The Final Course

Well, I’m sure you’re all wondering how the rest of the cleanse went. (That is, unless you’re one of those blessed souls who sees Craig and me every day.)

Total disclosure: We resigned (to our bodies’ need to eat) Friday night. I am not ashamed of this. After five days of nothing but a few glasses of lemon water, Craig texted me that not eating was making him genuinely depressed. And, to be totally honest, I was kind of over the whole thing. As I’ve mentioned before, food makes life more enjoyable. It was boring not eating.

And, dude. I was SO hungry.

So we jointly agreed to call the whole thing off. I went home, responsibly drank some orange juice, then ate a turkey sandwich, salad, and some celery.

Craig downed an order of sushi and Jameson and miraculously lived to regret it. To each his own.

So, we really only went half of the prescribed cleanse length. What was the point, and what did we learn?

The weirdest and scariest part of this whole thing, for me, is that it wasn’t that hard to stop eating. I mean, I felt hunger when I thought about it, but I was never as hungry as I expected to be. In fact, if not for social occasions, and once I sort of got out of the “habit” of eating, I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t eating normally.

I don’t know about you, but to me it’s kind of alarming that deciding to stop doing something necessary for life could be a fairly simple task.

I decided to take part in our little experiment largely to prove something to myself. There have been times in my life when I felt like I wasn’t really in control of what I ate. I’ve never been a very good dieter because I always felt my discipline wane early on, and eventually I would sort of give in to food. Food was in control. This kind of proved I’ve moved passed that. Craig and I were entirely in control of what went into our bodies (even if it was nothing at all).

Yeah, I know, that sounds like a textbook eating disorder. But eating disorders are an illusion of control, because really you just get obsessed with not eating. This was different, because we didn’t lose the ability to see the distinction.

So, I know what you really want to know, and yes, we did lose weight. Craig lost a whopping TEN pounds in five days. (No small deficit on a 6’4″, 185-pound fella.) I lost a more modest five, but even so, nothing to scoff at.

Of course, I don’t really expect that either of us will keep it off (nor do I really think we should). Even so, it’s kind of…neat, I guess, to know that any diet I decide to try in my life, I can obviously stick to. I mean, being able to eat something, even if it’s just cabbage soup and celery, will always be infinitely easier than near total starvation.

So anyway. To all the doubters, scoffers, and dissenters, to me it was a worthwhile experiment. I learned a lot about myself. But I’m glad to go back to healthful eating and working out. And I appreciate meals way more than I ever have.

Because, dude. Eating rules.