Friday, April 18, 2014

one day left in my 2 week fast...

I got weirdly sick last night and wasn't able to update as planned, but here's what's up so far:

On Thursday, I went to another treatment session at the clinic and this time, got full on acupuncture all up on my tummy and thighs. But this wasn't just acupuncture, oh no. The next thing the doc does is attach wires to the needles sticking out of me and wooooo, turns out I'll be getting some electric shock goodness. This was a little unpleasant, at least more so than when I just got thighs and tummy wrapped with the machine, but it wasn't too bad. I did this for about an hour and I was done but the unpleasant bit was when he was chatting with me regarding my "Recovery" stage, post "Fasting" stage.

Come Sunday, I will be taking a bottle of juice for breakfast and dinner, but will be eating during lunch. On day one, I get to boil some vegetables and drink the liquid ("you can have a little bit of the vegetables," said doc). The days following that, I get the same diet as the pre-fast: fruits, vegetables, tofu, fish and no seasonings. The unpleasant bit? I had no idea I'd be continuing the juices during the next two weeks of recovery. It was never mentioned to me, never pointed out during any of this time, and since I was only given 3 bottles of juice, I'm fairly certain I just might run out of formula. This means, I need to cough up another $140 to cover the cost of a 4th bottle. 

Had someone said something at any point during these last 2 weeks that I will be drinking 3 bottles over the span of a MONTH and NOT just during the 2 weeks of fasting, I probably would have been a little more careful about how much juice I was drinking. I'm already paying over $1k for this whole thing ($1200 to be exact), which is definitely why I'm being very careful and thorough with all of this because DAMN IT this better be worth the price tag. But come on, another $140? Ridiculous. 

They had me take a bottle home, just in case, but I'm being careful with my remaining 3rd bottle now and I think I might be able to JUST make it so I'm not going to drink it. However, now I'm thinking of buying that 4th bottle anyway and having my mom try fasting for a week (sans treatments) for the detox. 

So, annoying but not awful. 

I just got a 3 day guest pass at LA fitness to help with the last few days of fasting because I'm just not sweating enough. The one I go to has a sauna so I figured that would help. I was actually trying to sign up for the 2 weeks free but since I was a member there, about 3 years ago, I am not eligible. The gym has revamped and changed a lot since then, so I think this is pretty much the stupidest thing ever, but whatever. I was hoping the 3 days would give me enough time to get used to the gym, feel comfortable there, and I could join but now I don't think so. Yesterday, I didn't get enough juice in me because I had gotten a little swamped at my internship and forgot to sip on it during the day. Then later, the center told me about needing that 4th bottle and me being me, I subconsciously decided to not drink any more for that day. I went to the gym that night and thought I was going to pass out. I was on the stairs for a while, and then working on my shoulders/delts, and feeling a little light headed. I forgot my water bottle so I was just sipping periodically from the water fountain. I went into the sauna and after a few minutes, could feel my head swimming. I thought maybe I was just a little dehydrated so I walked out and drank some more water before sitting in for a little longer. I could tell I wasn't doing so hot, though, so I stepped back out and took a shower. I basically could only rinse myself off and had to put my head between my knees, take a few deep breaths, before I left because I was not feeling great.

I got home, and immediately started to get chills. Trying to put away my sweaty clothes and wet towel were the worst feelings cause anything cold against my skin made my insides feel like they were freezing. I eventually got my teeth brushed and curled up in bed, my electric bed warmer up to high and under 2 blankets. I was pouring sweat but just couldn't stand the cold air... I finally fell asleep and woke up this morning feeling alright. 

Scary.

Besides that, everything was good. I've noticed that smells are much stronger for me, but generally still elicit hunger. I've had a few friends visit me this week, which means going out to eat. I just sip on my juice as they chow down on amazing looking food, but I'm not that tempted to eat it, which is nice. I get a strange, perverse enjoyment from watching other people eat... it's kind of like when I watch people cook on youtube and stuff. It just doesn't feel right if they don't try the food afterwards. I think it just makes me happy when other people enjoy their food- it's why I cooked and baked so often, but never really ate anything. Someone sent me a link about these korean girls who eat gigantic amounts of food over live-chat feeds and basically get paid to do so. I could probably watch them eat all day, and I don't know why : / (look up 

디바 먹방 online). I know, it's weird. Let's move on.


