Detoxing My Shitty Habits
I am going through a detox. It is horrific and exciting all at the same time.
As I write this I am 104 days alcohol free. 15 days coffee free and 2 days sugar free.
The alcohol is getting banished for good (read all about why here). The coffee happened by accident when we ran out of coffee beans and I couldn’t be arsed queuing outside ASDA to get some more. The sugar is because I started a 21 day detox on Monday.
I expect I’ll go back on the coffee and the sugar at some point in the future but for now I am thoroughly enjoying using myself as a human guinea pig and assessing whether this helps or hinders my cognitive performance. Something that stirred and changed within me. I’m excited for what is about to happen. I have never felt more ready in my life.
Binge Eating for Britain
One of my clients does a 21 day detox programme twice a year. I’m not usually a fan of doing anything like this. I know that weight loss comes down to being in a calorie deficit and does not have to be complex. Making small consistent changes to your habits goes a long way to making lasting changes.
But I need something drastic to sort out the binge eating which has magnified to massive proportions on certain weeks of lockdown. The cravings are sometimes so debilitating I cannot think of anything else. This also coincides with my cycle and when I am ovulating. Not when I’ve got PMS, but right in the middle of my cycle I suffer the most with pain, poor sleep, cravings and lethargy. I am making it worse by what I choose to binge on in ridiculously large quantities.
I decided to take part in the detox for two reasons.
1) this helps me understand the process so I can help my client market it in the future and
2) I need a rocket up my arse and some strict rules steeped in hardcore discipline to break this bingeing.
I am sick of being stuck in a cycle where I am a bitch to these crazy cravings. A couple of weeks ago, after my radio show on Sunday I stopped at the shop and binge ate my way through family sized popcorn, family sized Kettle chips, a giant bar of chocolate, huge pack of fizzy sweets and fizzy drinks. I parked up in a lay by next to a bin so I could discard my wrappers and not face judgement from my husband when I got home. That’s not right. I know it’s wrong. I felt crap for days after.
I am sick of being that person. It is my one achilles heel that I feel holds me back from my purpose. I could do the slow steps daily. Walk a bit more, eat a bit less. It does work. It is also the most sensible and advisable thing to do. I can’t seem to do it. I can’t seem to commit to the smallest basic action, but I can seem to commit to going all in and do something drastic.
That’s me though. That sums me up. All or nothing. I want to be all. So I signed up to the 21 day detox with a specific goal of losing 8lbs.
Putting My Behaviour Under a Microscope
I like this plan because while I have a weight loss goal, I also have a plan for really putting my behaviour under a microscope over the next few weeks. I want to know why I turn to these foods and break their hold over me. Last night I journaled about the foods that I turn to in crisis, upset, stress, worry, celebration and boredom. They are:
- liquorice allsorts
- fizzy/sour sweets
- milk chocolate
- cheese broken in chunks straight off the block
- bread and lashings of butter (I can eat 6 x rounds for breakfast and still feel hungry)
I asked myself what do crisps, liquorice allsorts and Haribo really mean to me?
Why am I so obsessed with them?
What positive do they bring to my life?
Do they have any nutritional value?
Why do I feel like I have to stuff my face with them in secret?
I realised my life is in no way enhanced by eating any of these foods. In the same way my life was not enhanced with alcohol. I know this might sound like someone’s worst nightmare. My good friend has gone through some serious medical stuff in her life and was forced to restrict. She feels sad for me that I’m giving things up and wonders why I can’t just moderate? I know I can’t. I know myself so well now and I know I will bend the rules if I moderate. It’s all or nothing.
I am actually enjoying choosing to give the things up that don’t serve me. I am at a point in my life where I feel amazing. I feel so happy and genuinely accepting of who I am, confident in my own skin and I’ve reached a line in the sand where I want to see what I am capable of in every area of my life.
I Just Want to Be a Bit Better
Binge eating and sabotaging my health with food is not good for me. It’s not good for my mental health more than anything.
Some people have booze, drugs, cigarettes, gambling or x-rated websites as their way to relax, escape and fill a void. Mine are those trigger foods I have listed above and I have to have this word with myself about their future place in my life.
It hasn’t been the right time up until this point. I can see now that getting to my heaviest and actually loving and accepting my body has been the key. I have been able to look in the mirror and drop the self loathing for a while now. Fuck me it’s glorious. I think they call this shit ‘self love’. Being able to smooth down my curves with my hands rather than pull violently at my lumps and bumps as I get dressed has been a wake up call and turning point. I HAD to love me, in whatever body I had or have before I could make a change. I had to get to the elusive holy grail where I COULD look in the mirror and not just say “I am enough” but bloody believe it wholeheartedly too. You can’t feel like you’re enough if you keep setting yourself up to fail and losing trust in yourself.
I can’t keep fucking up my inner monologue and causing negative mental health by binge eating in secret. It makes me feel shit, look shit, think shit and behave like shit. I have never felt more ready for anything in my life. I feel like I am on a little treadmill and I’m cranking up the speed every day.
I’m coping and I want to see what I can achieve. I want to see what I can do, keep churning out the books, see people succeed, and help people learn to love getting a bit better every day. I want to help people to break their shitty bad habits that keep them stuck, unhappy, broke, unhealthy, anxious and depressed. I am enough. I know I am. I also know I can be a bit better. I am detoxing from these shitty habits for good. Just watch me. Gem ♥️ This post inspired my #WankyQuoteWednesday
Grab My Books
If you’d like to take action, I’ve written some books about it and I help people in my Facebook group.
My second book Stop Procrastinating and Start Living: Beat Procrastination and Boost Productivity for Self Care and Success is out now. At the time of writing it was #1 in 22 categories across UK and US Amazon charts.
In addition to my books, I facilitate a self discipline support group on Facebook helping keep others accountable and I also present a weekly show on BBC Radio Lancashire where I share my research into productivity.
Gemma Ray is a BBC Radio presenter, best selling author, communications coach and always the most filthy person in a WhatsApp group chat. Chronically honest, real and raw (she should probably establish the first chapter of Oversharers Anonymous) Gemma tells it like it is and opens up about the stuff most people would never even dare admit to themselves, let alone put out in public.
Join Gemma on a refreshingly honest, powerful and inspirational journey of self love, self belief and self trust through her books, blog and radio shows that will make you sit up and take action.
Listen live every Sunday from 2-6pm GMT on BBC Radio Lancashire or catch up via the BBC Sounds app.
Follow her on Instagram and join the free Facebook accountability groups, giving readers direct access to her no-nonsense witty retorts and support that makes accountability a whole lot of fun.