Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 5 of QW Cleanse: Support (or lack thereof)

The concept of Quantum Wellness overall (not just the Cleanse) resonates with me in a number of ways. One of the key points is that lots of small actions can result in a big... make that quantum, change.

When I talk about my process for achieving life balance, I'm really talking about the same strategy. Lots of "doable" little things which lead you to that initially overwhelming goal.

In the same theme, this Super Detox I'm doing is really just a whole bunch of little changes each day. A set of choices, commitments and realizations which (I hope) will ultimately result in a quantum shift.

As I further map the QW Cleanse to my methodology, I think about the three step plan I've described to you before:

1. Internal --> Transform thoughts, feelings, words to the positive.
2. External --> Take healthy actions.
3. Support --> Ask for help, feedback, accountability.

Kathy Freston nicely covers meditation and visualization in her books and you know I'm a fan of this stuff. Step 1 -- check!

Step 2 -- check! (The "DO" is definitely covered!)

Step 3 -- hmmm. Let's discuss...

Knowing that I am writing about this journey everyday provides a definite sense of accountability. "Sorry Bogle Merlot... if I drink you, I have to admit it to the 4,000 visitors on my blog. Really - it's not you, it's me."

How about feedback? Oh - I get plenty of feedback. The most supportive usually in the form of, "Yeah, luck with that." There are varying degrees of enthusiasm and sincerity, but the theme is the same.

My (loving) husband and my (loving and vegan) sister have been uniquely supportive. Not surprised at all about my sister since we've shared several decades of non-judgmental, unconditional support for each other's "stuff" -- from the very serious to the seriously insane. I could tell her I was becoming a nudist for 21-days and she'd send me links to reviews on sunblock.

Now that I think of it, my husband would probably be supportive of a nudist trial as well. (*giggle*) I actually thought he was going to give me grief about the QW Cleanse. He's a "meat and potatos" guy and not big on experiments. To my delight, he's been very respectful and helpful.

Other reactions range from "deer in the headlights" silence to defensive verbal attacks. Certain comments don't bother me -- like someone at work calling my mediteranean quinoa, black beans & veggies a "bowl of crap." Obviously he just thinks he has a sense of humor.

Yet, I've found that any dietary restriction has the potential to hit a nerve with people. I get the same reaction when I talk about my fitness plans. It's different depending on the person, but with a similar dynamic in effect.

I have to remind myself that they are not actually attacking or judging me. Well, they are -- but mainly because they think I am judging them. Meanwhile, I know that they are actually judging themselves.

Stick with me here.

When I say, "I am trying this detox because I want to feel healthier....etc... etc..." what they hear is, "YOU should be healthier. YOU should give up caffeine. YOU should be vegan. etc etc"

I feel like I should get a t-shirt that reads, "No, my diet does not make your butt look big!"

In my mind, this has nothing to do with them. In their mind, it does. By talking about what I am doing to invest in my health, I am somehow forcing their own exploration about how they treat and view themselves.

It's sad but true -- most people would rather be in denial.

One of the reasons I find this all so fascinating is because it highlights yet another reason why change is so flippin' hard. Sometimes the only person who wants you to change is you.

As a general message, I hope people read this and think about their reaction the next time someone shares that they are trying to accomplish something. In an ideal world you could ask, "What can I do to help?" If you can't muster that, at least find a way to separate whatever the other person's change is making you feel about yourself and your ability to be a supportive friend (co-worker, partner, family member, bus companion, etc).

As I think about the next couple of weeks, I know that some people may continue to make fun of me (and my food), roll their eyes, criticize, wish I wouldn't talk about it or even better, give it up already.

Knowing that I want to continue, my urge is to suffer in silence and just ratchet up the gusto to keep pushing forward. Screw 'em -- I got inner strength! Yet, in the spirit of practicing what I preach, Step #3 isn't "Go it alone and wish for the best."

What I'm learning is that most of the time we have to ASK for what we need. I know some of you are saying, "I shouldn't need to ask." Get over it. You do.

Sometimes this includes actually telling people how their reaction affects us -- both the positive and the negative. Not to get all 1990's therapist on ya, but we are more likely to get support when we express how we feel. Telling someone they are mean, insecure and the worst bus companion ever only procreates the negativity. Keeping it all inside doesn't help either.

When we do get the support we need, a "Thank you - this is what I love about you" is always a good thing.

Here on Day 5, I realise that this is all stuff I need to work on.
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Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you, you are an inspiration. Keep it up. I stoped smoking and started taking better care of myself--Karate--running --and eating better(no cheesebugers or fries. I inspired me of when felt the best in my life and that was when I played tennis and was not smoking. I felt really good. I will let you be the guinnea pig on this cleansing Hiates and then I may try.

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