Day 18

What to Expect:

“I really am in the home stretch now, but what am I going to do after this?”

You may experience: Some anxiety about what you’ll do after the twenty-one days are up—this is normal.

Your best bet: Stay the course, and peek ahead to preview the post-detox week if it’ll help you feel like you know what to expect. Think about whole, healthy foods (like sweeter fruits, for example) that you want to introduce back to your plate first.

Today's Lesson:

Thinking about life after the 21DSD

You’ve got four whole days left on the program. And don’t even think about cutting this short—you are worth finishing this thing you started! You’ve made it THIS. FAR. Stopping short at this point would be a total bummer. Don’t let yourself down by throwing in the towel now.

The finish line is fully in sight, and your momentum towards it may either be super strong (“I HAVE SO GOT THIS!”), or it may slightly be waning (“Do I really need to finish these next several days?”). So, here’s what to do: begin thinking about—and planning—your post-detox life!

The daily entries for the post-detox week have some suggestions for thoughtful tweaks to your nutrition and how to add foods back to your plate, so you’re covered there. But what you can do now is to wrap your head around the idea that after the 21DSD, you’re not going to go on a gluten-and-sugar bender. I’ve seen it far too many times—folks want to “just eat all the food” again. I get it. This program is not easy!

But when you thoughtfully and carefully bring foods back to your plate, you allow yourself space for awareness and insight, a moment to think about how what you eat affects how you feel. From there, you can make conscious decisions about what you’ll eat going forward. The goal isn’t to eat 21DSD-style for life! I want you to take these three weeks and learn from them, then apply what works for you going forward.

Take stock of how you handled the not-sweet treats throughout the program. Did you find that including them helped you stay on track more easily? Or did they distract you or make you feel like you couldn’t have just the portion outlined for you? Have you found over the years that you do better completely avoiding something that you don’t respond well to (whether with cravings, allergies, or emotional eating), or do you feel that when you tell yourself you can’t have any, you feel even more drawn to those foods?

If you find that eating a little bit of a treat pushes you into a downward spiral that doesn’t feel good, then abstaining from certain foods is a better approach for you.

On the flip side, if you find that by eating a little bit of something sweet rather than telling yourself you can’t have a single bite, you feel more balanced, sane, and calm around those foods, then for you, the concept of moderation is a good one.

Learning whether you do better by abstaining from or moderating foods that can be triggers for you is a worthwhile endeavor. This way of knowing yourself better will allow you to feel less controlled by food and calmer around foods that you know can be triggers for you.

The Dish from Diane:

Today’s lesson is all about knowing yourself better so that you can make better choices as you transition to life after the detox. The process isn’t always a linear one. You may start out thinking that you can moderate certain foods, only to discover that you’re best off avoiding them completely. Or you may think that banning certain foods completely will help you and find that it doesn’t. What works best isn’t the same for everyone, and I’d argue that it’s also not the same for each person with different foods.

For example, you may find that you have no problem strictly abstaining from gluten-containing foods in the future. Maybe it seems like no big deal, because you feel better without gluten and gluten free options are easy to find. But at the same time, you may find that if you try to abstain from cheese and other dairy foods, you feel overly drawn to them. So, whether you abstain from or moderate certain foods may vary from food to food—and that’s okay. Being aware of yourself and what works best for you is the goal here, and I want for you to feel released from the constant turmoil around food that makes you question yourself. You are the boss of yourself and your choices—move forward from here confident in that fact!

Today's Checklist:

  • Post to social media using the hashtag #21DSD about your day 18 and share your personal discoveries about whether you do better abstaining or moderating.

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