The Detoxification program
Now that you have prepared your body, your living environment, and your mind, you are ready to begin to change your life.
Detoxification requires a fairly radical reorientation toward food, toward eating habits, and toward the experience of hunger. The Elimination Diet will have prepared you well for this. You will be in a clearer mind to begin and will have the confidence that comes from successfully changing some old patterns.
Ready to Start: Set Your Intention
Take a few moments to ponder and set your intention. Setting your intention is the root of success. Do you “have” to do it, or do you “want” to do it? A strong desire guided by the right intention will get you started powerfully. It is very important that you set the right frame of mind and the way to think about the program you are about to start. If you think about this program as something you have to do for your health it will not be as powerful as thinking about it as something you want to do. Obligation isn’t nearly as strong a driving force as desire.
We always make time for what we want. When we have a burning desire for something, we will go the extra mile or turn the planet upside down to get it. Think about it: whatever you have spent time wanting in life, you probably already have. But consider also how wanting something is usually an unconscious impulse. You see something and have to have it. The “want” is triggered almost unconsciously, and the stronger it is, the quicker you tend to get the object of your desire. Yet there are ways to cultivate or build up that desire for something— even if you feel hesitant or resistant about it at the beginning. Setting an intention is how you actively cultivate desire, so that it can propel you to success and get you over hurdles. Though these exercises seem simple, I have used them many times with patients. They can be the secret to achieving in a few short weeks a goal that may seem difficult or even impossible to you now.
Envision a different you. Close your eyes and picture your life today. How do you look and feel daily? What aspects of your well-being are you disappointed with?
What would it mean to you to look and feel younger? How might that feel?
What would it mean to your loved ones if the health issues that limit you disappeared?
How would it benefit you socially, financially, spiritually, and emotionally to live in a state of vibrant energy and mental clarity?
Visualize these possibilities; sense what they feel like. Notice how the spark of desire turns into a wildfire when you begin to feel the possibility of change. Set the intention to begin the program with commitment and to complete three weeks of it; make sure you have a strong idea of why you are doing it.
Make a Detoxification log. For added impact, take notes on your Detoxification experience. I recommend you start a Detoxification log to record your intentions, your current state of well-being, and your experiences and progress as you follow the Program. You will also want to take notes about the effects of foods on your system when you reintroduce them in the Completing Detoxification phase. This doesn’t have to be a paper journal—you can make a single document on your computer to keep notes.
Note down what you visualized in the first exercise. Brief comments will be enough.
Then make a list of the results you would like to achieve by the end of the program, both physically and mentally.
This list should also include any new habits, especially around eating and drinking, that you would like to substitute for old habits that are simply not working for you anymore or are holding you back from expressing your full potential. Most people know what these are for them.
As you proceed on the program, make notes daily or every few days about how you are feeling and what is changing. Keeping a record of daily experiences is always helpful in life. But it’s particularly interesting during times of accelerated transformation. Noting what is happening in your appearance, body functions, energy levels, mood, and outlook, and noting changes in any symptoms or conditions you tend to have will be useful as a point of reference in the future as you continue on the long-term journey of living healthfully. It can motivate you to embark on a future Detoxification program and help as you try to figure out what diet and lifestyle choices work best for you.
Take a photo of yourself. Memory is tricky—especially visual memory. Take a picture of yourself when you start the program and then at the end. You will get a kick out of seeing the transformation. Make sure both pictures are taken from the same distance and angle. Choose a simple background without too many things to distract your eyes.
Establish your support system. We are social creatures and work best when supported by others. Make sure the key people in your life know what you are up to and request their support. Enrolling a friend or partner to do Detoxification with you not only is fun but also will increase your chances of success.
Complete the Detoxification Audit in an earlier post when you start and finish the program. A more detailed account to refresh your memory of why you were moved to do the program to begin with will help you stay on track in the future. Many of us have selective memory and filter out our bad memories. This is one of the reasons why we find ourselves dealing with the same issues over and over again. Noting what you look and feel like before you start, and then again at the end, will be your hard evidence that change happens when you commit to a program.