I’ve had this post knocking about in my head for the past week or so and then as if by magic I saw a link to this article on Twitter that comes pretty close to saying what I intended to.
Clean & Lean guru, James Duigan tells the Telegraph that,
“In the books, and here at the gym, we set out to remind people that they deserve a happy, healthy life. So few people actually think about that, or believe it”.
Although I didn’t really consider this until I read the article, when I stepped back and thought about it I realised there were heaps of things I had told myself weren’t for me. I had been unaware but I’ve been setting myself limits on what I thought I could do, what I thought I could achieve and even what I thought I could try. I’m sure this attitude is common in most of us; ‘I can’t be bothered to cook every night’, ‘I can’t exist on wholefoods’, ‘pilates/yoga/spinning is just not for me’, ‘I’m not the sort of person who can wear that’, ‘I’ll never be able to wear a bikini’.
The list is endless. I have no idea where the negativity comes from, I’m not going to try to find out. All I know is almost one week into my Clean & Lean regime and I feel like a lot of things are possible. I don’t put it down to James’s book, or that article telling me, I think it’s simply a result of eating right and moving about a bit. I feel good because my body is well nourished, because I feel healthy I feel proud that I’m being kind to my body, because of that I want to stick at it and achieve even more. It’s a wonderful, healthy chain reaction.
Now, the thing I struggled with the most about my new lifestyle is luxury. I’m the sort of person who likes to treat themselves, I’m not one of these minimalist people who like to go through their wardrobes every so often and throw away loads of stuff. Not even the stuff with holes in or stains. Being on a low budget my treats are often food or drink related but there is nothing very luxurious about a handful of almonds and a mug of green tea. Or else that’s what I thought until a few days ago.
What happened, as I describe it, is that I summited the Clean & Lean hump. The first few days were choppy, I felt tired and irritable because I was back at work and withdrawing from sugar and caffeine (those things are drugs and it is HARD). Around Sunday I started feeling (and this is no exaggeration) EUPHORIC.
I had planned to write a pity post about how much I missed sitting down with a large glass of red wine and some mash-based dinner but by Monday I realised that that was just a big lie.
Anna Murphy summed it up perfectly in her article when she said,
“Not surprising, then, that Duigan’s Clean & Lean Diet has a psychological as well as practical dimension. Somehow – and I don’t know quite how he does it – the book manages to make you feel that a “treat” is not a packet of crisps or bar of chocolate, but something that your body (as opposed to your head) actually likes”.
What I am beginning to enjoy now is the luxury of being nice to my body, of feeling relaxed, not feeling guilty about eating pastry, restful sleep, regulated mood, of coming home each night and cooking myself something healthy and of knowing that with every day that passes I have persevered and stuck at this thing and that it is only getting easier.