Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 6 - "Don't Lick your Fingers"

One of the hardest parts of this program are the ups and downs you feel—which are lovingly referred to as “healing crisis.’”  OK, so maybe it is not so lovingly, but perhaps instead it is spitefully or begrudgingly referred to as this.  Today was one of those healing crisis days.  What is so frustrating is that you don’ know what to think about how you are feeling.  There are moments of this I’ve experienced probably every day, but today it was worse.

The day started out really well, my wife got up and did some 10 minute trainer (since we didn’t have enough time for a P90X session) and I felt down right good after.  Within a few hours my mood was down and my energy felt fairly drained.  I have a tendency to analyze every part of the process to try to figure out exactly why things have changed.  I thought maybe it was because I sat down at my computer to do some work for a few hours or maybe it was that I didn’t get showered and ready for the day right after the workout with my wife this morning or maybe it was just one of those pesky healing crisis experiences—whatever it was I didn’t like it.

Breakfast was as great as ever—steel cut oats along with our green lemonade: celery, kale, lemon, lime, ginger, parsley, spinach and water.  I look at those ingredients and a part of my jumps back 6 years to a different me (health wise) and cringes at the sight of putting those ingredients and only those ingredients together.  I mentioned earlier that my wife and I don’t particularly like stevia, so unlike many people who seem to pour stevia into every juice they make or consume we stick only with what’s listed above (at least until fruit is OK to put in again).  Right now we are not even juicing carrots or beets.  We love to snack on those things, but really don’t want to take out all the fibers and leave so much of the sugar (something personal, not something we were “admonished” to do).

As mentioned above the day got much worse—I feel the yo-yo feeling that I have been told so many people feel while dieting (or cleansing for that matter).  As these moments happen I question whether this is a good idea at all; my energy is almost gone, the progress on my ears and sinuses seem to have stopped in it’s tracks and my anxiety level is higher.  I haven’t really experienced a real craving like some talk about experiencing—or at least the cravings don’t seem to bother me so much.  But if there were a day a craving would take over today would be that day.

Lunch was fine; but I still went without the fresh salad—I ended up eating left over sweet potatoes we cooked in coconut oil on Saturday and then had a meal replacement as a snack later.  My energy level picked back up this afternoon which made it easier to get much of what I needed to do out of the way.  Dinner was a little rushed today because we had a surprise party for my mom (well stepmom technically)—my “real” mom was killed a number of years ago in a terrible car accident and my dad has since remarried.  We choose to call her mom because she is the only grandma our kids will ever know, and while she is not the only mom I will ever know she is the only mom I have on this earth right now, so she is mom.

Anyway… dinner was excellent; we invited my wife’s parents over so they could eat with us and then watch our kids while we went to the surprise party for my mom.  Chicken cucumber avocado salad (MMMMMMM).  We had chicken tenders, cooked in some olive oil and sprinkled with lemon juice (my new favorite seasoning I think) and then seasoned more with oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Cut up a bunch of fresh cucumbers, avocadoes and tomatoes and tossed them together.  Sautéed green onions seasoned with basil, oregano, salt, pepper and then doused with that amazing seasoning lemon juice (freshly squeezed of course).

My mother-in-law was a little late getting here for dinner (since she was not done with work), but she couldn’t believe how flavorful it was—thought we had cheated on the diet.  I guess on her cleanses she is much more restrictive or doesn’t realize there are great things she can eat.  My wife and I have said during every dinner so far during this cleanse that we are not depriving our bodies at all and in fact have LOVED every dinner we’ve made.  We are also trying to get as many healthy calories (or at least diet legal calories) as we can since we are coming upon a 3 day, nothing but juice cleanse, which we are both a little concerned about.

OK, back to the mention of if there were a day I would cheat this is it?  My wife was not feeling very well after the long day and told me she didn’t want to go to the surprise party.  I could tell she was struggling today as well, but was a little upset that she didn’t want to go and perhaps may have guilted her into going with me.  Since it was my family (and like most families) I knew this party would have a good amount cake and ice cream.  Now I am a fan of most sugar items being especially fond of sugar cookies—there is nothing that tastes better or feels more satisfying than a sugar cookie that has been cooked to perfection with the right kind of perfectly textured frosting layered just right (the art of which is very hard to perfect—the best store bought cookie for this has to be Granny B’s Pink frosting sugar cookies).

