Crash and Burn


After the rain

I just love a good thunderstorm. The world feels fresh and new the next morning. All the dirt and grime is washed away revealing the world’s true colors hiding beneath. We had some really good thunderstorms last night and I would have enjoyed them a lot more if I hadn’t felt like vomiting.

Apparently, I’m a big wuss. These past few days on the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet have been the worst I can remember in a long, long time. Of course, the first day of the plan, the Cheat Day, was perfectly awesome. But on day two, the Fast Day, I was a miserable wreck. I took my BCAA (branched-chain amino acid)  supplements and took a decent metabolism booster as instructed. I was at work for a big part of the day and I was doing okay. But by the time 4:00pm rolled around and it had been 21 hours since my last meal, I was ready to crack. I was weak, had a headache and I was just freakin’ hungry.

I know that my problem was most likely psychological. I’m sure I was not actually starving the way I felt I was starving.  I did finally break down and eat a little something…I lasted a full 24 hours on the fast and thought that was pretty good. And the worst part is I was supposed to do two workouts during this day. There was no way I was going to be able to perform even one workout. I was  ready to go to bed that night just so I wouldn’t feel the discomfort that came from feeling that hungry. Even though I ate dinner,  it just wasn’t enough after going so long without food. I felt completely miserable when I hit the sack.

The next day wasn’t quite as bad…Shake Day. I thought I would feel famished when I first woke up, but I was feeling pretty normal. I made my first protein shake and it seemed to do the trick. My son had his Field Day at school and my husband and I had plans to volunteer. The day was gorgeous for outdoor sports activities and I was happy to feel some warm sunshine. But once my coffee ran out, I started to feel the pangs of hunger once again. Field Day only lasted a couple of hours but by the time we got back to the house, I felt weak and depleted. I had another shake, but I still felt empty.  Several shakes later I had to get to softball practice, but my head was pounding and I just felt weak. Somehow I made it through practice, though my husband told me I looked lethargic and didn’t seem to be at my best. When we finished up at the field, my husband and son wanted to eat dinner (it was 8:00pm after all) so we ended up going to the club on base. I ate a piece of hamburger on a bun with mustard only. And a lot of water.  It wasn’t a shake, but it was not a lot of food. I still felt hungry and wanted the day to end.

Finding my own path

When we finally got back home I checked in with my XFLD partner back in Texas. She had gone the entire fast day successfully and was working her way through the shakes on day three. She seemed to be having a much better time with the plan than I. I thought to myself, “what a puss I am!” and vowed to do better next time around. How could she be doing so much better? Am I really that much of a wuss that I just can’t handle it? I really thought I was tough enough to do this plan, even though it’s extreme. I was really disappointed in myself.

I read so many comments on Joel Marion’s blog from people all over the world, from different walks of life, with different perspectives who had fasted or made it a regular practice to fast and had zero problems. I remember reading from one person who works in a hospital who regularly checked her blood sugar levels to make sure it didn’t drop throughout her fast only to find it stayed normal throughout the whole day.  So, that means that for me it must be all in my head.

Day four, the Moderate Carb Day, I was very excited to have made it this far. I woke up and wanted to go to my zumba class. I hadn’t been able to go all week because I had been working so much. And this morning, our class was being held outside! It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I couldn’t wait. I made breakfast (one egg, two pieces of turkey bacon, one piece of toast with margarine and all-fruit, juice and coffee) and got ready to head out. I was so pumped.

Zumba is a very high-energy class and I just wasn’t able to give it my all during this beautiful outdoor exhibition. I felt weak all over. My legs felt like they would give out at any moment. It was so bad the instructor noticed. My general lack of energy and all-over weakness had really interfered with my activities. I decided at that moment that this diet was just not going to work for me. I needed more than what I was getting from the XFLD. Yes, I want to lose weight and get back into shape, but I just don’t think anyone should feel this horrible while doing it.

We left the field after zumba and decided we needed to get some lunch and sandwiches from the deli counter seemed like a great choice. We sat down and I began to devour my lunch. I must have looked something like a shark attacking a surfer, eyes rolling back into my head and mouth chomping down ferociously, to anyone that may have taken notice. My husband probably had to turn his gaze away from me as I tore through my poor, unsuspecting wrap sandwich. It never stood a chance.

It wasn’t too long after we finished eating that we were all in the car driving towards home when the nausea set in. I’ve never been carsick before and didn’t think I was carsick now, but one minute I was fine and the next I felt the need to pull over.  We had planned on hitting up a friend’s outdoor barbeque later in the afternoon, but I ended up laying on the couch in a pathetic fetal position for the rest of the day. I don’t remember the last time I felt so sick. I was the most miserable I had been in a very long time.

This morning I woke up and stepped on the scale. Though yesterday had been a disaster I still wanted to see if all the torturous days had at least yielded some positive result. But sadly, I weighed exactly the same as I had on the first day of the XFLD. After the fast day I had lost 2.5 lbs and was hoping to still be close to that. But obviously, it was only water which I replaced yesterday during my balled-up recovery time. I ate plenty of carbs yesterday and drank a lot of fluids. My week, from an extreme diet standpoint,  has been a total waste of time.

I will confess that I know extreme diets never work. I know that crazy fads are really just that…crazy. None of the extreme, fad, crash or crazy diets ever really work. And what’s worse, if you ever do lose weight on one of these crazy diets, it’s probably mostly water and comes right back within a short period of time.  After reading the science behind Joel’s plan, I was really hoping that this one would be different. And maybe it is for some. Maybe some people can do this program with little difficulty. But not most people. It clearly says in all the info that “this plan is not for everyone” and it’s really true. It’s for only a select few. If you are not in the habit of fasting or starving, it’s probably going to be really difficult to get through this program. Just one 5-day cycle was nearly impossible for me to get through…I can’t imagine trying to get through four more cycles. And exercising during these starvation modes…well, that was not going to happen. Yes, like a thunderstorm washes away all the surface grime to reveal what’s really underneath, I have discovered what’s hiding beneath all the science-speak in Joel Marion’s Xtreme Fat Loss Diet…just another crazy, crash, fad diet. What a disappointment. But I really should have known better.

My partner confessed to me yesterday that she couldn’t imagine doing it four more times, either and agreed to do a modified plan with me. I told her that I could come up with a much more reasonable way to do this if she was willing to go off the XFLD. And she agreed. Thank goodness!

Today I will spend the day chillin’ out and getting ready to start on a new plan. My friend and partner is willing to try something a little more reasonable and I can live with that.  My new plan will consist of a “cheat” day followed by four days of very low calories. We can still use the metabolism booster for added results. But there will be no starving. There will be food intake on every day of my plan. And we will still get to have a cheat day to boost our hormone levels and keep us from plateauing. And we will lose weight.

Time to lay off the alcohol...

I thought that giving up beer and wine would be the hardest part of losing weight. But after attempting to get through five days of the XFLD, I don’t think that will be a concern any longer. After that, giving up alcohol will be a cinch.

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About Jodie M Cordell

I am a military spouse and a freelance writer/copywriter. I love to write and fill my time writing for both pleasure and profession. I specialize in advertising and marketing but have a passion for food, nutrition and health. I spend my free time writing about the wonderful things I learn regarding food and nutrition and enjoy sharing all the things I find with others. View all posts by Jodie M Cordell

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