Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 10: Zen

I once a month...might check my horoscope. I kid you not, this is what it said today:

Today people will look at you with amazement, and then give you a round of applause.

No kidding, right? Day 10 was harder than I thought it would be. I was supposed to be adjusted to this diet of lemonade and tea, and not really be very hungry or tired. But, I found that instead I was just 'used' to it, but not really very satisfied. All I could think about was a chicken biscuit. I was however, full most of the day, and was able to maintain my energy at a functioning level. Which is not as good as day 4 or 5, but is still commendable for someone who hasn't eaten a meal in 10 days.

I had to work late, 8:30, which meant I was at work for 12 hrs straight. Good times. I rushed home in the brilliant lightshow of three thunderstorms and set to work in the kitchen, chopping and dicing for my soup. It created some of the best smells I have ever encountered in my concious life. T helped me out by offering moral support and stirring. He even bought me a gift card to Whole Foods for my first meal on Sunday. We are going to hit the salad bar =)

Overall, I feel better from the cleanse. I have a renewed perspective on food, nutrition, energy, and my body. I am ready to appreciate the calories I intake, and would like to be more balanced about my choices. I am going to try to not go long time periods without eating - followed by a large meal that was not even prepared or thought out. While I am still doubtful about the benefits of consuming so few calories per has panned out well in the end. I am taking some serious pro-biotics to replenish my digestive system with the little bugs that it needs.
I won't be blogging so 'religiously' when this is all over, but I will be posting a few updates as I move back to solid food.

Yes, I have reached Zen.
Ten days of learning how to love my body and food.
Looking at now and then.
It feels good.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 9: Heaven

Well...not quite. Today was rougher than I anticipated. I think I need to consume more calories before 6th grade walks in the door. I nearly passed out and was feeling very woozy. But, I chugged a couple more and made it through the rest of my day feeling not even close to 100 percent. Oh well...I figure that it is getting down to the nitty gritty with my body and reserves. I need to be more realistic about what I can and cannot do with such a low calorie diet.

I stopped by the farmers market to pick up my veggies for the soup. It was fun to browse around all the fresh produce and pick out exactly what I wanted. I have never been so excited about cooking in my entire life. Literally. Red potatoes, green beans, yellow squash, broccoli, peas, carrots, and lemons accompanied me out the door.

Since starting this I have fluctuated through a variety of emotions about food. On one hand it has been really nice to not cook or buy food. While I still have my nightly ritual of juicing, I don't spend any time on meals. Being the non-foodie that I am it is rather refreshing. However, I think that through this I will gain a new appreciation for what I do need to put into my body. I am going to start cooking and spending a bit more time taking care of myself. I just don't have an emotional attachment to food at all. I eat because I get hungry or I need energy. But, I think that this endeavor is a little bit of a lesson to me about taking care of myself, and learning how to truely appreciate the experience of a meal. My first adventure will be to bake my own biscuits. Oh yeah...and grill some serious chicken. mmmmmm.....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Although I don't think I did a very good job of celebrating earth day today I still kept the spirit alive with a few things...

-printed progress reports on half sheets
-wore my organic, bamboo fiber, hippie tee shirt
-gave a quiz on an overhead instead of copied paper
-used my reuseable water bottle all day
-drank my delightful, tasty, lemonade out of reused glass bottles (kombucha rules)
-didn't throw away any trash due to the fact I am not actually eating
-recycled all paper (per usual)

It also made me stop and reflect on what I was doing on this day last year...and if I have ever really given it much thought. Then I remembered. I picked up cigarette butts around the outside of the tech building for about 2 hours. It was highly rewarding. I grabbed some rubber gloves and ended up filling up half of a paper grocery bag with all the butts/trash that I found. The best part was that JoeSmith helped me out when he saw me toiling in the sun.

