Immortality and Mortality by Vivienne Ylang

Hello, hello, hello Scribey people!  Vivienne Ylang here.   Like J Monkeys, I’m a big hat wearer.  Not physical head coverings so much as the multiple-responsibilities kinds of hats.  It’s a constant struggle for me, and I have to admit, one that I have been losing.

One of the reasons I write (other than to flush these extra folks out of my head) is a quest for immortality.  I’m not seeking fame or fortune (although they’d be nice) so much as a place in history.  That’s what I’m working toward, even though I’m not there yet.  So when my other responsibilities (and as a wife and mother there are dozens of them!) take up my time and energy, my personal dreams of immortality get shoved to the way side.  I know this is a common problem for moms.  We put everyone else first and ourselves last.

So while I’m aware that I’m short-changing myself creatively, I’m also short-changing my self when it comes to my health.  My mortality is rearing it’s ugly head.  Not in any particular way, but over the last few years, I’ve taken a good look at myself in the mirror and been unhappy with the reflection.  I’m sedentary (I loathe exercise) and overweight (there’s a different “O” word that I should really be using, but I can’t manage to type it.)  Shudder. 

Weight isn’t a new struggle for me and over my lifetime, I’ve tried every diet out there.  I never manage to stick to them for very long.  Four years ago, I was quite successful with a very extreme diet (daily shots of HCG and 500 calories per day – under doctor supervision) and I kept the 40 pounds off for more than 2 years, but a change in stressors at home had me hitting Dairy Queen daily.  Ice cream is my heroin.  Well, sweets in general.  And pastries.  You get the idea

I know a lot of folks struggle in these same ways, and being writers we like to share our experiences, so I thought I’d share mine this past week.  I was watching Dr. Oz last week and I was really struck by a couple of folks he had on talking about various cleanses.  Three day cleanses as it turned out.  I may have trouble sticking to a diet program, but surely I can manage three days!  I convinced my long-suffering husband to do them with me.  God bless that man – he’s awesome!

We (ok, I) chose to do the Clean Gut cleanse designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger and the Juice Cleanse by Joe Cross.  At the same time, my long-time bestie had suggested the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.  So I’ve been reading these books and I’m now in the midst of these two cleanses.  My goal for this week is to start to get off sugar and junk food.  It’s terrible for me and I’m definitely addicted to it. 

So, the Clean Gut cleanse was pretty easy.  Just a smoothie for breakfast, a fistful of supplements meant to fix the problems in my dirty (?) gut and sensible meals the rest of the day.  It wasn’t too hard, except for the smoothie.  My son called it the salad-smoothie.  It shouldn’t have been too awful – a banana, blueberries, spinach, almond milk, some  protein powder and vinegar.  The vinegar gave it a definite tang.  But it was the protein powder that caused the problem.  You had to drink this thing fast.  Within 90 seconds of completion in the Magic Bullet it turned from something pourable into a pudding.  A green, lumpy, sandy, tangy pudding.  I was not a fan.

But I choked it down and at the end of 3 days, here are my results: I lost 4.5 pounds and 3.5 inches.  In three days!  Hubby was up a pound and didn’t lose any inches, but they are redistributed to muscly areas, like arms and legs.  His hips and waist were down.  All in all, not bad for so short a time.  The best part is that we both noticed an increase in energy – the 2pm sluggishness (or in my case, nap) was gone.  I’m usually plagued with wicked nasty acid reflux at night, hitting the pepto chewables three or more times a week.  Not the last few days.  

Juices (2)Yesterday we made juice.  I mean, for like four hours.  It took forever but now my fridge is full of 5 different juices for each of us over the next three days, vacuumed with my Foodsaver to preserve freshness.  Isn’t that pretty?  I particularly like the rainbow one.  So far, I’ve drank the breakfast juice – apple, carrot and ginger.  It was very gingery, but way better than the salad smoothie.  I’ll post the final results in the reply on Saturday am.

In addition to doing these cleanses to address the mortality issue, I’ve also worked hard this week to find 15 minutes each day to write.  I was successful on Monday, not so much Tuesday or Wednesday, but I’m signing off here and heading back the world of Sometimes right now. (It’s Thursday am.)

When it comes to secrets, what’s yours?  How do you stay in shape?  Is longevity important to you?


2 thoughts on “Immortality and Mortality by Vivienne Ylang”

  1. Thank you for sharing your struggle…and your solution with us, Viv. You aren’t alone, girlfriend! So many people have ridiculously over stressed, over burdened and sedentary lives these days–a deadly combination. Women especially are “trained” to take care of everyone else first. In addition, the food industry has cashed in big time on our chemical addiction to sugar. I swear someone is out to control the population by killing us all off by contaminating our food sources and then making us addicted to the foods that are killing us.

    I’ve tried juice fasts and cleanses over the years with good results (if only a short term fix). It’s a great way to start off on a weight loss program, but the real long term solution is an overhaul of our thinking. We need to dig deep and figure out the reason why we let ourselves go to begin with. It would be easy to say that it’s simply because we enjoy food, or that we can’t help ourselves when it comes to sweets or junk food, but we all have choices about self control that we have to make every day. We might like the idea of having sex with strangers, but we don’t (hopefully). We control our alcohol consumption (sometimes) and our tempers (most of the time), but food feels different because we HAVE to eat. But if we look at the messages we have learned about food and about ourselves since we were little, we will come to realize that our attitudes about food, body image, and weight are deeply ingrained beliefs that no longer serve us and that we have to eradicate them from our unconscious if we hope to have any long term weight loss success.

    The downward spiral of unhealthy eating habits–weight gain–lack of ex.–depression–unhealthy eating habits and so on, can be reversed. Pick any one of those points in the spiral and reverse it and you can spiral upwards. Healthy eating gives you the energy to move more, you lose weight, you feel better and then you start to crave healthier foods. Obviously going up is always harder than spiraling down so it is a battle, but one that is worth fighting! Educating ourselves about food is a huge part of the solution since most people don’t know what is in most of the foods they eat or how it is affecting their bodies. Kudos to you for taking the leap and getting educated!

  2. Congratulations for biting the bullet. I lost 35 pounds, finally, ten years ago, and have kept it off, within five pounds. After having gained and lost hundreds of pounds, I made a life style change. I knew that if I gained it back again i would be too old to go through that cycle again. The hardest part of this whole thing is to eliminate white carbs and certain fruits like bananas and watermelon, veggies like peas and carrots. Why? B/c all of those types of carbs stimulate the appetite, make you feel hunger that nothing will satisfy except those carbs. It takes three weeks to completely stop the craving, then eliminate them for one year,watch the magic. Look at more protein. You must stay healthy though. Look at South Beach Diet. Good luck!

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