I confess I’m of such an artistic nature that I often have to set a timer to focus me on my tasks. Today I had great success cleansing the kitchen by setting my (otherwise useless) stove timer for 15 minutes and seeing if I could complete the cleaning in that time. It kind of gets me going.
I’m also finding it helpful to set a timer when I go on Facebook so I don’t get distracted there for too long! And if I’m trying to get all my emails done in an hour – set the timer! I downloaded one on my Mac when I was exploring the free widgets I could put on my dashboard, and it’s getting plenty of use.
Then I ran in to this email from a program participant who enjoys setting herself fitness challenges. I learned from her story that having a set number of days to accomplish a fitness goal can be very important, and that our 21 Days Raw Program ended up working really well for her for similar reasons….
I think you’ll enjoy her story and maybe be inspired to set some fitness goals for yourself too!
Sorry it took me so long to respond to this email! Here is a little about my experience with the 21 Day Cleanse. The first part of this email is taken directly from an email I sent to my Program Pal on Day 6 of the 21 Day Cleanse. On Day 6 I had a “mild” epiphany to say the least:
“Going from a non-vegetarian diet straight into a 21-Day Raw Cleanse is a big jump. However, I have realized that for me, it is taking really extreme leaps like this that end up benefitting me the most. A word Jinjee used when referring to herself was “extremist.” I have never associated that word with myself until this morning when I started analyzing patterns that have led me to this diet. I have always had a healthy conscience, knowing my body and mind feel best when exercising regularly, and eating mostly fruits and vegetables. (FYI: I was a vegetarian for 2 years about 10 years ago.) The most significant part of my journey started about two years ago when I was feeling the need for something to really jump-start a more active lifestyle…
Now, let me tell you something, I have always liked to exercise, but I have never been a runner. I would go to the gym and hop on the treadmill occasionally, walk my dog and jog a bit while doing it, but in actuality, I had maybe run 1 or 2 miles, and that was the farthest distance I had ever run. Well, here it comes…being an extremist…I decided to run a marathon. 26.2 miles. I signed up for Team in Training, which is a program designed for seasoned runners or beginners interested in running a marathon, and also raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at the same time. This was the perfect opportunity for me to jump on, because while I had a huge goal of learning how to run long distances, I also knew people battling with Lymphoma, and it felt so great to know I was doing it for them and so many others. The way the program works is that there is a schedule telling you exactly what to do each day (how many miles, etc…) and also weekly meetings giving you advice…sound familiar??? Well, after 6 months of training, following the schedule as close as I could, and not beating myself up when I missed a day, I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, and raised over $6000 for LLS. I felt amazing for completing this incredibly high goal I had set. It was so rewarding to complete my goal, but what I didn’t know as I was leading up to the goal, was how much it would change my life, AFTER my goal was completed. Yes, it took a huge leap, and a huge commitment to run the marathon, but now, running is now something I do regularly. I do it for exercise. I do it because it gets my heart pumping. I do it because it clears my head. I run because it makes me feel so good.
My running coach was also a yoga instructor. She took our team to her studio for a yoga class about half way through our training to teach us, as runners, the importance of breathing, body awareness, and stretching. I had never done yoga before and I was intrigued, so after the first class, I returned. I loved how it made me feel, and I noticed it really did help my running. After the marathon I had more time for other exercise since I wasn’t running so many miles, and I decided to explore how my body would feel if I increased my yoga classes. Slowly I began going twice a week, three days a week, and then came the opportunity to do a yoga challenge. 25 classes in 30 days. I knew it couldn’t hurt to try, and so I signed up. I completed the challenge and felt amazing! Again, what was even better than completing the challenge was coming to know that yoga would forever be a part of my life. I have now been practicing almost everyday for about a year and a half, and it is amazing how much I have changed inside and out in such a short period of time. What brought me to yoga, is not what keeps me at yoga. I do it because it stretches my body. I do it because it calms me. I do it because it gives me patience. I do it because it makes me kind. And I do it because it makes me AWARE. It awoke my senses and has affected me outside and in, in so many ways. I practice yoga because it makes me feel so good.
Through my exploration of yoga, I have been opened up to holistic living, which I knew next to nothing about before. Taking the things I learn in yoga outside of the classroom and into my life, has led to a lot of reading. A lot of what I have read has been about balance, including balance in one’s diet. One day when reading articles on nutrition on the internet, I came across The Garden Diet website. I was amazed to read the stories of people’s life changing experiences with raw food. But honestly, I could not see how anyone could ever eat only completely raw food. I didn’t know how it would even be possible! This was a brand new phenomenon for me, but I was completely intrigued by it. I signed up for the Daily Raw Inspiration emails and have been reading them every day for almost a year. I always saw the emails about the cleanses, and never really thought they were for me, and so I would just pass them by. Until a couple of months ago, when I started thinking, why not? Why not try something like this? Sure it is totally opposite from my lifestyle, but I knew there was absolutely NOTHING bad that could come from eating only raw fruits and vegetables for 21 days. In fact, hadn’t I been trying to figure out ways to incorporate more vegetables in to both my diet and my carnivore husband’s diet? So, I decided to do it, and here I am!
I already know, after only 6 days, that this was the best decision I could have made for myself, at this moment. I have already learned so much and can’t imagine what I will feel in 15 days. It is only Day 6, so I cannot say I am going to be raw for life, that is unrealistic. But I do know that I have already seen positive changes in my body and mind. I already feel lighter. I already feel happier. I already feel more energized. I already feel more balanced. I have already learned delicious recipes that I love, and want to eat again and again! And another amazing thing is the positive effect it is having on my husband. He has had the breakfast juices with me everyday of the cleanse so far, and he loves them! While the whole diet is not for him, he is making healthy improvements to his diet, and that is amazing! To see these changes happening in my life so quickly, makes signing up for this course already worth every penny and so much more!”
So that is just a little bit of what I was feeling during the first week…good stuff huh? I completed the 21 Days, staying fully raw, and fully present in every decision I made. I can truthfully tell you that I loved every minute of it. I dropped 10 pounds but that was the LEAST of the positive changes, because I was not doing this for weightloss. I gained awareness in an area where I had not been aware. I gained the ability to listen to my body and what it needs from me. I used to have coffee everyday, and I have not had a single cup or CRAVING for a cup of coffee since before I began the 21 Day program …now it is a month later and I feel amazing! I love water!!! I was 100% Raw through the entire 21 Days, and since then I have had a handful of unraw foods. When I have the raw foods, I do not beat myself up, I listen and learn to what makes me want them, and I accept every decision I make. I also listen and react to my body and mind afterwards. How is my body reacting to everything? My body craves Raw, and I am really not having SAD cravings. It is so cool. So really, this program has been life-changing for me, and I know Raw will be a part of my life forever. Thank you for this incredible journey.
Have a great day Jinjee, and enjoy!!!
Thank you so much Kit -for sharing your story!