ADF Hardcore, Day 3: The Second Day Phenomenon

June 23, 2010 at 5:34 am 3 comments

I don’t suppose I’ve ever mentioned this here, but I grew up Lutheran.  That doesn’t really have much bearing on this, except that as religious denominations go, Lutherans are decidedly less evangelistic than some.  This is actually one of the things I appreciate about the church, because I myself hate pushy people, and pushy religious people especially.  You will typically not find pairs of Lutherans canvassing neighborhoods to bring the Good Word to the masses, and it would be surprising to me to hear that a Lutheran was found on a street corner or a college campus beating a Bible or handing out tracts.  That’s just not our way.   Our outreaches tend to be more passive and more service-oriented, providing some benefit or other with evangelism offered in an ‘If you’d like to know more about who we are, just ask and we’ll tell you.’ fashion.  While I guess this might sound like a kind of bait-and-switch approach, the simple fact is that someone could pretty much take advantage of Lutheran outreach programs indefinitely and never once have to listen to a sermon or hear what horrible danger their soul is in.   Response is a matter of choice, and as someone who values my personal freedom and dislikes outside intrusion, I respect that a lot.

This all comes to mind right now because it’s occurred to me that my views on my diet are much the same.  I really hate talking about it unless someone approaches me and shows a genuine interest.   ADF is not an easy way to go in practice, but in theory it sounds even worse.  NOT EAT AT ALL for a WHOLE DAY?  Are you CRAZY?   What about metabolic slowdown?  What about nutrition?  Isn’t it just horribly miserable?  Oh, I could never do it!  I love food too much!

So I talk about it if it comes up and someone specifically asks, but even in practice I tend to downplay what I’m doing rather than brag it up.  Naturally, the fact that I did drop 80+ pounds in a relatively short period of time draws attention and questions, but in my mind that’s just like a Lutheran community service event.  People see something good, they want to know how it came to be.  In that case they’re the one asking, so I don’t mind talking about it… But as we know, I even specifically designed my diet so that others wouldn’t necessarily have to be aware of what I’m doing at all.  Social events and whatnot need not require an explanation or any special effort on anyone else’s part.  I just rotate my days around and no one is any the wiser.

When it DOES come up, one of the questions that comes up most frequently is, “Isn’t it miserable?”   My standard answer is, “Yes, for the first week.”   Which is true.. the first few days are typically the hardest.  You’re used to eating, you’re fighting your habits, so it’s hard.   After that, it gets easier, and even, at certain points, easier than eating.  It’s nice to wake up and not have to try to plan meals for yourself, for example.   You either know what you’ll be having, because you’re having a simplified diet, or if you’re going hardcore, you’re just not going to be eating anything at all. 😉

This time around, though, I have been discussing this whole business with Jake, who has now achieved his first successful 21-day run with ADF, and has managed to inspire his wife, Shannon, and a friend, Tara, to give it a whirl as well.  One thing we noted was that it’s actually not the first day of fasting that is the hardest to manage.   On the first day, what you’re doing is sort of a novelty, and while you’re certainly hungry, at that point that hunger is a bit of a novelty.   It’s more INTERESTING than it is distressing.

But the second fasting day…. that’s when it gets hard.  The novelty, such as it is, is not enough to sustain one through the second day, so you’re stuck with just, “Man…I’m hungry and this sucks.”   But that’s where, I think, you start the retraining process for real.  You can’t eat, so you need to find some other way to deal with the triggers that make you overeat as a matter of course.   Ideally, you do something reasonably healthy, like drink ice water or just get out of the kitchen and get busy doing something productive.   On Monday, I took a walk around the back garden of my workplace.  Anything to get one’s brain out of its ‘Must Have Food’ rut and onto something else.

One of my downfalls, I’m finding, are sugar-free mints and gum.  Those are presumably so low-calorie and innocuous that eating them is tantamount to eating nothing at all…  But in reality, the act of eating them and the flavor and everything makes them just as much a crutch as anything else.  At work, we keep a stash of Ice Breakers near the desk for the Guest Services staff to use (and I’m usually the one who buys them, so I can eat as many as I like without feeling guilty).   In the past, I’ve gone through them pretty fast, too… they’re easily accessible, they’re socially acceptable, they’re yummy.  Why not?  So it’s taking a lot of willpower not to just down the whole cannister on Down Days now.   Retrain, retrain, retrain.

Yesterday, I ate like a horse.  I had a pretty big breakfast, a normal lunch, and then gorged myself in the evening on dinner stuff and snacks.  MidwestChickadee came over, and we played games and watched videos, so it was prime snacking time.  And that’s okay, because that’s what the Up Days are for.   In a way it was almost willful on my part; I was determined to get the most out of my Up Day because Monday, which was really my Second Day, was so miserable.  I had made it through, I wanted my reward and I took it.  We’ll see how that affects my weight loss this week.


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ADF Hardcore, Day 2: Enumeration ADF Hardcore, Day 4: Om nom nom


  • 1. Melalvai  |  June 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Hey you’re back! This is great!
    I have the same feeling about bicycling. I love to talk about bicycling and I used to talk about it all the time. (I know, it seems like I still do…like right now…) It wasn’t so much that I wanted to convert the whole world to bicycling (although I wouldn’t object). I was just so excited about it, I was having such a good time bicycling. But I don’t like the “You’re crazy to bike in this storm/ snow/ heat/ cold!” So I down-play it now.

    By “down-play” I mean that I still manage to slip it into conversation within a few minutes of meeting someone. No one knows me for more than a few minutes without learning that I bicycle. The difference is I don’t monopolize conversations with it. Usually.

    I’m trying hard to convince myself that I really do downplay the bicycling. But the more I talk the harder it gets. Shutting up now.

  • 2. Jennifer  |  June 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    *laugh* Oh..there’s your comment. Apparently I had to *approve* you. That probably just goes to show how long it’s been.

    But I understand what you mean. 😉 I just spent an entire post about ADF talking about how I don’t talk about ADF, so…

  • 3. Feaelin  |  July 1, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Water is your friend. There’s definitely been times where I thought I was hungry, but it turned out that a drink of water, and a little time (5m or so) and I’m not feeling hungry anymore..

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