Post 10 Day Detox

So I just finished a 10 day detox diet and I feel like it was pretty fucking cool.

for the past 5-6 years I've been pretty interested in nutrition and dieting. I follow a lot of podcasts and youtube channels about the different findings about how we digest food and the way that certain foods and chemicals affect us, and I find it extremely fascinating. There's all kinds of awesome nerdy biohacking shit that's being researched right now about how to optimize human performance.

The most interesting idea I've found is that many chronic illnesses and pains have possible links to the food that we eat, and that just by changing our diet we can get rid of certain diseases.

But the thing that I noticed is that as I learned about all this cool stuff, and tried to implement it, I found that I would often beat myself up if I didn't follow a diet exactly. Conversations about Diet (just like sex) are often filled with guilt and fear. We all want to be healthy and we all want to look good, but we all have different bodies and different relationships with food. A lot of times the thing

most of us probably eat or drink things that we know we shouldn't but we do anyways. so much of our consumption is linked to feelings of guilt and stress.

I struggle with being disciplined, whether it's the food I eat, or posting my work, cleaning my room etc. It doesn't help that much of the rhetoric in these areas is pretty dire (e.g. the obesity epidemic is OUT OF CONTROL!!!, WE NEED TO STOP EATING _____ BECAUSE IT'S KILLING THE PLANET!!!...)

So as I have lately been starting to meditate more and go to therapy I started to realize that I've been using dieting as just another way to beat myself up; each thing I wanted to abstain from, whether it was carbs or porn or staying up late, was one more ugly sign telling me that I wasn't good enough, that I was unworthy of love.

The common way to think about abstaining from certain substances or practices is as a reduction. We refer to diets as "restrictive" because we often only think about the things that we are losing, as if we are putting ourselves into a smaller box by saying "I no longer eat _____" As one of the most adventurous eaters you'll ever meet I totally feel this.

But this time it was different. This detox was still challenging at times, but I set the intention to come from a place of expansion. what ever you do in life may not always be pleasurable, but it should always have an underlying sense of joy in it. It should make you feel bigger, like it's helping you to grow into a better person (however you wish to define that).

While Rhonda and I were debating whether we should cheat because we were at a party, my friend Drew had some really great comments. helping us to see that by not partaking in sugary snacks and alcohol we were not losing out, we were gaining things. Strength, and an overall sense of well-being. We gained time the next day, but not having to recover from sugar crashes or hangovers. Whenever I felt cravings I would try to be mindful of them, try to feel them as fully as possible. And I noticed an underlying sense that in order to have fun or to fit in I should accept or partake in alcohol at parties or that I'm cutting my self off from pleasure if I abstain from certain things. But I noticed that if I sat with it fully it would soon pass. I played a game, to see how long a craving would last for if I just let it go. usually it would pass after 10 mins or so.

So if I can impart anything, don't beat yourself up for not being where you wish you were, or where someone else tells you you should be. But always frame the challenges in your life as growth. look for what you're gaining and try not to look at what you're losing. If that's really hard to do, then it's probably a sign that you should stop trying to force whatever you're doing but just try to be mindful of how it makes you feel.

Aaron Benavides