Anyway...just some random thoughts. Happy Earth Day. See what you can do to reduce how much useless crap is consumed in your daily life =)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 8: Willpower

I think that some of my friends might not believe that I have actually stuck to my cleanse. Well, I have. I have honestly not ingested ANYTHING besides what I am supposed to. The temptation is there for sure. Just one bite. Just a piece. Just a section. Just a tiny bit. But, no. I have not. I promise. And that is one aspect of this entire undertaking - for me at least. To be able to keep my word in all the secret and alone places. To be able to look back and know without a doubt that I kept my promise with no slip-ups to cloud my memory. It is a good feeling =)

While it felt great to dance at HotJam, and I wasn't hungry when I got home, I felt like crap this morning because I spent more calories than I took in last night. So, the lack of sleep and exercise caught up with me big time. My tea barely filled me up and I downed two lemonades before 10. eep...shoulda packed more.

The deep seated willpower that I know I possess had to kick in big time today. I am just not going to give up. I have made it this far. It has been since last Monday that I have eaten a meal. So yeah...take that, cleanse. Take that, body. Take that, all you crap and toxins in my body. Honestly, when I am not feeling hunger pains I feel amazing. Very clear and light. Calm and peaceful. I never crash or feel sluggish unless I have neglected to drink. So yeah..I can maintain my energy much better than before. It is the opposite of eating - I used to look forward to pain and sleepiness after a meal - now I look forward to being more alert and energetic. What a concept.

I have a meeting tonight at 9 and then it is bedtime. Yay. I have to work late tomorrow and then thursday so we will see how that goes. I need to get more juice bottles...and a bigger hippie bag to carry them all =)

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Make sure you celebrate in some outlandish and attention-grabbing fashion please. I will be wearing my recycled bamboo shirt and patagonia pants. Boone is about to hit Snellville.

Day 7: Determined

The desire to bite into a big fat cheeseburger is getting stronger as the week goes on...

Nothing extraordinary to talk about for day 7. My energy level was mediocre - I should have packed more lemonades for work. I couldn't leave fast enough to get home and get more nutrition. I had some ups and downs...but overall I can judge how much I will need to drink in a certain amount of time in order to stay human. I have noticed the biggest change is my ditziness...I just can't keep a straight thought to come out of my mouth - or do much of anything in the right order. I will think that I need to turn off the projector and then go turn on the light. Gah...I am sure the kids notice that I am not on top of my game. That in itself is frustrating. I am just praying that I don't pass out anywhere.

As long as I keep myself fueled I really don't have hunger pangs anymore. Sosh cooks a hell of a meal nearly every night, and the house is filled with some seriously tastey smells, but I am almost completely fine. The only thing I miss is chewing. That, and the whole amino acids thing. yeah...eating something with protein and some serious aminos is going to be like heaven. Can't wait to make the soup =)

I tested my physical endurance once more by teaching a lesson with Sosh and then hitting the HotJam dance. It was kinda weird at first...but then I got enough juice in me and was good to go. Kinda like when I was on the treadmill I felt like I could dance forever. T and I kicked it up a notch to a fast song and it was almost effortless. My swivels were right there over and over....and I never lost steam. What an incredible feeling.

My night ended with the usual cup of tea and Yogi wisdom. They always make me smile because sometimes they are so damn cheerful and peaceful when all I want to do is...not drink the tea. Oh the irony...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 6: Recommittment

Wow. That is all I can really say about yesterday…
Regardless of the 4am bedtime, I woke up at 9 raring to go. I forced myself to go back to sleep and managed to get another two hours before I said hello to Saturday. The day began with a cup of tea, as usual, and another visit to the gym. My legs are killing me, but all I can think about is stretching and walking it out. So, I walked for 30 minutes and then ran about half a mile. Lifting felt great, and so did the extensive stretching. I think I can almost see a little four-pack forming. Oh yeah…and they have a scale at the gym. I am down to 124. eeeep.

