Wow. Day 15. For some reason, between the evening of day 10 and today the time has seemed to stretch for an eternity. It easily felt longer than the first 10 days combined! And was about a million times harder.
Remember when I said I'd decreased my juice consumption from juicing 3 times a day for 6 glasses of juice to juicing twice a day for 4 glasses of juice, and added more herbal teas, coconut water, and veggie broth? Yeah, well at that same time, because I was feeling so awesome and full of energy, I ramped up my exercising and physical activity as well. And within a night or two from my first run to work, I started having the intense food cravings. Not healthy foods like a fresh salad or juicy peach. I'm talking full on pizza, medium rare burger, chicken wings, and brownies. Like.... INTENSE. I was SO close to caving. Many times. There were only 3 things that stopped me.
1. I knew if I caved and broke my fast I couldn't jump right into a pizza or a burger without severe consequences. And I knew that first salad wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as the burger that is stuck in my head.
2. The progress I've made, and how good I'm looking and feeling. I mean, I've seen so much change this past month, but I'm not quite where I want to be yet. I know I can get there, but it will be a much slower and longer path to get there if I don't see my goal through on the juice fast. Plus, the thought of un-doing my hard work was really depressing. Yesterday I went to the White Water Center with Beth & Sean for some paddle boarding. Afterwards, when I would usually rush to the locker to grab my cover-up to throw on top of my bathing suit, I actually hung out for a while in my bikini. I walked around in it. I sat at a table and socialized in it. I actually felt comfortable being in public in a bikini. I didn't feel like there were any areas I wanted to cover. Can't remember the last time I felt confident to walk around in a bikini!
3. All of you. My friends, acquaintances, and my family. Jeremy, especially over the past week, has been really supportive (even though he thinks I'm crazy. Hey, he knew that going in!). He's been showering me with compliments and telling me what a change he sees in my body and how much he likes it. There's nothing more motivating than knowing the person I love is getting excited about what I'm doing! Friends I haven't seen for a few weeks are noticing the changes I've made and complimenting me, and that just feels good!
So, 3 great reasons not to break my fast and stay strong to hit my goals. After a few days of really intense cravings I reached out to a long lost friend from my high school days who has successfully (and sometimes not so successfully) accomplished a number of short term and long term juice and water fasts. Matt is actually the only person I know first hand who has experience with fasting, and he's seen so many positive changes from it. I can attest to the physical because I remember Matt being a little on the chubby side in school (I'm sure it was just baby fat!), and now he's very lean & healthy! I sent Matt a message asking for some support and his responses have been just what I needed to find the extra motivation to stay on track.
One of the first things he asked me about was my level of physical activity. I said I was doing yoga daily, running 2.5 miles from home to work 3-4 times a week, doing our S&C class at the school, and paddling & rafting at the USNWC. He didn't come out and tell me I was crazy, but he did say that was WAY more physical activity that he would dream of doing on one of his juice fasts. He gave me some other fabulous suggestions (drink herbal tea and coconut water, mix up the variety of juices, keep fruit juices for the morning only, etc) most of which I'm already doing. He also suggested taking 1tsp-1tb of coconut oil a day if my cravings continue, which I hadn't heard, and have had good success with. He also assured me that cravings are normal, sometimes even the strong ones.
After really thinking about his advice, and realizing I was doing most everything the smart and healthy way, I recognized the problem. I'd increased my calorie output at the same time as decreasing my calorie input. My body was indeed screaming for calories in the most calorie-dense form- FAT. I also recognized this was my fault! This was not me doing everything exactly right and my body yelling for food because that's truly what it needed. This was me sabotaging my efforts simply because I felt like I COULD exercise. So, I've made a promise to myself to spend the rest of the days on this fast as a much more sedentary, to let the juice and the detoxifying process continue uninterrupted. I did kind of break that yesterday by spending 2 hours paddle boarding, but it wasn't strenuous, and it felt great to get some sun. I'll continue with some gentle yoga daily, but no S&C class for me on Saturday, and no running to work this week. I can tell you that on Sunday and Monday my cravings were well under control to the extent that I've begun getting back on Pinterest to build my arsenal of clean eating recipes! Lesson learned- less exercise really is ok when you're doing a juice fast.
My goal is 20 days, 148 pounds. Right now I'm at 15 days, 152.6 pounds. I've done a lot of reading on successful fasts and the optimal amount of time to reap the benefits of a detox fast is a minimum of 21 days. I'm leaving the door open to go one last 24 hours on my fast when I wake up next Monday morning. If I get to 21, fantastic. If I make it to 20 and break my fast, I will be so proud of what I've accomplished. I can't imagine anything magical happens in that last 24 hours, but I am curious!
I'm really excited to pick up my yoga teaching some more. I taught a class to some girls from the Charlotte Speed Demons on Saturday and I really enjoyed it. They seemed to as well, which is more important! Melanie will be out of town this weekend which means I'm covering her classes- this will be the first time I've actually taught classes to the public for Vitality Yoga & Wellness! I'd love to see some friendly familiar faces on Sunday for our Yoga for Athletes class at noon and Deep Stretch at 1:30. I've also decided to put some classes of my own on our schedule! On Wednesdays from 10:30-11:45 I will teach a Yoga 101 class for beginners, followed by a Lunch Hour Power Yoga from 12-1. On Fridays I'll teach an all levels Vinyasa Flow from 10:30-11:45 and Power from 12-1. It's summer time, so I hope some of my teacher friends and moms will come join me!
I've got a challenge for you all in the works for the month of June. This blog has stretched on more than long enough for one entry, so I'm going to bring this to a close and start working on my post for June's Salad Challenge. I'm pretty excited about it, and I know ALL of you are capable of rocking this challenge! Thanks for reading and thanks for being my motivation!