Keep Calm and Make Informed Choices

Journeying, Not Arriving

One of the commitments I made to myself when I started planning to do the HCG protocol was that I was not going to treat my HCG detox as a completion point. My teachers and coaches have been raising my awareness to the idea that detoxing can best be considered as a lifelong practice. Obviously, there may be times — like when one does HCG, for example — when you choose a stronger detox movement than others. But the trick is that once that strong movement has been completed, not to treat it too much as an arrival point.

In other words: no need to tell myself “I’ve done this HCG thing, so now I’m all detoxed and don’t need to do anything else for a while.

But the question of what to do next is very present with me right now. Many, many possibilities.

Keep Calm and Make Informed ChoicesIn addition to being nearly complete with my HCG shots, I’m almost near-completion with my first month of Blessed Herbs. That’s something you can do for 2-3 months at a time, so I’m considering that possibility. The company also makes an “Internal Cleansing Kit” that you do alongside the colon cleanse to help a whole other bunch of organs — liver, gall bladder, lungs, lymphatic system. I found one of these kits when I was unpacking over the weekend,* so I’m wondering if that’d be worth doing for the next month.

Or maybe, rather than sliding directly from one regimented program into another, it’ll feel better for me to spend some time taking advantage of the smaller, more “ad hoc” detox methodologies available to me. Epsom soaks, foot baths, castor oil packs, skin brushing, back to oil pulling (now that oils will soon be allowed to me again).

I could even do some research and find myself a colon hydrotherapist, acupuncturist, and/or massage place up here. Down in Philly, I had my go-to places for these services: after 13 months up north, it’s high time I started assembling those resources for myself again. (And hey, after my experiences in March, I might even look for someplace with an infrared sauna!)

Luckily, there’s no deadline by which I have to figure this next step out. If I have a new plan ready for the end of my shots, that’s cool. If I don’t, I can certainly follow the “ad hoc” approach while I’m deciding what my next detox phase will look like — even if that “next phase” turns out simply to be a longer commitment to the “ad hoc” approach.

But I know this much for sure: my HCG finish line is just and only that. The end of my time on HCG. Not the end of my detox journey.

* Another example of best intentions going astray.

———-

Image credit: http://theincompetentyouthworker.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/why-i-fell-out-of-love-with-two-ways-to-live-pt-4/

apple corer and slicer

When Apples Attack

Obviously, I took last night off from blogging — choir rehearsal may make this a common practice on Wednesday night.  The effect last night was exacerbated by rehearsal being part of a trifecta that included staying late at work (barely enough time to have dinner and get to rehearsal), and an early-morning training today (so my post-rehearsal routine needed to be a pretty direct trajectory to bedtime).

And I’ll admit I haven’t been entirely sure what else to write about my HCG journey these past couple days. Things have been kind of in a decent routine, actually. Didn’t feel like much to say.

But then there are days where the routine gets a little shaken up.

apple corer and slicerSo here’s what my mornings have looked like. After rolling out of bed and having that sleepy-eyed date with the scale, I’ve set myself up with my daily packet of Blessed Herbs. Now, the usual instructions are to mix the packet with some apple juice, but apple and other fruit juices are verboten on the HCG protocol, so I’ve been putting half an apple, some water, and the Blessed Herbs packet into the Vitamix to make my own mini-detoxifying breakfast “smoothie.” Then I’ve bagged up the other 4 apple slices from the corer and taken them to the office for a mid-morning snack.

All in all, a pretty elegant and effective way to start the days.

Until this morning when this happened:

broken apple corer embedded in appleI don’t know what it was about this particular organic pink lady apple, but the corer wasn’t moving smoothly through it. Clearly, it was not going gentle into this good night, but still I figured it was going to come down to the laws of physics: edge and metal sure to win against soft, fruity organic matter.

Obviously, I miscalculated.

So we’re out one snazzy red corer and I have a cut on the side of both thumbs. (It wasn’t exactly like I had my hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, but that’s a close enough description to give you a sense of the injuries.) I know I shouldn’t complain overmuch — the cuts aren’t really that big, and I’ll keep them cleaned and bandaged to make sure they heal okay.

