Get Clean Get Lean

Meg’s Blog

Last Day

Meg Holland

Our resident Get Clean Blogger

So how much do we rock!  We have done it.  4 weeks following the Get Clean Get Lean Program – 4 weeks without sugar, coffee, wheat, dairy and alcohol (amongst other things).  I am really proud of myself!

And I have not only learnt some fantastic things about how to take care of and how to listen my physical body, but also some insights into my emotional wellbeing.

I have learnt that not all food is created equal.  Not all “good” food is good for you and not all “bad” foods are bad.  It is about good quality, unprocessed food.  It is about making food decisions based on what my body feels like when it is hungry.  It is about eating guilt free and really tasting the food I prepare. It is looking for organic and fresh options rather than the quick and cheap options.

I am still learning that feeling bad is not an excuse for eating bad.  That food is not the way to turn any thoughts of sadness, anxiety, anger, fear or guilt into feelings of love and compassion.  Only I can do that.

And it is had taught me about movement and breath.

But most of all – the past four weeks have taught me about “baby steps”.  The smallest goal is just as important as any giant, long term goal.  Just because there are no big changes straight away doesn’t mean that there aren’t any important changes occurring.

This is just the beginning for me – and although I can’t wait for a Hot Cross Bun and soy milk latte – I am not about to have some major junk food blow-out and ruin all my hard work.

I have made a promise to myself to take care of me for all the right reasons.  Because of what I want and not what other people want.   Because of what I think is best for me and not what others think is best for me.  At  37 years old, I am taking responsibility for my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing…  And it feels GREAT!

Get Clean Get Lean

Meg’s Blog

DAY 27

Meg Holland

Our resident Get Clean Blogger

I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of the program! I am even more impressed that I have nearly made it!

I started this program on a bit of a whim – I saw the Facebook page and joined up.  I thought to myself, “Well, if it gets too hard – I’ll give up…”.  Then I got the great idea to volunteer to blog about my experience and any chance of giving up went out the window!!  I knew that writing about how I was feeling and being honest about the not so good days as well as the great days would be a great motivator and keep me on track.

While the detox side of my life has sometimes been tough – the rest of my life has been worse.  The financial challenges that come from being unemployed are proving overwhelming and I am finding it harder and harder to stay positive about finding work.  I am not writing about this for any sympathy or otherwise, but to illustrate that even when all of this stress has been happening in my life – I have remained focused about my physical wellbeing.  This gives me hope.  As the “Get Clean Get Lean” program comes to an end I can use this experience to prove to myself that I can do anything.  And with a bit of luck, this will rub off on other areas in my life.

 

Get Clean Get Lean

Meg’s Blog

DAY 25

Meg Holland

Our resident Get Clean Blogger

So my leg injury is actually a hip injury and a little more serious than I was willing to admit.  But on the positive side – the guys at the gym were really great in showing me the sort of movement that would be beneficial and lots of upper body work to keep me going until my hip is all sorted.

I am actually counting this is as a mini win for me – usually an injury would give me the perfect excuse not to go to the gym – but I went and worked hard doing the exercises I could.

If you follow the work of Louise Hay and especially her book, “You Can Heal Your Life”, she suggests that hip pain and injuries relate to, “a fear in moving forward in major decisions or having nothing to move forward to.”   This really resonates with me.  Having no clear idea as to my employment future, I can definitely feel the tension being held around my hips and legs.  So as well as the chiropractic sessions, massage and movement, I will be spending some time doing affirmations about moving forward that suggested in Louise’s book.

I love Louise Hay and her work.  She is one of my heroes.  Her books constantly inspire me.  I am also continually motivated by author and teacher Dr Wayne Dyer.  I am currently re-reading his book, “Excuses Begone!”.  This is another book that has helped me over the last three weeks as it looks at why and how we make excuses and how we can stop.  Whenever I felt tempted to go and grab something sugary, or the times I have wanted to just stop because it was getting too hard – I would go back and read a chapter of Dr. Dyer’s book.  I really recommend any books from either of these teachers.

