About three years ago I did my first and only detox. I left out red meat, milk products, gluten, and sugar. The last two items were caffeine and alcohol, but I don’t use either of those, so there was no need to detox from them. During the detox process I noticed that red meat caused constipation, gluten swelling, and sugar mood swings. The effects of milk products weren’t as obvious, but because there were inklings that milk could cause osteoporosis, I have reduced the intake of them.
After the detox period I have continued to decreased the amount of red meat, gluten, milk products, and sugar. When I’m at home I am more consistent with my diet than when I’m paying a visit. Another lesson here about my people-pleasing. I’m not telling the truth about my dietary preferences, because I’m afraid that I might upset or offend the person making the meal. I have a strong feeling that at least my mother-in-law would take it personally, if I wouldn’t eat what she has made.
The lesson I learned and want to share today is about my self-appreciation. Following my new diet I have periods when I slip from it. I’ve learned to be gentle with myself and let myself enjoy those slips when they occur. Yesterday I bought candy and ate it quite a lot, that much that I stopped, just didn’t want to have any more of it. When I woke up to feed our little one at night, I noticed that I had a sore throat.
I haven’t been sick for a very long time and I started to wonder where this soreness in my throat could come from. I remembered learning from an episode of The Truth About Cancer, that sugar paralyzes my immune system up to six hours after consuming it. Eating that amount of sugar the day before could have had something to do with the ache in my throat.
I hadn’t eaten up all the candy I had bought, and I started to think what I would do with it. The thought of throwing the rest away popped into my mind. And that very instant I could feel a strong resistance toward it. I tried not to stifle the emotion, but to let those thoughts causing it to surface. I wanted to hear those thoughts behind that resistance, so that I could become aware of them to change them.
I assume that my resistance to throw anything, especially food, away, comes from my grandparents, who have lived during the time after the war where there was scarcity on everything. My mother has been impacted strongly of that mentality as well, which shows clearly in her lifestyle. And down the line it comes, to me and my appreciation of material objects over myself.
I pondered the possible solutions to my candy problem. I thought that I could just eat the rest and suffer the consequences. Or I could give them away, donate them to someone else and let them suffer the consequences. Conveniently I had just read the ethics part of ILP and couldn’t follow through with either of those ideas. I could clearly see and not tolerate me valuing the candy more than my own or other’s well-being.
Knowing that the sugar would have negative effects on anyone eating it, made it possible for me to finally throw the rest of the candy away. But the fact that I had to wrestle with myself to come to that decision, teaches me a great lesson about my conditioning. Wanting to be a good girl and accepted by my grandmother and mother, made me value material goods over myself. Becoming aware of it enables me to choose otherwise.