Thursday, March 20, 2008

Crashing the second feast

(The subtle and not-so-subtle reasons for why I broke the feast before I had planned to)

As described here previously, there were clear reasons as for why I broke my first juice feast. Although I believed I would stay at least 30 days on this second feast, it was much harder than I had expected and uncovered several issues that were not easy to deal with – until they became unbearable and I crashed it with a binging episode.

I do not want to justify why I interrupted this feast prematurely, but I would like to write about it to make things straight in my head. In practical terms, there was the problem of being here in Canada during winter and on a tight budget and having to buy lots of fresh, organic fruit and greens (of course this I had already anticipated). Then there was the fact that the Global Juice Feast started right during my PMS – NOT a good time to start anything. Perhaps I should have waited until after my period (like the last time), but I was hard headed and wanted to start “officially” with everyone else because I thought it would be good energetically; in fact, on the first few days right before going to bed I would think about all the other juice feasters and try to feel all of the good energy coming from this extraordinary group (and of course send some good vibes to everyone too!). That was helpful and I should have done it throughout the feast.

Other issues were related to not setting my time goals straight and mixing them up with other things I wanted to do that would require me to be eating. For instance, some relatives (which I haven’t seen a few years) will be visiting over Easter. They love to eat out and do not know much about how my diet has changed (they basically think I have become vegetarian). I kept debating over whether I should maintain my JF and face their reactions fully; modify the feast before their arrival so that I could have some salad and sidestep the issue; or just stop the JF fully. Other issues were related to my trip to Montreal in the beginning of April, where I want to go to the Montreal Raw Food Potluck and also eat some food from Crudessence, a raw food delivery service. This is important to me as I haven't had a big variety of gourmet raw food and I am very curious about that.

That said, let me describe how I crashed my JF in practice. It all started in the morning when my son left some of his chocolate-flavoured, organic soy drink, and I thought it wasn’t the end of the world if I took it. Later on, I decided to bake some peanut butter cookies for him and my husband, and I accidentally put in too much sugar. My husband was passing by and asked whether it wasn’t too much. I wasn’t too worried because the peanut butter I was using had no sugar, so I thought the extra amount wouldn’t be a problem. HOWEVER, I decided to taste and check. I tasted once and I thought it needed more sugar, so I started adding some maple syrup and tasting the mixture (sugar-peanut butter-maple syrup) until I thought it was okay. The cookies were ready pretty fast and since my husband had gone out I thought I should to taste one to see the final result. They were MUCH too sweet and were not that good at all, but I had three of them. It felt (and tasted) awful but I kept going. Then after a while I had two more.

I knew I would feel terrible and probably be sick, so I took two anti-acids and drank tons of water. Then I had a BM and took a nap. Later that day I recorded the experience in my journal and did my first real (correct) enema, which felt great. I thought a lot about what had happened and debated whether I should started eating the soaked prunes and call off the JF, or whether I should go on and use the experience to work on something that is very hard for me: go back to being completely raw after a binging episode. Several questions came into my mind, especially if I would have to start counting again from day 1 or if it was minor enough for me to say I was still on the same feast. I also asked my husband’s opinion and he thought I should call it off because of my relatives’ visit (he thought it would be rude to go out with them and not eat).

Part of me wanted to stop and part didn’t (unlike the first time, when I did not want to stop at all!). I decided to continue the fast and the message that came o me was “I deserve the best and that is what I want!” BUT, the next day it all happened again, this time much worse. It was actually quite a nice day. I went out to do the laundry, the weather was the nicest since I’ve arrived here in Canada, and I took a stroll down one of my favourite streets. Then I went to the drugstore to get something and decided to buy a box of truffles for my husband and son as an Easter gift (deep down I think I did it on purpose and knew I would want to eat some). On the way home I saw an 100% cacao bar, which I had never seen before in my life, and told myself it wasn’t the end of the world if I bought one and had a piece. After all it was just cacao (LOL)! I had a couple of squares and when I arrived at home and presented the truffles, I thought I would have one to share that moment with the family and have one too. This was the final result:

- A few squares of 100% cacao;
- 2 truffles (which were actually pretty bad);
- At this point I thought I should call of the JF and so I had several soaked prunes;
- 3 of my yucky peanut butter cookies;
- 1 whole-wheat apple muffin;
- Top crust of one leftover wedge of salmon pie;
- Handful of wild rice crackers;
- Several tortilla chips with salsa dip;
- A few regular salt crackers;
- A few baby carrots;
- One English muffin;
- 1 slice of lactose-free cheese;
- 1 slice of regular cheddar cheese;
- 2 Alka-Seltzers;

Then a break and then:

- 2 truffles;
- 1 piece of chocolate;
- 5 (yucky) sandwich cookies;
- 2 Alka-Seltzers.

Needless to say, I felt awful, both physically and emotionally – binging is not about enjoying your food! And what I am learning it is not (in my case at least) a matter of willPOWER, but a matter of WILL. I know I have willpower, after all, I was on two juice fasts which lasted 20 and 15 days, respectively, and that takes some amount of willpower. But when I did what I did to end them I did it because I wanted to. Not because I wanted to feel sick and eat all that junk, but because I wanted to avoid facing all of the emotions that the JF was helping surface. I also wanted to avoid dealing with my family that would visit during my JF. I wanted to anaesthetize myself again. And I did.

However, the other part of it is my binge-eating disorder, which technical aspects I want to learn more about to understand the other side of my problem. After all, I know there are other (physiological) factors involved, which make these binging episodes virtually uncontrollable after they are triggered, and that is NOT my choice.

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