And lastly, but certainly not least, I should mention, I have dropped a whole size in my jeans! (Insert Fanfare here!)  When I started the program, I decided not to weigh myself – I just didn’t want the extra pressure of looking at the numbers, just in case they didn’t change – but after a couple of weeks of having to constantly be pulling up my jeans, I decided to buy a new pair and was thrilled to find I had to go down a full size.  And that is pretty special!

Get Clean Get Lean

Meg’s Blog

DAY 24

Meg Holland

Our resident Get Clean Blogger

A couple of days ago I hurt my leg at the gym.  One of those silly annoying injuries that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time but which has left me walking around like I am 80 years old!  It also means that I haven’t done any exercise for the last two days.  And I never thought I would be the type to say this, but I think I am missing it.  Not in a, “OMG I just am not myself unless I have run 10kms before breakfast” kind of way – more of a, “Mmm, I am not quite feeling myself – I wonder why that is” kind of way.

The exercise part of this program was always going to be the biggest challenge for me – even more than the coffee!  Apart from playing sport at school, I never really liked running.  It may be a poor excuse, but I just don’t think my body was made for running.  I have seen myself – and I look ridiculous.  I don’t have one of those ‘nice’, rhythmic running styles.  I have more of an awkward, this is not natural kind of style.  And I don’t really like sitting on a bike either.  I did try a couple of Spin classes, but I was so preoccupied with how uncomfortable I was (i.e. how much my bum hurt on the seat) I never really paid attention to what I was supposed to be doing.

I go to the gym because I know I should.  And even after nearly 4 weeks of spending 6 days a week there, I still have to make myself go.  And I am sort of stuck in this Catch 22…  I am sure one of the reasons I don’t like exercising as much as I should or could, is because I have never really found anything I like doing.  I walk on the treadmill with my iPod blaring and I watch the timer.  I don’t really like the group classes.  As much as I try not to, I spend half the class comparing myself to the rest of the group and then feel crappy.  But, I also understand that the more I do something, the better I will get and then it will become more enjoyable.  See what I mean?

There is no doubt that I have noticed the difference over the last couple of days but it has not been so much of a difference that I am now a converted gym junkie – however, I will be back there tomorrow, pounding along on the treadmill, lifting some weights because I know, deep down, that is best for me and my body.  And after all, that is what this program has been all about!


Get Clean Get Lean

MEG

DAY 22

Meg Holland

Our resident Get Clean Blogger

Today, I have been trying to think of my reward for finishing the program – what I would like that doesn’t involve breaking every new, better habit that I have learnt over the last three weeks.

A reward that doesn’t involve something creamy, sweet or fresh from a bakery is quite a new concept for me.  And although a new handbag, pair of expensive shoes or hot pink Nars lipstick are all very enticing – the financially challenged side of me (and should I say the more financially responsible side of me) thinks that might be a tad reckless.

I nearly decided against the whole reward concept and making a big deal of ending the detox, but then I think we often do that.  We decide not to make big deals of our accomplishments or when we reach a goal and yet we often make a big deal when we don’t achieve a goal.  That inner voice telling us how we failed again and the only thing that will make the pain go away is that piece of apple pie or the family size Toblerone…

So as my body detox may officially end in a week, I am going to challenge myself to detox my mind.  Over the past three weeks, I have done my best to ensure that everything going in and onto my body is nourishing and free from anything artificial.  And my next goal is to make certain that the same rules apply for what I am putting into my mind!

As for my reward, I am still undecided, but I have it down to three: A full body massage and facial; a ticket to the Womadelaide Music Festival; or taking my nephews to dinner at the organic Pizza place near my home for a large vegetarian, gluten free pizza!

Get Clean Get Lean

Meg’s Blog

DAY 21

Meg Holland

Our resident Get Clean Blogger

Week 3 done!  A congratulatory pat on the back all round!

This week for me, I think will be the hardest.  I have been putting off social engagements until after next week and purposely avoided certain situations where I think I might be tempted to eat or drink something I shouldn’t.

I have spent this weekend looking at which habits I have learnt over the past three weeks that I will continue with when the detox program is over.  I love the dry brushing prior to showering and that dash of cold water as I am getting out really gets the heart pumping!  I love the way my skin feels and looks.

As a make-up artist, I am always checking out the ingredients in the skincare and make-up I use and I am a loyal customer of many “all natural” cosmetic ranges.  However, I am doing more and more research into organic skin care ranges both in Australia and overseas and I hope to try some of these products in the near future.

