I had something completely different planned for my blog today, all nice and neat and written out, but I was side-tracked. So please bare with me. I just have to get this out there...
I am participating in a marketing program that is taking my web-site, my blogs, my writings and the things that I offer and scrutinizing them to find my strongest areas and creating the best ways monetize them. This is so very overwhelming. First of all, yes, I do want writing and training to be a career for me. So, I need to change my way of thinking that I can't just write whenever and whatever I want. It has to shift into more of a business mind-set. When they asked where my heart was; what my passions and personal goals were, I told them MY personal goal is to be able to offer fun and interactive workshops for teens. I want to be able to travel from city to city and give them this amazing opportunity to become the best part of themselves and face their future with confidence. I've called it the Total Truth Workshop. I am really proud of it but have not put it into action as yet. (I was waiting until this marketing team gives me feedback, I guess.)
I enjoy all the aspects of my writing "career", but they, the marketing team, have a point, and it is that I am spreading myself too thin. Try as I might, I cannot be all things to all people. I was told to choose. UGH! The agony!! I want to help EVERYONE!!! Why can't I help everyone??
With my history and my happiness, I return, always, to teens. My work in coaching leads me in that direction as well. I enjoy working with families and I do well with relational coaching and seminars. I have been working with kids for over twenty-five years! Whoa! That's saying something!
That time in their life is such a struggle and it seems like we are in a weird "pretending it's not happening" to "micro-managing" to "it's someone else's fault" way of dealing with things. These kids on the verge of adulthood are amazing but no one gives them the credit or the directions they need to make that transition!! I want to help them get everything they want out of life. I want their teenage years to be happy memories. I want them to have the confidence to go after whatever their heart desires regardless of where they came from. There is no other program out there that is offering what I do. It's fun, it's interactive and it's a life-time of support and new friendships. I am excited to get it out there.
Back to the marketing people...
Teens don't pay for my kind of programs. That's where the parents come in. So they suggest that I work on things for parents and then lead the parents into the Total Truth Workshop.
I can do that. I would enjoy doing that... but...
At the moment, I am feeling so overwhelmed and pulled in several directions. I have my fiction followers, my motivational followers, my relationship followers, my Christian followers, my fitness followers and (deep breath).... I don't want to disappoint a single one of them. I do however need to eat. So I am trying to "chunk down my niche." Not sure how I'm going to do this and for just a moment, I wasn't going to do it at all. I was just going to keep on doing what I've always been doing for as long as I could do it... but then...
I went to a couple of the teen support group pages I regularly comment on, and was so overwhelmed by the sadness that was coming from the posts. So much sadness and confusion. They have no foundation within themselves to turn to for strength when times get hard. I help provide that. I can help them. My workshops for teens are created for them. My seminars for families can help heal them. This is where I need to be.
So, it is decided. I will start shifting things in that direction. Teens and family will become my main focus. I do have some projects that are currently in the works that I will complete but I need to narrow my focus to where my heart is needed most and I feel that I am called. So hang with me as this slow shift happens. The exciting thing is that I still get to do all the things that make me happy, write, travel, speak, create, motivate, help others, I'm just narrowing down my target audience even more than before.
So- if you are part of a family (and there's a good chance that you are) and you need to communicate with others, (my area of expertise) then chances are you still might be able to find some value here on my site.
No! No! No! You've got to stop me!! Don't let me try to go back to writing for everyone!! Lol!! I need you to help keep me focused!! I'm so weak!!
Thank you for letting me go off track and vent just a little... I will get things back on track soon! Please, feel free to leave your comments below. I love to hear from you!
I did it! I finished the cleanse!! Yay me! Read about my second half of the journey below, and I'll tell all the results!
Day Five: The cravings have really set in. Last night, I treated myself to a movie and if you are like the average American movie-goer, you eat popcorn with your movie! That was killing me not to be able to have popcorn with my movie!! I made it... but it was not fun.
Oh, and I had a terrible side-effect from the tea I was drinking. I don't know if it was the combination of the tea plus the juice, but my face swelled up and I broke out in a rash... It didn't hurt, but it made me a little nervous!! I stopped drinking the tea and flushed my system with lots of extra water and my skin went back to normal. (after two days!!!)
Day Six: My schedule had been fairly light thus far so the diet seemed to be working out well. I had plenty of energy, good mental attitude, and was feeling pretty good all around. Today, was the first day of a busy work schedule. I was on my feet for most of my nine hour shift and was ready to fall into bed the moment I got home. I slept soundly until my alarm woke me up the next morning.
