Saturday, March 3, 2012

Getting Back to "Normal"

As you could say. Normal is relative. Normal isn't always good and it isn't always bad. Normal is just...what you're used to. And since I took 10 to ingest nothing but liquids, there really isn't a normal for me right now.

I'm not going back to eating the way I used to, that's for dang sure. I think I've done a pretty good job at proving so the last couple of days. Yesterday at work, the managers had a meeting at Noon so since they couldn't go out to lunch, they had it brought in. Guess what it was? PIZZA!

Oh, and salad. Gotta have something remotely healthy right? Not so much. Yes this salad is tasty-- the antipasto salad from Paladinos. It has all the bells and whistles; olives, salami, pepperonicinis, a delectable Italian dressing all over... ... ... iceberg lettuce. BARF! If it makes you feel virtuous to nosh on tasteless, nutritionless leaves covered with fatty toppings, be my guest. I'll admit, that is one circumstance in which I will eat iceberg lettuce-- what can I say? I'm a wanna be Italian!

Pizza wouldn't be so terrible if it was baked on a whole wheat crust and made with cheese that was a little more pungent so you could us less and topped with vegetables to take the glycemic index down. But alas, even though some of these pies had veggies on them, the cheese was probably dripping with oil and the crust, I betcha, white as a paper towel.

They put the leftovers in the fridge in the kitchen. When my 2pm snack attack hit me, I had such a hard time!! When I went in the fridge to get something I got a whiff freshly baked dough and garlic! How much more fragrance does one need to survive? I wanted a piece. I wanted one so bad!

I had plans to have friends over for drinks and dessert that night. I had my heart set on making Key Lime Pie from our left over limes from the cleanse. There was no way I could have pizza today and still feel good about myself that night while I noshed on pie, chips and dip whilst the wine and drinks kept flowing. I restrained. I was SO PROUD of myself!

Then this morning I went to a benefit event for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. There was coffee, donuts, popcorn, cotton candy and food galore! I wasn't hungry so I didn't eat anything. Well isn't that principle number one? If I was hungry, there were some apples and little things of yogurt. I find that healthy options are usually available but just in smaller quantities. And you have to look real close.

So all of the little dancers are helping themselves to donuts and cotton candy and collecting free ice cream coupons from Burger King and I say...well...good for them. They're young. Their metabolisms are racing. They should enjoy. I just had no desire for sugar whatsoever. It was free but who wants free fat and disease? Not I. Not anymore. It's a lot easier to resist eating free junk food when I just got off of 10 days of eating nothing!

During the cleanse I thought "I can't have that  food or I will not get the benefits I'm looking forward to." The benefits of the cleanse were immediate. Nothing has changed since I went off the cleanse--I can't have that junk food or I will not get the benefits I'm looking forward to! The only difference is that these benefits are long term.

Last night, yes, I indulged a little. Ok, a little more than a little. Two margaritas, a glass of wine, a slice of pie, a chocolate chip cookie and countless dippings of chips in salsa or the bacon ranch yumminess Deb brought over (AND THEN LEFT HERE, THE SNEAK!).

But I know today is my day to compensate. I'm going to the gym later on and then having taco salad for dinner with Amber. I'll bring my pie so it can be disposed of.

Oh but I had honey nut cheerios with whole milk for breakfast :/ When options are limited, you do what you have to. At least they're whole grain.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ease Out Day 3

According the THE BOOK, Day 3 is the last day for a guided food plan. I was supposed to have had fresh OJ for breakfast. Veggie soup for lunch and quinoa, salad and steamed veggies for dinner. Whatever.
I woke up starving so instead of toughing out the time it would take me cook some eggs (I was out of oranges) I took the last few sips of my protein drink from yesterday. Then about 15 minutes later I had one slice of 100% whole wheat toast with Schmucker's natural peanut butter on top.
I got to work and I was TIRED. I'm unsure whether I should credit this to my short night of sleep (at least 6 hours I think) or the lack of nutrition. Or perhaps my body is mad at me because I still had more toxins to flush out and I needed to stay on the cleanse longer. I'm not going back into it. I'm sorry but I like cooking. I like eating. I love to have fellowship over food and drinks with friends. I'll do it again just not now.
How I felt was similar to how I feel when I wait too long in the morning before drinking coffee. I was tempted to have a cup all morning. I figure why should I do that to myself when I've gotten this far? Plus if what I have is caffeine withdrawal how come it's kicking in now after 12 days of not having any? I resisted.
At 11am I was going a little dizzy so I had a rye cracker. Delicious but so loud! That held me over till noon when I heated up last night vegetable soup and had that with 2 rye crackers onto which I spread a thin layer of plain cream cheese. Yes, dairy is not in the plan for today but I'm DYING I need sustenance. I'm sure I'll be fine. I haven't thrown up yet.
It's 3:42 and I'm starting to get a "need to eat" headache. I think I'm justified in having a nibble.

Okay, so that didn't go as well as planned! Yikes! All of a sudden I had this gassy pain and I ended up in the bathroom for about 10 minutes, uh, eliminating quite a lot of what looked like orange pulp. It just kept coming out! I couldn't believe my body would hold onto so much!

It didn't end there either. I went to Garrison's and felt a little more pain that sent me to the toilet for another 10 minutes. Ok I know most people go to the bathroom for this amount of time to, well, do their business. But I don't. I'm quick. In and out, no sitting or waiting, reading or pushing for me. It's the least appealing thing I could do. I would much rather wait until I absolutely HAVE to go and then make my way to the throne. But anyhow, I felt sick. I was in there for a while and what I smelled was very similar to what I smelled during the cleanse: lemon and cayenne pepper. Could my body have held onto that for this long? I'm so confused!

Since ending the cleanse and returning to food, I have been so much more tired. Especially after eating a meal, even a light one. We had a salad with chicken, olives, blue cheese and lots of vegetables on top. I elected to use red wine vinegar as my dressing instead of Greek as Garrison used. Usually after eating such a salad, I feel sated and no longer hungry. But after finishing the salad last night, I felt FULL. Crawled into bed and stayed there until the alarm went off.

