I love conducting new experiments in lifestyle re-design and my philosophy on this is simple – Try new things. Stick with what fits. Accept when it doesn’t. Tweak or move on. Sometimes things go to plan, a lot of the time I have to scuttle back to the drawing board with my tail between my legs. This is one of those times –
I’m a big fan of detox’s and cleanses. I’ve done the juice fast, the lemon detox, seven day fasts, olive oil cleanses, colonics… you name it, I’ve tried it.
And after finishing a nine month party, adrenal fatigue and depression bender, I felt like it was high time I got back on the healthy person circuit.
Doing what I do best, I researched the hell out of cleanses and put together one for myself that I thought would be bullet proof from failure.
I researched cancer diets, raw food eating, PH diets, organic diets and juice cleanses published by some of the top experts in these respective areas from around the world. I then stripped their ideas back to make it as simple as possible, to the point of putting together the grocery list for the twenty one days and ordering the groceries online. It was tight!
Basically the cleanse consisted of cutting out the big six – coffee, sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol and animal. The end goal – Lose weight, look good, feel great, balance your body’s PH levels & calm the mind. Having balanced PH Level in the body is what a lot of experts recommend for keeping your body free of disease, health, happy. Sounds good right?
I even created a Facebook Group for it, and convinced twenty two other potential health buddies to get on board and do it together. Power in numbers and all that jazz.
I visited both the doctor and naturopath and did a raft of tests so I could have an awesome before and after story to write about.
Now lets fast fast forward fourteen days… every single one of the twenty two people including myself haven’t been able to stick at the cleanse. So how did this experiment go so wrong? Or did it?
Here’s what I learnt…
1. When I’ve done cleanses successfully before I’ve either done them at an actual retreat, away from all the temptations of normal every day life where everyone I was spending my time with were also doing the same cleanse. Or I’ve gone away to somewhere remote on my own. Easy.
2. I didn’t create enough leverage for myself or everyone else. Sticking to the rules of successful change – being accountable to other people is one thing. Being accountable to other people with consequences far worse than not completing the task is another. If I’d said publicly that I’d run down Queen Street naked and donate my car to the greater good of Scientology if I didn’t complete the twenty one days, things might’ve been a little different.
3. Committing to a cleanse for twenty one days required too many changes in everyone’s daily life for people to stick to it. After seven to ten days people starting to lose focus. Buying organic groceries from somewhere different, preparing meals ahead of time, not being able to eat out at all, stopping drinking, cutting out flat whites, completely changing your eating patterns… that’s a lot to ask from people for twenty one days. Just trying to coordinate a group of people together for a quiet dinner can be tricky enough business let alone trying to change peoples daily habits for this entire length of time.
4. I actually don’t want to change my current lifestyle that much. I love the idea of being this raw food healthy person, but the changes I’m going to have to make to my life to accomplish it, I’m not quite ready to implement just yet.
• The next time I’m committing to a cleanse. I’m either going on a retreat in Thailand, or I’m opting out of any social responsibility for twenty one days and staying home. No exceptions.
• If I’m going to change my diet and encourage others to change theirs, easy does it. One change at a time for twenty one days and build upon it slowly. For example “Cutting sugar out of your diet for twenty one days” is a lot easier mouthful to swallow. The results of trying to do too much at once speak for themselves.
Two things I’m also considering trying are…
• Minimizing the length of time to do the cleanse. Seven days as opposed to twenty one days is a far more manageable proposition for most people.
• Introducing a single day a week where you stick to the “cleanse diet”.
I’ll keep you all posted on my progress on this one as I remind myself of some wise old sayings, “Path of least resistance” and “Keep it simple, stupid”.