothie. So, maybe I was set up to hate it from the get go, because I hate the feeling of having to brush my teeth EVERY other hour. Seriously, the inside of my mouth felt like I had ate a bag of sour patch kids without ANY of the satisfaction of eating them.

Why?

There was SO MUCH SUGAR in each of these juices. Virtually every juice had some sort of natural sugar/sweetener  added to it – agave, inulin – pushing the sugar content of some of these juices to almost 50 grams (you are supposed to drink the WHOLE bottle, even though it’s labeled as 2 servings). To give you an idea of how much sugar that is, a can of Coke has 39 grams. And we all know that Coke is the standard for “this is not a healthy thing”.

But it’s not just about the sugar.

It’s about the IDEA that we should not eat to “cleanse” ourselves. That we should chug juice and poop out 10 lbs to feel better about ourselves.

Sure, I dropped 8 lbs in 3 days.

THAT’S NOT SUSTAINABLE. THAT’S NOT HEALTHY.

Food is a need. Not a want. When you think about food as fuel, you eat according to what your body needs. Craving something salty? Maybe your sodium level is low. Can’t get the hankering for a huge salad out of your mind? Might need to up your fiber and iron levels. Your body is always talking to you – but a lot of the time, we choose to ignore it in favor of quick fixes.

We already have warped ideas about food and bodies – so why do we keep feeding into this?! I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I got to feel how tired my body felt without food. I’m glad I got to see how my skin broke out because of sugar. I’m HAPPY that I learned to appreciate what food can DO for me. I don’t need a juice cleanse to feel comfortable in my body.

Why?

Because, I think I actually like my body.

All I need to feel like a badass in my body is good workout, my friends and family, and maybe a glass of wine.

So, I guess in a weird way, I want to thank the juice cleanse for showing me that I don’t need to drink weird concoctions and deprive myself to feel my best.

I just need a little sweat and love.

 

 

 

A Look Back on 2014

So, we are within the last 24 hours of 2014. This time of year is always full of hustle, bustle and sometimes a good amount of stress, so sitting in silence and thinking about everything that has happened this year is strangely relaxing. 

2014 was a powerful year. Not in the fact that I broke records, or gained Hulk-like super strength powers. It was powerful because I showed myself what I was capable of, if I made myself a little uncomfortable.

It was the year where I became a marathoner. I ran two marathons, one where I got freakishly ill, and one where I was recovering from an ankle injury. I found myself bargaining with my body, my brain and anyone who would listen to me. My favorite sign from the Marine Corps Marathon still remains, “You want to get fit, run a 5K. You want to talk to God, run a marathon.”

I learned what it was truly like to push my limits. On Killington, I found myself jumping into freezing water, running/hiking/walking 17 miles in slightly above freezing temperatures, and in the company of some of the most amazing people I have ever met. This year, I pushed myself out of my “I’m just doing this alone” mindset, and met some incredible people. From flying out to Vegas to race before a conference, to Killington, to flying to DC to run my second marathon – I would not have been able to do it without the people I have met along the way. 

I also learned how important rest is. By the time Marine Corps Marathon arrived, I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. Why was I exhausted? Well, this was my year of races (not including the 100s of miles in training):

  • February 15, 2014: Cupid Chase (3.5 miles)
  • March 29th, 2014: Gator Gallop 5K
  • April 5, 2014: Spartan Race Super Las Vegas (8.5 miles, OCR)
  • April 13, 2014: One Run For Boston (13 miles)
  • April 28th, 2014: Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC (13.1 miles)
  • June 22nd, 2014: BAA 10K
  • June 24th, 2014: JP Morgan Corporate Challenge Boston (3.5 miles)
  • July 25th, 2014: Marathon Around the Lake (26.2)
  • August 2nd, 2014: Viking Assault Evansville (3 miles, OCR)
  • September 12- 13th, 2014: Reach the Beach NH (18 miles, 24 hours)
  • September 18th, 2014: Thompson Island 4K
  • September 20th, 2014: Spartan Race World Championship Beast, Killington VT (17 miles, OCR)
  • October 27th, 2014: Marine Corps Marathon (26.2)
  • November 16th, 2014, Spartan Race Fenway Sprint (3 miles, OCR)
  • December 6th, 2014: Frozen Frolic (3.5 miles)

The plenty of back to backs, plus the increasing milage, took it toll. Yes, I managed to nab a few PRs (5K pr is now 26:45!!), pushed myself to new distances and had the chance to travel to race, however, I didn’t take enough time to recover (physically and mentally) in between. 

The biggest highlight of the year? I learned to love my body.

I never have been a super skinny girl, and my thighs and butt have always been a little larger than life. However, this year, when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t focus on the pudgy parts. I focused on what my body was able to accomplish. If you had told me 4 years ago, that I would run a marathon (let alone two in one year), i would have laughed, or rolled my eyes. If you would have told me that I would have completed a Spartan Race Trifecta, and completed the 2014 Killington Course, I would have told you that there was no way my jiggly butt would make it. 

And in the process, it may have gotten a little less jiggly.

I’ve learned that my quads love the rush of tacking a hill (or mountain), and will keep me going much longer than I thought possible. That my feet might no longer look pretty, but they get me where I need to go. I might not have six-pack abs, but they are strong enough to keep me standing tall.

For that, I thank you 2014, and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has to offer. 

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