Ease Out Day 2

Yeah...I'm definitely not following these guidelines to a T.
I started the morning off with about 12oz of orange juice and brought my veggie broth to work with me. At about 10am I was feeling out of sorts so I had half a grapefruit with maple syrup drizzled over top. OH YUM. I'd notice every now and again I start doing something and my mind or body wasn't sharp so I'd have another snack.
Before I went off to lunch, I ate an orange as fast as I could because I had to go to the store to pick some stuff up. After about 40mins, that wore off. I thought about what my friend told me. She said that the dizziness is a lack of iron. BINGO! Of course, I just came off my period so I'm low on iron. I'm a woman. That's why Garrison isn't dizzy and I am.
I got a protein shake. Ok, that was, like, the most deliberation I've ever done over a drink ever. I picked up the vanilla chai one because it's DELICIOUS! But I'm looking at the ingredients and I see "cane sugar" no go. I put it back. I pick up a few others that don't have sugar but I can't stop thinking about that chai. I WANT IT! I look again to see if it specifies that it's unprocessed cane sugar that hasn't been bleached and all that horrible stuff. No specifications. Well, what if it's lower on the ingredient list? Nope. It's second, right after soy milk. I look at other drinks again to see if I can find one with a remarkable iron content.
The Mango smoothie has 25% iron. I don't waaaaaaaaant mmmmmmmmanngoooo mooom! I want CHAI!
I'm giving up sugar. I'm giving up sugar. I'm giving up sugar.
What do I do? Do I go for it anyway and say "Eff it, I'm gonna answer my taste buds when they're calling out for chai." Nope. I picked up the mango. I wasn't disappointed either because it was tasty. I also procured some baby greens (iron), broccoli (more iron), and rye crackers as per suggestion of Mr. Book Writer. By the time I'm in front of the crackers deciding what I want, I feel my brain just kinda slipping off to the unknown. Time to pick one and GO.
I've never had a rye wafer before. They don't look tasty at all. But let me tell you, when you haven't anything crunchy in over a week, they are HEAVEN. Especially alongside home made vegetable broth. What makes the broth taste better is that it was practically free to make.
I get back to my desk at work and I've already had like 3 of these rye crackers. I left them out on my desk because I didn't want them in the fridge or the drawer because I'd forget to bring them home. So what did I do? I nibbled. That's a bad work habit!!! That's how I ended up with excess pounds! This is not good....what do I do? At 3pm, time for a cracker. At 345pm, time for a cracker with banana spread on top. Oh my gosh, bananas taste amazing! This one was sweet and almost had notes of honey! I was pleased.
I'm thinking, this can't be good. I was supposed to have done this cleanse to break old habits and recognize when my hunger is legit and when it's bogus. But I get so damn bored at work!
Later on for dinner (when it was supposed to have been our first time back on solid food (oops) we had veggie soup, rye crackers and.... ... ... ... MEATBALLS. Yes. Veal, pork and beef meatballs for dinner on day 2 off the cleanse. You're not supposed to have meat for a good long while but I wanted to see if my body could handle it and see if we could be ready for the Beer dinner Thursday night. Well I just took tiny bites and between the two of us, we only ate 5, dipping them in a bit of apple bbq sauce. SOO TASTY. I didn't have anything weird for my stomach but my appetite was, of course, smaller than usual and I knew I wouldn't be ready for a 6 course dinner AND beer anytime soon.
So we called it. As I was watching the food commercials in between the bachelor, I got a little grumbly but I resisted because another unspoken vow of mine was to NEVER eat after dinner. Not even occasionally as I had. So I went to bed on an empty stomach and my body thanked me for it :)

Ease Out Day 1

Yesterday was the first day off the cleanse. I celebrated my 5 pound weight loss by wearing a pair of pants that I haven't been able to squeeze in for a few months.
Tom Woloshyn's book instructed me to drink nothing but fresh squeezed orange juice the first and second day off the cleanse and then vegetable soup the second evening.
So I grabbed an 8lb bag of Florida organges from Wegmans in preparation thinking "This will get us through two days of juicing." HAH!
Guess how many oranges it takes to get a standard glass of orange juice. Just guess. TWO AND A HALF!
After I made my breakfast drink and squeezed another 24 ounces to take with me to work in a water bottle, there were 5 oranges left. Enough for Garrison to have 28oz for the entire day! I picked up another 8lb bag (it's a good thing Wegmans put a $4.99 price freeze on these!) and brought it back thinking it could get us through the rest of the day and into Day 2. Not so. We were out by 7:30 this morning.
So while I was at Wegmans I bought, like, THE BEST bottled orange juice you'll ever find because they squeeze it right in the store with this crazy powerfull juice press that annihaltes the entire orange, not peeled or sliced, and makes it into the most delicious drops of heaven you'll ever drink. This OJ was our saving grace through Way Disciple. We couldn't drink alcoholic beverages for the 6 months while we were on the program but when we discovered this orange juice we found that it brought on a surge of euphoria that far surpassed any buzz you could get from a vodka tonic.
As I arrived back at the office, I felt a little dizzy so I just drank more orange juice and I felt better. Then at about 3:30, I felt dizzy and weak. Hmmm, strange. I never felt dizzy, weak, malnourished or anything while on the cleanse so I was confused. I drank more orange juice--the whole pint I had just bought. Still felt dizzy.
I'm thinking what should I do? Should I try and eat something? I just ran out of orange juice so I'm at a loss for what to do. At work there are fruit bowls on the kitchen tables. Maybe I should have an orange. So I start peeling the sucker and it's  SO HARD! It's as if I've never peeled a citrus fruit before. I'm peeling and peeling and the pith is stayin on the orange. Ugh. All I want is to pop a piece of this thing in my mouth!
When I finally break the sections loose, immediately, without thinking about it, without taking a ceremonious moment to think TAH DAH! My first morsel of solid food since Friday February 17th at 9:30pm, I place it onto my tongue and start chewing.
Chewing? I haven't done this in so long! It feels foreign. I have to move my tongue within my mouth to get the food pieces to my teeth so they can do the orange juicing for me. How strange. Well I'm starting to feel a touch better and I get in the car to drive. Thank goodness I was with it enough to get to Garrison's apartment to juice some more oranges. This time I added a drizzle of maple syrup to see if it'd give me some sustenance. It did. But my body told me to feed it some more.
As per Dee's suggesting I fixed up some of my vegetable broth from my BROTH BAG!!! I'll have to write a separate post about my broth bag since I didn't take photos this time. But it's cool. Let me tell you.
After sipping on that a bit, I felt fine for a few hours. I went to bed hungry but I feel like that's a good habit for me to get into. Now I'm looking forward to introducing more solid (ish) foods on  Day 2!!!

Master Cleanse Day 10!!