So I have just one more day left on my juice fast. Since I started (measured before pre-diet) and until now, I've lost a total for 13.6lbs (according to my daily measurements). That might not be a lot for some people, but I'm someone who has struggled with losing even a single pound from any diet so this is kind of a miracle for me. My clothes no longer really fit and I need to get my pants all tailored or something after this. My goal is to keep losing the weight for a total of 20lbs so I'm still a few off goal. I'm sure I'll regain some things during the recovery, when I'm getting actual food in me, and even more during the maintenance, when I'm totally off the juice, but I'll just have to work on it. I seriously hope, though, that I keep losing and don't regain anything. Because for reals, this shit is expensive. 

Alright, we'll see how the next 2 weeks of recovery go.
Sincerely,
Sue




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

this mother effing fast is making me lose my mind

4 more days of fasting left. Last night, I had a dream that I ran out of the juice concentrate and since I wasn't going to starve myself, I convinced myself that I had to eat something. So I stepped out of the train that I was on for some reason, and into a food court and ordered from this giant buffet table of everything delicious. I woke up so I don't know if I actually ate it, but I'm willing to bet that I did.

Since being on this fast, I'm starting to lose cognitive ability. On Monday, I was part of a presentation at my internship that I just wasn't all there for. I would literally forget what I had just said, forget a word that I was trying to use, and just generally off the mark. Thankfully, the lss black belt and the other interns didn't seem to notice, or if they did they were all very kind about it. It didn't seem to inhibit the general presentation either, so thank baby Jesus for that. 

And then yesterday, I went to the gym. I've been going to this free, local community gym at a high school since it seemed kind of silly to pay for a membership when I'm only going to be here for a few more months before school starts in another state. There aren't any free weights, but some pretty solid machines and kettle bells so it's been nice. I decided to work on my arms and realized that my rings were still on my hand, cutting into my fingers. So, I took them off and stuck them in my back pocket with my ipod. 

I finished, stepped out of the gym, and was walking to my car when I pulled my ipod out. I distinctly remember checking my pocket at the point, to make sure my rings didn't fall out with it. They were still there. And then from here, everything with those rings gets hazy. I don't remember taking them out of my pocket, but I grabbed my phone to take a picture of the moon while it was huge and beautiful in the sky. I drove home, took a shower, and spent the night looking at the moon. About 30 minutes before full blood moon, I realize that my rings are not on my fingers and I check my pants. No rings. I bolt downstairs and in the darkness of night, I am frantically searching my car. I see one of my rings on the passenger seat of the car. WHERE IS MY OTHER ONE? MY CLASS RING IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. I'm freaking out, pulling apart my car and trying to find this damn ring.

Nada.

Deep breath, I head back inside and take a few more glances at the moon until I fall asleep, trying to assure myself that I'll be able to see better once the sun is up...

Wake up this morning and bolt downstairs, check the car and recruit my dad to help me. Both of us drive back to the high school and check the parking lot, the car again, everything and no ring to be found.

My dad literally tore the flooring out of my car, on the off chance it fell into some weird crevice but nope. It's gone. I can't make heads or tails of this, because my other ring was there on the seat. They were together, I must have set them down together. Why didn't I put them back on my fingers? Why didn't I put them in the cup holder or some place NOT the seat? What is going on?

I have zero ideas why the things I always do did not happen. The only thing that's affecting me right now is this juice fast, so I can only assume I had some sort of mild aneurysm that resulted in this mistake. But for now, I'm calling it a sacrifice to the blood moon and I'm hoping and praying this means I will have forever amazing good fortune and luck in the future... sigh.

I've been freaking out about that ring ever since. I rarely lose things, so to lose something so expensive and so meaningful to me is just... the worst.

Anyway, I went to get some more acupuncture today. More electrical stimulation to my quads and belly, suction cupping on my back thighs, and this rather painful ultrasound or something on my lower back. That didn't last for long, but it was like hot ashes were landing on me. I think maybe the stimulation coupled with the heat lamp was a bad idea, but it didn't last for very long. He also put needles in my face and hands for like less than a minute, and then ended with something called moxa on my head. It literally burned my hair and was super painful. Just one point on the tippy point top of my head, he basically burned me like 3 times in the same spot. They were short, really painful burns and I could smell my hair burning. The pain is pretty quick, though, so once he finished I was fine. Still, weird. Apparently it's supposed to help with the concentration. All I can say is, TOO LATE. 

