Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Liquid Diaries

Day One

I've done liquid diets before.  I've done fasting and cleanses and the like, so I'm not intimidated by the pre-op liquid diet.   Four shakes a day plus 64 ounces of liquid?  A breeze. Been there, done that.  To do it for ten days, however...that might be a little tough, but I'm confident I can pull it off.  You know they say when you want something bad enough, you make it happen, and I am so ready to start this new lease on life, so ready to bid adieu to bad decisions and destructive habits.  Bring. It. On.

I slept in this morning, but I woke up actually looking forward to my breakfast shake.  I mean, really - who doesn't like a milkshake for breakfast?

I made my way to the kitchen and gave my snazzy metallic red Cuisinart glass-jar blender its new home on the counter.  It doesn't get nearly enough use, and it's ready for its closeup.  So I set it on the counter, and began assembling the first shake.  I read the instructions: "Mix one scoop of Bariatric Fusion with 4 to 6 ounces of cold skim milk or water in a blender or shaker."

Waitaminit. Four to six ounces?  That's it?  That's nothing!  My blender doesn't even have a notch that low!  I pulled out the measuring cup and poured 6 ounces of milk into it, and then dumped it into the blender.  I peered into the jar and the milk barely covered the blades.  I then put the scoop of protein powder in, put the lid on, and let 'er rip.  Twenty or so seconds later I poured the shake into my glass.  It just filled the 8-ounce glass to the top.  This was NOT what I had in mind when I thought of enjoying a shake for breakfast.  This was like...three sips and it was over.  That was it.

It wasn't bad, as protein shakes go.  In my younger days I did Slim-Fast when it only came in the canister, and this stuff tasted better than I remember that tasting.  It had a weird aftertaste, but not unbearable. 

About an hour later I decided to start in with the "other liquid" part of the diet and helped myself to a tall glass of Tropicana Light Fruit Punch.  I bought this stuff because it's one of the few low-calorie, low-sugar drink options I've found that doesn't contain aspartame.  I'm really trying to steer clear of that (and both my nutritionist and surgeon advise against it, preferring instead to recommend Splenda, Stevia, or Agave as alternative sweeteners).  It's not bad.  Not something I'd want to be drinking all day long, but it quenched my thirst.  I started researching apps that would help me keep track of - and provide reminders for - my liquid intake.  It suddenly occurred to me that 64 ounces is a lot of liquid, and maybe it wouldn't be so easy to drink that much liquid without some prompting.  What if I'm not thirsty?

My second shake seemed more substantial than the first one for some reason.  I'm guessing it had something to do with the lowered expectations. That shake went down fairly easily, and then I decided to take a nap.  Whether it was the ingredients in the shake or the psychological implications of this whole journey, I don't know, but my dreams were whacked out.  Seriously weird, slightly disturbing, and featuring a cast of random friends, exes, coworkers, and strangers.  And food.  A lot of food.

I remember when I quit smoking, all my dreams involved cigarettes.  Everyone in my dreams would be smoking, even the dog and cat.  So I wonder if this is the same sort of thing.  There was food everywhere in this dream, and everyone was eating something. Some of it was relatively benign - nuts, fruits, etc, but I would eat it and then remember I'm not supposed to be eating any solid food.  Then later on, things turned sinister and I was  sitting in a dark driveway, propped up against the wheel of an old car, and this man approached me with a ridiculous dessert containing chocolate and cookies and frosting and whipped cream.  I took it from him, and as I scraped the last of it off the plate I remembered I wasn't supposed to be eating this stuff at all, and I panicked.

When I first woke up I was in full panic mode: I was sweating, my heart was beating a mile a minute, and I was on the verge of tears.  I was angry at myself for eating!  Angry at forgetting!  Angry at the man with the chocolate dessert!  Angry at the ex who told me I would fail at this weight loss attempt as I have all the others!  Angry at everyone in the dream for not respecting that I couldn't eat any of this shit but allowing me to access it anyway!   After the fog lifted and I realized that it was all just a dream, I calmed down, but man...that was scary.

Dinner was of a bowl of broth and a Trenta-sized iced passion tea from Starbucks.  I didn't sweeten it with anything because I want my taste buds to get used to unsweetened things.  I used to throw a shitload of Sweet'n'Low in my passion tea, but like with aspartame, I've been making a concerted effort to stay away from saccharin as well.  All that shit is evil, really.  I opted to have a shake for "dessert" in this case, and made a chocolate one this time.  It's Easter Sunday so I decided the chocolate shake would be representative of the chocolate bunny I wouldn't be eating this year. This time I put ice cubes in it, which gave it a more milkshake-like consistency.  It was okay; artificial chocolate flavor has never been a favorite of mine, and this tasted a little like chocolate Necco wafers.  Not impressed.

It was somewhere around this third shake that I began to experience my body's reaction to this stuff.  I'll spare you the details, but I'll tell you it's not pretty, and I learned the hard way that my digestive system is not to be trusted at this time.  

I could still have one more shake today, but seeing as it's already 8:00 I might skip it.   I start work at 4:30 tomorrow morning, and I could use the sleep more than another marginally tasty protein shake (and its unpleasant aftermath).  I just don't want to dream about any more desserts or ex-boyfriends. 

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