Post-fast update: A new way of thinking

I just completed my first week post-fast and I’m happy (thrilled!) to report that I have managed to eat 100% vegan and mostly (90%) clean.

I had planned to eat only raw fruits and veggies for a week, but my stomach bounced back really quickly. I also realized that the last week of the fast I bought juice from a juice bar several times each day and didn’t find out until the end that the “100% fresh pressed juice” on the menu actually included blended spinach. I had a terrible stomach ache the first time I had this particular juice, but I attributed it to the black decaf coffee I drank.

Now I realize it was because I had unknowingly introduced solid food after weeks of only juice.

At first I was irritated. The product was falsely advertised, and when I asked the juice bar employee to confirm it was only juice, they insisted it was.

Then I realized that a lot of people don’t get the difference between juiced and blended. I didn’t get it until it was explained to me, so I let it go.

Plus, the upside is that it allowed me to come off the fast more gently, so I’ll be doing this on purpose in the future.

As for the post-fast weight gain, I haven’t weighed myself since 2 days post fast because I’m bloated thanks to Mother Nature making her monthly visit. But when I did step on the scale I had only gained back 1.2 pounds.

Even with the excess bloat I’m still fitting nicely in my clothes and I still like the way I look in the mirror. I think I just might get away with not gaining back half of what I lost…woohoo!

I attribute this mostly to clean eating, watching my calories, upping my water consumption, and increasing physical activity.

I’m back to the gym and I’m still taking my daily walks at lunch. My first day back at the gym I had a hard time keeping my heart rate in the normal range. It shot up to 150 within a minute of stepping onto the elliptical, and then to 170 with moderate exertion. However, a week later I’m almost at the same fitness level I was at back when I was really fit and working out regularly. I actually have to work hard to get my heart rate into the fat burning and cardio ranges.

Just as I experienced super-fast healing while on the fast, I think there are some residual effects even a week later. My body just works better now. Plus, I completely avoided emotional PMS symptoms this month. For those who know me, this is HUGE!

In fact, I actually experienced opposite symptoms. The day before I start I usually get really really cranky, angry, sad, depressed, every negative emotion in the book hitting me all at once. It usually only lasts for a few minutes, but beware anyone who is in my path in that moment. This month I experienced a barrage of euphoria. It was so weird. I was sitting at work and all of a sudden I got irrationally happy, if there is such a thing. I LOVED everyone, even the woman who sits at the end of the hall, whom I usually consider a conquest put in my path by God to teach me how to love the unlovable. I wanted to run outside and roll around in the grass like a puppy and hug strangers on the street.

It was weird.

But super cool.

I’ve also adjusted my way of thinking a bit. First of all, the weight I am right now is my new skinny. Two years ago this was my starting weight during the weight loss campaign of 2013. Five to ten years before that it was my “I’ll-die-before-I-ever-let-myself-get-that-fat-again” weight (I was a size 4 then…sigh).

It’s all about perspective. And while it is startling to realize I’m still so far from that size 4, I’m learning to live in the moment and just appreciate where I am right now and the accomplishments I’m making on a daily, or even a minute-by-minute, basis.

I’m also not evaluating food by its calorie content as much as I’m evaluating it by its trigger capabilities. This week someone brought in Krispy Kreme donuts. Boston cream filled…my favorite kind! I didn’t eat a single bite, even though I had 500 calories to spare that day. I knew that if I let myself have that sugar infused concoction it would trigger my sugar addiction and lead me down the rabbit hole.

I was just there. I don’t want to go back. So it was surprisingly easy to walk right by that box and grab my orange instead.

Lastly, this is a lifelong journey. I’ve realized that I need to make being healthy my thing. It has to be a priority or I will slip right back into old habits. I find myself fearing that I’ll lose momentum and fall back into that rabbit hole eventually, but all I have is today.

And today I’m meeting my health goals.

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