A young widowed father opening up about living with loss
I feel disgusting.
Not a single part of my body feels good.
I’ve got a runny nose and I’m continually sneezing but I wouldn’t say I have a cold. I’ve got an upset stomach but I haven’t eaten anything bad. I feel like I’ve got a constant hangover but my body currently all but rejects alcohol. My skin was better when I was a teenager. I can’t sleep.
I know that I’m going about everything the wrong way too.
As somewhat typical, middle class, 30-something adopted Londoners, Desreen and I threw ourselves into phases and fads that saw us shift from filthy self-centred party animals to clean-living tree huggers from one week to the next. We loved a bit of self-diagnosis. In the gospel according to Ben and Des, I have a wheat allergy, I’m lactose intolerant and I can’t eat red meat. So all of the best things up in smoke. Desreen’s main issues were processed sugar and dairy products – two of the main ingredients in brownies and cake, which she ate every weekend. But everyone knows weekends don’t count, right?
Jokes aside, we probably felt the best we ever had when we followed The Clean Program. Granted, I lost too much weight but I discovered that I should have just doubled the amount that I ate. Otherwise the results it had on me both physically and mentally were quite astounding.
The thinking behind the programme (British spelling) is really quite simple. These days we eat and drink too much too often and too much of that stuff toxic. The toxins that we consume are the root cause of our body’s inability to heal itself. If you eat the right stuff at the right time, you get rid of the toxins and you feel better.
When you understand the basis of the programme, it makes total sense. Because our bodies spend too much time and energy digesting too much food, they don’t have the time or energy to fix any underlying problems. Probably the best thing I learnt was not to eat or drink anything for 12 hours in 24. So eat dinner at 7pm then have breakfast at 7am. That way your body can use the time it sleeps to do other stuff. It can rest and repair. That made a lot of sense to me.
You can say what you like about this but I slept better, I was really annoying to people around me because I had loads of energy, I had clear skin and this problem I’d had with my hand for weeks that meant it hurt to push anything (stopping me going to the gym) had gone in just three days.
Just to be clear, I’m not on commission, it’s a right royal pain in the arse to follow the programme and I was close to being sick on a number of occasions a) because of the intensity with which the toxin release seemed to hit me and b) because cold soup made out of blended raw vegetables is fucking disgusting.
However, after three weeks Des and I both felt amazing.
Well I don’t feel like that now. That’s probably understandable given recent developments but I just got to thinking about what I’m doing to myself.
When I followed the programme there are two simple lists – eat and don’t eat. Reviewing those lists now, it would appear that I currently don’t eat eat and that I only eat don’t eat.
I’ve mentioned this to a few people recently and they have unanimously said, “Don’t put any more pressure on yourself at the moment”, but that’s exactly what I am doing. I’m making it impossible for my physical self to heal, which is making my mental self an even bigger mess than it already inevitably is.
I know my heart can’t heal, but perhaps if my body can then I won’t hate being me quite so much.
Watch this leafy green, non-glutenous, organic, clean-living space and picture my friends and family rolling their eyes in despair as if I’m not hard work enough right now.