Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And then there were Eight

So I got up last Tuesday, admitted my transgressions to my friend J, put them behind me, and started the Cleanse again. Made up a big bottle of potion, as they suggest, so I’d have no excuses.

Day 1 was no problem, but that first evening was ROUGH. It took two pieces of gum to get me through it, but I did it.

Day 2. The second evening was tough as well,  but my mom came by to help prepare some glazes for a local school project (who am I kidding? I just decide,  fetch and match colors—she does all the heavy lifting, i.e. cleaning and mixing, bless her. It is NOT a job I enjoy, or have much patience for.)

I pooped out early (not that I was being much help to begin with), so she decided to stay over and finish the next day. Which means she was there to ‘babysit’ me all evening and so I stayed on the straight and narrow. Although in the end it took a couple of killer games of Scrabble (and one chewy mint) to keep me honest…not sure I could have done it on my own. She also took the rest of the not-sure-how-long-I-can-resist-it food in the house with her when she left the next day. She forgot the head of lettuce and the head of purple cabbage and one lone little endive.

Those, it turns out, I’m able to resist.

By Day 3 I was unbearably  proud of myself for having made it that far. I spent two hours that night at a party at the best pizza place in town, but by then I was too thrilled to have gotten that far to blow it. I didn’t have so much as a teeny crumb of that toasty, crispy edge of cheese. I did bolt early and drove STRAIGHT to the gym, where there was just enough time to get a quick workout in before they closed.

On Day 4, an order of maple cream I’d ordered arrived. What looks like an undistinguished little plastic container is actually a jar of pure heaven—pure, organic maple syrup cooked down to the creamy texture of smooth peanut butter. YUM. I had to hide it from myself or be tempted to eat a significant portion. (I’d already done the math, and knew how much I could substitute for the maple syrup in my potion. I may have eaten just a teeensy bit more…)

I took the dog for as long a walk as I could manage and spent TWO hours at the gym, including an hour and a half on the old lady bike. (My ankle still hurts)

Day 5—Saturday—included an hour at the gym and then dinner with a friend. I watched her eat while sipping my potion. And was only a little tempted. (It wasn’t the manicotti so much as all that warm, gooey cheese on top.) And then I sat through an entire movie—which, as luck would have it—featured people cooking, eating, and talking about delicious food in darn near every scene, without eating so much as a grain of popcorn.

I dropped the forgotten vegetables off at my Mom’s while I was in town—I’d been entertaining lascivious thoughts of crunching into that head of lettuce.

J was right: I DO miss chewing!

By Day 6 I had a hard time even getting all six cups of the potion down. This was the first day that my weight wasn’t down, which J assures me is normal. The gym is closed on Sundays, but I worked in the yard for a couple of hours. Weird weather—at 5pm it was still 70. Kinda still and heavy. What we call ‘earthquake weather’ which it has been all week. No one believed me when I said so Tuesday and again on Saturday. And indeed, biggish earthquakes in Northern California both those days…

I took a long hot bath with a good book, and went to bed early. To no avail: some wild animal was gallumphing across the yard, driving the dog crazy, and once in a while galloping across the roof, just to break it up a little.

Day 7, down another pound. Back at the gym, where I’m starting to warm up to the old lady bike. This is to working out as condos are to camping: I can comfortably read while pedaling, although I’ve already gotten a bruise from just trying to get on and off the thing. Not sure it really counts as working out, but at least I’m moving. I’m not hungry at all, but by late afternoon the thought of a nice piece of roast chicken (I make great roast chicken) is driving me a little crazy. It takes another chewy mint and three little pieces of Flaming Dragon cinnamon gum to get me through the rest of the evening.

And Day 8 is today.

It boggles my mind that I haven’t eaten anything except six (more or less) cups of potion a day and a glass of herbal teal in the morning & evening for EIGHT days. I’m amazed that I’m not hungry. (A little bored, but not hungry.) Not sure if I’m any crankier than usual.

You’d have to ask the people that have to deal with me every day, and so far, they’re not telling.

The first few days, for one reason or another, I kept coming across links for new and yummy-sounding recipes I was dying to try. I wasted a bunch of time researching & saving recipes in a try ‘as soon as I start eating again” file. By Sunday, Day 6, they were all recipes for goodies—some yummy-sounding cookies, some cute cupcakes I’ll probably make at Valentine’s, some decadent dessert bars. I guess it was all some sort of sick substitution for actually eating, but hey—no actual calories were consumed in the process. And amazingly, for only the second time in my life I’m actually NOT craving sweets.

Over the last eight days I’ve had five pieces of gum, two chewy mints, and the occasional sugarfree tiny cinnamon Altoid none of which, strictly speaking, are allowed. Oh well. I haven’t eaten in EIGHT days. I’m so proud of myself I could burst. I feel great. I’ve lost that first five Christmas pounds I gained. And the second.

Part of me never wants to eat again..I mean hey—I’m kinda on a roll here. But there are all those good recipes to try..including a yummy one for pulled pork, and some pecan caramel toffee bars, and just yesterday I found a delicious and do-able sounding recipe for “Fragrant and Crispy Sichuan Duck” http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2010/01/fragrant-and-crispy-duck-recipe-xiang-su-quan-ya.html

It’s featured on every Chinese restaurant menu in England and almost none here, and I’ve been craving it since I left.

Anyone want to come over (after I’m done with my fast, of course!) and help me try it?

But not yet. My first goal is the ten day mark, which (it boggles my little mind) is just two days away. Then fifteen days, then twenty. According to the literature, you can go as long as 40 days at a stretch, as often as four times a year. Twenty seems a reasonable number for now--we’re taking my mom out for a nice dinner on her birthday, which is just a couple of weeks away.

In the process I’m hoping to learn the difference between being hungry and just liking & wanting to eat—for any other reason. I’m hoping to learn a more intuitive, natural, healthy manner of portion control—one blondie is about a 1”x2” rectangle –not a quarter of the pan, just because they taste so darn good. (And they’re ooey-gooey-chewy. I’m a real texture eater, too.) I’m hoping to improve my health, help my joints, and get rid of stuffy nose that I’ve picked up recently. I’m hoping to shrink my stomach. And kick-start some serious weight loss, too.

Did I mention that it’s going to an INCREDIBLE year?!