After the gym D, Nick, and I headed down to Piedmont Park for some Frisbee fun. While I am not an avid Frisbee player, and really didn’t feel like torturing my legs anymore, I went with them to keep my mind off of the million other things that have been plaguing my thoughts. We walked around for a good hour, checking out the Dogwoods Arts Festival booths and music. While I didn’t bring enough to drink, it was a much needed outing and it felt really good to be outside.

The rest of my evening was very chill. I read in the hammock, made some more lemonade, took a short nap, and thought about life in general. My energy level has maintained itself as long as I never allow myself to get hungry. I feel soooo much better with a couple extra glasses of H2O each day. It is almost filling. The tea though, has become almost..."meh".

Relationships are not easy. It has been a long time since I have been willing to allow a relationship get to the point of ‘not easy’. I have a pattern of simply walking away when the going gets tough. I don’t feel fulfilled, I am scared, and simply put, and the guy has never really put up a fight. It has been tough these past few weeks – months – because I have gotten to the rough spots with him. I have met those walls, and gotten to know all the parts of our relationship that really tick me off. And so I ran - just like I have every other time. But he hasn’t. Not for over a year. And that means a whole hell of a lot. So yeah, I am willing to work at it. I am willing to communicate. I am willing to lay it down and invest the necessary time and energy into ‘us’. Sure it is scary. Yes, I still doubt myself more than ever. But, he said that I am worth it. And believe me, he is more than worth it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 5: Feelin' Good

I think that yesterday was my hump day...because today I feel simply amazing. I woke up at 8 am and couldn't go back to sleep. I was mildly productive around the house doing important tasks such as painting my toenails and processing laundry. I rounded out my morning with fresh drinks and about and hr or so of reading on the front porch.
Around noon Sosh, Lisa, Nick, and I headed to stone mountain to enjoy the sunshine and use Lisa's free parking pass. We all made it to the top with little difficulty, Nick skipping ahead like a mountain goat. Basking in the sun like lizards on the north side, we worked on our spring tans until the wind blew cold and Lisa got "people bumps".
The way down was fairly easy except for the whole part where my thighs were screaming at me because they were subjected to leg presses the night before and were certain that my use of them now was completely uncalled for.

We hit the DeKalb farmers market on the way home, stocking up on organic goodies for the week. It was totally slammed. I bought a giant bag of fresh lemons and was carrying it around - and got quite the looks. One lady even commented after she passed me "my, that is a big bag of lemons". I reveled in my own amusement.

I admit that I crashed when I got home, resting with a book and then finally dozing off for about an hr. When I woke up I felt terrible, I was incredibly weak and starving. So, I promply made and drank two very fresh drinks. Boo ya. Back to 100 percent.

I hopped up out that bed, turned my swagg on...took a look in the mirror, said "what's up?"

Out for the night to Tongue and Groove for some serious dance time. I am wide awake, full of energy, and ready to stay up all night. Bring it...Day 5 is mine!

Day 4: Energetic

I know I am writing this a day late...but I thought I would provide a quick summary of day four.
It was the first day of the cleanse that I have not felt overly hungry and have noticed an increase in energy level. It was really easy to wake up, get moving, and out the door. I felt almost like I had drank a cup of coffee on the way to work - without the jitters.
Side note: I think I need to use less cayenne pepper.
I am still crabby by the end of the day because I am just not ingesting enough calories (I think), but when I got home and made myself a fresh one my attitude turned itself around.
Another side note: My short temper is back.
Achievement of the day? I went to the gym with 'the boys'. I ran a full mile - something I have never accomplished in my life. Then, I lifted until the guys wanted to call it a night. So you tell me this? How have I not eaten for 4 days, and can still go to the gym and feel even more incredible when I leave?

Friday, April 17, 2009

I was just thinking...

This is an article recently posted in the New York Times. I found it to be some good reading, and finally a medical voice for all of us hippies who are not so keen on the use of antibiotics.

Stomach Bug Crystallizes an Antibiotic Threat
Published: April 13, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 3: Lighter

"Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections"

I am not particularly inspired to begin writing, but I have decided to keep this blog for the ten I shall ramble for a bit.

