I had a few fits and starts getting onto the weight-loss track this year. My January attempt puttered out after about 5 days. My February attempt lasted about twice that long. In March, I basically threw my hands in the air and ate my way through the calendar. I finally got my shit together at the very end of the month/very beginning of April.
Each of these times when I started down the clean eating path — no processed, chemicalized “food” — I had varying degrees of detox symptoms: headache, low energy, crankiness, cravings for the crap I had cut from my diet, trouble concentrating, a little soreness in my muscles. I didn’t realize detox was what I was experiencing at first; I thought it was just adjusting to a regular cycle of eating meals and fitting in exercise (which I now realize doesn’t make much sense). I know now that it was part of the process of my body releasing all that nasty junk I had been putting into it for years… and releasing it fo’eva! (OK, not fo’EVA-eva, but at least as a main source of nutrition.) (Side note: I used to think it was total bull shit when people said they were “addicted to food.” That was also before I understood that the “food” in question was the processed junk, or that said processed junk contained enough chemicals as to actually cause an addictive habit in consumers. Truly like a drug, just as many people claim. Mindblowing. I’m so glad I took the time to open myself up to the valuable education related to this. Wow, that was a long parenthetical. I guess I had more to say there than I thought.)
Anyway, I started wondering lately why I’ve been able to make it stick this time, and why it feels so different from my many, many previous false starts. I think I’ve figured it out: it was the OTHER detox I did. I won’t get into all the details, but I ended a friendship of 16 years in the winter with someone who was just a sour, draining, negative presence in my life. It was something I was cognizant of for a while, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why I fought to keep it. Maybe it was nostalgia, maybe it was denial, maybe it was self-sabotage, maybe I’ll never know. Regardless, I didn’t realize how many pathways it opened up for me to finally let go of this toxic relationship. All of a sudden, I felt more myself. I appreciated the truly good presences in my life. I liked and respected myself more. And without realizing the connection at the time, it gave me the confidence I needed in order to believe I could cut out the other poisonous parts of my life.
I surpassed my 50-pound weight-loss mark this past weekend. That friendship I severed has officially given me more in its death than it ever did in its life.