He told me that with only 4 days remaining, this time is crucial that I sweat more than I've been sweating now. I don't know what to tell him, I've been trying to make myself sweat as much as possible but I get maybe a light sheen at best- no shirt drenching craziness. He says that I should wrap my quads, lower mid section, and upper torso in saram wrap when I run. I understand that this is to make me sweat, but I have a feeling that's going to make me overheat and collapse in a puddle of twitching sadness so I'm going to say yea, sure, and keep doing what I'm doing to get myself to sweat. I think I'm going to try a free week at the gym or something and use the sauna. 

(note: just looked this up, and I know I'll be bombarded by "JOIN NOW!" emails and phone calls but... yolo- http://trylafitness.com/soa#find-nearest-club-section)

I'm down about 10lbs since I started a week ago, I have about 20 more that I'm hoping to lose through this program and ultimately, I want to lose another 20lbs by next year. I say all these things, and yet I can smell meat on the grill from someone's backyard and my stomach won't stop growling... that's another thing. I am constantly hungry. The doc says it's not hunger, it's just me missing the sensation of chewing, but I know hungry and this is hungry. My stomach is constantly growling and feeling too tight/empty and it's not a craving (which I also know too well), it's legitimate hunger that keeps rising its ugly face every 10-15 minutes if I am not constantly sipping on this juice. I feel like my teeth are being worn thin because I'm constantly chewing on a straw that I have in my mouth, sipping on juice. I hate being hungry. I can't wait until this weekend.

Also, my skin is terrible. I'm guessing it's the by-product of a detox, having the gross stuff inside of me pushed towards the surface or something, but I don't have very good skin to begin with and now my face looks like a 13 year old's going through puberty in a cartoon or something. It's damn awful and makes me a little angry.

I am losing the weight, but becoming a pizza faced, always hungry idiot. It's not worth the trade in the short term, but I'm hoping once I get back to my normal life, the weight will stay gone and the skin and brain will return to normal function...

I am a person with a lot of faith. Universe, don't test it. Just let it be.

So until next time (probably the end of the fast)!
Sincerely,
Sue

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

day 4 of my detox and i'm feeling weird

I got my third treatment today and it was all acupuncture. I used to be deathly frightened of acupuncture. The idea of having someone stick a whole crap load of needles in my like some sort of human pin cushion was not my idea of enjoyable, and the concept of it just freaked me out.

Today, I faced that fear with a vengeance. First, the doc sticks a bunch of needles in my tummy, ankles, and one in each hand (between the pointer and thumb fleshy bit). I basically took a nap since they shine a heat lamp on me to keep me warm and it was nice and comfortable. Then he had me flip onto my belly and put a bunch of needles all over my back. One hurt like a MOTHER F*CKER but he took it out immediately so the pain subsided pretty quickly. This wasn't as comfortable cause my face was squished into the hole, like a massage chair thing... but in kind of felt like that scene in ace ventura... but maybe not so extreme.

The whole thing took about an hour and afterwards, I talked to the doc about a few things:

1. I get the spins whenever I stand up. The world goes dark and little shiny spots appear from a total head rush that takes a few seconds to subside. He said this was normal, just to take it slow.

2. He was the one who mentioned this, actually, but he asked me if I find myself responding just a tad bit too slowly. I did notice this and thought I was just having a senior moment, but more than a few times today, I kept losing track of what was being told to me and forgetting things that I'd done often at the hospital I volunteer at. Apparently this is normal. I don't think it should be, but I'm going to trust him on this one and hope for the best...

3. I need to sweat more. I've been running in the mornings, but find that I don't really sweat when I run. I'm going to swap my running for jump roping and try to get as much of a sweat on as possible. Doc says I should be soaked through by the end of a workout, as part of the detox. This weekend, he said, is especially crucial for sweating. Maybe I'll hit up a sauna.

4. Maybe a little TMI (avert your eyes if you're not a peace corps volunteer or very comfortable talking about poop), but I haven't had a bowel movement all day. This happened during my 5 day juice fast, but the doc says to keep tabs on this and if it's 3 days with no activity, I need to call him. I think I'd rather just take another few ml of milk of magnesium to get things going, but that is what I shall do. Peeing out of my butt is better than nothing.

That's the update for now! I am supposed to be doing a bunch of stuff for my internship, but I can't seem to focus. I blame the juice. Also, I keep looking up recipes online for humitas and aji de gallina and papa rellenas and ceviche and loads of peruvian food, which the doc will probably tell me to avoid but you can only avoid it for so long before you find yourself knee deep in limes and cow hearts and I think I'm drooling.