I made it!!! Well almost. As I'm beginning to write this it's 9pm.
Today at work I did fine. Energetic, upbeat, getting my tasks done. I made my way through the kitchen resisting the urge to grab something off the tables. It was so much more easy knowing I only have one more day of this.
I just finished the final eliminations from my SWF which was...uh...a little more dramatic this time? I didn't feel sick like I did yesterday but I definitely camped out in the bathroom a lot longer than I had in previous days. The results do I say this and still maintain my air of mystery? Let's just say the eliminations were sudden and forceful but by the end came out basically clear and lighter in color than the rest of the week.
Moving along...
I definitely recommend this process to anyone who is willing to learn the details in depth and invest this time, energy, willpower and, sadly, money into discovering better health. I certainly couldn't coach anyone through it. But I could definitely cheer you on!! I think we all make unhealthy choices and the cleanse is a nice way of reversing those, taking them out of the body. Erasing the slate so you can start anew. And then you can return to your old habits if you want but who wants to go back to a mud puddle right after taking a shower?
This is a whole lot different than I had expected. Good different. I've gained much more than I thought I would.
The end for now.

Master Cleanse Day 9

I started out the day doing really well, smiling, talking to people, feeling energetic, moving (light) furniture. I was a little unfocused during the class session because I didn't time my drinks very well.
During theses 2 class sessions, the teacher uses a lot of examples revolving around food. I'm like UGH! But once I had my lemonade I felt better. Garrison thought we should make our drink concentrate and mix it up during the break. I told him I didn't think that was a good idea because I just didn't want people asking about the cleanse and getting distracted from the material being taught at the class. So instead we brought bottles of pre-made lemonades. You're really NOT supposed to do that but we had to be practical. The funny part is that all since we were cleansing and just having the bottles with us, people were asking us questions about it. 'DOH! That's people getting distracted and not focusing on the word being taught...
Oh well. We've found that it's something that people can do to get healing and deliverance so it was good that we shared with them what we were doing and how it could benefit THEIR life. There's one guy who has had some health issues. He was in and out of the hospital but no one could figure out what was wrong with him. If he did this cleanse, imagine how much better he would feel!
After I got back, I was feeling a little lightheaded and tired. I took my herbal tea at about 1:30pm and it kicked in about 5pm. I felt like crap. All I wanted to do was lay down. I must have run to the bathroom 12 times. But not much came out. Sometimes nothing. I'm thinking "Am I done? Is this it?" but I still felt awful so maybe I should keep going. At some point I finally got up and felt better. There's no way I'm dealing with that at work so I didn't drink the tea at night.
Now it's the morning of day 10 and I couldn't be more excited!! I'm not taking ANY laxative until I get out of work. Well maybe I could drink some tea around 4pm. Then will probably do my SWF when I come back for one last flush of the colon before easing my way out of the cleanse and back into normal eating.
Ah yes. This morning's weigh-in was 5 pounds less than Day 1. Good news?? As long as I can keep it off.

Master Cleanse Day 8

I don't know, I guess you could call this a "problem" day.
I didn't get much sleep so I was sort of off. I woke up around 6 to start laundry and get ready for the day. Garrison figured on past timings that if I took my herbal laxative (which he calls poop tea) at 8am I wouldn't find myself sitting on the porcelain throne till about 2pm. Cool. So that's what I did and I made it through the class just fine. I had to pee a bunch but nothing else.
But when we arrived at Garrison's apartment about 12:30pm, I headed straight to the head and was indisposed TILL about 2pm. Boo.
After that we went to Wegmans for more lemons. I had a headache and severe fatigue so I followed that with an hour and a half nap! I'm currently just coming to, drinking my SWF and gonna head over to Karen's in a few to watch a movie. Hopefully get to cuddle with some felines too.
I don't know if today was a healing crisis or if I was just tired from going to bed late and waking up early the last few days. Either way, I'm SO looking forward to being done. I miss food so bad.
My friend JoAnna was describing how she broiled her fish to me today. I was dying.

Master Cleanse Day 7

I'm getting an early start on recapping the day that's already happening because I'm bored.
Oh speaking of boredom, I have been asked to mention the following: The views of my blog do not reflect those of the company I work for. Especially my article about cake.
Last night I started drinking my tea at 10:20pm last night. A side note, I have felt generally happy while doing this cleanse. More so than on any normal day of doing whatever. At work sometimes I let my mind wander and I just stew over the most ridiculous things and I find myself very upset and drained by the end of the day. On the cleanse, not so. I'm focused on what my thoughts, desires and cravings are. I think about what would happen if I weren't on a cleanse. Most of the time I'd eat any thing just to relieve some momentary boredom. My thoughts have been a lot more productive while on this cleanse.
BUT there have been 2 times I did indeed cry and have a breakdown. They were both after 10:30pm and in response to something that's been bugging me for a significant length of time. It was a surprise to me though. I go from being happy all day long to right down the emotional drain.
After 10:30pm.
Having been provoked.
Moving along,
This morning I woke up at 4:40am with severe stomach cramps. Not much came of them. Went back to bed, woke up after 6. In the basement bathroom at about 10 till 7. I didn't do my SWF I just did NOT want to deal with that at work. I wanted an emergency free day. Well. It was after about 9 o Clock. I felt like I was dying from 8-845 but magically after the last elimination from last night's tea, I was energetic! I was jumping and dancing and smiling, striking poses, being wild. Just like the old Juli most people know.
The other night I texted Sadie. We hadn't talked in forever. She asked what was going on in the Juli Show and it brought so much joy to me she reminded me of that! She used to say "You're the star of the Juli Show!" It's true! My life is a big musical production with lights, costuming, song and dance. Every now and again I lose touch with it and fall into something far less pleasant.
Maybe it's all the toxins in my body. Maybe it's the extra weight bringing me down. Whatever it is, I've flushed it away (pun intended) and am now feel fabulous again. I'm not making this up either. I feel really, really good.
My thought is that I had a healing crises on days 5 and 6 and am now experiencing the day 7 euphoria some have mentioned. I'm glad we extended our cleanse to 10 days.
What sort of excites me here is that this week has been full of temptations to eat; cookies, bagels, bread and pizzas, muffins and donuts in the office every single day. The best part of it was that I overcame the temptation bearing in mind the immediate consequence: ending my cleanse before reaping all the benefits, not to mention ending my cleanse in the WRONG WRONG way. It made me think of how I can control my mind to resist the treats on a non cleansing week.
Ok sure, you say. There's nothing wrong with having a treat every now and again. True, it's not gonna kill me if I eat unhealthy occasionally. But. I simply cannot sample the food that gets brought into this place every single time. Why? BECAUSE IT HAPPENS NEARLY EVERY FRICKEN DAY!! Holy cow!
I'm considering telling everyone I've given up white flour and white sugar for lent. I don't participate in the lenten season but people at work know I'm a Christian so maybe they'll buy it.
OH- did I mention I had a weigh in this morning? Four pounds down from Day 1. Maybe that's why I'm striking poses, singing and dancing!
I took my SWF after work and was kinda dying all night. Fell asleep on the couch again and had trouble falling asleep at night. I'm taking my herbal laxative in the morning so that I won't be exploding until after the class in the afternoon. I hate the SWF.

