Zen again..

Tranquil.  Still.  Peace filled.  Unflappable.  Relaxed.  Composed.  Placid.  Calm.

Last time I went off sugar and white flour, I experienced zen on day 9.  This time it has taken until day 15, maybe because I was PMS’ing for the first week or so of this adventure.  I am writing, after a nearly 3 month dry spell, so that I can document this state of being.

How can I describe this feeling I call zen?  I am really misusing the word since zen actually refers to a state of meditation and what I am feeling is more like a sense of peace and serenity.  Today, it hit me again, this feeling that I have not felt since the last couple days of my last food challenge, thus confirming the connection to the absence of sugar, white flour, or artificial sweeteners in my diet.  This calm and composure is all the more surprising given that I am in the midst of preparing for a state audit, it is IEP season, and I haven’t even begun my taxes.  But it is welcome, and it will serve to motivate me through the next 25 days.

I gave up white sugar and flour in September for a 10 day Real Food Challenge; this time I hope to live without them for the entire 40 days of Lent.  The experiences have been different in some ways.  In September, 10 days seemed like an eternity to eat only “real food.”  That experience laid the groundwork for this endeavor, since I got used to reading labels and realized that not only could I go 10 days, I could also feel better in the process and lose a little weight.  Last time, I spent the first few days feeling crappy and thirsty.  This time, I have not felt the thirst, although I did have headaches in the first week and did not feel my best.

This time, like last, I set a start date– of course, since I am doing this for Lent, the start date was Ash Wednesday.  I set out on faith since 40 days is a bit of a stretch, and, surprisingly, these two weeks have flown by and I have experienced very little suffering.  The 10 day challenge gave me some skills and let me taste the benefits of changing my eating habits for the better.  This 40 day challenge is doing something else entirely.  It is, perhaps, setting the stage for a real lifestyle change.

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