Monthly Archives: August 2013

Wedding Tears

I never used to shed tears at weddings. Now I cry at all of them. I cry because I am married myself, and I have empathy for the couple who have decided to make a lifelong commitment to one another. Marriage is a most unselfish gift, something from both people becomes something new and enduring. As a couple walks down the aisle to be joined, witnesses remember their own wedding and the joy they felt on that day when they declared their love for their beloved  to the whole world. Tears of joy remind us of the truth and promises we share.

So, why has this unifying institution of good intentions, become explicitly reserved for only certain people? Because some traditions are hard to change. Okay, some people faint at the prospect of any type of change. I get that. But all traditions change over time, even the most important ones. And for some people, they will resist any change as long as they have breath. But it comes. Change happens. And changes that foster happiness, safety, and security should be the easier ones, shouldn’t they? I think so.

I mentioned that I am married. I had a civil ceremony as well as a separate church ceremony with hundreds of witnesses at each. Yet, in Utah, where I live, I am not lawfully married. I guess that makes me an outlaw? I don’t know. I vividly remember my promises to respect , love, and protect my spouse. My hope is that “we the people” of this place will do what is necessary to make this fully possible. And if not, then I trust that the courts will defend my civil liberties in some capacity. Someday. The next time you hear wedding bells, remember me.

 

My Experience: 5 Day Juice Fast

Okay. Like alot of people, I got to the point that I felt out of control about my appearance, and I really did not feel culpable about how my obvious increase in voluptuousness happened. Honestly, if I ate 3 pizzas by myself every day for a month I could at least know that there is a consequence to such a habit. This was different. Dieting has never been my “thing”, but making healthy food choices has always been my goal. Still, photographs do not lie. And it became a personal crisis.

I read online about how fasting can help you lose weight, detox your system, and to let your body heal during the time it does not have to focus on digestion. Cool. This made sense to me. This past week presented a unique opportunity to try this fasting idea. My spouse spent a week away and it was just me at home. I decided to try a 5-day juice fast to see what would happen.

Now, first, I have to say that the net has lots of advice, and lots of marketing going on. I had to pick through the many juice fasting regimens that said you have to buy a special juice machine and only juice organic veggies and fruits. Sure, if you want to make this an expensive venture, go have at it. But I am watching my pennies, so I opted for juice on the store shelf instead. Light apple, grape, carrot and V8 were my selections.

Day 1 went great. I started my morning by having 2 cups of juice. Cold grape and apple tasted delicious and I washed it down with an equal amount of filtered water. I felt full. So far so good. The day went great and I had more juice in the evening, this time only one cup of carrot and some water. I was done for the day.

Day 2 went just as good as the first day. I kept busy with my project list of the day and drank juice/water when I felt I needed something.

Day 3 was a little difficult. I felt somewhat lightheaded at times, but I kept hydrating as much as possible. Some people believe this is a sign of anemia. Others said it was withdrawal effects from food additives built up over time. I chose to believe the latter and moved ahead. Good choice. The rest of the day was fine. I also learned about hunger pangs. I read of many worries about making it through the pain in your stomach as you starve yourself. Actually, what I experienced is that I did not get any stomach issues as long as I did not look at food. It is amazing to know that eating has become a habit. A very bad habit. And habits are hard to break. A person should eat when they are hungry, and not automatically morning, noon, and night. That is a recipe for weight gain if you are not active enough. So, anyways, I had no hunger pains because I knew how to handle it. I kept busy, and also slept when I could.

Day 4 was an epiphany. I looked in the mirror and found a new person with a flat stomach, no double chin. I was slimmer everywhere. SWEET! With glee I pulled out my wardrobe and began trying on clothes. It was a joyful experience. I was now able to wear clothing I had not worn in over a year. So, then I said to myself, “how could this be?”. Well, my only conclusion is that much of the processed foods we reach for contain a high amount of Sodium and other chemicals that can cause water weight gain, and swelling/inflammation. Suddenly I felt okay about being a victim rather than the perpetrator, and I was onto a way to stay in control. I went to bed that night with a big smile on my face.

Day 5, the day before my spouse was to return home, and I had reached the end of my project list for the week. My heck, how was I going to NOT think about eating the next day..mere hours. Maybe 4 days is good enough? Nope. I stayed the course and made it through the day just fine. No hunger pains, either. I walked 3.5 miles which I hadn’t done in quite awhile. It felt good.

Day 6, my 5 days are now done, but my spouse did not return until the afternoon. So I had only juice and water for breakfast. I decided that my first meal would be a sandwich at home. I had picked 4 juicy tomatoes from our own vines during the week. A vision of a toasty Bacon Lettuce & Tomato sandwich appeared in my brain. I could already smell the bacon in my nose, and I wanted the whole sandwich in my mouth as soon as possible. My spouse came home, and he noticed right away about my transformation. I checked the scales that morning. I had lost 15 pounds in just over 5 days.

Reflection/Affirmation: What this experience has taught me is that I can take more control over what happens to me. It really does matter what I put into my body. A daily check on when, how much, and healthy food choices is in order. My spouse wants to join me in a continued regimen of 2 fast days per week. I think it makes sense to have those days to undo the damage of food additives, and to release excess salt since it is so hard to avoid. In another month, maybe 2, I will blog again about how the longer term regimen is going.

I hope that my blog on this topic is of help to others who want to take control too. You are so worth the effort!