Day 1. Any day can be a Day 1. Mine was on a Tuesday in January. Yours can be today. I decided, and aren’t those powerful words because we all have the power to control things, we have to just decide to do them…and continue deciding to do them every day. I decided that I was going to be a vampire eater….no food during daylight hours…water, green tea and no food until dinner. Now I grew up Italian…there isn’t a carb I don’t know intimately and I decided to say goodbye to those as well…sigh. I got up at 4:45 on the first day with my stomach gurgling and imploring me to put something inside it- preferably a donut- I got dressed for the gym and was there by 5 am. I did cardio machines for 40 minutes and then a few half-assed attempts to do some weight machines and then I went home and resumed my busy life.
My kids noted that I didn’t cuddle in the bed with them to wake them up instead hitting the lights and shaking them slightly. My students were shocked when I sent a pretty mild-mannered kid to the time out room for a minor infraction. My husband wasn’t too pleased to come home from a job he hates to find the house wasn’t as clean as it normally was (hey a girl has to get to the gym in the afternoon too) to find a meal (that while delicious and homemade) lacked a certain carby brilliance (“Bec, no homemade bread tonight”?). You only have so much energy- I teach math so I know that the equation has to be balanced- that when you add something, you inevitably lose something and that has to be a reality that you are willing to face and own and deal with daily. When people ask how I’m able to do everything, I always answer “I’m not doing everything so well”. There are sacrifices to be made. Being selfish is OK as long as you’re willing to be selfish.
I put the kids to bed and cried to my husband. Real tears over carbs…not that I could express it at the time…I told him I was sad and tired and while he tried to listen and make me feel better, he couldn’t have….I was literally crying over being hungry. Which in itself seems kind of dramatic- I mean I don’t have a distended belly like some poor child starving in some third world country. Hungry doesn’t mean food most of the time though…hungry means comfort and I was uncomfortable with not being able to mask my emotions with food. So I cried, not because I was starving, but because I was allowing the sadness I had pushed down for the last 20 years to manifest and spread like chicken pox and there was nothing I could do but scratch at it. I started thinking about my childhood, my marriage, my general lack of dissatisfaction with myself. It itched and spread but it felt good to rip at that skin even if I knew it would leave a scar.
Plan for this for a couple of weeks- unexplained moodiness, crying over nothing, not wanting to be touched or cuddled- it takes a while for your body to relearn what hunger really means and there will be a revolt but since I’m female, I just looked at it as 2 fun-filled weeks of PMS. It doesn’t seem worth it until you hear that first comment “You look good- what are you doing?” and then it all seems worth it. I lost 5 pounds in that first week and the loss now transforms to the ultimate gain…the satisfaction from eating something bad is now superseded by the words you will start to hear and I swallowed those words like a fat girl at a birthday party and let them sit in my empty stomach until I was full.