If I had a buck or even a dime for every time I have said to myself, "Lois, you must be out of your mind", I'd be as rich as Warren Buffet. But this time, I really MEAN it. I am no longer teetering on the brink of insanity.......I have fallen smack dab into it and worse yet, I am wallowing in it.
After 75 years of diets and severe food deprivation of every sort, I did swear to myself and to the world at large that, after hitting and passing the 80 mark, I was never going to deprive myself of a single morsel of anything edible that I wanted ever again..... for whatever time is left to me in this world full of infinite delicacies. Yeah, so I wake up this morning and discover that I have put myself on, of all things, a Diet. And not just a diet telling me I can't eat this or that, but a diet in which I actually Fast for 2 days out of the 7 that are usually in a week. I am not sure quite how this happened, but it seemed to be a good idea when I pondered it last night and it somehow retained its luster when I got up this morning. Utterly amazing.
Even more amazing is the fact that I had decided last night that I would fast on Sundays and Thursdays and therefore, today being Sunday, it would be foodless. (Actually, I lie..... that is not totally accurate.....these here diet gurus decreed that you can have 500 calories on your fast days...probably to placate all of those wimps who claim that, without any food they suffer headaches, dizziness, spots before the eyes and all manner of plagues. I will comment on that idea some other time but I AM allowed to eat something today. Whatever fits withing the circumference of 500 calories which, I know from vast experience, is not very damned much. But that's OK.
Being a creature who has always worshiped food as my principal Deity, I have spent a lot of my life thinking about food in all its glorious forms and I realize that I have been lying to myself for many years about our relationship.......or, if not outright lying, I have not analyzed the subject sufficiently from all angles and it might just behoove me to do so before I die......in pursuit of truth and for my own damned good, that is. I am suspecting that I eat for a bunch of very strange reasons that have nothing to do with hunger and certainly nothing to do with nourishment. Kind of like the person who smokes cigarettes in order to have something to do with their hands.
I have fasted many times in my life......the longest having been for 4 days with nothing but water. I survived very well and found that the first day was the hardest and it got easier not harder as the project progressed. That does NOT mean that I did not trample a multitude of defenceless women and children and even a burly man or two who, on day 5, were unfortunate enough to be in my way in my glassy-eyed wild gallop to get my hands (and teeth) on a bagel. That experiment was to test my theory that my body's metabolism was such that I could gain weight while ingesting nothing and by simply thinking of food. Or at least it would not surrender a molecule of fat even if I fasted and walked miles per day on the treadmill. (Turned out that I was right about the latter half of that theory....I lost not an ounce in 4 days of not eating and you would not have wanted to be around me when I found that out......dishes were smashed, cats were kicked (symbolically) and epithets were uttered and hurled hither and yon..... in spades, baby.).
But even during that experiment I noticed that my body actually enjoyed being given a day off from digesting and processing even as my mind was screaming that I was trying to kill myself and that if I did not give me a ham sandwich or reasonable facsimile immediately I would wither like a scalded seedling and expire then and there and by gum, I'd be sorry then dammit but it would be too late.
The most interesting eating/not eating fact I learned and relearned over the years but which I have never been able to employ usefully was that when I got up in the morning I was not hungry and if I did not eat anything I was still not hungry and this lasted throughout the day. It was only toward evening when I noticed the slightly hollow feeling in my middle that I felt the need to eat a little something and then, once I had a single taste of food, I became ravenous and insatiable.
Because I adore food, the textures, the flavors the aromas the mere glorious sight of it, anything lurking in the frig, the cupboards or lying on a plate not only beckons seductively to me but gets behind my rotund buttocks and shoves me rudely in its direction. The first bite is sheer heaven, but, just like booze, after the first sip courses through your body and makes you feel so good, the succeeding bites never quite match up and I find myself continuing to eat just trying to recapture that first heavenly sensation. Of course, there is also something comforting about feeling full, sated, slightly stuffed. (beyond slightly stuffed there is only agony and recriminations, blame and finger pointing and empty promises ). In fact, as dismissive as I can be about hunger during the day, I cannot fall asleep hungry and have been known, after tossing for 3 or 4 hours, to rise from my couch and go in and ferociously empty the frig, shelf by shelf into my gaping maw......well, I do exagerate, but you get the idea. In fact, I am saving most of those 500 calories for bedtime gnashing, crunchng and gobbling......or as much of that as can be done with such a pittance of fodder. Anyway, as of 7:30 pm I am still doing fine with nothing under my belt but water, a few spinach leaves and mushroom slices, black coffee and a few cups of fat free chicken bouillion.
In case you are wondering, (and I am sure that one or two of you are surely wondering) what bit me on the ass to drive me to such extremes, I was very impressed with a video I recently watched, on the study that led up to the creation of this program called the FastDiet. If you can believe a bunch of Mice, it appears that a bit of fasting can actually make you live longer.......and if you are wondering why, after groaning and griping and schlepping along "Oy-ing" for 86 years I would want to do that, I do not have an answer today. Maybe it is just so that I can keep on blogging.
Anyway, I can hardly wait to see how this all turns out. Will Lois lose 2 and 3/4 ounces? Will Lois develop a completely new attitude about food?? Will Lois give up the whole idea when the next fast day rolls around on Thursday? Will Lois fall off the wagon tomorrow ( or, more likely, tonite at approx 3 am) and devour the entire southern side of Califa Street in one orgy of binge eating? You may take bets among yourselves......frankly, I have no effing idea.
The New Yorker covers: February 10, 1975
4 hours ago