Recovering from Renovation
I decided that a radical departure from dietary norms was necessary to de-mass. I was able to adapt the social and interpersonal wierdnesses, but there were some interesting secondary effects. Beyond the spontaneous or extended bathroom schedules, towards the end of the six-month Stillman period, long drives would create an enhanced sense of overwhelming drowsiness. There were times I was clearly endangering myself and from that point forward I realized I had consumed enough caffeine over the previous four or five months that its net effect had become that of the heroin addict who never gets high again but avoids feeling crappy by getting his fix.
As it happened, a fourth very short disease actually changed the course of two aspects of my program. My secretary’s child contracted a “tummy bug” which my adult body interpreted to be an “intestinal bug”. During that aggressive twenty-four hour period of extreme purgative intensity, my bio-clock seemed to reset itself, and rather than have extremely inconsistent evacuations, often several days apart, somehow my old twenty-four to thirty-six hour period between pit stops was restored. This result was unexpected, but not as surprising as its collateral impact.
What made this “bug” a true “morbus mirabilus” was that I lost all physical need for caffeine. I even avoided the 24-hour period of extreme headaches that accompanied my previous “cold turkey” attempts to quit caffeine prior to the regime.
So whether it was this aggressive but short lived “bug”, or perhaps that my need for caffeine abated as I regained my ability to generate my own internal energy through consuming some carbohydrates, I was able to relieve myself of the burden of about 32-oz of high caffeine content coffee a day. Given what we Boomers think is a reasonable cost for hot acrid WASP grade crack, this saved about $5.00 a day as well.
Most of us who have lifted weights to gain the strength to increase strength know the addiction of “progress”. The ever-greater hoisted weight and/or increased numbers of repetitions combine with the intensifying muscular definition to feed a narcissistic fascination. When the number of reps stay the same or the lifted weight doesn’t increase, there’s a palpable piss off that after all this work you’re not getting results.
The exact same reaction happens in a body mass reduction campaign. When that rucksack of fat gets flung off your bones in the first few months, the sense of relief and empowerment has an intoxicating quality. Just like the crack addict, the first hit (often donated by the local pusher) is extremely seductive, so seductive that you want to keep feeling that good forever.
Unfortunately, the human body (or at least my human body) doesn’t work that way. An immediate change gets immediate dramatic results, but the body adapts (even though our middling male brain doesn’t.) You grow to expect extreme weight loss and continuous and ongoing decreases in belt length, pants butt tightness and the ability to wear the jacket you last wore in 1984.
So in the End Times of a high performance weight loss regimen vigilance is still required. Part of me had to finally grow up and be dedicated to an effort that had less and less positive reinforcement. Despite all previous patterns, I muddled through.