Oh, as a side note, I weighed myself yesterday morning and then this morning... and I had gained 0.2lbs. It's like nothing, but COME ON. I put nothing but juice in my body, WTF BODY GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER.

The end.
Sincerely,
Sue

Sunday, April 6, 2014

and so the tahara detox fast begins

I forgot to mention a story that popped into my head this morning. When I went in for my second treatment, the doctor was applying the suction cups to my tummy and he goes "you have stretch marks." I wasn't really sure what to say to that. "Yes, also the sky is blue." Were we just stating the obvious? He said it as though I had no idea... like I'd look at my body for the first time ever and go, "WHAT! HOW DID THAT GET THERE?" Instead, I told him that yea, I did. I had them, actually, in various parts of my body and got them back when I was 13 or 14, around my growth spurt. His response was, "they don't go away." And again, I kind of just looked at him like, no shit, sherlock. It's not like I see things happening and think "oh well, that's weird" and never think of them again. I've done my research, obsessed over them for a really long time, and have never worn anything revealing because they were a source of oddity that I hated. That, and I'm overweight so there's always that self consciousness. For someone who runs a weight loss and detox clinic, he was stating some seriously obvious stuff. But again, I just said "yup, I know" and that was the end of the conversation. I don't know if he was just making chit chat, but it was a little strange. Still, he's a cool guy so I didn't think too much into that and like I said, it was just something that popped into my head this morning that I thought I would share.

So last night, I took 60ml of milk of magnesium, as prescribed. This morning, said laxative did what it was supposed to do and I will spare you the details, but my bowel was moved to tears... liquid, liquid tears...

Gross.

Anyway, I went to church in the morning, came back, and took out the instructions for what I'm supposed to be doing for the next two weeks. Lo and behold, step one is to take a packet of bifidus as soon as I wake up, and on an empty stomach. A little late on that, but my stomach was empty and so I proceeded to open up the little packet and pop the powder into my mouth. The flavor wasn't unpleasant and I didn't need to drink water or anything to get it down:

  
             
My fast for the next 2 weeks
daily packet of bifidus (probiotics)

So I'm supposed to dilute the juice by adding 60ml of it to 440ml of water. Basically, I take out 60ml of water from a 500ml bottle of water, and then add the 60ml of juice back in. Since funneling this sticky juice thing back into the water bottle was going to be annoying, I just added them into my Hydro Flask (which I ordered a few days ago, and got in the mail last night. I love it already! Definitely look into that if you're interested in getting a large, wide mouth steel water bottle. The color is beautiful, it's perfect for someone who drinks a lot of water, and I'm not worried about water sitting in it for too long cause it's steel and not naughty naughty plastic). My 40oz holds about 2 water bottles worth of this stuff. The doctor told me that I need to drink a minimum of 4 bottles of diluted juice a day but, if I find that I'm lacking energy or feeling hungry, I can drink more. 

 
              
ingredients are pretty amazing...
I can kind of understand now why this
thing is so damn expensive
the bottle of juice comes with a measuring
cup, bifidus, bottle of water,
and my beautiful acai purple hydro flask!

I was crazy hungry this morning, but the feeling subsided when I got home. Still, I made myself a flask of juice and have been trying to slowly sip it throughout the day. I tend to chug liquids but the doc told me that's a no no, so I'm working on it. The flavor isn't bad. It's sweet, like you took the fake cherry apple juice you can buy at the store and diluted it down. There's definitely a very, slight hint of fermented scent/flavor that I can detect but not in a bad way. All in all, I am really happy that this tastes pretty good. We'll see if it actually keeps me from feeling hungry though... especially since I'm not really helping any of this by watching episodes of Epic Meal Time online...

I would be a vegetarian, if not for meat... : /

Since I started the treatments and the pre-diet fast, I have lost 5.2lbs. I measure myself in the mornings, right after using the bathroom, and right before I drink my first glass of water. I'm pretty consistent with the timing of my measurements so it's a very happy me seeing these results. To weigh myself, I use an EatSmart digital scale which is super simple and from my research, appears to be quite accurate. The doctors weigh me whenever I go in, but it's always fully clothed and after lunch so their weight measurements are sort of meh, but I'm more interested in the percentage body fat results so whatever. Plus, it should be decreasing at a fairly proportional rate.

