Yesterday morning I ate a piece of solid food for the first time in a week. It was an Apple.
Apple image from Shutterstock
The apple tasted a lot like an apple. It crunched like an apple. It was juicy like an apple. Sadly it had some of those slightly brown bits an apple has when it’s a bit long in the tooth. It wasn’t a great apple but it was definitely, without doubt, an apple.
Then I ate some celery. It tasted like celery.
An hour earlier, at 6am, I weighed myself. 65kgs dead. This was my target weight when I began the juice fast. It was also the weight my wife threatened to divorce me if I went under. Somewhere in the recesses of my sub-conscious every fibre of my being was projecting towards this number. And so it came to be: I’m the weight I wanted to be and my marriage lives to fight another day.
But what is this weird feeling?
After a screaming start I had lost 4kgs in just over 4 days. Part of me expected to go lower, to provide a buffer. I plan on taking things easy in the coming week, introducing different foods slowly, but there's no getting around this plain fact: I will probably put a few kilos on in the coming weeks. It feels inevitable. I wanted the 65kg number to be a new weight baseline for me, much like 70 was previously. Now I have the feeling that number will be close to 67.
But the body is a strange thing. Nutrition is a complex science and now this experiment is done and dusted I can honestly say I achieved almost all my goals.
It's funny how my attitude towards food evolved throughout the week.
The Sunday before my fast began I stood rigid, staring a hole into sausages frazzling in their own fat on a barbeque. By Wednesday I was daydreaming about the food I would eat when my fast concluded. Scrambled eggs, porridge, bacon. On the Thursday morning I smelled baking bread and almost started crying.
But then on Saturday, two day before the end of my fast, I stood in front of marinated leg of lamb, coated in lemon and rosemary, literally slow roasting on a spit. I watched it cook slowly, warming myself by the coals.
And I felt nothing.
I didn't feel hungry. I didn't feel empty. I didn't feel that stomach clenching panic, the reminder that food would not be sitting comfortably in my stomach. I was completely dissociated from any emotional attachment to the lump of flesh roasting its insides out in front of me. It smelled delicious. It looked succulent. But I didn't need it in my stomach in the way I normally would. I felt different.
Then on the Monday morning, chomping on my Apple -- the first time I had chewed food in a week -- there was no relief. This apple was just sustenance. It just happened to be the thing I decided to consume at that moment in time.
I wonder how long it will all last. Day 2 after the fast and I'm already itching for different foods. I've told myself no eggs or meat until Wednesday but with the ability to chew comes the lust for chicken. I'm telling myself my body needs protein, but it's always hard to tell the difference?
Will the chicken be followed by chocolate? Will chocolate be followed by a complete collapse of all self discipline? I certainly hope not, but I've always been something of a 'all or nothing' kinda guy so vigilance is undoubtedly key.
Time will tell. Common sense tells me that moderation in all things is a positive, but I wonder if I'm capable of it. For me moderation might be a greater challenge than the fast itself. Tomorrow I'm going to have scrambled eggs for breakfast. Wish me luck.
I'll update next week. I think that's important. So many of these diets seem like success stories. We hear about the dramatic weight loss, but never the weight that's regained as soon as the diet is done. This morning I weighed 65.2. That's just 200 grams heavier than I was the day before. This is the weight I want to be.
I lost roughly 4kg during my juice fast. I look leaner and cleaner than I have since high school. Here's hoping it stays this way.