Beginning Before The End

This month has been full of breakups. The ending or the beginning of something new. I’ve been exhausted and exhilarated simultaneously. I’m like a hamster running in circles on my little wheel of life, feeling as if I’m going nowhere. Meanwhile, there is an orchestra playing somewhere and divine synchronicity happening everywhere.

My biggest breakup has been with unhealthy eating, and that relationship wasn’t really a primary one to begin with, but this new pattern has definitely shined a light heretofore unseen. I’m supporting a friend by joining her in the Fast Metabolism Diet, and it’s forcing me to breakup with sugar, caffeine, and processed foods. Let me tell you, this is not for the faint of heart.

I don’t believe in fad diets, although I did manage at one point in my life to muddle through the 10-day Master Cleanse. It wasn’t until the end when I realized the maple syrup I was adding to my cayenne and lemon water mix meant I was consuming approximately 260 grams of sugar everyday. For a concoction prompted as a detox, I highly question the effectiveness. But I did it; and at least for the challenge of doing so, I have bragging rights to that accomplishment.

In spite of my avoidance of anything promoting fast weight loss or called a “diet,” here I am in the midst of this one. Most people would say I’m nuts to start this in December, but it seemed the perfect time considering I’d committed myself to house and dog sitting for more than half the month. I stay at peoples homes and take care of their pets, rarely going out at night because I anthropomorphize the dogs and imagine they’ve been lonely when I’ve been gone all day.

There’s also a high likelihood I’ll be alone on Christmas day, so no big meal to tempt me to cheat. My family celebrates Christmas every other year and this was our year to be together at Thanksgiving. So, I’ll be kept company by two dogs and two cats, all of whom are super affectionate and won’t have their feelings hurt if I pass on the Christmas pudding.

The hardest part about the Fast Metabolism Diet is all the food preparation. It’s almost a misnomer to even call it a diet because you eat a LOT of food, and you eat every 2-3 hours. It’s my kinda diet because there’s no calorie counting and no depriving myself of food when I’m hungry. I just can’t always have the type or kind of food I might be craving because the key component of the plan involves controlling WHAT you eat and when.

You can explore more on your own if you’re interested, so I won’t go into the details about things here. Just suffice it to say, eating healthy is not only a lot of work, but it’s also expensive. I’ve had to remind myself it can easily cost $40-$50 for two to dine out, so spending loads of money on groceries is really just reallocating my funds.

The result of all of this has been finding myself exhausted from either having to spend hours in preparing food ahead of time, or taking time to prepare it before I can eat. In and of itself, this means more time doing things I don’t normally do, but I’ve added to that my commitment to do the extra work of walking dogs early in the morning, afternoon and night. All on top of holding down my normal work hours. In essence, I’ve created the perfect permanent exhaustion treadmill.

On the flip side, however, I’ve had my moments of exhilaration. Partly, I assume, as the direct result of the diet doing what it purports to do by speeding up my metabolism. I’ve had a few moments when I have felt full of energy, even when I’m bone tired. One day, I managed to do a fairly deep clean of my house and still had energy to work outside clearing the ground for a fence I’m having installed. Either one of those chores in itself would normally have laid me flat.

But what I’m most exhilarated about in this process isn’t the occasional excess energy or even the weight loss. I’m excited to be entering the New Year with a focus on health. Starting something before the New Year feels powerful. (Or maybe I’m just happy I won’t feel guilty for not setting a New Years resolution). Seriously though, I’m excited to be stepping into 2018 with a healthy body and clearer mind.

I know the treadmill I’m running on right now feels like it’s going nowhere, but I also trust there is a divine purpose behind this plan. I don’t know what it is most the time, so I just keep remembering one of my favorite Pema Chödrön quotes:

“Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.”

I don’t know what 2018 has in store for my direction, but I plan to make it a grand adventure! Thanks for being here!