Cleanse that dirty mind……

Lots of people like to talk about their “cleanses” – and I typically smile warmly and reflect internally on the sheer nonsense, quackery, and snake oil-y feel of this technique. Yes, there is lots of icky junk that gets into our intestines and hangs out – so a cleanse is an illusory weight loss – it’s 10 pounds of intestinal junk and a very HUNGRY person at the back end who looks at a steak like a long lost lover when the cleanse is over (and the weight typically comes back). I am a bigger fan of fiber and things that grow in nature as ways to kick-start the gut. In my clinical experience it is a recipe for yo-yo patterns, dysregulated eating, and downright dangerous for my patients who have disordered eating patterns. Deprivation typically begets dysfunction. When we are starving we eat and live like fools.

I understand the thinking – clean out the system, don’t introduce toxins, start fresh so you can clog up your intestines again.

So then I started thinking – instead – what about a psychological “cleanse”? Hell – if people paid as much attention to their psyches as they do to their colons – it could make for a kinder gentler world.

Think about it – on most cleanses the person eats like a loon for a few days – a sort of death row last supper. And then they drink something twice a day or restrict most foods or drink things that are supposed to remove toxins.

So ……what if a person surrounded themselves with all the madness of their lives for a few days- crazed extended family, ex-partners, wacky friends, angry children, distrustful coworkers – and also watched lots of reality TV and ensured that they were assailed with as much dysfunction as possible – in essence filling their psyche with toxins. Sort of a like a dysfunction binge. (most people call this Thanksgiving).

Then the cleanse. Cut them all out. Stop calling mom. Don’t respond to texts. Tell your negligent partner to take a powder. Hire a sitter. Take a few days off of work or lock the door. Don’t go to the mall. Turn off the TV, the Facebook, the Twitter, and anything else that informs you of your sister’s weekend drinking habits. During the cleanse, insert healthy things into your mind – meditate, breathe, read, journal, exercise, bake bread, spend time outdoors.

Imagine that? Most of our psyches are clogged with the broken people, institutions, objects, and devices that make us feel like there are toxins clogging us up psychologically. If you could do this from time to time – you would be astonished at how smoothly your mind could move (like that cleansed colon). If you could dump the junk, the naysayers, the distractions – you will be better equipped to lose weight in a meaningful way, pursue your dreams, and live authentically. Seems a lot more meaningful than time served on the toilet.

Before you deprive yourself and try and cleanse your gut in the name of removing toxins and pounds – think about trusting your gut and cleansing your mind and soul instead.


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 at 10:18 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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