Two years ago, I was a 38-year-old mother with three children, working a couple of jobs, barely maintaining a home and scarcely connecting with my husband. I thought the exhaustion I felt was normal. Whenever I had dark circles under my eyes and went out in public, people would say: “Are you OK? You look really tired.” And my go-to coping mechanism was to make fun of myself.
“Oh, these dark circles? They are my new accessory. I haven’t figured out how to make them a different color, though … .”
“Hook me up to a coffee IV! I’m on my fifth cup, and I’ve gotta do something to make it through the afternoon!”
On the inside, my mantra was:
“Oh, screw it. I’m going to drink this obnoxiously large latte and sprint around the house cleaning until I crash.”
“Screw it,” seemed to be on repeat in my mind all day as I had lost hope thinking I would never NOT BE TIRED. That living life on fumes was normal. You see, I had tried it all … .
I did yoga for my mood, cardio for my endorphins, swallowed Evening Primrose Oil twice a day for my skin and cramps, a mulitvitamin for whatever it’s supposed to help, an anti-depressant for my anxiety, meditated on Bible verses and motivational quotes whenever I felt my throat closing up, went gluten-free, ate vegan for a month, cut out carbs, cut out fruit, cut out sugar, just ate salads, didn’t eat salads, kept a food diary and the list goes on and on!
Despite my diverse approach to finding a solution to feeling better, I still felt tired and moody and overall, lousy. At the same time, I was diagnosed with several conditions, which was convincing me more and more that feeling like garbage was just how it was going to be. I was on and off a slew of medication, most that barely “fixed” my conditions and some of which made the symptoms worse or made me sick. I took steroids, nonsteroidal meds, applied corticosteroid creams and topical antibiotics; silicone plugs were inserted into my tear ducts and drugs, drugs and more drugs.
I couldn’t take it anymore! I was sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time, despite the fact that I had tried to lead a “healthy” lifestyle. The exhaustion of trying all the time and overthinking every bite with no change in how I felt physically or mentally sent me in another direction. That screw-it attitude of eating whatever and whenever I wanted because I “ deserved” a treat for feeling bad, was working me into an early grave. I could feel it.
My spirit was desperately trying to stay positive yet I grew more and more tired everyday. Through the fog and weariness, I started paying attention to a lovely friend who shared on her Facebook page about feeling amazing and never going back to running through her days on fumes and coffee. I had seen her posts before, and I “liked” her status updates and went on with my day. But sitting in this deep hole of exhausted desperation, I started to listen. Her story was so similar to mine, the lack of energy and unpredictable mood, dragging myself through afternoons and collapsing on the couch after putting the kids to bed.
I wanted someone to tell me exactly what to do. I was so tired I couldn’t put one more expectation on myself. I couldn’t add ONE MORE THING to my to-do list. My friend told me her secret, which was not a secret at all because she had been talking about it for months. She was so excited and energized, and full of hope that there could be better days ahead. And I absorbed her testimony because it mirrored mine. She had no agenda other than to share her story with me, and I appreciated the honesty.
The word “cleanse” is everywhere, and while I previously rolled my eyes at the idea of it, once I tried one that made sense to me (aka putting in the fabulous vitamins and nutrients my body needs on a consistent basis without starving myself or sitting in the bathroom all day), I realized I could push a reset button on my health.
Since that first journey with a nutritional cleanse, I admit, my good habits have fallen to the wayside. (Don’t judge me, I know that bad eating and too much coffee is not good for the body – but life happens, and you fall back into bad habits.)
I need a little reboot to set me on the right track, and in my never-ending mission to support local businesses, Green Gypsy Juice in Geneva (located just inside Moveable Feast) has a juice cleanse that is PACKED with nutritional goodness. Chelsey, the exceptionally sweet owner, creates fruit and vegetable drinks that taste vibrantly real and leave you satisfied for hours. Plus, they have super cute names like Killa, Mermaid Milk, Tiger Blood and Jaded Jungle.
Opting for the three-day juice cleanse, I will happily keep you posted about my experience. In the meantime, stop by Green Gypsy Juice and enjoy a cup of juice, milk (cashew is my favorite) or a smoothie. Your body will thank you!
Disclaimer: Please consult your health care professional before trying any nutritional cleanse. If you need a fantastic primary, I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Rutuja Patel at Dreyer Medical Clinic in Batavia. Also note, I am not receiving any product for free, and all my recommendations are based solely on my own experience and purchased with the money in my wallet.
This article was originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on August 10, 2017.