Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 11 on the Clean Program - The Power Behind the Throne: Your Support Network

Talking to GB over breakfast today (GB is Googly Bear: Dan. He calls me Hun, which is short for Atilla) about how much better we both feel.

Dan has been following along with me on the Clean program, but he's been doing his own home version of the Clean program. He has a healthy protein-type shake for breakfast and dinner, just like me, and eats something super healthy for lunch, just like me. And he's been feeling better and better every day! Just like me! We already take a lot of supplements so trying to choke down a handful of pills several times a day isn't a big deal. We both do it, and we agree that the benefits outweigh the annoyance of swallowing horse pills. 

He put on a pair of pants today and they HUNG on him. He's dropped a few pounds obviously. He's 6' tall and straight as an arrow with long monkey arms so he carries weight very well. 

All that to say, he didn't fork over $425 but he's following along with me and being extremely supportive. It's so important to have a support system while you're doing this, especially if you experience any kind of "healing crisis." A healing crisis occurs when your body tries to dump toxins faster than it's able to get rid of them. And the more toxic you are, the worse your healing crisis can be. Picture mean, evil toxins barreling like freight trains to every possible elimination site in your body in order to evade the healthy little cheerleaders you're putting into it. It's a train wreck. 

This is why you may start a detox program or a super healthy diet and then feel awful (sometimes immediately, sometimes several days into it). And you're left to think, What is THIS? I'm trying to be healthy and I feel this bad? And then you may give up on the detox or diet because you think it's hurting you.  If you hang in there, that healing crisis will pass in about 2-3 days and you'll start feeling the benefits of what you're doing. Eventually, the freight trains carrying the toxins find escape routes and all your little cheerleaders start throwing parties. (There's a bad Joe Francis joke in there somewhere.)

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to change to a strict raw diet. I knew nothing about raw diets or even why I should eat a raw diet. It sounded like a good idea at the time! Two words: STOO-PID! Dan held my hand and took me to the emergency room five days into my Brilliant Idea because I could not POOP! I had a brick in my gut and it wasn't moving! I didn't know that going raw cold turkey and not drinking enough water and not taking a fiber supplement was a bad and dangerous combination. I was pretty mad that I tried to do something healthy for myself and it ended soooooo badly. 

About five years ago, I wanted to try it again, but I did it the SMART way this time. I actually researched raw diets quite a bit, and even edited a book about raw food living by George Malkmus (author of The Hallelujah Diet). Dan supported me 100%, and I eased into it. I didn't eliminate all cooked foods and meat immediately, I drank tons of water, and took supplements, including fiber. The best thing that came of that experience was that I was able to get off blood pressure medication (the only medication I've had to take on a regular basis). I lost a lot of weight, slowly, and I felt pretty good until … you know, you read the first post … we slid fell crashed off the health wagon. 

Dan was right beside me when we crashed off the wagon too! Wow, now there's a life partner for you! :) Beside me through thick and thin (mostly thick), for richer or poorer (mostly poorer), and in butter-and-heavy-cream-and-andouille-sausage sickness and in health. 

If you live with another human being, you absolutely MUST have their full, undivided support if you're going to endeavor toward a healthier life. I mean, your cat doesn't care how fat you are! And your dog actually LOVES it when you sit and eat a whole pizza because he'll probably get some of it when you fall asleep on the couch with the pizza box open on the coffee table. 

Your spouse, your friends, your other family members MUST be 100% IN with you. They don't necessarily have to do exactly what you're doing or eat what you're eating, but they must love you enough to know that you're not doing this because you're experiencing temporary insanity. This is important to you, so it needs to be important to them. Don't let your mother tempt you with her lemon cake by saying, "Oh come on! You'll hurt my feelings if you don't eat a big piece!" You just have to say, "No, you'll live if I don't have any." And if she persists, just get up and go for a brisk walk. It's really okay to tell family and friends, "Stop trying to make me fail at this! It's important to me to succeed!" 

And if push comes to shove, just stop putting yourself in social settings with people who don't care about what's important to you. Especially avoid settings where there will be food you shouldn't eat and people who will try and shove it down your throat. 

I've experienced this, and from my perspective: the people who do this to you usually have a lot of health issues and they feel bad that they don't have your will power or desire to live a healthier life. Misery loves company. But nothing tastes better than good health feels. A very wise lady told me that once. 

But what if the uncooperative person in your health quest is your spouse? You can't very well desert him (or her) just because he won't jump on your broccoli bandwagon. (Well, I think you can, but I'm weird that way.) This isn't about that naysaying spouse whining, "If you love me, you won't change the way you eat! I need to share meals with you the way we always have! Because … um … we … uh … BOND when we eat together!" (Or some such silly nonsense.) What a load of CRAP! This is an insecurity issue that can only be dealt with head on with love and trust on the line. 

YOU have to be strong and say, "I love you, but this is changing for me." Period. And make it happen. And let your spouse deal with it. He will either come along or pout while you get healthier and feel better. 

Don't let anyone pull you down. You can love these people, but you don't have to give up your health goals. 

So What's New?

Dan tried to help me think of the other great things I've noticed over the last few days that have occurred since I started the Clean program. Here are a couple of new ones:
  • My sleep is incredible. I've been sleeping through the night consistently since about Day 6 of the Rebuild program. I used to wake up several times a night and had trouble getting back to sleep. Now, I sleep eight hours a night, ALL night, and I wake up completely rested. I don't know why I had trouble sleeping prior to the program. Maybe it was joint pain, maybe my circadian rhythms were haywire. 
  • My eyes are very clear. I've never had a problem with bloodshot eyes, but they have appeared dull for quite some time. Now, the whites of my eyes are very white, and my eyes look brighter. I wish my vision would improve, but maybe that's something I can look forward to on this program. 
  • I've also always had great ability to concentrate and multitask, but it seems like I definitely upped my game this week. I've been getting more work done in a day than I normally do (and I already get about a week of work done in three days, so that's saying a lot). 
  • Dan, who isn't doing the Clean program, but is echoing what I'm doing with his own home program, is lighter on his feet and feels better than he has in a long time. He feels healthier and stronger, less stiffness, and more energy. 
I'm thankful for Dan. He's my best friend. And the fact that he's giving up meals and our old way of life and following me in this program says a lot about his personal definition of partnership. 

His birthday is coming up … what can I do for him? 


  1. Thank you for sharing the CLEAN word. Those are the results I first experienced when I was researching and developed the CLEAN program. Keep it up, keep it clean!
    Much love to you

    Alejandro Junger

  2. Amazing, AJ! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. Beautifully written and a beautiful partnership!

    Clean wellness coach