Still, right now they honestly do hurt. And you’re encouraged to stay away from all unessential medications while on HCG, so I’m testing my endurance to see if I can gut through this without taking any aspirin.

And I am so curious about what sort of message there may be for me in this event. I know: it’s a little precious to be always looking for messages in things, and it’s not like I’m expecting all of life’s messages to me to be something hugely portentous or anything. But I’m at a stage in my consciousness work that whenever something really unexpected occurs, I do tend to give it a bit of a closer look to see if that surprising moment is here to show me an internal belief, or an external pattern…. or (in this case) something else I can’t quite put a finger on.

———-

Image credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_corer

Breadcrumbs

I know there’s a certain irony to titling a post “breadcrumbs” when I’m in the midst of this no-carbs diet. But nevertheless, it seemed like the most fitting title for a collection of small observations: none of them significant enough to warrant a full post, but still pieces of the HCG experience I want to document.

———-

lane bryant starry nightI’m wondering if the hormone is making me a little bit more susceptible to the cold than I used to be. All this winter, I’ve been sleeping in my pajama pants and a tank top, because it gets too hot under the covers in my long-sleeved pajama top.

Unexpectedly, since I returned from the detox center, I’ve needed to keep the long-sleeved pajama top on if I didn’t want to be too cold to sleep. Go figure.

———-

This protocol does require a certain comfort level with medical-type tasks & procedures. Or at least, if you don’t have that comfort level going into things, the experience might just lead you to be more blasé about such things than you were before.

In addition to the almost-daily hormone shots, there’s a weekly B-12 shot. (I say “almost” daily because you do take one day off a week from the HCG. Of course, for me, my “day off” coincides with B-12 day, so my life is in an easy one-shot-a-day pattern.) Now, the needle size of the syringe is very small, so there’s little in the way of discomfort. Nonetheless, doing the injections has certainly been an acquired skill for me.

I’ve never been needle-phobic: I had so many inoculations as a kid when we moved to S. America that there was no choice but to get used to them. But all those inoculations left me in a place where I was used to needles but I didn’t much like them. So it’s been an interesting progression, having my mild dislike of injections segue into a real matter-of-fact attitude around them.

And then there’s the morning “pee-stick” to track whether your body is still in ketosis or not.

———-

Even with everything I’ve been looking at around my food cravings and my emotional hunger, I wonder if the thing that is most strongly going to tempt me to stray from the program is my desire for lip balm. I haven’t found a single one that doesn’t contain some sort of oil, and going through this last phase of winter without being able to tend to my poor dry lips ain’t no picnic.

Come on, spring!

———-

Between sautéing everything in lemon juice and eating lots of fresh citrus for my after-dinner treats, I have become aware of exactly how excruciatingly painful fresh lemon or grapefruit juice can be on the nail-bed and cuticle wounds of a chronic, hard-core nail-biter. (Raising hand.)

This has not yet inspired me to stop said habit, but I remain eternally hopeful.

———-

(If there’s any topic here that warrants further exploration in its own post, on another day, this would be it.)

I’ve been really noticing some of my limitations around self-care.

In addition to the more “hard-core” detox movements I have going on with the HCG and the Blessed Herbs packet I’m taking every morning, my coaches at the center encouraged me to layer in some other varieties of detoxing that would be gentler, and would help care for my system while these two more demanding processes were underway.

Foot baths, Epsom baths, castor packs, kinesi — all kinds of options, and I haven’t done any of them. Even today, with a whole day off from work, I was so busy with house-cleaning and grocery shopping and the dump run that I didn’t do any of these things to care for myself. Too many other “more important” things that I “ought” to prioritize higher than soaking in the bathtub “like a lazy person.”

At least I’ve managed to keep the sleep levels decent.

———-

Image credit: http://www.sonsiliving.com/blog/cathys-shopping-cart-cart-13-new-years-eve-favorites