Day Four. Also known as “the day when I am so damned sick of fruits and vegetables and really just want to eat some cookies.” I need to pull this together. 17 days remain.
What I consumed:
- Cleanse Shake with strawberries and blueberries
- Sweet potato with sea salt and pepper
- Carrots and guacamole
- fresh pineapple
- roasted beets with sea salt
- cauliflower with sea salt and pepper
- homemade lentil soup
- 30 gigantic supplement capsules
- 64 oz water
How I felt:
A little bit better today. Progress. I did find myself getting into a bit of a food rut and was craving snacks. I was getting some almonds out of the cabinet for my son today and I noticed a bag of trail mix which made me want to dive head first into them. But I didn’t. I know I will hit my stride with the food but today was definitely not my best day. Part of my problem was that I did not eat early enough this morning. I came back from the gym and raced out to a meeting and didn’t have a chance to eat anything but a banana before I left. So, I didn’t get to eat my breakfast until nearly 11:30am. During the cleanse, you cannot skip eating. Lesson learned. I felt really tired by the late afternoon and actually needed to lay down. I know my body is working hard to cleanse the toxins and I think it is really exhausting me. I feel a little bit like I did in the early weeks of my pregnancies.
60 minutes on the elliptical. I did a really tough hill climber workout which left me a sweaty mess. My legs were hurting in the afternoon which was a good feeling because it was a reminder that I am pushing myself and exercising hard. I have a torn meniscus in my right knee and I am sure the orthopedist is going to blow a gasket when he hears about my workouts lately but it doesn’t hurt too much while I’m exercising and I think the elliptical is the lowest impact exercise I could be performing with the exception of swimming.
Because my eating schedule got disrupted this morning, my hunger was out of whack today. The morning shake really does make a difference to me. As a result, I thought a lot about snacking which led me to study my mindless eating. On the cleanse, I have to be very intentional when I eat and I am forced to pay attention to what I am craving. I admit that I am a big snacker and grazer and would much prefer nibbling on a bag of pita chips (mmmm, pita chips) than sitting down and having a proper meal. Every time I eat now, I have to prepare the food. I can’t really just grab something on the go. I have to cut up and cook vegetables or fruit. I have to make the dressing for a salad rather than just pour some from a jar. I can’t just shove a piece of bread or a handful of nuts into my mouth. Sure, I can grab an apple and start munching away or chew on some carrot sticks but, of course, that is a completely different experience than just diving head first into a bag of pita chips or popcorn or crackers or cookies. Yes, in case you have missed this, I have a problem with carbs and sugar.
I wondered, today, if part of my exhaustion was from the mental energy that normally gets diverted to eating. When I am eating mindlessly, I am using food to distract myself. When things get too messy in my head, food provides a diversion and calms and soothes me momentarily. Of course, I always feel badly afterwards but, in the moment, I can stop thinking about whatever is distressing me and focus on the taste of the food, the crunch, the sweetness. It sounds absurd as I write it and yet I know that I am not alone in this type of self-medication. I’ve written about and thought a great deal about the correlation between emotional eating and substance abuse. The roots of these addictions are the same. It is all about comfort, escape, distraction, numbing. The absence of the vice forces you to be mindful and present and work through whatever it is that is making you uncomfortable. I felt that strongly today. I felt the discomfort of not having an easy escape. No snacks means no abatement.
The last few months have been particularly stressful for me and, upon reflection, I notice that my mindless eating has been out of control. I can recall days where I was feeling completely stuffed and still putting food into my mouth just to ease whatever was disrupting my calm. I was consciously acknowledging that I had no desire to eat anything but believed that putting something sweet into my mouth would make me feel better. The taste and sensation always delivered as did the guilt and shame for being so reckless with my consumption. As I work through these days, uber-conscious of what I am eating, I am becoming more aware of how much I have abused myself. The awareness is hard to absorb and it is even more difficult to conceptualize how I am going to ever permanently change this behavior. These are patterns that have existed in my life since I was a child and I have not successfully managed them up to now. What will change? Can I change? These are scary questions that I wish I could easily answer but I cannot. Lots to sort through.
Now, it is time for bed. Hopefully tomorrow will bring more answers and fewer questions.