Feelings of Failure

And so there it is. I set out to do this juice cleanse to really jump-start my health, and I feel like I have already failed. I’m supposed to do a three day pre-cleanse readiness thing where for three days I only eat raw fruits and veggies, eliminating added sugars, no animal products (meat, cheese, eggs, milk), no nuts, no rice, no grains, no oils, no butter…just raw, for three days. And then, the actual cleanse – three days of nothing but juice from raw fruits and veggies. Well, needless to say, I didn’t even get that far. I was in my second day of the pre-cleanse stage and am now officially “off the wagon”.

Now, let me throw out an asterisk here: though I’ve never gotten it diagnosed, I’m pretty sure I’m at least mildly hypoglycemic. My mom is, and if I don’t eat a solid meal three times a day I start to feel shaky, dizzy, wobbly. Not good. Let me also say that I am a fairly large person. I’m not fat. But I’m 6’3″ about 215-220 pounds. I am also a fairly active person. I have two children under the age of 4, I have two dogs, I have a half-acre property to care for, I am currently building a chicken coop at my house, I play in a Sunday rec basketball league. I am not a somewhat small, inactive person with a lower necessity for calories.

I gave it a good try, but here I am halfway through day two of my pre-cleanse and I’ve already quit. Leading me to the title of this piece, feelings of failure. As a modern man, I have a pride, an ego, that gets the best of me. I feel like I failed, I only lasted a day and a half. I couldn’t even finish the pre-cleanse! Did I really give it a good try? Or have I become so soft as a man, a human being, that I can’t go two days without eating that much? Had I reached some sort of physical threshold that my body was not wanting to cross? Or has my mind and my will gotten so weak that I have so little self-control?

The truth about the matter is, I feel like I’ve failed in some basic, primal way. There are people around the world that have way less to eat every day than I did even in these past 36 hours. I feel like as a human being, I’ve become so accustomed to excess that now my body can’t even handle the attempt to try and make due with less. The other truth about the matter, though, is that I, more than feeling like a failure with my attempted diet, feel like I see how much I have to take for granted. I tried for a day and a half to eat the equivalent of what many impoverished people in this world would love to eat and was unable to maintain. The truth is that I have so much more than I need. I have always had so much more than I need. It maybe isn’t something that I should feel guilt about, but something I should use to fuel my heart for other people less fortunate than I. Not just food. My house, my kids, my dogs, my wife, my possessions, my truck, my job…what many people in this world wouldn’t give to be living the life that I live, and how often I take that life for granted.

Do I still feel like a failure? Well, yes. But I have to look at what I can learn from this and move forward, onward and upward.

P.S. I’m not just going back to eating whatever the heck I want. I’m going to continue a diet of as many raw fruits and veggies as I can throughout the day and trying to limit myself to one lean protein meal a day. And of course avoiding processed sugars, chemicals, additives, etc. We’ll see how it goes.