Cleanse recap: death, diet and determination

In the midst of my cleanse, we left for spring break to the land of cheese and tacos, returned and my father-in-law passed away. This was not the time for a cleanse. It was the time for chocolate.

However, I made up my mind to be strong and stick to my goals, which was purify my mind, body and to the degree possible, my spirit. For the first time in years, it worked. Not sure when it happened, but the reality that the swirling temptations and drama around me did not require that I stuff food in my mouth hit me. The only thing I could control was what I ate, so I focused on being successful at that.

Week 2– I was down 8 pounds (hurrah) but I was tired all the time. The lack of sugar pretty much drained me of energy, and while withdrawal headaches abated, my body wasn’t balanced enough to create it’s own energy. I also have to admit that I started fantasizing about hot chocolate in all the wrong ways. Clearly, I’d created a demon that was alive and well, and showed no signs of leaving. I needed an exorcism.

Week 3-The energy returned and I was down 13 pounds. I hated making food, because really, I wasn’t “making” anything. I was sautéing or juicing, which is akin to not living. I’d make all kinds of great meals for the family (lasagna, spicy meatballs) and looked longingly as I ate my veggies. Creative vegetarian is not my thing, although I do like lots of items (lentil soup, cold salads etc.) I realized that I like big meals, warm food and a main dish that keeps me full for several hours. The thing about “eating clean,” a la fruits and veggies is I’m hungry about every two hours. That in itself is fatiguing. So by the end of week three, I literally didn’t even want to bother with food. That was a blessing and curse.

Week 4– (day 21-24 ish) In Mexico. I’m ultra worried that my whole cleanse is going to be shot, but then I’m so darn proud of myself for sticking with it, I veer towards the veggies everywhere. I allowed myself proteins (eggs) and wouldn’t you know it? I kept all the weight off and felt great the entire time until….

The cheese got me! oh man, did I pay the price. My stomach cramped and ached within thirty minutes. It was like someone gut punched me. That killed my desire for quesedillas. Not one to be stopped however, I started sampling meats. Again, I got hit in the gut plus I felt sick. My system was used to–and appreciating–foods that were, and are, easy to digest.

I came home, all up in my head about my success and what did I do? I lasted exactly five days then went right back to the sauce. I started downing my own concoction of badness (cream, milk, and semi sweet and milk chocolate ghiradelli) because it’s my comfort food. In 10 days I whacked on ten pounds. It was during this time we had the death in the family and I just held on for dear life.

The following downer cycle of depression followed. For those of us on the weight loss/weight gain cycle, it goes like this. Lose weight, feel great, glory in the success by allowing a treat. Then another. Depression leads to more food. Loose clothes get tight. More depression and eating. Pants don’t go up the thigh. More depression. One day, the madness hits the wall like an egg splat and the cycle stops. Veggies and sullenness follow. Slowly, the pants loosen up. The clouds part. Confidence starts to appear like the sun after the rain. Veggies don’t taste so bad.

Now, today (5/21) I’m back to having lost the 8 pounds and have decided that for the sake of my stomach, my energy quotient and overall health, I should pretty much stick with generally clean foods, which comes as a shock to no one. It’s the willpower and determination that’s required to pull it off.