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Tara Stiles

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The Master Cleanse That Lasts

Posted: 03/27/10 08:00 AM ET

Throughout the history of over-eating and dieting we, as a culture, have been obsessed with the latest trick to get us back to skinny. For many complicated reasons, we haven't managed to eat what we need, and not eat what we don't. We shifted from eating food for fuel and celebration, to stuffing ourselves without awareness for harmful emotional and psychological reasons. We abandoned real food for junk and have settled into accepting a cycle of binging and purging.

I remember being a toddler, confined to a roped off play area of a small gym that my Mom went to occasionally. She was/is fit compared to the other Moms. I suppose it was some sort of peer pressure that we were there, but I didn't like it one bit. I remember the drab blue carpet, the fluorescent lighting, and the sense of punishment that place screamed of for the over-indulgent. Most vividly I remember giggling at people who strapped themselves into a machine where you stood still, wrapped a belt around your mid section, flipped the on switch, and proceeded to have the fat shook off of you.

My parents were/are straight-edge hippies. Mom roamed around gardening so we would have fresh food, and Dad was on wood chopping duty to heat our passive solar home that they figured out how to design and build together. I was the kid with green peppers in my lunch, and I liked them! Still do.

And then, somewhere in the 90s, the fat-free craze landed in our small town. Our fridge, along with most every other one in America, filled up with bottles of fat-free salad dressing, spray on zero calorie butter, low calorie bread, and all-you-can-eat cookies, because they are fat free!

Were we even suspicious? Did we even read the labels? Had we lost all our intuition, awareness, and connection to ourselves? I suppose so. Since these products and marketing were suddenly everywhere, who were we to question? Nasty side affects of Olestra? Hmmm.

We are in a new wave of fat-free now: the cleanse. There are so many to choose from, the master, the blue print, and whatever latest thing some celeb is doing. We're still missing the balance. Obesity barely existed in our not-so recent past. The decade charts between the 60s to now are amazing and directly linked to what we are eating. Cleanses can be useful in some cases, but not as crutches, or fast fixes. If we eat healthy, and live healthy, then that's sustainable. We've lost touch with what that actually is. We've become obsessed with the lure of dramaticism instead of overall health. The truth of the matter is if we listened to our bodies and cleared our psychologies, we would inherently know what we need to do to stay healthy, and there wouldn't be a market for diet pills, extreme cleanses, or low calorie pre-packaged junk food.

The hard part is listening. No one can do it for you. There isn't a 10-day diet for it. But it is simple and accessible to us all. It can start with meditation, a walk in nature, being inspired by a poem, or any number of things. Once we have the desire, we can find our action. When we listen, we understand. Unnecessary tension drops from our being, our intuition and creativity begin to fill up again, and we tap into the knowledge that has always been there waiting for us to find our way back.

Living your best life starts now.

 
 
 

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