The Three Ingredient Cookie, picture from the skinnytaste.com website.
The cleanse wrapped up with a total of 5 pounds lost, which was pretty awesome, and several days in, it’s still off (more on that in a minute). I had worried I would be rampaging through the kitchen afterwards, but I actually eased into my first meal, taking a while to get to it and then even longer to get through it. I found that first day and the days following that it has been much easier to not overeat, to stop when full and not overdo it.
It has also been surprisingly easy to resist temptation. As it is the season of gluttony (Thanksgiving to New Year’s), work has been a non-stop parade of homemade cookies and gift boxes of Godiva and the like. I cannot believe I am reporting that I didn’t partake of anything! Someone actually left treats directly on my desk, and I quickly removed them to a common area. We also had some family holiday visiting, which is almost always a source of weight gain (in fact, Thanksgiving is what pushed me over the edge), and I didn’t eat ANYTHING I was mad at myself for afterwards (though I did think about it a few times).
I had been addicted to soda (oh, Coke Zero, how I love thee) prior to the cleanse, and while I hadn’t gone into the cleanse with this in mind, once it was over I decided to see how long I could go without it. It’s been well over a week, and so far I’ve not partaken once, and mostly haven’t even thought about it. I kind of can’t believe it myself. I’ve been drinking a lot of tea, and also some Crystal Lite made with Stevia – yeah, I know that’s not awesome, but baby steps.
I spent the first day post-cleanse preparing some meals and snacks for the week and generally planning ahead. This was time-consuming: researching, shopping, preparing, packaging, cleaning up. That first trip to the grocery store was expensive, buying a bunch of “new staples” I haven’t had before, like coconut flour and chia.
One of the concerns I have is my sweet tooth. I love sweet! Like, I can eat icing right out the container, which not only demonstrates my sweet tooth, it shows how comfortable I am with processed foods. All that’s gotta change! But too much change could set me up for failure; I can’t just say “no more sweets!” and hope it sticks.
One of the recipes I made was a “three ingredient cookie” (for instance: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/healthy-cookies.html): mashed banana, walnuts and oats. I had made it once before, we tried it and agreed it was good, then never ate another one. This time I added an egg, a generous amount of cinnamon and vanilla, a bit of stevia, then more oats to thicken it up. This worked out to 44 calories per cookie, and I felt like they tasted pretty good. Is this wishful thinking, or have I reset my tastebuds a bit with the cleanse? I have been snacking on them throughout the week, but never tempted to overdo it, and it has filled the mid-afternoon “time for a treat” time slot nicely.
One other treat was to take a banana, slice it in half length-wise, spread with peanut butter, reassemble and freeze. I used PB2, and then cut the whole thing in half; that works out to about 70 calories per half, not bad for a treat. I liked it enough to make some more later in the week, and have used it for the late night “something sweet right now would be awesome” time slot.
Post-cleanse I needed to get back to the gym, which I did the first day it was over. I got on the stepper to warm up feeling totally fine and started going at it. Very quickly my heart started racing and I had to dial it back. Only 10 minutes, but I felt dehydrated, which is ironic considering all I had to drink in the previous three days. I made it through my legs routine pretty well (exercises and lifts were all in line with what I had done pre-cleanse), but I was sweating like crazy and drinking water non-stop. I felt the same way the next few days…needing way more to drink than I had previously, and like my heart was quick to start racing, even just from taking the stairs at work.
I got sick. I cannot believe the irony of doing a reset and eating healthier, only to get sick with a pretty decent cold. Now, my partner got sick first (he travels a lot, it is not uncommon for him to get sick) and several people at work are sick, so I’m sure this is coincidental, but the timing kind of sucks. Because I have to wonder how much of my ability to resist temptation and stick to healthier eating habits, not to mention the 5 pounds kept off since the cleanse, are all because I am sick and not because I’ve reset? On the other hand, if this prolongs my start, hopefully it aids in helping my new healthy eating habits stick. Time will tell..