By Zerline Hughes
I’m scared I won’t be able to cross the finish line. I’m nervous that I’ll get impatient, cheat or quit early. But I’m determined to make the effort. All I have to do is think positively.
With the urging of my friend, I’ve started a 10-day smoothie challenge introduced in The New York Times bestseller, “Green Smoothies for Life.” Yes: TEN days of smoothies. Let me clarify, though. I’m not just talking a smoothie for breakfast or for lunch, but a smoothie for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch and a smoothie for dinner. Oh, and it’s not a smoothie with creamy yogurt, sweet honey topped off with whipped cream. This is a leafy-green-fruit-full go to the bathroom-for-a-constitutional-at-least-three-times-a-day smoothie!
In a way, it’s a fast. There’s no additional food, save crunchy veggie snacks like celery, peppers, cucumbers and carrots. But, as a treat, what’s allowed is a handful or so of seeds or nuts. But there’s no meat, no cocktails, and definitely no cake. Sigh.
What I’m realizing is that this 10-day challenge, officially a detox cleanse, is going to require positive thinking and support. I’ve told my husband and kids so they can make sure not to offer me any treats whatsoever. I told them so they can ask me about which smoothie I’m making each day and be my cheerleaders so I can get through this time of transformation.
What’s hard about this process, though, is working from home where there is a large, silver contraption filled with food. Another challenge: driving around the city with a trunk full of Girl Scout Cookies (yes, a plug to take them off of my hands). There’s also the grumbling of my stomach which is used to delicious, warm, home-cooked solids covered in seasonings. Oh, and today, my remote work view just so happens to be Georgetown Cupcake. Doh!
But instead of thinking about all the cons and potential setbacks from here on out, I’m going to make every effort to be positive. I’m now thinking of all the pros (instead of the cons) of this challenge. (And really, are there any cons?) Today is only day two, but my body is definitely feeling cleansed with each trip to the bathroom, and I didn’t stare in disdain at my scale this morning. I was actually impressed. Bring on day 3, 4, 5 … ahem … 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10!
What is it in your health and fitness efforts that you’re finding more cons than pros in?
Are you finding issue with the fact that going to the gym keeps you from keeping a well-coifed hairdo? Do you find it too challenging to portion-control your meals because your kids are leaving food on their plates and you don’t want it to go to waste? Are you doing too much for others to fit in a healthy lifestyle that puts your self care at the forefront of your efforts? Or does your work keep you traveling or always having to go out for coffee or breakfast and lunch meetings even though you’d really like not to eat a full-course meal?
Find the positives. They are there. Instead of making a list of pros and cons, just make a list of pros. Forget about the cons and think about the results. Think about the impact. Think about how proud of yourself you’ll be when you complete a workout, when you notice a difference. And if it matters to you, think about when others offer a complement on your efforts and give you a pat on the back.
It’s time to think positive. (I’m talking to myself, too!)