I have my third treatment tomorrow, after my dental appointment.  I've also been oil pulling with coconut oil for a few weeks now, so I wonder if the dentist will mention any changes or differences in my oral health. 

As a side note, my stomach has started growling like crazy as I type this. I'm not hungry, though. It's just being loud... I'm alone in my room so no big deal, but this might get a little embarrassing when I'm at my internships... womp womp. 

Until next time!
Sincerely,
Sue 

Friday, April 4, 2014

day two of pre-fast diet

So I realized that this thing I'm doing is called the Tahara Detox, and it's a whole clinic that devotes itself to eastern medicine weight loss and detox.

Anyway, today was day 2 of the pre-fast diet and my second treatment. The treatments lasted roughly an hour long and consisted of electrical stimulation first to my thighs and then to my tummy. While the machine was working on my legs, another one was suction cupping my stomach. It was like this little cups, imagine large, rounded shot glasses, that were placed on various parts of my tummy and hips, and just vacuuming away. It wasn't uncomfortable, just weird. The electrical stimulation, though, was at first tickling me. I'm a ticklish person, and feeling little jolts on my upper thigh resulted in my trying really really hard not to burst out laughing. After a while, though, the feeling subsided and it was more like someone was jabbing me with a wooden stick just a little too hard to be comfortable. I kept trying to get my leg muscles to relax, only nanoseconds later remembering that the electric shock was making them tense. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but that too subsided. When the thing was wrapped around my tummy, I actually fell asleep for a few minutes.

The hour was up, no needles today, and I drove back home. THE END! I felt no ill side effects and honestly, I kind of liked the feeling of my muscles contracting and relaxing. Although, I was honestly plagued by images of the pithed frogs in Bio 101 that we applied electrical stimulation to, to see their legs jerk around while learning about muscles and reflex and all that. Weird.

I forgot to take pictures of my meals except this one:
4 mandarinas and a ripe banana... banana for scale. and eating.

I had fruit for breakfast (pictured above), as well as some blanched broccoli, tofu, apples, strawberries, and carrots. 

And then for lunch, I basically had the salad from yesterday except no broccoli or cauliflower, but replaced it with a few slices of beets. I had some more apples and strawberries as a snack, got home starving and finished the broccoli and tofu from this morning, and now I'm about to have 4 more of these orangettes. 

The doctor told me that during the fast, I should only drink the juice so I won't be eating my normal vitamin routine (although he said it was fine during the pre-fast and the post-maintenance). I asked him about chia seeds (which I put in my water) and he also said that'd be alright for now, just not during the fast. 

Tomorrow, I run in the SoCal Warrior Dash (so freakin pumped) so hopefully this lack of protein doesn't get in the way. I'm also not going to be taking any Gu or Clif Shot or any energy gels so that'll be something interesting to see. It should be pretty easy, though, so I'm not too concerned.

Until tomorrow, amiguitos <3 div="">
Sincerely,
Sue


Thursday, April 3, 2014

day 1 of 3 "pre-diet"

I'm always hungry. Today, I woke up hungry so I ate breakfast:
Left: Tofu and mixed green salad      Right: Half a yellow bell pepper stuffed with assorted veggies and tofu
Then I went to my internship, where only moments later I was crazy hungry again so I had lunch:
Green apple and carrot, broccoli, corn, cucumber, cauliflower, tomato, lettuce salad
It was quite filling, but my lack of protein had my stomach grumbling away only a few hours later. I resisted the temptation to devour any being that crossed my path, a la No-Face in Spirited Away. I managed to get home and eat yet another salad:

4 tiny adorable mandarinas and mixed green salad with strawberries, tofu, cucumber, bell pepper, and tomatoes
Hopefully this will tide me over until tomorrow. In case you're wondering, the doctors have me on a diet for 3 days where I can only eat fruits, vegetables, steamed/boiled fish, and/or steamed/raw tofu. No seasonings, no oils, nothing else. The actual paper they gave me that outlines what the 3 days of pre-fasting diet is composed of, actually includes much more (brown rice, certain soups, etc) but it's not what the doc is prescribing, so I'm following his orders. Part of me thinks he's making me follow a more stringent diet b/c of my earlier criticisms of the practice, but maybe I'm just hungry and not thinking straight. OR MAYBE HE'S TRYING TO SILENCE ME THROUGH STARVATION. No, I'm going to have another mandarin orange. I'll feel better.

