Written by Sondi Bruner, a sweet sweet member of our Love in the Kitchen team.
We’ve all read stories in glossy magazines that feature people who drop 50 pounds, or quit smoking, or banish sugary treats, or give up coffee and won’t stop gushing about how amazingly fantastic they feel.
What they don’t talk about is the dreary space in between being sick and being healthy, when you feel completely lousy. It’s as if those people are like mothers who go through 57 hours of excruciating labour and instantly forget the pain when they see the cutesy shmoopy baby. Sometimes, when we make the commitment to cut the crap out of our lives and get healthy, we don’t feel the way we anticipated. And we wonder why we feel so awful when we’re actually making healthy choices for once, and are tempted to throw in the towel and simply down that whole cheesecake.
Friends, this is called the ‘healing crisis’. And it sucks. (Tweet today's tweetable!)
What is a healing crisis and why does it happen?
It’s common when people make dietary changes to experience a healing crisis. That’s when your body produces some not-so-fun symptoms as it cleanses itself from stored toxins and mucus.
So why does getting healthy make you feel yucky?
Let’s take a step backward first, back to when you were eating junk like doughnuts or pizza or hot dogs. Your body doesn’t know what to do with all those chemicals, processed oils and sugar, so it stores them in your fat tissue to protect your vital organs and bloodstream.
It’s kinda like when you’ve got guests coming over, so you shove your mess into the closet to deal with it later.
But you’ve gotta clean up that mess eventually, and it’s going to get uglier and more difficult the longer you wait.
Here are some common symptoms of a healing crisis:
- Aches and pains
- Fever, chills, runny nose and coughs
- Sweating, skin discharges or body odour
- Diarrhea or constipation
The silver lining
The good news is that these symptoms are all normal and will go away as you detoxify. Symptoms tend to leave in a certain order, too - usually the last health issue you had leaves first, while symptoms of older health conditions may reemerge and leave last.
That means if you’ve had a history of acne, eczema and joint pain, the joint stuff will be the first to get worse and then disappear, followed by a reappearance of eczema and lastly the acne.
You know what they say: things tend to get way, way worse before they get better. But think of it this way - when you make the commitment to eat better, you are creating an environment where your body feels safe enough to start releasing those dangerous toxins, rather than holding onto them so they burrow deeper and make you really, really sick.
And once you get through the rough patch, you’ll be one of those smiling success stories who can only talk about how amazingly wonderful they feel.