Master Cleanser: My Why

I wish I could sit down and write a well thought out journal entry about my progress on the Master Cleanser at the halfway point of Day 5, but my mind is all over the place and I think I need to back up and share my “why.”

Even though I have been feeling extra emotional the last two days, I think this cleanse is without a doubt worth the short term sacrifices. In fact, in the book, The Complete Master Cleanse, we are warned that there may be some emotional toll to undergoing the cleanse. I am not actually hungry. The lemonade mixture is actually rather satisfying.  Rather, the war is raging on in my heart and mind.  Most of my stress at this point comes from the fact that food has been my number one source of comfort and enjoyment for most of my life and with this cleanse, that has been ripped away.

But let’s say that again. Food is my number one source of comfort and enjoyment? Not God? Not my family? Not my friends? Not facing whatever is causing me anxiety head on? That is so messed up.

I want to eat to live, not live to eat and I need to make that change sooner rather than later. I have struggled during the last six months to break the bondage that food has on me. I have tried therapy, I’ve tried medication, and I have prayed and prayed.  Yet I kept coming back to my unhealthy urges to eat. My entire day would revolve around food: What I could have? From where? And when? As a family we have “wasted” so much actual food, money, time, and energy on these absurd cravings and I just cannot let it continue on. I want to raise a son with a healthy view of food, and I want to support my husband in his goals to be physically fit and nourished by what is good for the body.

I am not ashamed of admitting any of this. Most of my friends already know how much I love to eat (and how I never lost the weight after having the baby – FOUR YEARS AGO! – it is quite obvious). I also know that this same struggle is super common. In fact, I actually notice it more when someone isn’t food motivated. So many of us are in this battle together. I am hoping that by opening up about my story and resources that maybe I can help others to finally start making the changes they want for more healthy lives. This isn’t a quest to reach a certain size or weight, but rather a journey to feeling more complete and at peace physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

To reach that peace, I believe we have to start with God and rather than talk first with you about the cleanse and what it entails, I want to share a book that was life changing for me. Reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Made to Crave, opened my eyes to see that my obsession with food was a temptation from the enemy and not unlike any other sinful habit. I am not addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, or any other habit that generally brings shame. I am, however, addicted to food, and believe it or not, something that benign has brought shame and disruption to my life. It has caused self doubt, fights with my husband, feelings of inadequacy and defeat, and overall made me feel unloved and unwelcome as I battled the side effects from overindulging. We aren’t just talking about weight gain and body image issues, but also disappointment and regret at never being able to stick to any “plan” or “diet.” I have no self discipline.

The spiral of shame isn’t the only issue, but I’ve also been dealing with how the unhealthy balance of food made me feel physically: mood swings, lack of energy, bloating and discomfort, trouble sleeping, skin issues, you name it. If I so concretely know the source of so many of my problems, then why can I not fight back? That is a question that has haunted me for years. It is a constant battle to stay the course, to make the right choices, and fight for my goals when giving in and giving up would be so much easier. Yet I know that God wants so much more for us. To help stay strong I have recently added to my arsenal the Made to Crave devotional. It is so refreshing to start my morning in God’s word and His promises to provide a way and strength for us. The Bible actually has so much to stay about food and nourishing the body. As new as wide-spread obesity may be, the struggle with food issues has long existed. One of the best things to recognize is that I am not alone in this struggle and neither are you.

So there you have it all laid out. It is mid-afternoon on Day 5 and I am already dying to quit. Not because my stomach is growling or I am dealing with headaches or have low energy (none of those things, actually), but rather just because I miss the comfort of food. I am halfway through the cleanse and like all the times before I want to throw in the towel and not see it through to the end. Thankfully this time I have the full power of God with me. I will not quit, I will not fail, and I am remembering James 1: 2-4:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

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