I accepted a challenge in the beginning of January. I did it because it was an answer to a question I’d been afraid to ask myself. A commitment I was hesitant to make. Like many of you, I’m quite good at responding to the needs of others, and quite lacking when it comes to prioritizing supporting myself. Or at least I used to be.

In December, in one of the usual communiques I receive from Morter Health System, was an invitation. An invitation to “play full on”, as Dr. Ted Morter likes to say, in an Alkaslim Challenge that would start in January and run for 45 days. Participants would target weight loss, healthy living and alkalizing the body. There would be diet adaptations and exercise responsibilities (as one would ‘expect’ from a weight loss challenge) but there would also be accountability, community and an examination of the beliefs that stand behind what we choose to do (or not do) to support a healthy body. And there were prizes up for grabs…

I have to confess; in the beginning it was the ‘Competition’ that motivated me to join. I’d love to altruistically say, ‘I just knew it was time to make a change’ or, ‘I wanted to test out a program that I could recommend to my patients’. Heck no – I know I have the willpower to commit to almost anything for 45 days, vanity said it was time to hard-stop the lenient behaviour that had me avoiding full-length mirrors, and there were PRIZES. I jumped on the opportunity for ‘external’ reasons, I plan to stick with it for the long-haul (dare I say the life-long-haul) because it’s helped me uncover the ‘internal’ reasons to live the life I DESERVE. Like so many of life’s truly great lessons this journey has been an answer to questions I didn’t even know I had.

The experience of these last 60+ days has been, at times, a rollercoaster (and I’m far from alone in that sentiment within the group). Physically, I’ve felt the best I have in decades as my body has become hydrated, more alkaline and less dependant on artificial stimulants; and absolutely miserable as impurities stored for years have been released and detoxed. Emotionally, I’ve felt exuberant, joyful and vibrant and been tearful, angry and impatient with myself. Psychologically, I’ve had surprisingly effortless insights into the deepest, darkest beliefs that sabotage my best intentions – and I’ve had to call myself out (more than once) on the ‘playing’ of these same programs when, even knowing they existed, they popped back up to derail me.

With the intention of keeping this post from blossoming into a novel, let me share with you in bullet form some of the ‘lightbulb’ lessons I’ve noticed:

  • Adding a focus on alkalinity rather than just ‘healthy eating’ has been key for me –I’ve noticed changes in energy level, wellbeing, digestive processes (as a lady I’ll leave it at that), clarity of thought, and satiety. (Not to mention – studies show that many chronic diseases can’t propagate in an alkaline environment)
  • I started this Challenge with a dieter’s mindset of deprivation and endurance. ‘Doing’ 45 days was manageable. And then I lost track of which day we were on, and knew I was on to something good. I didn’t want to and don’t intend to stop because my body craves the way doing good things for myself feels. Like with everything else it’s the feeling that matters most!
  • On one particular day, midway through the first 45 days, I had a strong visceral reaction to the fact that this process was called the Alkaslim CHALLENGE. I’d reached my limit of feeling challenged in/by life. I’d been drawn to this process, and most others in my life, particularly because it would challenge me – but now I want to know and accept that life experiences are FOR me. In that moment I embraced moving with the power of the currents in my life rather than fighting against them. For myself, on that day, I renamed this process Alkaslim FOR life and embraced doing it for= ’on behalf of’ and for=’for the period of’ my life.
  • It’s now reaching the point where people are noticing physical changes associated with the changes I’ve made over the last weeks. Their noticing has brought to light some interesting new insights into this process: (1) vanity was an ok motivator for starting this process (I’ll admit it got me going) but it’s not a long term motivator, (2)I have some work to do (as I suspect many of you do too) around accepting compliments – ‘thanks’ -without being followed by a self-deprecating follow-up is an ok answer, (3) it really doesn’t matter who does or does not notice – I’m doing this for me and that’s more than enough!

This journey is just starting for me. Some of the doors that are opening have already been flung wide and some are just starting to creak on their hinges. As I explore what’s behind them I know there’ll be lots more to share, so stay tuned…

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