That whole determination thing, yeah...I had a friend tell me on the phone today that I was the most determined person that she knew and that I would have no problems with a measly little ten days. That helped a lot because I came really close to caving today - but I keep tricking myself into "just get through today" and then within a few minutes or an hr my body had readjusted to whatever it is doing, and I feltl even better.
It amazes me how I don't feel strongly about any decision I make anymore. It is as though I just float along with what life brings instead of taking a stand for what I really want or need. This is definitely a test of my personal strength more than just physical. When you look back and truly despise certain parts of your life it makes each new decision that much more important.
I honestly have no idea what to expect from each day. It is a incredible sensation to be so in tune to what my body is doing and saying. It is almost like I am walking around looking out of myself as you would, say, a car. As an obsessively observant person it has heightened my sense of the world even more. Again, totally weird.

I shall spare you the details, but I will say that overall I feel...lighter. There is less of me to move around, and my body is finally assimilating nutrients and calories to a greater extent. Honestly, it is the first time in months that I have not been in intense pain every single night. And even now I am not actually hungry.

My phone-a-friend calls have been all the more helpful. Moogy and Shims have been incredibly supportive of my new found freedom; offering advice and positive words. So yeah, it feels like a moment to moment rollercoaster of emotions about my body, mind, and heart right now - but I am really glad that I am going through this right now. Change go'ne come...

Time to snuggle up with a nice cup of mediocre tasting tea and an over-hyped novel.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 2: Maintaining

Ben Harper says it so well....

And it's so hard to do and so easy to say.

But sometimes - sometimes,
you just have to walk away - walk away.
With so many people to love in my life, why do I worry about one?
But you put the happy in my ness, you put the good times into my fun.

There are stages to it. First is total numbness, like I cannot even feel any emotion attached to the situation. I really just don't care. Next comes the flip flopping. I am either happy or incredibly depressed to the point of tears. I am in the second stage right now.
I look back and examine my actions and emotions that led up to Monday night. I was really happy, right? I enjoyed his company, his presence, his laughter, his friendship, his caring...but somewhere deep down I wasn't fulfilled...I think? It is all a muddle now. I can clearly recall how much joy I felt just sharing my life with another person, how I loved just knowing he was there on the other end...and just as clearly I remember how frustrated I would get at the thought and experience of 'us'. I have a deep-seated feeling that somehow I have walked away from the best person that has ever happened to me. Time will tell.

So many times in my life I have doubted myself, wondered, have I done the right thing? Is this the right choice? In the past I wouldn't allow myself to actually choose, instead living in the gray limbo of 'both'. I am desperately trying to stop that by being painfully honest. By making an absolute choice. By not going back on my decisions. By forging ahead and taking what comes. By ceasing to be intolerably impatient.

Day two has consisted of maintaining "un-hungriness". While I am not a foodie by any means, it is still weird to not bite into a sandwich. I am fan of the PB&J around twelve thirty. Anyway...enough about food. I am feeling surprisingly good. I have taken my mother's wise advice and added more maple syrup when feeling down. I keep a constant mix by my side and have managed to only feel like passing out once. I got a bit cranky towards the end of the day - but it was mainly due to feeling a bit 'upset'. No biggie.
I have dropped a few lbs - which was not even the point. I was expecting that, and it is nice, but I am not expecting to keep it off. The best part is that I haven't had stomach knots since Sunday evening. My energy level is pretty much the same and I am only slightly ditzy =)

Overall I feel as though this is not just a physical cleanse but a mental cleanse as well. It has been awhile since I have committed myself to anything. I suppose you could say grad school, or my first teaching contract, but not something this intensely personal. I remember when I used to be so mentally strong that I could overcome nearly anything. (Let's not get into the things I encountered when I was a kid). My black belt test was a few hrs long, and around the middle of it I almost didn't finish. I was laying there on the some serious pain...the wind knocked out of me...looking forward to only more clobberings by men three times my size...and hearing "get up lindsay. get up now". I really didn't think that I could. I was exhausted, bloody, and unable to use my right was a moment that stands out with perfect clarity in my memory. I thought to myself that I would never forget that moment if I gave up...and so I willed my entire being to finish the test.
Everytime I come up against a challenge I recall that specific moment in time and figure if I could overcome that, I can overcome anything. Regretfully, I feel as though some of that steadfast determination has been lost in in the mess of life. I am going to work on getting it back. Yes...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 1: Movement