Day Seven: Another grueling shift at work. No hunger pains, but my energy levels kept getting depleted and I wasn't able to re-fuel. I was burning off more than I took in. Now in normal diet situations, this would be a good thing, but not the case with this one. My body went into dehydration mode and I had to try and increase my liquids. Another solid nights sleep! Oh, and I noticed that my nails started breaking, so I added some calcium to my morning vitamin pack.
Day Eight: By now, I am tired. Tired of drinking the lemon mix, tired of making the lemon mix, and my body is just super tired. I can feel my body dragging along trying to get through the day. Again, if I hadn't been so busy at work, I don't think it would have affected me in this way, but unfortunately, I was super busy. It was hard to keep my mood up. I was happy, but just so exhausted that I could barely function. After work, I went home and was in bed by 7 o'clock and slept through until my alarm went off the next morning at eight. (I weighed in and have lost a total of nine pounds!)
Day Nine: I am SO done with this diet!! Lol!! I don't mind the taste, I'm just sick of the taste. Everything smells so good to me. I am craving food like crazy. Knowing that today was going to be another busy day, I cheated and drank six ounces of pure orange juice to hopefully give me a boost.
It helped. But at this point, I'm just ready to be done. I have absolutely no intentions of going for the fourteen days. I am craving real food so badly! Do you realize how many commercials on television are about food??? I have never wanted a taco so bad in my whole life!! Only one more day.
Day Ten: I am happily throwing away all of my finished sixteen ounce bottles once they are empty! What a simple joy! Lol! My mood is high again and my energy levels are too. Happy to get this over with!
Tomorrow, I am supposed to drink nothing but fruit juices and the following day, I get to introduce soup and solid fruits. I am so excited, the end is near!
Day Eleven: Orange juice for breakfast!! Beautiful, wonderful orange juice!! I weighed in and only lost a total of ten pounds. While yes, that's a lot it just shows me that I could have stopped at day eight!! I do feel lighter, not tired, but I am having a hard time not grabbing and eating anything I can get my hands on. I am back to being hungry. So, instead of waiting until tomorrow, I dug into some fresh cut pineapple and honeydew melon. I know, I know. I wasn't supposed to, but it seemed like the better alternative than that block of cheddar cheese that was calling my name!! It tasted SO good!! My teeth were so happy to be used again!
It has been an experience. Would I do it again? Probably not. Hopefully, I won't need to. Now that I'm getting older, I know I need to watch what I eat a little more closely. Oh, and I will. I'm going to watch it and savor it and appreciate it!!
Like I said in my last post, I do see the benefit of fasting, and I will do that again, probably once a year now, but this seemed a little too extreme. It was an interesting experiment and it's good to see how my body adapts to different variables, but I'm glad it's over!
The ingredients for the diet cost around $160.00 for the entire ten days. The lemons had to be fresh and the maple syrup had to be organic. It is time consuming squeezing all those lemons and measuring everything out. But if you choose to do this, I highly recommend using the sixteen ounce water bottles. It helped me tremendously!
Like I said early, I lost a total of ten pounds. (Somewhere between day seven and day nine, I gained two pounds for some reason. It is my theory that's when I went into starvation mode because I wasn't drinking enough, so my body kept everything, just in case.)
Also, the psyllium seed capsules did not work for me, and I ended up buying an additional laxative tea to help... uh... move things along.
So, there you have it! The Master Cleanse as it was used by yours truly. Let me know your story or your feed back below! I'll get back to your comments later, because just now, I have a date with a taco!!
Off on a new experiment! For those that know me, I am usually up for testing out new diets and writing feed back on them. (I did this for several years as a way to make extra money!) So, even while I rarely sell my articles anymore, my curiosity still gets the best of me when I hear about a new way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. This one, The Master Cleanse, piqued my curiosity for a couple reasons. Its health benefits (of lemon juice) are said to be through the roof and it sweetens the deal with the promise of weight loss... how could I resist?
The main premise of the diet is to drink nothing but water with lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in it for ten to fourteen days. Sounds simple enough, right? Oh, did I mention that you're also supposed to drink a liter of warm salt water daily too? (Well, that's not going to happen...)
I have fasted before and found it hugely beneficial to me, but the most I have done was four days. And, within those four days I drank a protein shake and juice along with my water. So this one would prove to be a challenge.
I needed a good challenge though. It had been a hard winter both emotionally and physically. I did a lot of binge eating and also just ate whatever was in front of me, which was usually snacks or cheap take-out. My body was definitely feeling the effects. I gained a shocking fifteen pounds, my clothes didn't fit right, my sleep patterns were all jacked up, making my emotions the proverbial rollercoaster! I couldn't focus, writing became strained and I'd fall easily into depression. (Mostly for allowing myself to get into this funk in the first place.) So, a good cleanse/fast is exactly what I needed... or so I thought!
