When I first started juicing, while I was still eating whatever I wanted and before my first juice cleanse, I found myself getting very emotional. I would say that the emotional challenges of vegetable juicing were actually harder to work through than the juicing itself.
Just giving up my breakfast and replacing it with a vegetable juice was challenging. My stomach was used to something hot, starchy and filling. Lunch wasn’t too bad a transition but I did find myself watching the clock waiting for the time when I could eat something.
Practical things like cutting up my vegetables, juicing, and cleaning up after juicing was a new routine I had to get used to and I found that emotional draining at times, but it never stopped me from wanting to juice, however my emotional state did.
Some of the emotional challenges of vegetable juicing that I found myself going through included:
1. Internal chatter. Probably one of the biggest emotional challenges for me was the internal chatter that would not stop. As soon as I had finished drinking my first juice of the morning it would start…
“When are you going to eat?”
“Aren’t you having anything else?”
“How long before you can have another juice?”
“What time is it, when did we last have a juice?” then five minutes later “What time is it, when did we last have a juice?”
On and on these questions went in my head while I was trying to focus on work. Sometimes, if I was busy enough of if I had a deadline, I could take my mind off the questions and onto what I was doing and that helped.
Being able to distract myself and my mind from the lack of food in my stomach became an ongoing and very important task for me.
2. Boredom. Without food to cook and eat I had plenty more time on my hands and no idea what to do with it. All I had to do was juice and drink and my meal was over. Eventually, I had to find other things to do otherwise my ideal hands wanted to open a cupboard door and see what there was to eat.
It also didn’t help that I was a bit of an emotional eater. If I was bored I wanted to fill the time by making something yummy (and bad for me) to eat and then enjoying eating it. What I made never took that long to eat because I hate spending too much time in the kitchen. So it was always fast food and processed crap that I made myself.
3. Easily annoyed. I am not usually easy to annoy. I know when someone is doing something if I let it annoy me then it is not what they are doing but how I am responding to what they are doing. I have to take responsibility for being annoyed.
Still, I found myself very easily triggered. Simply things that people said or did, I let it annoy me. I seemed to be in a perpetual state of annoyance for the first few weeks of starting vegetable juicing.
4. Mood swings. Happy and sad, annoyed and delighted, shouting and calm – I became polar opposites of every kind of emotion you could imagine, especially in the mornings.
After a dis-satisfied breakfast of cold fluid (that is how my mindset saw it at the time) I would feel elated at how great this is for my body one minute and then totally upset at not being able to get a large pizza and eat the lot. I talked to myself about how great being slim and healthy would be while at the same time justified why I should just eat whatever I want and not waste my time with all of this.
I am only glad I wasn’t married as I went through that otherwise the poor man would be driven crazy by my mood swings.
I still laugh when I think about the time my brother said to me “oh for God’s sake go and eat some pasta or something”
5. Addictions to food. This was a tough one. The food literally called to me and having to give it up knowing it was downstairs (and I work from home) was mentally challenging. As mentioned above all I could really do was distract myself.
I told myself “this too would pass” and that my current desire to rip open a pack of chocolate chip cookies and eat them all would disappear as long as I let it go.
Sometimes I would give myself permission to go eat the food that I wanted. I told myself just wait 30 minutes while I do this (and this could be finish a piece of work, tidy the living room, make my bed – anything to keep my hands busy) and 99.9% of the time the craving disappeared and I forgot about it. A few times I went ahead and just ate what it was I was craving.
When I read that food cravings happen because the body is in need of a certain mineral or vitamin I replaced my food with something healthy. I later read that this isn’t true (such conflicting advice in the food/health industry) but that didn’t matter because I had used it to help me already. If I wanted bread I would reach for almond nuts instead.
My Journal Helped
I wrote out all the emotional challenges of vegetable juicing in my journal because I wanted to remember them and remember that I worked through them. It is really great now if I am watching TV and my inner voice starts telling me I need two cookies and a cup of tea while watching. I simple let it know I’ll do it in a minute and then I never get round to doing it. Yes, it keeps asking and each time I say “in a minute” until the desire for it subsides.
Sometimes I leave the room (because being in front of the TV is an emotional food trigger for me) and go upstairs to read or do something else.
It took a few months before I was able to work through some of my emotional challenges and sometimes they may still come back to haunt me but now I feel as if I have the strength and mindset to deal with them.
There is no bigger motivator than seeing, feeling and being complimented on the results I am experiencing thanks to vegetable juicing. That has become a bigger tool for me in my war against the things that could get in the way of me experiencing the outcome I desire. To be slim, healthy and full of joy.