Less Calories

To say my whole life feels like one giant string of diets would be an understatement.  I cannot remember a time I haven’t been watching what goes into this yapper with great scrutiny.  As most overweight women who were overweight teens who were overweight kidscan tell you, life becomes quantified in calories.  The formula may change, but I can pretty much tell you the caloric contents of every meal I eat, you eat, your neighbor eats.  I know calories.

As you might imagine, though, this makes life somewhat complex.  Aside from the constant running tally going on right behind my forehead, that “pit in the stomach” guilt after I’ve just eaten something I “shouldn’t have” (concurring with the Hallelujah Chorus my tastebuds and soul are sending up), and the sneaking suspicion-slash-pathology that everyone watches and judges everything I eat…aside from all of that…eating this way requires that you’re thinking about food almost every minute of every day.  And not even good food or delicious food…it’s just always a planning game and a constant struggle 

Okay if I want to eat this now, that only leaves 300 calories for the rest of the day…that’s like a piece of bread with 2 tsps of peanut butter…

Should I have that brownie?  No.  But, well…I could if I rearranged my plan for dinner and just had eggs.  But I’ll need to cook them in some oil and that’ll put me over…that Brownie is talking to me.  No really, can anyone else hear that?

 It’s not hard to get obsessive about this stuff to the point of detriment and a couple of weeks ago I felt really owned by it and also felt really bad physically.  I was fatigued, I had no discernible energy, I wasn’t sleeping well, my blood pressure was high, and a curious rash had popped up on my face…I am a mess, I thought, and the brownies are winning. And maybe I should just let them win.

And that’s when I decided that I wasn’t taking care of myself.  The wheels were falling off and I wasn’t doing anything to stop it…and what I was doing wasn’t helping.  

So I decided to juice.

Everybody goes crazy in one of two ways when they hear about juicing: it will either cure your every ill or it will surely make things worse.  Neither opinion mattered that much to me anyway; I was only going to do it for 5 days, I was doing it for me, and I saw it as a reset of some sort.  I could’ve done something else to accomplish this but I didn’t.  I wanted to drink juice.  And not think about food any more than drinking those 6 bottles of juice a day.

With the focus of “caring for myself,” I decided to go with Love Grace, a New York company that I had heard raves about, mostly because their juices were the lowest in sugar you could find and the quality was apparently outstanding.  That was great but it was really the Love Grace that won me over.  Why not go with something called what you were hoping to cultivate?

This image is EXACTLY what these things looked like when they arrived.  Aren’t they beautiful?!?!? I thought as I unpacked all 43 lbs of juice for the 5 days…simply gorgeous.  I think they also came with the sunlight enclosed…

And it was awesome.  It did exactly what I hoped…it reset my mind.  It gave me a break from wasting my time thinking about every morsel of food that goes in.  It gave me the non-chance to put too much of anything in.  It gave my body a chance to relax.  I slept a lot.  And did yoga.  I was very “earthy” for a whole weekend.  And it was the reset I was hoping for…and I didn’t even die.

The greatest revelation, though, was how well I responded to 1) a vegan diet and 2) not as much food.  The rules I’ve been following for eating recently have pushed eating protein like it’s a job and this was the exact opposite–any protein was plant-based and sufficient but not ridiculous.  

I actually felt like I was coming out of a coma.  The energy I was getting from this food was so present; with it my heart and imagination bloomed.  Some will actually returned.  it was truly a revelation.

 I was shown about the right amount and right ingredients for feeling energetic…and it’s been nothing that counting calories was accomplishing.  Once again, the age old “quality over quantity” adage won.  And, I hate to say it because I love it but, dairy lost.  But also, I didn’t resent what I was eating.  I enjoyed it.  Sometimes I wished it was more; sometimes I wished it was different.  But I certainly always felt thankful that it was there.  And eventually, it turned into something really delicious.  And I savored it.  I haven’t done that with food in…maybe ever.  That, also, was a great revelation.

I, in no way, intend to juice forever.  But I do intend to make different choices about how I go about feeding myself in the future, both the “what” and the “how.” They matter together much more than I thought they would.

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