However; cakes… especially when they are chocolate and/or have chocolate frosting are at least in my top 5 desserts.  I hadn’t really been “tempted” throughout this whole ordeal and really didn’t feel like I would have a problem at the party, but what I mean by guilting my wife into coming is that I told her that I did not want to have to deal with the sugar atmosphere alone and that I needed her.  She decided she would come with me.  While I didn’t feel like what I told her was entirely true I also really wanted her to come, so felt justified in doing; but I would soon find out how glad I was she was there with me.

My family is a meat and potatoes kind of family (and I have historically been that way as well).  Our idea of a salad is a few pieces of iceberg lettuce with shredded carrots and purple cabbage for color.  For our family of (over 40 now, included kids and grandkids) one bag or one bowl of salad is always enough and—in fact—there is always salad left over.  My wife and I have been given a hard time for the adjustments we have made to our diets over the last couple of years and especially over the last year—we have tried so many things to relieve the ringing in my ears, pressure in my head and anxiety, etc.  We expected them to just blast us tonight, as we did not eat any cake.

First we thought we were running late because we were about ½ hour later than planned.  We parked a little ways away from the house so that as my mom and dad came home my mom would not see any cars and suspect something amiss.  My dad had no idea that the restaurant he decided to take her to would take so long, so he was a full 1 ½ hours longer than he had initially anticipated, so to pass the time we all talked until they came.  We also jokingly said that if mom carried (meaning a gun) and came downstairs and shot at us because she was so surprised and thought we were intruders, she would probably have been well within her rights to do so, even if she had killed one or more of us… (I guess something to think about next time you plan a surprise party for somebody—you may want to dig a little deeper before holing up inside their residence).

They did finally get there and the surprise went off without a hitch—and boy was she surprised.  We sang to her, gave her presents and then it was time for cake and ice cream.  I was sitting with my wife in the family room when I heard my dad call my name from the living room.  As I looked up there he was and guess what he asked me… “Will you go ahead and cut the cake.”  Without hesitation I said yes (after all it was something that I have done many times at family functions—I’m not sure where I earned a reputation as a great carver of turkey and cutter of large items requiring a knife, but I didn’t hesitate nonetheless.

Typically as I cut the cake there are clumps of cake and bits of frosting that get stuck to your fingers—I have never really found a better way to help against that problem than by licking the goods off my fingers and then washing my hands periodically as I cut the cake.  Well… I’m not sure if it was my quick response in agreeing to cut the cake or just the intuition of my wife, but as I was cutting the cake I no sooner remember the very efficient method of clearing the knife when I see me wife come around the corner.

I knew what she was thinking because I was thinking it to.  Don’t lick your fingers… don’t lick your fingers… it felt like I was chanting this phrase over and over.  She walked up next to me and then moved toward my ear as if she was going to give it a little nibble, and then whispered: “don’t lick your fingers….”  Holy cow, she read my mind—I noticed that as she did this one of my sisters looked toward us, I could only imagine what she thought she was whispering to me, but was probably something like “I bet she just told him: ‘don’t lick your fingers.’ ”

I don’t know if I would have licked my fingers if my wife wasn’t there, but I do know that when I was asked to cut the cake all I could think about was what my wife would think if she saw me lick my fingers—this thought alone kept me so focused on repeating that little phrase to myself over and over that I never actually came close to licking them, so… thank you sweatie (spelling is correct) for being there!  As for my family, they did not say a word about us not wanting cake or ice cream—either most were just too busy to notice that we didn’t eat it, or they think we are bat crap crazy and have just stopped paying attention.

As for the rough day—especially this morning—it is hard to live through and I do question whether the cleanse is actually working or doing anything but make me feel this way.  Then, slowly, as the symptoms pass and I come back to my senses (even if it is just a little bit) I realize that I am still moving forward.  So while my progress seems stagnant and actually felt—in some areas—like I was moving backwards, I am sticking to it because I feel like it is working, I know that what I’m eating right now is healthy, my wife supports me and I made myself a promise that I would see it through!

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