There has been a lot of talk over the last week about detox diets, whether that be based on juice or, the more dominant talking point, tea. Before I proceed, I need to make one thing certain. I am no health expert, nor do I know the scientific benefits or damages of detox diets, simply because I have not researched them. I haven’t researched them because they have never, and will never, appeal to me. But, I do have an opinion on the little I know about them, so bear with me.
Since November 2015, I took to a strict fitness regime to get myself fit. I wanted to tone the body I had and if I lost a few pounds of fat, then that was an added bonus. And since that time, I have lost inches all over my body, I am toned, I am strong, and yes, I did lose some weight. The shape my body has taken is due to a couple of factors. Firstly, I went for exercise over food to start the process. I wanted to build a foundation level of fitness so that I could develop that and challenge it. With just this change, I saw a huge difference. In fact I saw a five inch loss of a difference, and over 7kg loss of a difference (probably not grammatically correct but you get the jist). With that change, I went to look at my food. But what I did not do was go on a diet or a detox. Nope. It was much simpler than that. I looked at WHAT I was eating over a period of a few weeks to determine my food weaknesses. I am partial to a bag of chips and a bar of dark chocolate, not to mention a good Barolo and a Friday night G&T. I didn’t give up any of these things completely, I just rationed. Chips and chocolate are a treat and I look forward to those treats. I started to eat more greens and less pasta, and added in more fresh fish and meat. I became interested in what I cooked, and found recipes I liked and enjoyed eating. But all the while making sure I managed the quantities of the bad bits. To me, this isn’t dieting, it’s just becoming cognisant of the ingredients.
For the latter half of 2016 I got into a routine of this, I exercise for 30 minutes three to four times a week. Ok so that’s a lot but I enjoy it. I have a mindset now that instead of going home and watching TV for that 30 mins, I head out for a short run, or go to the gym and hit the rowing machine and listen to podcasts. This is my time and I love it. I do my best thinking on my own, while exercising. My mind is more relaxed and clear, and that’s saying a lot considering I have a diagnosed Acute Anxiety Disorder which crippled me for a long time. Exercise has rescued that part of my soul too.
No where along this fourteen month journey did I spend a week just drinking tea containing goodness knows what, or living off juice. I’m not against a juice detox for cleansing out your colon and tummy, but I am simply not ok with living off tea to lose weight. How can that possibly be a healthy option? The thing about losing weight, or getting fit is that it requires patience. I had to learn that. I wanted it all gone over night and that was never going to happen, so from my experience the first step was commitment to it. Allocating time to exercise and cook. Yes, some days I have to go to the gym at 630am as it’s the only time I have to do it (i.e. I was training at that time this morning) but it has also taught me to appreciate that time and the value it gives my well being.
This is just my story, and everyone has their own preferred approach to taking care of themselves and that’s fine. I just want to be an advocate of the traditional way.