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My Apparent Fall From Macrobiotic Grace

Posted 04-05-2009 at 08:40 PM by shastastar
Updated 04-05-2009 at 08:44 PM by shastastar
Okay so in my quest to become super fit… I got a little impatient. Or should I say a lot impatient. I needed more energy and perhaps even more protein than what I was getting to get the miles and the training in that I need to be ready for trithalons and eventually in a few years when I believe my system is ready an ironman.

So the protein part is easily fixable, just adding a little more beans and seeds and watching my percentages carefully. At the same time in the process of getting myself ready to accomplish these feats I hit a plateau, both in terms of fitness and in terms of weight and body fat percent. In order to get off this plateau, I started mixing up my fitness routine more than I all ready did. New and different crunches for the stomach. New and different leg exercises, working on a new and varied treadmill routine. Running targeted sprintervals on incline specifically designed for fat burning. New and more intense exercises to lean out my arms and upper back. I also looked at how I could modify my diet.

I was all ready using a specialized gym water to shorten recovery time that I designed with water baking soda, B12, sasparilla extract, rock salt dissolved, potassium chloride dissolved, and barley malt extract in a very small amount to get a tiny amount of a natural cleansing sugar. So the gym water was on the macrobiotic borderline at best but did help me lengthen my workouts without doing anything too drastic.

All of this was not getting me off the plateau that I was on. I was ill with an upper / lower respiratory infection and trying to run through it. Meaning I was not taking more than two days in a row off without exercise. I felt like I was losing ground. The numbers on the scale were not going down. The inches were not coming off. I was stagnating. I grew impatient.

So I did some more research and discovered that increasing caffeine helped aide recovery and increases raw workout capacity. My fitness quest got the better of me when “ A latte every now and then won’t kill me macrobioticly” entered into my thinking. And I tried to justify it by the fact that it was a soy latte and thus still vegan. So the twice a month latte treat turned into a thrice a week need when I was on intense workout days. But still my energy was waning. I was pushing my body beyond it’s limit and it wasn’t recovering as quickly as I wanted it to. It wasn’t dropping fat off my ass quickly enough. I wasn’t dropping the numbers on body fat percentages or on the scale. Two weeks… Three weeks …. Four weeks…. Little change…… What else was there.

And this is where I fell off the macro train and picked up a bottle of diet pills. A legal supplement in the United States that consists of a lot of things, predominantly caffeine, yohimbe, and green tea extract. That along with some guarana, B12, and gym water and suddenly I had as much energy as all my fellow gym rats. I was able to complete amazingly long workouts. My body fat percentages started dropping again. The number on the scale started dropping again. Thirteen pounds in six weeks, when prior to picking up that bottle, the scale had told me the same number for almost a month. I had plenty of energy and was able to do all that I needed to do for my life and still workout like a maniac. Plus I was getting results. I went to a size 2 and even into a 1, and now into a 0. It was a high a caffeine pill induced high that I justified was okay as long as I still ate macrobioticly.

Because at this point macrobiotics was no longer about balance, or about moderation. It was about just a specific type of vegan diet that gave me great skin. Until someone pointed out very wisely that this was a choice of consistent extreme behavior.

Not just the pills but the workouts. Both are extreme. Outside the true realm of macrobiotics. Which got me thinking…. the training is extreme, maybe I was using the diet pills to balance that. But it still put me in the realm of consistent extreme behavior. This was not a one off choice to have french fries. This was a consistent choice to get help to accomplish something with a pill simply because it was not happening as quickly as I would have liked without it. It goes along with whatever has a big front has a bigger back.

It’s a spiral outside the realm of my macrobiotic journey. Although I maintain a macrobiotic eating plan, in terms of food choices and balances, the addition of these pills and three or more hours a day of working out ( on long days) is outside the realm of macrobiotics. I will confess and admit that I believe that is true. I toyed with adding back eggs this week to up my protein and am going back to being completely vegan as this did not help my energy or my recovery like the diet pills do. I enjoy being a macrobiotic vegan. I enjoy the energy and results I get from the diet pills. I like how I feel when I workout and after I workout. My stress just evaporates with my every bead of sweat.

I don’t want anyone to think that I am writing in a macrobioticly induced stream of consciousness. You won’t catch me blogging opinions on Jessica Porter, Dirks Books, or Kushi’s musings anymore because it’s not what works for me with what I want to do with my life right now. Part of it does, part of it doesn’t.

Truly macrobiotics is about finding your own path to health and vitality at its core. At my core, I have always been an extreme person. I played soccer in High School with extreme passion. I played ice hockey in college often with more heart and desire than raw ability, but passionately would defend my line mates tooth and nail when other teams came after them. I would tool ( MIT term for study) into the extremes of the night to finish a problem set after exhausting 2 hr practices. All this made me happy then. All of what I am doing now is making me happy.

The choice of diet pills even though it is off the realm of macrobiotics got me to where I am taking the steps I need to take in my life to cut my own path and follow it to achieve the goals I have. Strict adherence to macrobiotic principle for six months provided a much needed mental / spiritual / physical “reset” to get me where I needed to be. But I still have further to go.

Now I am not saying diet pills are smart. I am not saying it is a stupid choice. I am saying in my particular case, it is fulfilling a need to speed up my progress like I wanted to for various reasons.

Life is not forever. I want to seize the day. Soak everything in every day, live present and in the moment and let go of the past. I’m doing that. I’m moving forward. I’m making my way. And for right now my way is not as a strictly traditional follower of macrobiotics. I’m okay with that.

I am writing this just so that no one on this website thinks that anything I write from this moment forward is reflective of a macrobiotic viewpoint. Rather it will be written from my own viewpoint. Whether I am commenting on a movie or a show, or someone elses blog, it's just me, it's just my reality, and it's not macro. So again I'm okay with that.
Total Comments 1


  • Old Comment
    Woah! I just read this!

    Interesting post. Reminds me of the MB stuff I've read about 'testing' oneself. Sometimes one doesn't appreciate/feel/understand the 'centredness' until one is uncentred?

    I'm trying to recall the 'goal' one is supposed to have with MB? I think that goal is just to 'Be' - ie there are no 'goals'?

    I fell off the veggie wagon 2 Sundays in a row. I felt rough the mornings after, with 'meat sweats' and nausea etc. It's taking my body much longer to recover from those episodes. But I'm thankful for them, reminders of why I'm doing this.

    You are where you are. Your mind is set on this path and is pulling your body and spirit along. You must do what you feel is right for you and to h*ll with anybody else's opinion. That's OK! But ...

    have you asked yourself 'why' you're doing this? Is this because 'it will make me happy'? Are you sure such an achievement would make you 'happy'? Is it not better to find 'happiness' in 'being' rather than 'striving towards a goal'?

    You are free and welcome to do this (if you want/need my opinion), it is your body, your mind. However I would ask you to keep your mind open and free and really listen to your body changes. And consider that one decision now doesn't rule out other different decisions in the future - you're not 'beholden' to this way forever?

    Posted 04-07-2009 at 10:13 AM by deebeelicious deebeelicious is offline
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