I learned a very important lesson today. You may have read my most recent post where I wrote about my first attempt at cleansing. Attempt is the key word here and it may very well be used again in regards to any future cleanse journeys I ever explore because honesty, I will probably never finish them. I had a really good feeling about our plan. I woke up in the morning and drank my lemon ginger tea. I didn't even look at the coffee pot. I dressed for work and made my way out the door with my large cooler pack of juices we had prepared hanging heavily down my back. Totally committed, I began my day and with a beautiful mixture of raspberries, spinach, banana, pineapple, and coconut water. Since it wasn't much different from what I drink on a typical morning the whole idea of cleansing our systems remained simple in my mind. One hour passed. Two hours passed. Three hours passed. I started to notice a pattern and in addition to my stomach making all sorts of crazy noises it seemed as if EVERY person in my office decided that Starbucks was a necessary stop this morning and HEY WHY NOT HAVE A LITTLE EGG SANDWICH WITH THAT HEAVENLY MUG?. At this point I was only semi-hungry so the fact that my co-worker had a banana with peanut butter didn't phase me quite yet.
Okay, I'm lying. While I physically wasn't starving at this point, the soul fact that I was 'cleansing' and only allowing myself to drink tea and mashed up vegetables put my stomach into a pure panic. My belly so badly wanted to open the bag of almonds that sat on my desk. My heart wanted coffee with cream. 16 hours into my cleanse and my mind was an absolute fog.
I returned to my desk and asked myself what the true purpose of this cleanse even was and I realized that my initial intentions of resting and detoxing and healing were not it. Resting. Detoxing. Healing. Three things that can exist in our lives without having to change anything other than our attitudes. I rest every day and night. Our bum's were made for sitting and this is exactly what I do. I detox daily, too. I move and stretch and dance and I sweat and breathe and all of sudden my day feels so refreshing, so worth living. And I heal. I eat fruits and grains and proteins and I drink my vegetables not because I have to but because I love too and then I have a snack because let's face it, snacks are THE BEST. An embarrassing light bulb shined above me and my co-worker showed a smiling concern as I continued to talk to myself. All of these foods that I precisely tried to remove from my body, were in fact, exactly what I needed. And coffee. I needed coffee.
Sometimes life is funny and we feel the need to make drastic changes in order to feel accomplished, to feel loved. Sometimes we eat an insanely large piece of chocolate cake and our brains automatically believe that whatever healthy successes we've reached no longer exist. And sometimes it takes five minutes in front of the mirror to reshape how we perceive our bodies. Not thin, not fat, but created capable of so many things. I pressured myself into this cleanse because my heart felt heavily bombarded with the one issue that I truly thought had disappeared from my life.
I write about body image because I rarely see beauty in myself, but know that I am. I write about body image because it shouldn't be a thing but it is a thing and for many of us it is the reasoning behind our perspectives on ALL THINGS. I write about body image because searching for beauty can feel so lonely and I write because I want to teach myself and every other person that being beautiful goes far beyond a physical presence. I write about body image because it confuses me and I find myself hating my thighs yet despising the girl who speaks it even more. I write about body image because I spent so many years eating too much and then too little and regardless of which one I was doing I would just pray for sleep so that all of my thoughts would disappear. I write about body image because it's something I can change. A body. A living, breathing, humanly force whose purpose goes so much deeper than the image it reflects. I write out these words because it will forever be a part of my life. There will be times that I love the thoughts that come alive in my mind because I speak beautiful and see beautiful and spread beautiful. And then there will be times where I loathe them because I know that deep in my heart the disorder I had does not even come close to the person I am anymore.
I'm smiling now. Maybe it's because I put a little extra cream in my coffee and maybe it's because I went to my parents for lunch and created the most colorful salad I've ever seen. The two of them smiled and I smiled and I just kept eating because it felt so so wonderful. I do love my mason jars filled with color and oomph but I am officially a foodie ya'll and it makes me proud.
My dearest friend and I did finish our juices that day along with some substantial goodies that made our hearts glow. Did we fail at our cleanse? You could say that. My morning coffee, however, has my brain feeling quite satisfied right now and so failing is actually feeling pretty dang peachy. I write about body image because it is the way that one thousand woman continue to perceive this world and I write about it so that I can change every single part of this.
I'm going to go drink my breakfast now and then I'm going to eat a snack and probably more snacks and then I'm going to drink more espresso and eat a chocolate square and I'm going to CHERISH THIS DAY.