Friday, April 07, 2006

Beyond Fast Food ...

Today is the first non-cleanse day.

I made it for all 10 days.

I have been nursing a glass of diluted orange juice for half an hour.

Kelley, my cleanse mentor, wrote this morning to say that based on her experience, about 10 percent of people who try the cleanse actually get through it.

Which puts me in the 90th percentile. So I get an A!

It's been a valuable experience. For the physical benefits, sure. But, maybe even more so for the psychological aspects.

I've stepped outside my comfort zone. I've done something I didn't think I could do. The first day of the cleanse was far more emotionally taxing than I could have anticipated. I was standing on a precipice, my feet slipping down the slope, kicking gravel over the side of the cliff. But I managed to find a branch to hang on to, to pull myself back up. Well, actually, the branch found me.

L.A. Dave.

He, like Kelley, has been there every day, checking in, letting me vent. Kelley played a different role, having gone through this before. She was able to give me glimpses of what I might experence from day to day. L.A. Dave just listened. Which is hugely valuable. So many, many kudos and thanks to L.A. Dave, a true friend. And kudos to Kelley, too.

So now that food is back on the table, so to speak, I'm presented with a whole new set of choices. Luckily, the way this cleanse is structured, you're limited for several post-cleanse days as to how much you can ingest.

Yesterday, mom asked, "So, what will you eat tomorrow?" She thought maybe I could have something simple, like a soft-boiled egg.

No, I told her. Juice. Just juice. Diluted juice at that. Much like I've been drinking for all these days. Just, thank GOD, a different flavor. And not spicy.

So there's another built-in transition. I'm not downshifting from Fireball Punch to a cheeseburger and fries. And that gives me more time to think about food and what role I will allow it to play in my life moving forward.

Dave (not L.A. Dave, but Dave Dave, Composer Dave) does not eat fast food (the actual fast food, not what I've been referring to as fast food). Every year, I give him and his wife and daughter a cookie assortment at Christmas and he promises that he'll eat some of them, but his wife tells me that he's very judicious about what he eats, while she and their daughter pretty much dive into the middle of the cookies and come up from time to time for milk. Every time Dave and I find ourselves in a restaurant, he orders salmon. Every time.

Last year, at my birthday lunch, I ordered Tuscan fries for the table: French fries tossed with parmesan and rosemary and grilled vegetables. Hello! Dave passed on them, but I made him take one. One. And he, to exaggerate the momentousness of the occasion (and to crack me up), grabbed his knife and fork and spread his elbows wide and said,"OK, gimme room!"

And then he ordered salmon for lunch.

When it came, he said I had to try it.

"I don't like salmon," I said.

He looked at me as though I said, "I strangle kittens for sport."

But I tried it. And it was really good. I had a bad, formative salmon experince as a child and I've been loathe to eat it ever since.

He eats it, of course, because it's good for him. Food is fuel in Dave's world, pure and simple. He'll have a treat from time to time, but most of the time, he's very, very good.

That's the lifestyle I need to adopt. Of course (and this may be a self-fulfilling prophecy), I have my doubts as to whether I can be as ascetic as Dave. But I can aspire.

It's been an hour now. There's still juice in my glass. Taking this slowly. And thinking about what I've done.

And feeling proud.


Anonymous Ethan said...

I have been taking the opposite approach, which is to wait for you to post updates about how the cleanse is going, because I know that otherwise I will invariably talk about food and I didn't want to be a jerk like that. Not that I wanted the cleanse to fizzle out, but you know how it is when you're trying not to talk about something and therefore that's all you can do.

Plus you haven't been on IM and I'm bad about using email instead.

Glad to hear you hung in there to see this through.

Re: Salmon (now that food talk is "ok"), try Sockeye (red) salmon. Mar HATES regular salmon, as do I, but I saw it at the local fish market and it looked incredible, and had to try it. The guy behond the counter said that people who hate regular salmon loooove Sockeye for whatever reason. We tried and and we're fiends. FYI.

8:46 AM  

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