Master Cleanse Day 6

I'm lumping yesterday's details today in just a general...this sucks. Moderately.
I traded the SWF for the herbal laxative because I somehow remembered the tea being a little gentler. My memory must be failing me. I was in and out of the bathroom from 10am till about 3:30pm. I felt like I was dying. The cramps had subsided but the fatigue was still present. Oh I forgot to mention that even though I chose to do this cleanse mainly for health reasons, I was encouraged at the sight of a little bit of weight loss but now I can kiss that thought goodbye because I'm retaining all my womanly water this week. Great. My appetite is also increasing as it usually does on my period so I've been having more lemonade more frequently. They say the more lemonade you drink the better but because weight loss is moving up to a more priority-ish goal from the cleanse, I'm getting frustrated.
Also, I crunched a few numbers and determined it's costing me $5 more than food per day to cleanse. After I learned this, I'm thinking...uhhh...we don't REALLY need organic lemons...and is there any place I can get Grade B maple syrup for less than $40 per half gallon? Well there is. Mother Earth Foods, $33. Cha-ching! Sort of. It's still really expensive to clean out your system. But I guess a $60 10 day cleanse is a bit better than a crazy doctor bill.
Anyhow, I felt infinitely better once I had my final bathroom trip in the afternoon, just in time for the workday to be nearly over.
I think tomorrow I'm may try to get up at some insane hour so I can get everything out before I go to work.

Master Cleanse Day 5

I'm trying to remember what it was like. It was very much like today. Feeling really tired and sorta sick. Tom Woloshyn describes problem days as "healing crises." If you're hitting a rough patch during the cleanse you're likely in the middle of getting rid of some serious toxins and bad things hanging out in your body. This is when some people give up because they can't take it anymore. But you really have to move through it because your body has started a process and wants to finish it. If you cut it short, you might get sick after coming off the cleanse.
Yesterday I skipped my morning laxative for a smoother work day and I didn't have to deal with uncomfortable back and forth bathroom trips (well I still peed a lot so I was going back and forth a good deal). I was also full swing on my period so I was dying. My energy was low, I felt like crap and I had cramps that I couldn't squelch with pills! On a day like this before the cleanse I would have given myself permission to eat whatever I wanted to soothe myself of the discomfort of having my monthly visitor. I couldn't indulge in chocolate or attend to the mountain of fresh bagels sitting on the break room table (NEXT TO HOME MADE BANANA BREAD) but I could find other ways of self-soothing.
I had taken out $5 cash at Wegmans the previous day when I bought lemons because I wanted to get some sea salt from the dollar store (which accepts only cash or check). Well my dollar store visit on Day 5 did not yield any sea salt. But the benefit about shopping at the dollar store is that, well, EVERYTHING is a dollar! So you can get 3 things for 3 dollars and effectively reduce stress via retail therapy without breaking the bank. No, you don't get the highest of quality from the dollar store but who needs your dish towel to be high quality? I mean seriously. That's one thing where quantity matters more.
I digress. But what ultimately happened is I learned how to self-soothe without food!
After I got back from work I hit up the shower and headed to the gym to sit in the hot tub. It was recommended that you use a sauna or something to sweat toxins out of your body. Hot tub...sauna...whatever. I gave some of my achey muscles a jet massage then dizzily stumbled out and back to take my SWF (hell) watch Glee, read a book and pass out.

Cake: A Reflection

I've had so many moments of clarity thus far in my cleanse. Not really epiphanies or big realizations but lots of thoughts on how to improve my life and relationship with food after I come off this cleanse.
Random story:
Every year my Grandma Welling's church has a Mother-Daughter banquet around Mother's Day. It's in the musty church basement. They serve leathery roast beef, butter-slathered vegetables, a moderately decent salad (hey, I won't knock the whole meal), coffee, tea and cake.
If my memory isn't failing me, my Aunt was pregnant at the time so I had to have cousin is 19, I'm 24 so I was no older than 5...wait...really? I remember this and I was 5?
Anyhow, I don't know why but my mom never insisted I eat cake with a fork, I was always allowed to simply pick up my piece of cake and take bites from it setting it down and picking it up with my hands again. My Aunt corrected my rude behavior by telling me I should be eating my cake with a fork. I don't remember the exact words she said but whatever they were, I was incredibly hurt by them and retreated to the bathroom to cry.
What 5 year old knows that the bathroom is the designated crying area? I thought I was older than 5 but I thought the reason my aunt snapped at me was because of pregnancy hormones and I don't remember the baby being around...who the hell knows.
Anyhow, that's my first unpleasant memory of this American (as far as I understand it) social phenomenon known as CAKE. Since my childhood, cake just hasn't been my favorite dessert. Sometimes I won't eat it because it's dry but I don't really get excited about decently baked cakes. My non-favoritism for cakes has even been subject to criticism. In the same day I told someone I'm not fond of cake and I don't really watch a lot of movies, he responded by asking "What else don't you like? Freedom?!?!" When considering having some other sort of dessert at my wedding (don't get too excited, nothing is official) I had a friend threaten to not attend if I wasn't going to have cake!
Cake is served at birthday parties along with ice cream! Then if you're at a really good party, you get to whack a pinata until candy comes cascading out of its body. Then you run and grab the candy and eat MORE SUGAR.
Cake is served at weddings. The bride and the groom hold the knife together and then simultaneous jam it in eachother's mouth.
::EDIT:: Apparently I didn't re read the above sentence, how hilarious! What it is supposed to have said is, "The bride and groom hold the knife together to cut the first tiny slices of their wedding cake and then simultaneous place the slices in one anothers' mouths to signify that they will feed one another for the rest of their lives. How cute.
When a well liked employee is leaving the company, there's cake. Mothers' day: cake. Baby shower: cake. Valentines day: cupcakes.
What is it with special occasions and cake? It's not like cake is all that exotic. It has a light and fluffy body and it's topped with frosting. It's the same basic flavor from bite 1 to bite 7. Or if you're my boyfriend, bite 17. might still be bite 7 because he takes pretty generous forkfuls. Oh sure, you can decorate it with fancy pictures, frosting flowers and basically have every single color present on your celebratory customized for the occasion cake.
But when it comes to sweets, I would really rather enjoy a dense fudgy brownie. Or a well made chocolate truffle. Or hand made tiramisu. How about a perfectly textured chocolate chip cookie?
Or maybe cake is a more communal thing. It's one big mass of sugar and flour that becomes cut up so that everyone in the room can be eating a piece of something from the same unit. Truffles might just be too isolating. Who wants to be deserted during dessert?
If that's the case why don't we celebrate things with something else communal like a big pot of chilli? Oh right. You can't decorate chilli with a picture of me at age 4. Plus if someone has already had lunch or dinner, who would want to consume that extra bowl of chilli. But there's ALWAYS room for dessert right? Cake can make a great breakfast even, especially paired with coffee!
I can think of plenty of things I would rather eat than cake. But there just doesn't seem to be anything else you can decorate, customize, write things on and easily make in large quantities so that you can divvy it up. Everyone who partakes of the cake is celebrating the same person or people being honored with the cake. So if you refuse a piece for reasons other than an honest-to-goodness physical intolerance for one of the ingredients (gluten sensitivity, diabetes), you're being rude.
During this cleanse, I'm thinking of doing away with a number of things that have been present in my diet for the sake of my health and well being. Two of those are white flour and white sugar. I can honestly say I'd LOVE to commit whole heartedly to giving those up...

