Hey Folks! We’re excited to introduce Certified 21DSD Coach Natalie Washabaugh. Natalie's article is part of a series of articles contributed by our Certified 21DSD Coaches. Enjoy! – Diane and Team
Coaching people through their 21-Day Sugar Detox journey has been an amazing experience for me. One of the things I have enjoyed the most is being able to bear witness to perspective shifts towards health and wellness. It is incredible how 21 days of clean eating can not only have a profound impact on your body, but also on your mind and soul as well. I have seen fat-phobic people turned butter lovers, vegetarians turned carnivores, and fast/processed food junkies turned real-food foodies! It is a great feeling to be a part of that moment when the light goes on for them and they realize their attempts at health prior to this awakening were rarely focused on actual health but on some preconceived, media driven notion of what health looks like!
One of the most important perspective swings that needs to be addressed and thoroughly discussed is our society’s incessant need to treat ourselves or be given a reward, in the form of food and alcohol, for accomplishing something.
I see it minute-by-minute via social media, and I can admit I have been a part of this nonsensical reward system a time or two. You get a new job so you need to go out for happy hour to recognize what you have done. Someone passed their test so cocktails are needed STAT! We were able to get that new house, so champagne is on the menu! I deserve a 12-pack for making it through this workweek. I think you get the picture!
These thoughts are not limited to the experiences listed above. I frequently see clients make comments like these toward the end of their detox as well. I gave up sugar for 21 days so I am going to treat myself to a bowl full of ice cream. I managed to give up alcohol for the past 21 days so I deserve an ice-cold beer, or seven. I didn’t eat any pizza from my favorite pizza joint for three whole weeks so obviously I need to order an extra-large pizza and celebrate! Am I the only one that finds irony in this?
The whole point of this program is to break the cycle of bad eating and blood sugar imbalance and bring our bodies back to a level playing field. Why would you want to mess up the awesome progress you have made thus far?
You did amazing things, even though it might not feel like it yet! Sit down and make a list of what you have gained from this detox. It could include better-quality sleep, clearer skin, mental alertness, sustainable energy levels, balanced mood, improved digestion, and even weight loss, to name a few. You have accomplished so much. You do deserve a reward, but let’s make it a reward that your body, mind and soul can feel good about.
What are ways we can treat ourselves without upending our progress? What about splurging on those hot yoga pants you have had your eyes on? Or treating yourself to a movie, with healthy snacks of course. Or checking out that rock climbing place you have always been too nervous to try. Maybe renting/borrowing bikes and checking out a cool trail could be rewarding as well. There are plenty of options that don’t require a bunch of money and also don’t need to be food and drink focused. So as you head towards Day 22, by all means celebrate it, but do so in a way that truly treats yourself right!
Natalie Washabaugh-Jimenez is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), a certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, a blogger at www.anourishedappetite.com, and a 21-Day Sugar Detox Certified Coach here to help you on the path to eliminating cravings and nourishing your body!