Yesterday’s dietary fail was the first real blip in eight months of new healthy lifestyle habits. I didn’t begin all at once with the full dumpster of dietary deprivations, I let myself gently into these new ways. But within the first two months I’d eliminated all the bad stuff, even the few things I was holding on to with excuses like, ‘oh, a little bit won’t hurt’… and ‘I’m giving up so much, surely I can get away with this’… Out had gone all the sugar (last to go was my favourite Rachel’s Organic Coconut yoghurt, which, I have to admit now, was very, very sweet). And then the biggie for me, out went the crisps (aka potato chips) and other processed salty snacks too (with the exception of my go-to lightweight wasabi flavoured seaweed snack, an ultra-low-calorie port in the snacking storm).
Savouries were actually harder for me to reject than the sugary treats, but I got there – and the challenge for me now is never to buy, never to have crisps/chips or similar munchies in the house. These days, I limit my salty snacks to tiny handfuls if they’re served up at friends’ houses, for example. But I never buy bags of crisps/chips for home any more.
But when Ocado, my supermarket delivery service gave me a full-sized 140g bag of ‘healthy’ organic chia seed corn chips as a sample, it was more than my money-sensible head would allow, to simply throw them away. I’ve thrown away odd chocolate samples before, and even ice cream samples, but ‘healthy’ organic corn chips? They went into the cupboard for some future occasion involving guests. They stayed there for two months. Untouched. Until my weakened willpower overwhelmed me, yesterday afternoon.
But that was yesterday – you felt my pain. And I resolved to make amends to my body with a fast-day. Are you interested in how I got on?
The humous is finished and the rest of the corn chips are in the bin, mulched into slurry. I feel piggish and pig-sick. But my fast-day penance – 24 hours at least – begins here.
I let my angst spill across the screen and I upload my post.
It’s been lovely, all evening, receiving such positive and encouraging comments on my blog post. It has softened the pain of my dietary fail.
I will walk tomorrow morning, whatever the weather. I set out my exercise clothes before I go to bed, making them impossible for me to ignore when I get up.
Those corn chips have settled like a slab of concrete in my gut. It’s more than six hours since I consumed them, but for the first time in months, I have the sense of food in my oesophagus, a precursor to acid reflux. I take a couple of Gaviscon tablets to hold it back.
I’m awake and uncomfortable with heartburn, another sensation I haven’t had in months and months. I deserve this.
Awake again, restless. This time the discomfort is more emotional.
That’s it. It seems I’m to get no more sleep.
Might as well get up then. I weigh myself – no change since yesterday, the humous hasn’t headed straight for my hips then. That’s a plus at least. I dress and get out of the house. Audiobook on iPhone. It’s chilly but not bitter outside, and nice to be out before the rush hour traffic has cranked up. I walk for 50 minutes, pushing myself to go left instead of right at the decision point, choosing my ‘big’ morning circuit over the quickie version.
Back home. Feeling good now, refreshed and virtuous. I know… it’s hardly a marathon, but it’s the right start to the day.
I replace my usual breakfast Bircher muesli mix with a glass of warm water, lemon and ginger. I’ve found a way to prepare it using my Nutribullet, that means I no longer get icky bits of lemon pip and shreds of ginger in my teeth. I whizz it up until it’s frothy, then bung it in the microwave for a few seconds. Tolerable, it awards me a few more smug points. Black coffee follows – that’s not a trial, as it’s my all-day drink of choice anyway.
Instead of munching my breakfast in front of the TV, I head straight for my office (that’s my spare bedroom, by the way), and make a start on this post. Then work – I’m still very busy this week, so good to get my head down and not think about if I’ll get to feeling hungry later.
Worth a mention, I’m even feeling (a bit) better about my brutal haircut today, having made judicious use of ‘product’ and straighteners. (Perry – thanks for reminding me of the proper way to use sticky stuff on my shorn locks – it worked a lot better this morning.)
A paper-shuffling desk morning, and I’m on my third cup of coffee, but no hunger pangs yet, and no inclination to break my 24-hour fast. I’m feeling good; this is a head-clearing and re-setting of my commitment.
Gah! A neighbour has one of those horrible, relentlessly noisy power-wash services spraying (totally unnecessarily IMHO) their already spotless driveway. I’m all for taking pride in one’s property, but this grinding torture looks set to continue for the next couple of hours. It’s eating my brain cells and disrupting my hitherto calm and serene state of food-fast. My head hurts.
Feeling hungry now, but that’s okay. I think I want to enjoy the feeling of hunger, of readiness to eat – because I’ve decided I will eat after 17:00 today, once I’ve completed 24 hours. It means I’ve begun to look forward to what I might prepare for this evening’s meal.
Perhaps three hours to go until I finish work and eat. I’m thinking maybe grilled asparagus with poached eggs and a sprinkle of parmesan. Not sure yet, but hunger is sharpening my need for more than fuel. I want a plate of food that looks appetising too. And it must differentiate significantly from yesterday’s bag of corn chips and hummus scooped from the tub.
I’ve had five cups of coffee today, which I confess is two more than I usually enjoy and one more than I have on an occasional caffeine-heavy day. I know I should have drunk more plain water, but there it is. I like coffee. I’m buzzing a bit, but it’s not so gross. Water from now on, or I will suffer for it tonight.
That’s it – 24 hours – and I actually feel really, really good. I’ve always wondered if I could manage a fast-day and whilst my 24-hours has straddled two days, it is still 24 hours with no food, and it wasn’t even a little bit difficult. So I’ve learnt something about myself, and that’s a positive. I feel I’ve undone the damage from yesterday too, which is, after all, what this was about.
24+1 and I’m signing off. It’s time for dinner!