But there will always be cake.

Master Cleanse Day 4

Well today is Day 5 and I'm writing about Day 4 so I think we're officially on the...right?...track. Whatever.
So yesterday wasn't rough per se but I had some unexpected stuff happen. I took the salt water flush (SWF from here forward) in the morning at about 6:40 and finished drinking it at 7am. In the book it says it can take anywhere from a half hour to 1 and 1/2 hours for anything to happen. For me it was more like an hour. Then they say it's about an hour of eliminations (not all at once) but you'll be fine for the rest of the day. Well for me it was more like 3 and a half hours. It was terrible. I didn't exactly make it once. Word to the wise, don't fart if you're cleansing.
The rest of the day I was fine. I had lots of energy and I was really upbeat. I noticed my face looking slimmer and my clothes feeling looser. I got my hair cut on my lunch. My stylish was great, she might want to come to fellowship this week. Oh and I love my hair :)
After work, I watched the bachelor and just relaxed. It's good they don't give full on shots of the food they're eating, I wouldn't have been able to handle it. The commercials had food in them though. Not cool.
Oh I forgot to mention that there were Zebbs chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen this afternoon. Zebbs. Cookies. Are. Amazing. I took a whiff. They weren't warm and aromatic. That kind of made me feel better about not getting to eat one. I don't know what I'm gonna do when I come off the cleanse. I have internally vowed to give up white flour and white sugar but it won't be easy. I know how bad it is for my body but it's SO TASTY! And I'm not always going to have the time to make my own, ya know?
I went back to my place around 930pm to start my laundry and make my herbal laxative tea. While I was making it Tracy decided she wanted tea too so we chatting in the kitchen while sipping our evening brew. Women talking with other women is a very good thing. I think talks like that meet both our needs. It's not that Garrison has a problem with listening to me but there's something about talking with a woman that feels better than talking with a man, especially if it's just general observations of life. It must meet a big need for her too. I can tell her husband just wants to zone out after a long day of working. I'd like to make an effort to come home earlier at night more often to make sure the talks don't run me too late into the the night!
Even though I feel thinner, the scale isn't showing me much below my beginning weight. But-- I figure that's because my period just started last night. I'm all bloated. It's odd because before I started the cleanse, weight loss was not my main focus. I knew I just wanted to allow my body to get rid of all the crap trapped inside of it and allow it to heal itself. Now that I'm on it though, and noticing a little bit of weight coming off, I'm really excited/anxious about the weight loss bonus that comes with this. I'm also of the understanding that when you do something like this, it's not like the weight stays off forever. But I read an article by a guy who conjectured that the weight would slowly come back on if you reverted to old eating habits. But if you take this opportunity to reshape what you've done in the past, you can keep off the pounds you lost. The cleanse then has served as a kick start to make you feel good about your body and the journey you'll be taking it on. Makes sense to me.
The herbal laxative kicked in around 6:45. The scary part was Garrison's previous evening's tea went into effect the same time mine did and he has a one bathroom apartment!! So we were nervous for a bit but there weren't any accidents, thank God. What I find interesting about that is that he took his about an hour and a half after me in the evening. My system must work slower than his. In the book, that's an indication of hosting a parasite. Eeeeek!
He took his SWF but I didn't do anything because it took SO LONG yesterday to get it all out! I'm just going to wait till I come back tonight and so I'm conveniently near a bathroom for 4 consecutive hours.
The combination of my cramps and the fact that today marks 5 days since I've had a meal is pretty challenging. I felt a little like I was sick until I had my 2nd lemonade. Now I'm better but still crampy and no allowance to ease myself with ibuprofen! I'm glad that we decided on doing more than the 4 days originally planned because I can definitely tell I have more detoxing to do.
Some people get sick if they cut their cleanse short. I don't want to do that. I'm also thinking of ways to incorporate detoxifying foods into my everyday diet. I know it won't be a full on cleanse but I'd like to think that I'm flushing myself on a regular basis. I'm very likely to repeat this thing.

Master Cleanse Day 3, Pat II

Think maybe I should do this on a forum instead?
I had my last lemon drink at about 7:15pm so I figured I wouldn't be due for another one for a half hour or so. I don't like getting into detail about what I'm passing and when but I figure what I'm experiencing is pretty normal.
About a month or so ago, Garrison and I made our first big purchase-- a set of Royal Prestige cookware. I. LOVE. THEM. It's a more conductive therefore energy saving system that also allows you to cook with less oil and water so that nutrients stay in your food. They're amazing.
Long story short, the guy who sold them to us has a weekly video he puts up of him cooking recipes requested by his customers. So with this downtime I have, after having submitted my federal tax return, I decided to browse a bit on his youtube channel. Bad idea. I miss food so much. I miss cooking. I miss getting warm over the stove. I miss stirring. I miss all the stimulating flavors and the sweet feeling of sharing a meal with someone you love.
But I *feel* just fine. I'm not dizzy or weak like I thought I'd be.
I just miss eating. Ugh.
When I got back from work I read on to the addendum sections of Tom Woloshyn's book and about removing parasites from the body. Most people have parasites in their bodies.
I'm sure I have one or more...and I'm like I NEED TO GET RID OF IT!!!
I'm not inviting anyone to tell me that I'm paranoid or this is bull. I just need to get it out of me and I'm so glad I'm on the cleanse...
but I miss food.