Luckily, I have always drunk a lot of water.  Soft drinks have always been too sweet and I gave up drinking alcohol about 15 years ago – so I will happily continue to drink plenty of water.  However, adding fresh mint, lemon and lime were great ideas that I had not tried before.

Coffee – ahh Coffee – this is one I am really looking forward to.  But I am going to spend some time looking for some great, organic, coffee to use rather than the quick instant kind I currently drink.

Over the past three weeks, taste and quality have been at the forefront of my food decisions and that is not about to change.  If I am going to eat food that is not so good for me, then I am going to make damn sure it is the best quality, best tasting food I can get a hold of!


Get Clean Get Lean

Meg’s Blog

Day 18

Meg Holland

Our resident Get Clean Blogger

Late yesterday afternoon I picked my Mum up from hospital. She was there for the afternoon for some common tests. This was a very strange occurrence for her (and me) – I don’t ever remember my Mum being sick or set foot in a hospital. She is completely fine by the way – and at 63 years of age she looks 50! I am not just saying that because she is my Mum but her healthy way of living certainly shows. She eats very little processed food and walks everyday before work. Even as a child I remember complaining that we were the ONLY kids in the WHOLE WORLD who didn’t have Coco Pops for breakfast (We only had porridge or weet-bix) and white bread was banned. I don’t think I even had a glass of Coke until I was 12 or 13 and I am sure my Mum was mortified.

When she got in the car, she looked at me quite seriously and said, “Did I learn something today! I LOVE food and I love eating and I don’t ever want to not be able to do it ever again!” She was referring to the fact she hadn’t eaten anything for nearly 48 hours prior and like anyone in that situation really craved food. But what did she crave? Not some quick chocolate fix or some buttery pastry or even a big piece of steak… No – my Mum wanted the biggest bowl of stir fried veggies!

“Are you crazy?”, I asked. “We can go anywhere you like and grab anything you want – Pizza, Chips, Fried Chicken?” She rolled her eyes, smiled at me and described in detail how she imagined the vegetables would taste and look and how great they would make her feel.

It made me think about a couple of things. Firstly, how different we are! But also, how did I get so obsessed with food when clearly, growing up, my Mum was teaching me great habits. Why don’t my sisters have the same obsession as I? I spend nearly every waking moment thinking about what I am eating, what I should be eating, when I can next eat etc etc and I never realised it until this last week.

Don’t worry – I am not about to go into some mock therapy session and regress back to my childhood and bore you with the details – but my new awareness can certainly be the first step to making these positive changes more permanent instead of me planning a huge carb blow out at 12:01am on the 1st of March!

Get Clean Get Lean Program

Meg’s Blog

DAY 16

Meg Holland

Our resident Get Clean Blogger

It’s official – I am totally addicted.  And no – I am not talking about food (for a change!) or exercise (I wish!).

I am totally addicted to shopping.  I need a 12 step program stat.  Nothing I have tried seems to work.  I cut up my credit cards – and then rang the bank explaining “I have no idea where I may have left it…” and have new ones sent out.  I ban myself from shopping centres only to spend hours on the internet or watching TV shopping.  I can justify any purchase!

But, currently my ‘income’ is $240 per week via Newstart Allowance (don’t even get me started on how people are supposed to live on this – that is a whole different blog!) and so shopping for pleasure has taken a back step.  I should clarify – grocery and food shopping do not count!

The reason I mention this is because as I am detoxing my body, I have, sort of by default started detoxing other areas of my life.  Spending money on things I don’t really need, or paying more attention to how I am spending my money is in focus.  As I realise the importance of buying good, nutritious, fresh food, I am less inclined to want to spend my money on things that aren’t in my best interests.  I am looking for quality and not necessarily some flash bargain that I have no need for.  As I notice how much less I am processing food before I eat it, ie I’m eating lots of raw, un-dressed salads, I am noticing how many other parts of my life require less “processing”.

Don’t get me wrong – I still consider window shopping a sport and I love nothing more than when my net-a-porter.com newsletter comes into my Inbox – but I am enjoying it guilt-free – a bit like the way I am eating at the moment!

We are move than half way through!  Congratulations!