One of the most important things I’ve learned this past year, is that personal wellness is about balance. It involves working on your mind and your spirit to achieve happiness. It also involves working on your physical self through nutrition and exercise to feel better.

Last week, I focused on the physical aspect a little more. I started a 3 day refresh program that focused on losing weight, detoxing from sugar, and resetting my palate. I knew this was an area I needed to work on because I had been starting to let my nutrition slip.

The truth was, I had fallen into the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole of a little treat here and a little treat there, and suddenly, I was simply maintaining my weight, instead of losing weight.

So I did the 3 day refresh. It’s not a raw juice diet or fast. You can eat but it’s a very rigid process (it was to me at least). It involved drinking water and lots of it. There was a meal replacement shake, a fiber drink, and a few high protein shakes. I got to eat whole foods, but I portioned out my food accordingly.

The first day was the hardest. Day one showed me how far down the rabbit hole I really had fallen. I started craving sugar, despite have the natural sugar in fruits. And I mean, I craved it. I could have gone for anything sweet. Any candy. Even black licorice, which I hate. It wouldn’t have mattered. But I followed the meal plan, chugged my water, and went to sleep early.

The second day was so much easier. I went most of the day without craving sugars. I had tried all the shakes the previous day and knew they tasted pretty good and I wasn’t so apprehensive. Even though I stuck with the meal plan, exactly the same way I had the day before, my energy levels seemed to bounce back to normal. My body adjusted to a lower caloric intake and less sugar in my diet more quickly than I thought it would.

The third day was hard in it’s own way. You know how it is when you’re excited about something, so time seems to drag on leading up to it? That’s what day 3 did, thinking about what my results would be at the end of the refresh and thinking about implementing the things I learned to maintain these changes. So instead of thinking counting down the minutes to be done and evaluate my results, I focused on planning for after. Planning out the maintenance stage.

The refresh comes with a maintenance guide for after, which I poured over. A lot of the information was the same as the information accompanying workout programs I’ve been doing through Beachbody. But I poured over it with new eyes. Here’s why.

Over those 3 day, I learned that I was capable of doing hard things. Getting my nutrition under control has always been difficult for me. I learned I could do it and I could do it right. I also learned that there are times to be strict. It’s hard. I love food. Food is good. But for me, some foods aren’t so good.

Candy is one of those rabbit hole foods I need to stay away from. Pop is another. I seem to keep coming back to them and having more than I’d like to have. Thankfully, I’ve learned in the past the meal prep can help with staying away from those things. I’ve also learned, there are some pretty tasty alternatives to a sweet tooth craving.

The point of all this is, to share with readers exactly what the refresh is if anyone was interested, but more than that, it was to share the importance of balance. Balance means being strict some times. It means taking a hard look at yourself to figure out what the issue is so you can correct it. I think that’s a part of balance that people don’t like to think about, but it’s necessary to see any growth or reach goals. And remember, you absolutely can do it. Even the hard changes you may have been shying away from.