Master Cleanse Day 3

I'm actually halfway into day 3 so this will log yesterday and today.
Yesterday was a tad wonky till the end of the day. I had the Smooth Move tea in the morning but nothing happened until around 11:30am. Garrison and I went suit shopping with a friend. We were fortunate to find Grade B maple syrup in the health food store that was conveniently next to the suit shop!
Then we agreed to go to Wegmans (the most wonderful grocery store I have ever stepped foot in, for those of you who don't know). We got some more lemons then really started to fade as our friend Amber who was there for "a few things" wandered the store a little too aimless for my tastes.Well she wasn't THAT aimless, we were just tired and needed another lemonade.
After that we went to his apartment and continued reading. In the middle of one of the chapters, I decided it was naptime and passed out. When I woke up we finished reading the instructions including how and when to take the laxatives. Around 7:15 I drank the salt water flush. A whooole quart of warm sea salty water. Oh goodness. It didn't kick in for about 45 minutes. Then I spent the next hour running from watching Glee on hulu to the bathroom and back and forth. After that, it's like something just awakened and I've been full of energy and very mentally sharp ever since!
I waited until I got to work to drink the tea again but nothing has happened so far. They recommend doing the salt water flush in the morning and the tea at night but I have to say drinking the salt water in the evening was more convenient then having to run away from my desk at work multiple times per hour.
I took a maple-lemon concentrate with me in a coffee travel cup. It works out well. Just equal parts lemon juice and maple. Scoop out four tablespoons, plop in a glass, add the cayenne and water, stir and enjoy! I do love the taste of the concoction!
I'll be going to Target on my lunch break to exchange a sweater. Maybe I'll find a mechanical juicer while I'm there.

Master Cleanse Day 2

Well I should probably entitle this as day 1 and the previous day 0 because it's the morning and I'm just going to talk about yesterday.
I started the cleanse officially at about 10:40am with my first glass of lemonade. It tastes great! That maple syrup is truly legit. The first few hours were the toughest because I also had a slight caffeine withdrawal headache BUT it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be. I guess I've sufficiently decreased my caffeine dependence to a small enough dose. Haha!
Anyhow, we figured that since we have to drink at least 60oz a day that we'd need a serving every 2 two hours. After the first drink we headed out on some errands, the library (to pick up a book so that we could, uh, read about what we're doing while embarking) and then to Kohl's to see if we could find Garrison a better dish drying rack. There were none. But he found a pair of pants he wanted.
Turns out EVERYONE was in Kohl's yesterday, the lines for checkout were terrible! As we were standing there, I started to get dizzy and feel weak. I felt better once we were sitting down in the car and drove up to get something from one of his buddies. I started reading the book in the car. I didn't know the benefits were as extreme as some have experienced!
We came back and had another drink. Finally. Then we read some more of the book. Then I felt tired and started nodding off so I took a nap. After my nap, we had a drink and kept reading.
Ok ps, this is rather narrative eqsue. I'm not trying to bore whoever the heck might be reading this. This is just a public display of me needed to have these things logged.
Yes. After that we decided we should maybe try to find some Grade B maple syrup because what we started with was Grade A dark amber which is ok but not as quality as grade B. The health food store closed :( We tried wegmans but the only thing there was the same stuff we had been using...
For a whopping $8.49 per 12 oz bottle. That should get use through 3 days of the cleanse.
Yeah. EXPENSIVE! but less expensive than cancer, I guess.
Then I premade my last 2 drink and headed out to a dance show. By this time I was feeling fabulous! Not weak or dizzy, actually very sharp and happy. I grabbed by bottle before the last piece and sipped it. After the show I went to Chilli's with Linda.
Like oh my gosh, I went to a restaurant while fasting. I stared temptation right in the face and I WON THE CONTEST! It was perfect. Linda got a glass of wine, I got a bottle of Dasani and we talked up a storm!
As I left I think I had food smells lingering on my hair and my stomach was feeling grumbly but I made it through. Then I went home, drank the last of my lemonade and passed out.
I dreamt of hosting a dinner for all my coworkers and serving lasagna, baked mac and cheese and a salad. I was sitting there with some on my plate telling myself I couldn't eat it but then every once in a while I'd taste it on auto pilot and go "WHHAAT I WASN'T SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!"
I woke up this morning and drank my laxative tea...but nothing happened. Now I'm on the couch.

