I've been working towards a healthier me for three and a half weeks now. The first week and a half were horrible. I craved everything in sight. My head ached so badly from caffeine and sugar withdrawal that I thought I'd go crazy. Every muscle in my body seemed to hurt, and I was so very tired. Still, day after day, I'd tell myself, "Don't cheat. Keep going. Keep doing the right things. In just a few more days you'll be on the other side of this, and you'll feel so much better. Don't give in, Dana. You can do it."
And I did, and you know what? On the other side of that initial detox and withdrawal, I did feel so much better. I awoke in the mornings refreshed and renewed. My attitude was brighter. There was a spring in my step. The headaches had gone. The body aches were only those that resulted from the exercise my body was unused to. Above all, I was happy. For the first time in a long time, I felt good. Not only that, but I lost four pounds. Awesome!
Unfortunately, at the end of last week, I hit the next wave of detox. You see, the first detox was my body ridding itself of the toxins that were simply floating around in my system. Because I've been eating so healthy and exercising regularly for the past few weeks, my body has begun to burn fat, which is good and bad. Good because that's what I want it to do. Bad because toxins are stored in fat, and when the body burns off the fat, all those toxins are released into the body, which again tries to rid itself of these negative substances. In other words, detox round two.
For the past several days, I've felt horrible again. The headaches and body aches are back. My stomach has been alternating between queasy and crampy. Two of the four pounds that I lost reappeared. But the worst of it is that my attitude and outlook have gone south. . . big time. I mean, seriously, I was working so hard and making so much progress only to feel as bad or worse now as I did before I began. And I admit, I had myself questioning whether it was really worth it. My feelings were telling me it was time to quit and to comfort myself with a huge piece of chocolate cake which I could wash down with a nice refreshing Pepsi.
I felt bad. I felt discouraged and frustrated. I felt like all my effort had been in vain. But while those feelings were very real, they weren't all true. That stretch between my first and second detox showed me that I'm on the right track. It gave me a sneak peak at what was awaiting me once I finally got myself back in shape. It showed me that my efforts had not been in vain. The healthy lifestyle was working, and my body, though currently making me miserable, is doing what it's supposed to do. It's getting rid of the bad in order to make more room for the good.
So, you see, while my feelings said that it wasn't worth it, that's not true. I simply haven't reached my final destination yet, and I can't abort the entire journey based on one stretch of bumpy roads. Besides, I've come too far to turn back now. I've already made it through the first round of detox, and from the way I'm feeling today, I think I'm nearing the end of the second. If I stop now, I'll only have to go through all of that again, the next time I try to embark on a new journey toward better health. I don't want to retrace those steps. They were difficult enough the first time. No, I'm in this race until the end, and I'm happy to say that the Lord has helped me through this. Despite feeling bad, I was able to continue my daily exercise and my new healthy eating patterns.
Have you ever put your all into something only to be met with disappointment or frustration? Ever asked yourself, "Why bother?" If so, then dear friend, I urge you to finish out this journey. Don't stop now. Your efforts are not in vain, and things will work out as they should in the end. Just remember, this isn't the end yet. Keeping doing those things you know you should do, and do them with a smile, knowing that your reward is soon to come. Hang in there, and whatever you do, don't trust your feelings. They can definitely lead us astray.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. - I Corinthians 15:58