So today was the eat-what-you-want day on my strange diet, which seems to be called variously the alternate-day or intermittent or fasting diet.
I think I’ll call it the ON-OFF diet or the binary diet or the bipolar diet. Yesterday I survived on 500 calories. ON, zero, depressed. Today I was free to eat what I want. OFF, one, ecstatic.
It’s taken just one iteration of this two-day cycle for me to realize that I won’t ordinarily be treating the eating day as a BINGE day.
I woke up this morning and took the dog for a walk and shoveled a couple inches of snow off the driveway. Normally this would be a great low-stress way to wake up and jump-start my body and get the blood flowing. But today on a deprived stomach, the shoveling was grueling — not in a muscular or aerobic way but in a blaaaaah-feed-me-Seymour way.
I headed in and found Anthony arranging a small feast for himself at the table. I also feasted. I had a banana immediately, and coffee and milk, and some avocado left over from making Jesse’s lunch guacamole, and a large piece of French bread with some butter, and two small chicken sausages, and finally a small tortilla I made with the scrap of dough left over from making Jesse’s lunch tortilla. I’m not sure I remembered everything.
Ugh. It was a lot. Anthony and I were both weighed down.
Then Nick wanted Bruegger’s bagels for lunch. What the heck, I thought, I’ll go with it. It’s my binge day! I got the western egg sandwich, so that would be some raw peppers and onions and an egg and cheese and sausage on a sesame bagel. A lot of food, given my breakfast. My carb meter was bulging.
Dinner time came along and my gut was still satisfied. I was feeling dehydrated so I had an orange, and then I scratched my head about dinner. Remember the chicken and veggies I roasted for dinner last night? We threw the leftovers in a pan with a jar of pasta sauce and boiled up some penne. Grate some Parmesan, done. But the pasta — on top of what I’d eaten earlier, it seemed like a lot of carb even for me. On a whim I looked up the calories in pasta. Yikes. It seemed a shame to waste yesterday’s virtuous deprivation on a bunch of boiled wheat, so it was easy to cap myself at a cup of pasta and a bunch of chickeny vegetable-laden sauce.
I’m vaguely disgusted by today’s carb fest. I normally eat more vegetables. But here’s the thing. I put everything that I wanted in my mouth today and then some. I’m not supposed to count calories today but out of curiosity I roughly calculated my intake. Even if I have the celebratory margarita i’m planning to have when I’m done here, my caloric load for the day won’t go over about 2200, mostly because I didn’t pig out at dinner. Add that to yesterday’s 500 and I have a daily average of 1350 calories. That’s a good, reasonable number in light of today’s excess.