Master Cleanse Day 1

So I just went back to look at my previous post from forever ago and I notice a running theme: I'M HUNGRY! I'm very glad I read those thoughts and feelings because I'm about to begin something that will test me in a big, bad way.
I once read a book called "The In-between Boyfriend's book." It was a humor novel about singlehood. I thought it would, I don't know, make me feel better about a recent breakup by dissecting my actions and giving me practical advice. Well it didn't have any advice but it DID have distracting stories and funny anecdotes I often refer to, even now. For example, most breakups happen in October because once Halloween starts the slur of Holidays through Easter, there's no getting out of your relationship so if you see candy starting to line the shelves of your grocery store, brace yourself, you might get dumped soon. Or how men/fathers express their love to you by asking "how's the car?" One chapter of this book was the author's musings during a cleanse/fast she decided to do. When I read that she'd be drinking nothing but a concoction of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper I thought WHHHHAAAATTTT??? Is she nuts?
While I was out Way Disciple, I got to know my teammate Laura and now she's one of my dearest, dearest friends. Even miles away, we are still great friends, supportive of eachothers' lives and all that mushy stuff. She told me one day about how she was really big into fasting one summer and did a number of fasts and cleanses (why she did a few of them over the course of a few short months, I do not know). See, she's a dietetics major so she had my attention. The basic premise of fasting is that when you eat, your body spends a lot of energy on digestion. When you don't eat, your body has all this surplus energy so it cleans itself out. COOL!
And ever since she explained it to me, I always wanted to do a juice fast or something like it. Actually I tried a 24 hour nothing but water fast and it SUCKED. I wanted to break it around hour 18 and I vomited. I was fine the next day though.
THEN a couple days after I moved up here to Syracuse, the people I lived with started a cleanse. They were using filtered water, maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne. RING A BELL? I witnessed them go for a handful of days with no food. They were on the weak/dizzy side and running off to the bath room in the middle of a sentence every so often. I hate talking about...solid I didn't ask them many questions.
But after they came off it, they felt and looked amazing! They had healthy looking skin and felt great! Since then, I've always wanted to do it myself but never head the opportunity come up. I knew I needed to find a week where not much was required of me. I now have a pretty low-demanding job physically (and mentally) but I also teach dance. So since this week is New York State's winter break, I am taking this danceless week to rid my body of toxins. TAH DAH!
I've been planning on this for a few weeks. I've been reading up and getting ready and working on ceasing my snack habit. If you read my previous post, you'll see that I got it bad. I *think* I lost 5 pounds in January. I've been working out and doing my best to resist the office spread of donuts, cookies, baked goods and other unhealthy things that come through our door. I think I'm doing a good job.
Now. I told Garrison, my boyfriend that I will be doing this cleanse. Last week he said "Well I was thinking about this. I have two options while you're cleansing. I can either fend for myself in the kitchen [meaning he'll be eating probably nothing but pb&j sandwiches and microwaved quesadillas for dinner] or do the cleanse with you." I was surprised! This is a guy who likes his FOOD. I grant you he's not Mr. Steak and Potatoes every night but he's also the guy who when he is hungry he tells me about it. Sometimes kinda whines "Me so hungry!" He got really sad when I asked him kindly if he'd refrain from keeping ice cream in his freezer (for my sake).
So if you're still reading this, thanks, congrats and WHY?
Anyhow. Since he decided to do this with me, it means we're doing this together. Well. Duh. But my point is that he now has a say in what happens. Sheesh. Last night I came back to his place after work and I started washing and putting away the dishes (since we won't be needing them for a few days) and pulling the leftover lasagna from the fridge since it's the last perishable food item in there (I'm frugal and I hate wasting food) he said "I was thinking...tonight is going to be me last meal for a few days..."
"Uh huh?"
"And I was thinking what I'd really like for my last meal."
I knew what was coming. I put the lasagna in the freezer and we went to Quaker Steak and Lube. Of course. He loves that place. We had Greek Nachos (SO YUMMY!) as an appetizer. I had two "Jacked up Root Beer Floats" that were AMAZING and, well, full of vodka, and my main course was boneless BREADED wings with magna fries. WHY WHY WHY did I agree to this! There's nothing sexy and tasty at Quaker that isn't god awfully fattening. Eh. I'm not eating for 4 days so it'll even out right?
Well yeah, but I was hoping a modest meal would set me ahead even more!
Anyhow, this brings me to this morning when I didn't have to take the first step of the cleanse (a saline laxative) to experience some bathroom time :(
Aw darn it, there was supposed to be a more clear switching from the narrative leading up to the cleanse to the blogging about the cleanse while it's actually happening.
Too bad.
Now it's about 8am and I'm getting some hunger pangs. I haven't had any lemonade yet but I figure I'd wait till the boyfriend pulls himself out of bed. All I've drank so far is water. I'll keep it that way for a while. In the meantime, I'm gonna watch The Bachelor on Hulu.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Food Journal November 29 2011

7:30am-- 1 cup of home made plain yogurt with 1/2 cup of granola made with honey and dehydrated raspberries. 12oz of black coffee. 1 Dark chocolate Lindt truffle.
My Feelings: I like to eat chocolate when I make a really good cup of french press coffee okay? No, actually I didn't feel very guilty about it. Chocolate with my coffee in the morning is an unparalleled pleasure I'll gladly compensate for. Yogurt and granola is a longtime favorite breakfast choice of mine. I have been improving the healthiness of this meal by seeing where they sneak in all that extra sugar and circumventing it. Hence the home made yogurt coming about. It is made with 2 parts half and half and 6 parts whole milk. BUT IT'S DELISH! And I don't mind the extra fat calories especially because they come with extra nutrients you wouldn't find in skim milk.
That's enough.
12pm: SALAD OF DEATH. Well not really. This was maybe a cup and a half of spinach and red romaine leaves topped with sliced sweet peppers, carrots, grilled chicken and Wegmans' pepperoni cheese (it's not processed and I wanted to go for something more pungent so I wouldn't need lot of cheese), olive oil, balsmic vinegar, salt, pepper, dried basil.
My Feelings: It was delish! By the time I was done, I wasn't really sated but I figured I'd wait a few minutes to see if the satisfied feeling would set in. I then proceeded to the workout room. Walked on the treadmill 20 minutes and did one set of 15 reps of 3 different resistance exercises. Stretched. Sat down. GOD I'M HUNGRY.
Like 130 pm: An ounce or 6-7 piece of Skinny Cow chocolate caramel clusters.
My Thoughts: Have dollar, see vending machine, notice "skinny cow" bag of chocolate thingies. Decide to purchase. Eat. Moderately yummy. Read label. These things aren't really that healthy. Sugar instead of corn syrup which is nice. But still. The only reason they're "skinny" is because it's one of those 200 calorie packs. Bleh.
3pm ish: Thin-style whole wheat bagel toasted with 3tbsp of veggie cream cheese.
Thoughts: I couldn't take it! My job has fruit bowls in our break room but biting into a cold apple sounded like the worst possible thing I could do plus I knew I needed protein and didn't want to spike my blood sugar with pure fruit. So I dug this thing out of the freezer. I felt better after that and I felt like I made a good decision but it left me RAVENOUS at about 4pm.
4pm: I start sneaking off to the kitchen and grabbing pepperoni cheese off the top of my salad for the rest of the week. I couldn't have eaten a whole ounce.
Thoughts: I didn't really feel guilty, I just knew my body needed protein and the cheese tastes great.
5:20pm: More little bites of cheesy things. 2 fresh cranberries.
Thoughts: My boyfriend and I are waiting to hear back from our friend before we start cooking so we don't end up making too little or too much. I'm like weak in the knees and ravenous so I help myself to my cheese snacks. Then once I start popping cranberries I magically no longer feel the need to snack.
6:15: 3/4 cup of brown rice topped with chicken curry cooked with our home made yogurt!
Thoughts: Delish! I'm doing better with my portion/mind control. I could tell when I was full and passed the plate over to my boyfriend. I think this is a healthy meal.
10pm:a microwave-made brownie topped with mudpie ice cream.
Thoughts: ZOMG we need FOOD. I'm like ugghhh have rice-hunger (know what I'm talking about?). Garrison really wants ice cream and I'm thinking JESUS PLEASE NO JUNK FOOD! But then I remember this you tube video about making a brownie in the microwave and all self control went out the window. 15 minutes later (because we had to wait for them to cool off) I'm on the couch diving into this somewhat (and I say somewhat because the brownie really isn't too fantastic) decadent dessert just shoveling it into my mouth because I'm so DAMN hungry! I'm secretly condemning myself for this. I really need to stash more healthy snack food in Garrison's kitchen so when the munchies hit, I'm prepared. ***I refer to myself because apparently he can handle more junk than I can. This makes me resentful. Since we've started dating a year ago and began eating nearly every meal together, he has lost about 20lbs and I've gained about 10. THIS. SUCKS.
End of day. Oh shoot I forgot my beverages. Tomorrow.