I signed on. I bought all the goodies. I read the websites and listened to the feedback and warnings from all who wanted to contribute. Here I go. I made a few minor changes to the original diet. Instead of drinking the salt water to literally "flush" the system, I opted for a more natural less abusive choice of taking psyllium seed capsules.
I squeezed my lemons, and added my maple syrup to a 32 oz shakable container and headed off to work. The directions say to add your cayenne pepper and water just before you drink it. No problem. I'll just add it when I get to work and sip on it all day long... Not how that works.
First of all, I added WAY too much cayenne pepper!! It burned my throat, it burned my lips and it burned all the way down!! I chased it with a 16 oz bottle of water. That's good, right?
There's a reason you don't add your pepper until you're getting ready to drink it. The longer it sets in the mixture... it steeps. It gets stronger and hotter. So every time I tried to go back and get a drink, it was just getting worse! And no matter how much water I added, it didn't help!
So, when I got home, I made a fresh batch and although the gag reflex was fighting me, I made it. I survived the first day.
Day Two: Some minor adjustments...
I was SO hungry!! These lemon water drinks just weren't going to be enough! I thought with all that extra water I drank yesterday, that I would be fine. Not the case. I was going to have to find something else to drink besides my mix and water. A girl needs a little variety, after all!
I tweaked the formula just a bit (I greatly reduced the amount of pepper and also lightened up on the maple syrup) and found some herbal tea that I liked and was ready to start my second day. The gag reflex was gone which made me very happy. I was still fighting hunger pangs and my stomach was not quiet about it! I tried to keep busy and not think about it but it rumbled on. So I made a pot of tea and got into my writing.
I was SO productive!! My words just came flowing out of me! My thoughts and ideas were coming to mind faster than I could write them down. I had to stop and just have a "brain dump". (A sheet of paper that I just write down everything that's on my mind to get it out of my brain so its not bouncing off everything else and on to paper so I can concentrate on one item at a time) I was up about an hour an a half past my regular bedtime and didn't even realize it. I finally made myself go to bed and fell right to sleep. (The brain AND the stomach were now both empty, after all!)
I am no longer hungry. I have fallen into a routine and my stomach is compliant. I think it realizes that this is for the good of all! I mix my lemon juice and maple syrup in 16 0z water bottles (which counts as two servings) for the entire day and put them back in the fridge. (It tastes better cold) When I start to get hungry or when the clock tells me I should be hungry, I grab one of my bottles, add my pepper and water, shake and chug! I no longer have to have a chaser, in fact I like the taste. Weird, I know. And just to let you know, I am also taking multi-vitamins to make sure I balance things out.
But I have to tell you about the side effects!! I am so excited! My brain is so happy to be out from underneath all the sludge! I had, at the beginning of the year, decided to focus at least four hours a day building my business. (Creating workshops, writing the next book, creating new ways to engage with you.) I can't stop! I work beyond my four hours. Before, I would "make" myself work, but it was at times, unproductive. Busy-work. But now, I have clarity and direction!! It's amazing!!
And when I sleep, I SLEEP! I sleep for about two hours and then wake up for maybe forty-five minutes to an hour, but then I fall back to sleep again. When my alarm goes off, I'm still not ready to wake up (Hey, it's not miracle juice!! lol) but I slowly give in to the idea... which brings me to:
Day Four: Today.
I thought I would be completely tired today not getting a solid nights sleep, but just the opposite is true. It did take as long to get OUT of bed, but my brain was awake early on and eager to start the day.
Since I am not getting enough nutrients to burn off, it is recommended not to do any kind of exercise or strenuous labor. Let me tell you how my body was not ready for that! I am feeling so energetic that I am wanting to do my Zumba! But just don't do it. Let your body rest. For example, I was chasing after my dog up and down the stairs for just a few rounds and was completely exhausted. So- no exercise. Got it.
I told myself that I wasn't going to get on the scale until it had been a full week, but I lied. I jumped on there today and was surprised to see that I had already lost three pounds! I'm not going to get excited about that because for me, it's not how much I weigh, it's how I look. I don't feel that I "look" any different as yet. And on a personal note, this isn't necessarily about the weight loss, I would be happy to slough off those extra pounds before swim season, but if I don't lose any, that's okay too.
So- That's all I've got so far! I'll keep you updated and if you're interested in finding out more for yourself, check out this website: themastercleanse.com
Have a happy day, everyone! Please feel free to leave your comments below!
(There is no affiliation. I get no kind of kick-back if you decide to visit other websites. But if you're interested in trying the Master Cleanse, please review all the material and talk to your doctor if you have further concerns. I don't know if my results are typical or not!)
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