I used to think that my ‘obsession’ with food came into life after I survived 3,5 weeks without food on ‘Survivor’. Having participated in that reality show gave me a valid ‘excuse’ to be afraid of feeling hungry, always be the first in line at a buffet, or to start eating before everybody else at the table had their food. But when, years later, I came across photos and videos of gatherings and parties from before ‘Survivor’ I found that I was always the only one eating in the pictures. Even when everybody else was talking, dancing, socializing, drinking; the photographer always caught me with my mouth full… So my relationship with food must have been weird for much, much longer…
I remember that during Survivor I woke up on day 3, feeling so weak, that every time I opened my eyes, I nearly fainted. This horrible feeling lasted for a few hours. The doctor had to come to check on me and decided if it didn’t get better, I would have to leave the program. After a few hours, however, the weakness and fainting disappeared and never came back. I guess this was the point my body adapted to less (or no) food.
During the detox it was the same: the first 3,5 days I felt weak, shaky, tired and down. I spent most of the time in between the 1,5 hour timeslots in bed. Did not feel like talking to the other participants. My mind did not have the energy to write the simplest email or even look at my computer. I was wondering why I was doing this and if it was the right decision.
And then, after the carrot juice on day 3, I suddenly felt like the natural sugar went straight to my brain. I felt good again! My body stopped sending ‘alarm signals’ and seemed to accept the situation. I probably switched to a state of ketosis; this is when your body burns fat instead of glucose.
I felt almost normal again. Compared to the previous days I was more energetic, could swim laps for 5 minutes, go for little 10 minute walks, talked to the other participants (who got me into ‘mandala coloring’) and did not feel the need to spend the entire day in bed. I could even get very small amounts of work done, maybe 45 minutes per day.
But ketosis, even though many dieters try to achieve this state of fat burning, isn’t really my thing. It gave me a bad taste in my mouth. And my memory was failing me. When switching programs on my computer, I forgot what I was doing. I lost my keys. I even forgot to take my herbal supplements several times. The friendly staff had to remind me various times what was next on the schedule.
Even though my body lacked strength because I hadn’t eaten for so long, my energy felt more stable. Not like the first few days or before the detox, with (sugar) highs and dips.