This. Sucks.

I went to what's called a charter school in 6th grade for its first (and I think only) year in existence. The whole premise was the government would give a charter to a group that wanted to have a private school to give a less traditional education. Out of 60-70 kids, I was one of 10 Caucasians. No standardized tests classrooms with different grades. We had "gym" class once or twice a week...but no gym. My history teacher then doubled as the gym teacher because he had been in the Army.
I loved his passion for what he taught which was basically nothing but African History all year over and over hoping all the kids would get it. After taking the test the 4th time, I kept getting 100%. When my mom pulled me out after the 3rd quarter, he said "you're taking away my best student!"
Anyhow, Mr.... uhh, I forget...would load us all up in a bus and take us to the YMCA and we'd get to use since our "school" didn't have a gym. Of course being a dahncer and the artsty type I hated all the drills he lead us in. I don't remember everything we did but I remember doing push ups. He would shout out "UUHHP!" and we would do our best to push up and hold it until he shouted "DOWN!"
Now, I don't mean to pigeonhole here, but this was an inner city school. Not a public inner city school, but still a school in the inner city. My classmates weren't raised quite as conservatively as I was to say the least. Being around such a bold, vocal crowd, I gained a bit of an attitude, I became more outspoken, I slowly peeled back layers I had that kept me from speaking my mind. My mother saw this as a bad thing. To me, this was so liberating!
So as my history/gym teacher was shouting out his push up drills, "UHHP!" I'd grunt "This," and as he yelled "DOWN!" I mumbled, "Sucks." Soon my class mates joined me in a chorus of "This. Sucks." as we pushed up and down.
I hated push ups back then and I pretty much still hate them now. But over the years, I've learned that the benefits outweigh the discomfort. And really, I've found that's how most of weight loss begins; you start off going "This. Sucks." but exerting the effort gets easier as you build strength. Then once you start seeing big results, your willingness to do unpleasant activities increases.

I'm not gonna fuss with some blogspot nonsense but I do need a partially public outlet for this shit.
I've read so many health blogs that are full of "you can do it!" and all these saccharine encouragements that a better me is just a sunny jog and a serving of vegetables away. All this "you have to love yourself first" bullcrap just makes me wanna bend over and throw up. I have no desire to develop bulimia so I have a couple options here:
1) Not take anybody's advice and stay fat.
2) Take the damn advice and hate it for a little while yet see results after I stop hating it.
So I'm going to go for number 2 since I really do want to see results. HERE GOES!
Advice: Keep a food journal to record everything you eat drink.
This. Sucks. I don't have a smart phone so it's not like I can carry this damn thing everywhere. Sure I could go get a little purse sized notebook for this purpose but I don't have time to go to the dollar store except on my lunch break and that's when I sneak into the the little workout room and get my 30 minutes of exercise. If I don't work out on my lunch break when am I going to? I can't afford a gym membership and even if I did when would I go?? Before work? Hell no, I can barely pry myself out of bed in the morning! After work? When I come home from work I'm STARVING. Then once I get some cozy pants on, I'm like IN for the night.
What was I talking about? Oh, keeping a food journal. Ok so I've done it before and it has helped me but that was when I was at home all day during the summer. I just don't find it practical to tote something around and write what I eat directly after I eat it.
I know I should just do it, but I might adapt it just a tad just so that I do it. Even if I'm not doing it right, I gotta do it.


 This was written November 28th 2011 on my xanga.

Dear Semi-Private (only due to the death of a trend) Diary,

I am overweight.

This means my BMI is in the overweight category.

Ok, I'm only slightly overweight. But still. I'm not in the "healthy" range. And even if I am right before I step into the shower in the morning, that still makes me borderline overweight. Borderline or not, my health and self confidence are at risk.

Now, I remember vividly the days of eating granola bars at rehearsals for Midsummer and getting a snide comment about being so healthy. I remember writing about that day and sharing my emotional journey on this here xanga a mere 5 years ago. I had a very clear plan to lose weight and keep it off! I stuck to it well. And I looked damn good. But the emotional repercussions that came instead were tough to deal with...
...but I wonder if I'll ever get over myself and just relax (this is somewhat of a separate issue).
What can I blame for those additional 23 pounds?

The fact that I no longer go to Bowling Green and can't use the rec center. Oh, how I romanticize the days of walking from Kriescher to the rec! A 45 minute cardio-strength routine followed by relaxing in the hot tub, getting a jet massage- all the reward I ever needed for working out. I can almost still smell the combination of sweat and old building hitting me as I walked through the door and swiped my card. I can see the steam on the windows. I hear the exact pitch of the fan buzzing in the cardio loft. I feel the tilt of the running track. I hear "Dance, Dance" and "Killer Queen" playing on my primitive mp3 player. I see the dingy walls of the locker room. I feel the mesh of my flip flops pressing to the bottom of my feet. I can see my aqua dolphin towel hanging over the back of my chair. I smell the chlorine of the pool. I remember the bored lifeguard sitting by the window.
Or maybe I can blame the fact that I don't have access to a meal plan to use at the Sundial anymore. I can't help myself to mountains of fresh baby greens topped with every vegetable I could dream up, grilled chicken, olives and redwine vinegar.
Maybe a 40+ hour work week doesn't allow me the time I used to have when I lived at home rent-free to get up in the morning and take ridiculous walks around the neighborhood and do hour-long pilates videos in the family room.
Maybe it's my all-or-nothing mentality that landed me at the weight I have today. For the better part of two years I didn't drink anything but water and I seldom let a cookie or pizza pass my lips.
With all the walking to and from class, the many fourth-floor staircase trips, the foot-mobility to anywhere downtown, the fresh dining hall food, no, the Freshman 15 didn't happen to me.

I feel helpless. At 24 I'm working 40 hours a week at $10 and my benefits suck. I chose to study my passion over riches. The problem is that I didn't pursue a career in my passion so I'm left without either.  Oh sure, I should be grateful. I'm grateful. I can pay for what I need to but all the frivolity I can participate in is funded by my boyfriend.
And maybe that's another thing I can lay my blame upon. He buys me whatever I'd like so I have whatever I crave. He loves me. He spoils me. I eat and drink but I'm not merry because I hate my body. I'm ashamed of my socioeconomic standing.
I don't know how I'm going to be able to raise my children the way I want when the man I might marry wants to live extravagantly.
Is this all so vague?
I planned on talking about my next strategy to lose 20 pounds and how I'm so excited to do so.

Seems I have other issues.