When I started P90X my goal was to get in shape and lose some weight. I felt those were good reasons, simple reasons. I didn’t really expect it to become everything that it did. The next four months of my life since that day 1 in January have been, in terms of my health, amazing and have changed far more in my life than just getting in shape and losing some weight (although those things did happen).
Part of me is embarrassed to write this because part of me wonders what things will be like in 12 months. Is this just a fad? Is this modern day Pogs for a 29 year old married man who couldn’t quite hack it in the gym? I’ll have you know I was pretty good at Pogs for about four months there.
That said I feel compelled to go on a limb and I wanted to share with you my experiences with P90X and, more importantly, about the health revolution my wife and I have been through since 2013 began. It is something that has been so critical in our lives as we try to become the best versions of ourselves we can be for each other and our future children. It may sound a bit dramatic but we’ve learned over the past couple years that nothing can be taken for granted and if you really want something sometimes you have to just go get it.
For me it began with my health.
P90X is broken into three phases, each encompassing thirty days of specific exercises. Towards the end I decided to extend the program into a fourth phase, something of my own making.
There is a riddle in the book The Hobbit that goes like this:
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
The answer to the riddle is cheese whiz. Actually that is wrong. The answer to the riddle is time. Time is an interesting thing. I’ve had a lot of it over the past 10 days and I feel like this reboot has been both simultaneously quick and absolutely dragged on. Saturday morning of day 9 brought with it a feeling of tedium. I was starting to get tired of the early routine, the morning water, the cleaning of the fruits and vegetables, the juicer and, of course, drinking the juice. Ain’t nobody got time for all that.
I think part of it has to do with the fact that I can sense the end being so near that it’s like finishing a marathon (an analogy I use having no idea what finishing a marathon is actually like but what I imagine one must be thinking when they do finish one). You are so focused for the first 23 miles that you hardly think about the finish, only that you need to keep truckin’. That’s how I felt leading into day 9. I just needed to continue executing my plan. However, when you can see the finish so close you get this second wind of energy to pick up the pace a little bit and finish strong and quick.
That may work in a marathon but time doesn’t quite work that way. These next 48 hours are going to take 48 hours whether I will them to go faster or not. I can’t really make my final 10 juices and drink them down and say I’m done. There’s a specific schedule to these things that cannot be interrupted. One must persevere.
Sorry this post is a few days late. I figured a daily blog for the final half was probably a little excessive, so I’ve broken down the second half into two blogs. Blogging really helped me through the first few days but now that my body seems to have adjusted to this new diet the days don’t seem quite so daunting or long. It’s amazing how the body adapts. I’m hoping that filling it with complete nutrients I’m really allowing it to focus on other issues than just digestion and I’m getting healthier in ways I can’t even see.
When I first started this reboot each day felt like stepping out on a high dive a little farther. The first day or two I still felt close enough to the beginning that I could turn back but after a few days, in case I felt like I was truly starving or something. The idea of going longer than a few days without “normal” food is a little hard for the mind to wrap itself around. Around day 5 I reached a tipping point and I walked off the edge of the high dive. That’s when I really knew I was in this for good. No turning back.
I’ve made it to the halfway point and I still live. I’ve got to say, it feels good to have made it this far. The first couple of days definitely felt pretty long but now time seems to be speeding up and the days don’t drag and the weight of how many more days I need to get through doesn’t seem nearly so daunting.
It also feels good to look back and see that I have definitely completed five days and look forward and see just five left. I can do this whole thing again. I am starting to think about how I am going to come off this fast and what changes I want to make so I don’t fall back into bad habits. I plan on heading right into another phase of P90X as soon as I finish. Combined with an even better diet I’m excited to continue to push my limits. Eat Clean, Train Dirty as they say.
I am still fighting that temptation to dwell on what I will be eating when I am done because seriously, food is everywhere. I had a Truman Show moment driving into work today. As I sat in my car at a light I found myself looking at all the fast food places that are on every corner and all the cars surrounding me. I thought to myself how any one of these people could whenever they wanted just drive up to any of these places and get whatever they want and not think anything of it. I just glanced at my bag full of my mason jars filled with my afternoon and dinner juices. If only they knew that this nearly 30 guy in an old Jeep couldn’t do any of that… crazy.
I’ve made a huge mistake.
Roots and Fruits
Due to what I thought was going to be a really busy day and wanting to sleep in for an extra thirty minutes this morning I chose last night to prepare my juices for today in advance. My thought was to leave them in the fridge overnight to chill and they would be nice and cold and ready for me in the morning when I headed to work. I’m pretty sure Jesus did say, after all, that preparation was second only to godliness…
Maybe that’s wrong. Maybe it was Tupac who said that.
At any rate, I had my four juices made and chilling in the fridge by the time I went to bed last night and by the time I got to my first two juices this morning they were delicious. Perhaps a little more pulpy than usual but delicious none the less.
My lunch juice, however, was a monster juice that goes by the title V28. V28 is a great juice. It’s not the best tasting by any means but as far as nutritional value, filling factor and size of beverage made it is hard to beat. I try to have it at least every other day.
V28 – 3 Red Beets, 2 Carrots, 2 Celery, 4 Plum Tomatoes, 4 cups Parsley, 1 Apple, 12 Radishes
By the time I was able to step away from my work I had about five minutes to drink my 32oz beverage. I’ve become quite adept at pouring juice over ice and then just sucking down 16-20oz at a time. Not quite the enjoyment factor I’m looking for but you gotta do what you gotta do am I right? Such was the case today and I poured my V28 and downed half of it in a couple quick gulps. Almost immediately I wanted to wretch. That’s never happened before.
A Good Example of Fruit to Green Juice from Breakfast to Lunch
My first juice day without work meant I got to sleep in a bit and get started a little later this morning. This effectively helps shorten the waking hours of my day and thus the amount of time I am thinking about eating food. For day three, this is a good thing.
I definitely wake up hungry. I didn’t necessarily expect that when I started this fast I would be as hungry as I have been at certain times. My first day I messed up my drink schedule so that makes sense to me but I kind of thought I was going to be forcing myself to drink each of my daily juices. That is not the case. Thankfully, five juices is enough to easily get me through each day, I’m just ready to drink them when their time comes up.
Today’s juices contained more fruit than yesterday, which was a nice change of pace from all the green I had. Today also had two of my favorite juices; a morning juice of pineapple, grapefruit and ginger (the best grapefruit juice of your life) and an evening juice of sweet potato, carrots and an orange (among a few other things). The breakfast juices are truly delicious. If you’ve never juiced your own fruit juice fresh it isn’t even comparable to those unreasonably expensive and fake juices like Odwalla and Naked. Fruit juicing isn’t cheap by any means (though probably similar to a juice you’d buy at the store) but it is far more nutritious and delicious. The natural sugars also help energize you for the morning, though they are also the least filling in terms of a juice fast. Having starches like sweet potatoes mixed with greens for lunch or dinner do a much better job of giving you that full sensation and are generally loaded with far more complete nutrition.