In any case, it doesn't say I can't work out or anything and actively encourages a limited amount of cardio so I'm happy.

Besides that, I've been drinking water. I'm usually downing about a gallon of water per day (maybe too much, but it's just how much I drink) but that number has gone down to a few glasses ever since I left my Nalgene on the east coast. I don't have a constant reminder to drink agua and so, I am becoming a wrinkly raisin and dehydrating into hungry oblivion. I ordered a 40oz hydro flask online, though, and have been obsessively tracking its course from PA to CA. It's set to come Saturday so I'm SUPER pumped! My first all steel, beautiful bottle of refreshing H2O. Love it.

That's all for now. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with the doctors to get my acupuncture fix. I'm scheduled for a M, W, F treatment schedule but I might have to change that cause things just got awesome at my internship (long story short, I might be getting my yellow belt certification in LEAN Six Sigma... wooot).

Day 1 down, 30 more to go.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In a whole different direction

Voila! An update!

So from here on out, I should give you a heads up: I will no longer be posting about the Peace Corps. If you want to know more about that, read my old posts and get your fill but I'm back in America, so it's on to USA things!

Which I say, but will now be contradicting entirely. But first, a little background about me:

For the past few months I've been back home, I've been dealing with my weight. Yea, yea- it's old news (a girl concerned about her weight? Boo hoo! Yea well, shut your face.) but having spent a lot of time trying really hard to not eat every potato in Peru, I'm suddenly overwhelmed by healthy food and life choices. It's brilliant.

And yet, my health now and my health a year ago are not at all different. I'm not sick, but I'm overweight. I work out consistently (doing a Warrior Dash this Saturday! Woot!), eat mostly protein with lots of fruits and veggies, partake in refined sugars every once in a while but not to a gluttonous extreme, and drink copious amounts of water. At my last check up, the doctors gave me standing ovations (not really, but I was told that my blood oxygen level was basically perfect so that's something). So what the HELL, body?!

I've always been pretty chubby, ballooned out around high school, and got it under control in college. I've played sports in high school (varsity tennis), college (club rugby), and was a gym rat the year before peace corps. In Peru, I ran an off road half marathon, a few lovely 10kms, and participated in the Guinness World Book of Record's longest raft race down the Amazon for 3 days of paddling a gigantic, unwieldy raft built by hand.

And still, my weight hasn't moved. Not up. Not down. Just chilling like NBD.

So I tried a bunch of diets (military diet, juice detox, banana diet, korean detox juice/soup diet, etc) to no avail. The last hardcore diet diet where I actually lost weight (nearly 20lbs) was during college, but it involved eating only chicken breasts and bell peppers for months, and I was injected with some mysterious concoction that to this day, I have no idea what it was... (maybe that's why my body's so frustratingly stable? New, uber lame super power?). Let's just say, it was probably horrible and yet I was totally willing to give it a try.

Why? You ask... I assume.

Why indeed. Well, to be quite frank, I've never stopped to ask myself that. Mostly because at this point in my life, being overweight and picked on for it is sort of... my norm. If you're not overweight, maybe you can relate to some level through some other visible defect of sorts that the oh so bright children of the future learn to hone in on and pick at with shovels (John Mulaney, anyone?). Plus, I'm Korean.

Now, if you're not Korean, this is also something that might be news. Peruvians aren't that different, I guess. But physical appearances, in the states, are things we don't generally point out in matter of fact ways. Peruvians will greet each other based on physical appearance (hola gordito: hey fatty, que tal flaquita: what's up skinny) but it's generally said with affection, even though a north american might get a bit offended. Koreans do the backhanded compliment. You have no idea how often I hear, "you would be so pretty if you were skinny!" and "lose those last few pounds, and the boys will be all over you!" to which I respond by laughing or smiling and for some reason, thanking them.

It's weird. I know.

But let's be honest, I've been growing up with this forever and it just doesn't bother me anymore, but it's pretty much ingrained into my whole being. When I was younger, I actively fought against it. I was extremely shy, very introverted, and made friends with books and not people because people were the worst. In high school, I joined tennis and started to make friends, grew gregarious and confident, and getting picked on for my weight wasn't happening as much anymore- and when it did, I got really good at fighting back. It's probably why I went into psychology in college- I was really good at finding that one thing someone else was insecure about, and heckling them with a very well placed jab of my sharp tongue. But I ate whatever I wanted and when my mom would once again warn me against eating another slice of bread because tsk tsk that's fattening, I would stare at her and shove 2 pieces in my mouth, because bread is delicious damn it.

