Friday, March 09, 2018

satanic interlude

I haven't blogged about this yet, so here's the news: I haven't eaten anything since Monday. No solid food. I'll be breaking that fast this weekend, when I make my batch of seitan and eat an experimental low-rent gyro (by "low-rent," I mean that I'll be using a tortilla instead of legit flatbread) or two, then it's back to foodlessness for the next few days.

Part of what prompted this was my horror at getting on the scale after a couple months of not weighing myself. During those months, I was sure that I had been regaining all the weight I had lost during my long walk last year, and getting on the scale showed that, yup, I had regained nine of my ten lost kilos. Ashamed, I decided to fast as a sort of penance, and also because I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person when it comes to things like eating and physical effort (to wit: eat big and hearty or not at all; walk across the country or just be lazy).

For the past few days, I've lost almost a kilo a day, which is six times faster than the kilo-per-week you're supposed to lose on a regular diet/exercise regimen. I haven't really been hungry, and perhaps because I've had some carby drinks this week, I haven't been tired. I've been walking, but only short distances, and I haven't done a lot of stair work. Intestinally, I'm amused to see that I'm still pooping, albeit just a tiny bit each day. It's amazing how long the poop will linger in the guts before it decides to depart via my brown stargate. I had one hilariously violent diarrhetic night after I'd drunk a whole bottle of milk: as I get older, the Korean half of my DNA has been kicking in, and I've become somewhat lactose-intolerant. Otherwise, I spend my days feeling a bit empty but not overly hungry. I don't help my situation by constantly watching food-related videos on YouTube, but I haven't been driven insane by the decision to stop eating for a while.

The real kicker is that, the moment I started fasting, I'm pretty sure my blood pressure went right down. Normally, when I haven't been exercising much, the BP meds keep me from feeling headaches and a slight constriction around the heart. If I stop taking the meds for a day, I feel the effects immediately. But now that I'm not eating, I can walk a couple hours and not feel anything untoward: it's as if I'm still taking my meds (which I'm not doing this week). I also think I'm more alert while fasting: all this week, I haven't once nodded off in front of my computer at work. The trade-off, of course, is that I miss the psychological satisfaction that comes from stuffing my gullet. I'd love to have a load of McDonald's food pushing outward, like an alien baby, against my groaning belly, and I do miss the taste of food. But for now, it's enough for me to focus on the benefits of what I'm doing. The weight is coming down; my BP seems to have settled, and I'm pretty sure my blood sugar is a lot lower, but I'm not crashing: there have been no symptoms of hypoglycemia.

So I'm probably going to continue this fast into next week, or I might start to bring some food back into my diet—low-carb items like chicken breast and broccoli, the mainstay of movie-stars-in-training. But this Saturday, it's a "seitanic" interlude for me.*

*For my gyros, I normally include lettuce and tomatoes. Charles has talked about how lame the tomatoes are here in Korea; there's a very thin slice of time during which rich, meaty tomatoes are available, but otherwise, the tomatoes tend to be disappointing, 'tis true. I just bought a bag of tomato powder, though, and one of the uses of tomato powder is to enhance the flavor of bland tomatoes, so I'm looking forward to trying that out tomorrow.


Charles said...

Where are these mythical "rich, meaty tomatoes" you speak of? Or, more accurately, when? I have yet to find decent tomatoes here.

Kevin Kim said...

My building's grocery occasionally sells expensive plastic boxes of tomatoes whose Korean name I can't recall. Those tomatoes aren't great, but they're better than average, and they're occasionally quite tasty when sold in season. Each tomato is about twice as large as a large cherry tomato, say, 4-5 cm in diameter. You may know the ones I'm talking about. Per 100 g, these tomatoes cost about twice as much as other tomatoes.