I am laying in bed on the evening of Day 40 at 11:00 pm. It is finally over. A part of me is trying to stay up until midnight so I can have a go at one of those chocolate covered chocolate Hagen Daas ice cream bars in the freezer. If I keep typing until then, maybe I will.
I feel very alone this night but not in a bad way at all. My vision quest is about to end and there's an eerie feeling of loss and loneliness at the prospect of waking up in the morning and NOT being on the Survivor Diet Challenge. It became part of me and part of my life style and I am going to miss it. The alone feeling comes from the fact that although I have friends and family that have half-heartedly followed my journey, there's no one that I know out there that can truly understand how I feel now that it is at the end. Sure, I'll probably get a few "good jobs" and "congratulations" and other verbal praise for my accomplishment but in the end, it is just me - left with the finality of my completed challenge and all of the experience, education, knowledge and adventure that came with it. The alone that I feel is a prideful one that gives me a feeling of contentment and confidence. I set out on a journey with lofty goals and promises of hardship and struggle all along the way - and I did it! And very well I might add.
I lost a total of 22 pounds! I successfully lowered my high blood pressure from a high of 142/95 to a perfectly normal 118/78 (average). I exercised three days per week and have a good physical rehabilitation plan in place. I virtually stopped a terrible snoring habit all together. I conquered the ever dreadful migraine headache. As far as my extremely high cholesterol numbers - I will get the results of that test in a few days.
I learned how to make fire using a couple different primitive methods. I learned and successfully created several trapping techniques. I found some great new clamming areas and a new tool that dramatically increased my production. I was taught a new method of catching big striped bass and I was able to successfully repeat it on my own. I met a new spearfishing buddy and was shown several new areas to explore. We are enrolled to take a freediver safety and education class in a couple weeks. I learned about KAP (kite aerial photography) and took some great photos. Additionally, I still plan to use my kite for surf fishing when the time is right - a whole new method of fishing that I am anxious to try out. I continued my interesting hobby of beekeeping with a renewed enthusiasm. I made several new friendships and taught many of my newly acquired skills to some very interested children (even though they were not my own). Ha!
40 days is a long time. Hopefully it is long enough to instill some habits that will stay and to provide some valuable life lessons that will be remembered. I truly think it is. Part of me wants to just jump right off this roller coaster ride and start the foodie pig out the first chance I get. While another part of me can introspectively look at all that I have earned and accomplished and say - "I don't want to throw all that away." I know I will have a couple days of celebratory food madness but after that I will make the best effort I can to stay the course.
I have a junk food plan in place which allows one type of junk food each month and I believe that is going to be a positive experience. I will try to blog about that process and give periodic updates. Other than that, I have to remember moderation. Moderation will be the key to success and also my biggest hurdle.
On a fun note, I took a trip to the A&P this evening after work to plan out my glorious breakfast for tomorrow morning. Here's my plan. . . First of all, wake up early and go eat one of those ice cream bars - just get it the heck out of the way! Put that thing to bed and then move on. Second, I have already mixed a bread dough which will be rising throughout the night. The bread that I have made with just simple flour, water and yeast has been nothing short of amazing and I intend to continue to learn and expand upon this new hobby. When I finish my ice cream, I will shape my dough and get it prepped for the oven. It will have to rest for another 2 hours and so will I - back to bed. When I get up for good, the bread will be ready to bake and after about 45 minutes my wonderful loaf will be emerging from the oven ready to become the first part of the Day 1 AD (After Diet) breakfast. By this time, my whole kitchen will be permeated with the odor of freshly baked bread - OMG I can almost smell it as I type.
Next, I will make some crunchy home fries. Tonight I cubed up a few potatoes and par boiled them just to get them started. They are sitting in the refrigerator right now aching to be seasoned and fried in oil and butter in the morning. It's quite possible that I may eat a whole stick of butter at breakfast tomorrow! I can already see it melting on my warm slice of crunchy thick crusted bread. It's frying in my hash browns. My next plan is to make a couple simple soft boiled eggs with ultra runny yolks and add a little butter and salt to them. Is there anything butter does not make better?
Wait a minute - I think there is something. . . Oh yeah - the bacon! I bought a pack of bacon at the store and right now I picture a platter (not a plate) with warm crunchy bread/toast, loads of bacon, two soft eggs and home fried potatoes. On the side I will have some sliced sweet pineapple (which has been teasing me in the fridge for a couple days now), a bowl of fresh cherries, half a grapefruit and whatever the hell else I feel like eating! And you better believe I will be saving room for another ice cream bar for dessert. (Talk about going off the wagon)
That's just my breakfast plan - wait until you hear the lunch and dinner and after dinner plan. . . Well, I think I will save that update for my next blog entry. Let's just say that Debbie and I are celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary tomorrow and we are going in to New York for the afternoon and evening. We are going to create our own walking food tour of the city and basically stuff our faces full of gourmet and extravagant food and drink. And what better place to do it than NYC? Seriously, if I don't puke or have massive diarrhea and stomach pain then I did not do Day 1 AD justice. Wish me luck. I think I'm gonna need it.
By the way - it is now 12:00 am! I feel surprisingly awake and I hear something coming from downstairs. It's a faint whisper but I definitely hear something calling to me. . . excuse me while I go check it out.