More than once I have commented that I wish I could take a magical pill every day that would fulfill all my nutrional needs so that I wouldn't have to eat. More often than not I tend to forget to consume the necessary nutrients that my body needs - so I will go 6 or more hours and then suddenly crash. Not so healthy...I know.
But, when nearly everything you eat makes your stomach churn, and feels like a fist is twisting it into smaller and smaller knots you tend to avoid most food. Plus I just forget to eat with my schedule.

So, I have decided a change is not only desirable, but also unavoidable. So I am on the cleanse. The master cleanse. A cleanse to disperse the crap I have been putting into my body for the past 25 years, the emotional baggage that I have allowed myself to carry, and the spiritual side of myself that has long been ignored.

I really don't know exactly what I am trying to get out of is all a vague blurry haze in front of my face. But, I feel as though I have been blindly walking along the same path for too long. It is time for a change. And, I am ready to try almost anything at this point. This particular change is mother tested and approved - so it must be good =)

Day 1:
Not as bad as I thought. I took all the advice that I gleaned from fellow cleansers and avoided ever getting truly hungry. Oddly enough I actually felt somewhat full all day. It was really hard to not get my usual PB&J from the lunch lady - she is a sweetheart.
The farmer's market stocked me up on what I needed for the most part. Although not difficult, this is not a particularly cheap endeavor. I feel surprisingly awake for only getting 6 hrs of sleep. My energy is fairly constant, and my emotional ups and downs are manageable. I just really miss the whole 'chewing' thing that food provides. Weird.

As for life in general I am looking forward to a number of things...
Seeing Ray LaMontagne in Asheville
School being out - Roadtrip!!!
Going to New York City for Frankie's b-day
Teaching next month for Down South Swing
Seeing Christabel's music video with yours truly and the Knoxville peoples.
What it is like to not crave anything or anyone.

Friday, April 10, 2009

a plan

We all make plans. Lists. Things to do. Goals. Some of us do it just to ease our minds. Some of us do it to keep from wandering aimlessly. I am fan of setting goals. But, I am also fond of change. Growing up I had to learn to not set my heart on anything or anyone. A nomadic lifestyle keeps you from getting attached to people, places, or things. I have found that the older I get the more I long for solidity, but thrive on change - out of habit. This is quite frustrating being such a goal-oriented person.

Someone asked me what brought me peace. I responded:

Peace is a drive in the mountains with the windows down.
The freedom of not craving anyone or anything.
Peace is not waiting, just being.

I cannot check all of those off my list - but I am working on them everyday. Spring break brought me the peace of the mountains. I went up to Boone to spend time with Michelle, catch up with some old friends, and enjoy the fresh air.
Not waiting for anything is a difficult task these days. We are always waiting for more money, nicer things, for the traffic light to change, the weekend, a new album to come out, a big event to happen, the perfect person to come along. With all this waiting where does the living happen? After all the let downs and mistakes I have made I have resolved to not impatiently wait, but rather make all the moments count. While sounding so cliche it has many ways.

Going back to Boone reminded me of what I am waiting for. What I really want. What I am working towards. A career in higher education. A front porch with a mountain view. All four seasons. The sounds of silence and birds outside my window. A garden. I might not have these thing today...or next year...or maybe not even the year after that...but it is definitly in my 10 year plan...

So for now I am going to live the hell outta my life. Take every opportunity that comes along. Not hold back. Enjoy the incredible people that surround me. Reconnect with old friends. And just breathe. Because one day, I will be going home.