Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 22.18.31One year ago this week I took part in Jason Vale’s ‘Super Juice Me’ 28 Day Juice Plan. I was six months post surgery and keen to improve my diet and my energy levels and most importantly, as a sufferer of ARD I was desperate to try anything that may reduce both the level of inflammation inside my body and the speed at which the adhesions reformed. I was well aware that I had given my body a pretty hard time in the past and that I had never really given it a chance to ‘reset’ itself. I knew it wouldn’t be easy – after all it had taken many years for my body to feel that it needed serious help – I couldn’t expect a miracle cure or for it to change overnight. I had a lot of hard work to do but I knew it was necessary because I didn’t feel good at all. Never mind the adhesions, the rest of me was feeling terrible too. I didn’t know what my body was asking for any more. I had become completely out of touch with it and couldn’t tell the difference between what it wanted and what it needed and this was being further complicated by the effects of the medications I was taking. I knew that it was likely that in the future I would have to switch to a mainly liquid diet again anyway. I had a reasonably small window of time to achieve a healthy state before my illness returned and I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to properly educate myself so that I could enjoy this time properly and in the future when the time came to switch back to liquids I would know what worked best for me and everything would feel a lot easier.

I began to prepare myself for my juicing journey by removing anything not on the plan from the house. I then attended a juicing seminar the day before my chosen start date. I needed to prepare myself mentally for the changes I was about to make, figure out what the obstacles might be and how I was going to deal with them when they arose. The timing of this event could not have been better. I had already decided I was going to take part I just needed that extra something to get me all fired up for it. I left the seminar feeling relaxed, determined and ready to start the next day.

There have been times in my life when I have felt completely overwhelmed and weighed down by the negativity of others and found myself hearing the same excuses over and over not to do new things or make significant changes to their lives. I have heard every excuse in the world why people can’t lose weight, sleep better, have more energy, get a new job, spend more time with friends and family, spend less money, the list goes on and on. These excuses became completely suffocating after a while. They were just excuses after all, not valid reasons why someone could not do something. Someone saying they cannot go to the gym because they are too tired this week is not the same as saying they cannot go because their leg is broken. Excuses, excuses! They had all failed to realise one very important thing – the only person that was stopping them from achieving any of these things was themselves. Genuinely healthy people who were perfectly capable of doing pretty much anything they wanted were giving in to complacency and laziness and doing absolutely bugger all. They were blaming it all on their busy lifestyles, their lack of money, their metabolism, things that had happened in their childhoods, even other people and it was all utter rubbish. It became clear that the main problem I was going to encounter on this plan would not be the juices or the amounts consumed – but other people. I had people tell me juicing was dangerous, that it wasn’t right for me and many other comments of negativity. It frustrated and infuriated me so much that I decided if they were not going to do anything good for themselves then fine – I would go ahead and do something for myself instead. I even found I could no longer have some of these people in my life. I deliberately avoided situations where I would be in contact with people making these excuses and focussed on what I wanted to achieve.

Yes it was difficult, yes I went through the most shocking withdrawal during the first week, yes I had very VERY bad days where my adhesions were playing up badly, the nausea was terrible and I wanted to give up but I didn’t. I had set my mind on something and refused to be beaten. I realised that those who had tried to put me off didn’t want me to succeed because hearing about my healthy choices had made them feel insecure about their own lives and the choices they were making in them. (Or perhaps more importantly the choices they were NOT making.) I didn’t do it to lose weight like so many others do, I wanted to give my body a chance to just ‘be.’ I did lose some weight but nothing compared to some others because I was actually consuming a lot MORE during the plan that I was before. Before starting it I was in pain all the time, couldn’t digest food and it was easier for me to have nothing at all. One can argue that someone like myself who is dependant on morphine to get through the day would not feel the full benefits of doing this and to an extent that is a valid argument. It is impossible to fully rid the body of all toxins when there are chemicals being put back into it but what I felt I achieved during the 30+ days that I was on the plan (I did a few days extra as by the end I had forgotten what day I was on) was the closest thing to good health that it was possible for me to achieve.

I predicted back then that one year on I would be suffering badly from adhesion pain again. I was right as I am now unable to keep juicing as much as I would like due to my insides being pulled out of place and the nausea that that causes me. When you cannot control vomiting juice really is not the first choice to try and settle it! I have met many people since I started juicing whose lives have been completely transformed by it. Some are now less than half their previous body weight, some have experienced a huge reduction in pain and other symptoms and some have been able to eliminate their illnesses completely, which is really quite remarkable and I feel immensely proud of anyone who has succeeded in doing this. I realised that these people had all been suffering from lifestyle induced conditions (diabetes, obesity etc) whereas I had a condition that could not be cured by a change in lifestyle. Juice was not going to cure my adhesions. It was not going to separate all my organs from one another – only a surgeon’s knife could do that. Whether consuming it slowed down the growth of adhesions at all I really don’t know. What I do know is that that decision that I made one year ago to somehow incorporate juice into my life has changed it forever. I may not be able to keep it down every day but I cannot see any time at all in the future where juicing will not be a part of my life. So many people said ‘I can’t live on juice – I need to eat.’ They all wanted to eat other foods but they didn’t actually need to. It is perfectly possible when following a properly structured plan to obtain all the nutrients we need from juices and smoothies but the truth is that most people will not consider this until they have reached a point in their lives where for whatever reason they have been left with no other choice but to make a drastic change.

To anyone thinking about making a big change in their life who is currently still making those lazy excuses not to –