In college, I had more control over what I was eating and holy take out, batman- I was loving the food! Brie stuffed french toast, pad thai with shrimp, mushroom calzones, and so much more! I'm a big proponent of everything in moderation, and so that's exactly what I did but every once in a while, I undertook a few eating challenges and I'm pretty proud of how well I was able to keep up (to a point).

Anyway, I went to Peru where my food choices dwindled but I managed to haggle a deal with my host mom so that I'd at least have a serving of vegetables 5 out of 7 days of the week. I got back to the US, tried a few more diets in the past few months and nothing (or I'd lose 2lbs and immediately gain them back the next day if I ate anything different from the prescribed list of foods).

So my mother, who has always pushed me to lose weight (she was and is one of those moms, but now I choose to think it's for my health, and not because she's a crazy korean woman obsessed with weight as much as South Korea as a nation is obsessed with weight and being thin. She probably is, but I love her anyway), she mentioned that someone she knows went to this clinic because she had diabetes and wanted to improve her condition and she lost over 20lbs in a month or so and blah blah blah.

My immediate reaction was, holy CRAP! That's so unhealthy! She's going to yo-yo and it's not going to be good. My second reaction was... I wonder if it'd work for me? I mean, years of evidence have shown that weight loss does not come easy to my body. I am a rock, a stable beacon for mass, the thing by which weight stability is measured by.

So after talking a bit, we decide to check out the clinic together. I go in and am immediately wary. The doctors explain the program, but I had to pull teeth to get the details. It's freakin crazy expensive (like, I could buy a round trip flight to Peru and live there comfortable for another year expensive), so I'm wondering why all of this isn't being told to me. They basically tell me that chances are good I'll lose weight, but there's no guarantee. Basically, they're telling me to drop a load of cash at their feet and have faith. I'm like... what is this, scientology? Hell to the NO. Give me details. After an hour or two of me trying to understand what's being said, how everything is broken down, what the plan and "treatments" are, I excuse them to chat with my mom. We go back and forth and finally I decide- what the heck. I made a bet with my mom that if I could lose 20lbs, she'd buy me a puppy. This way, I'm doing this program that involves 3 months of intermittent acupuncture (to ears, stomach, and apparently legs/ankles), heat lamps, these suction cup things that are hilarious (they suction cup sections of your stomach, hips, and thighs and I think it's to stimulate them but I'm not sure), some sort of scrapping (didn't do this one today, so I'm not sure), 2 weeks of a juice detox where I'll be drinking a diluted fermented juice from the Tahara company, and following up with lots and lots of maintenance where they'll be constantly checking my percentage body fat, weight, bmi, etc.

I've never put too much faith in eastern medicine. I mean, I think a lot of it works but more for maintaining than curing. I don't know why I think that, but I do. And I think the doctors were a little annoyed at me by my constant string of questions (which I refuse to apologize for. I'm shelling out this much cash, the least they can do is answer some damn questions. Plus, don't call yourself a doctor if you're not going to encourage your patients to question and understand.) buuuuuuttt whatever.

So I'll be updating you more on what the heck is going on, what I'm eating, and what my activity is like.

I started today and was given my first (out of 12) treatment of acupuncture to my belly and ankles, and the suction cup things (seriously. I could not stop giggling the entire time these were on me, and burst into laughter when they removed it cause of the sucky sound it made. My mom disapproved of my reaction, but I'm ticklish and it couldn't be helped!)

Starting tomorrow, I begin 3 days of pre-fast, which means I can drink lots of water, eat fruits and vegetables, tofu and fish, but nothing else- no seasoning, no oil, nada nada... I should have asked about seeds. Eh, I'll leave them for now and return to them in another month or so.

The intense part of the program is only a month long, followed by 2 months of check-ins for maintenance. We'll see how this goes and I'll post daily (albeit, probably much shorter passages than this. Sorry for the giant bio!) if you're interested.

Sincerely,
Sue

NOTE: According to the machine that does all the percentage body fat and numbers and things, I apparently should lose 32lbs. However, I was fully clothed in cold weather clothes, and had literally had a meal less than an hour before so this number is questionable. None the less, I'm aiming for it just to see what happens.