I woke up this morning feeling a sickening emptiness inside me.
Out of habit, I bounced out of bed to wash up so I could quickly have some breakfast to replenish liver glycogen.
But, as I was brushing my teeth, I found myself asking, “Why?”
I completed my California Fitness BodyAge Challenge yesterday, so there is no more reason to be obsessive over my diet anymore.
I mean, I still recognise that a good diet is important for general well-being but, in the last two months, there was a purpose to my rigorous dieting.
I pushed myself way beyond comfort zone and was able to keep myself going with the promise of acing the challenge. (I am very inwardly competitive and derive great satisfaction from surpassing my limits.)
For the last two months, with the help of Dr Evil (my personal trainer Eric Goh), I made drastic changes to my diet and lifestyle.
- I woke up mornings and ate breakfast.
- I totally gave up desserts and junk food.
- I went grocery shopping three to four times a week to ensure I was eating enough every day.
- I started cooking my own meals.
- I read endless nutrition articles every other day to perfect my diet.
- I worked out at the gym twice a week and went running once a week.
- I went to great lengths to make sure I ate the right things at the right time to maximise my workout gains.
I was even stricter on myself than Dr Evil was on me, diet-wise.
In contrast, two months ago, my lifestyle went roughly like this:
Wake up after 12 pm. First meal of the day is potato chips or salty crackers. Sometimes, first meal of the day happens after 7 pm. 80% of diet consists of fried food, junk food, soft drinks. Zero exercise.
The important thing to consider is that, even with such appalling lifestyle and diet, I was still slim and looked pretty much okay, outwardly, so there was no reason to do anything different.
But, with the California Fitness BodyAge Challenge, which measured my insides, I had to make changes to get results.
And I did make the changes and stuck to them rigidly.
I was even obsessive over it, but that’s how I tackle challenges and projects. I go all out and put my whole body and soul into it.
Maybe that’s my drug.
I feel a heightened sense of fulfillment from successfuly completing objectives over and beyond expectations.
There was purpose to my waking early every day. There was purpose to my eating lots of plain hard-boiled eggs and throwing all the yolks away. There was purpose to enduring the twice-weekly gym trips to torture my muscles. There was purpose to waking up at 6 am to run.
I even looked forward to every day with excitement.
The purpose was to get a good result for the BodyAge Challenge and also, very importantly, to not fail Dr Evil, who had dedicated his time and energy in helping me achieve my goals.
And, suddenly, now, it’s all over.
I won’t tell you my results yet because the challenge is not officially over. The other participants have yet to complete their sessions.
But it’s over for me and I feel very lost and empty.
I had a feast last night to celebrate. We had a buffet dinner at Curry Favor and I went crazy with the curries and rice and fried stuff. Even plain white rice has become a luxury for me because I haven’t been able to eat carbs after 6 pm for two months.
After that, we had the most amazing alcoholic ice cream at Udders (separate post on that to come).
It was nice but, even then, the emptiness was already starting to build up within me.
There was a fear that I would wake up the next day feeling lost.
The fear was founded. I woke up today filled with dread.
After going “clean” for two months, I suddenly feel reluctant to stuff my body with salt and fats and other evil things. I feel at the same time repulsed and attracted to them.
I feel directionless. To eat or not to eat? I have the freedom to eat anything I want now and I find myself plagued with conflicting thoughts, instead.
And, in fact, thinking about eating all the favourite foods I’ve been deprived of makes me feel even worse because I’d be undoing everything I’ve worked so hard for.
I realise I can still carry on with my “healthy lifestyle” and continue a clean diet (but being a lot less obsessive over it), and I will still continue an exercise routine.
But it’s not the same anymore.
There is no D-Day to look forward to. There is no prize at the finishing line. There is no Dr Evil to answer to. There is only the promise of a fitter, healthier, sexier me in the long run, but that’s not really something tangible or exciting to look forward to, so it can’t invoke the same kind of discipline.
Especially since I am already slim by nature without having to diet for it. I can eat Big Macs and fries every day and still look the same.
What I’m feeling now is akin to withdrawal. I was on a high of pursuing a goal intensely and now I’m crashing.
For two months, I was literally intoxicated on the excitement of reaching a goal. Now, the goal is gone, the adrenaline is gone, and I am on a total, devastating down.
I know what I’m feeling is temporary and I’ll get over it as I find new challenges and goals for myself. I get this all the time, with post-production blues.
But, in the meantime, I’m a sad little lost ghost and it’s not a good feeling.