The Story of Zaca Lake

Imagine that we are all bundled up around a campfire and I'm an old man... It will put the tone (or at least the beginning) of this story in context. You ready? Ok.

Be still my children and listen closely and I'll tell you the story of Zaca Lake. Zaca Lake is a beautiful, secluded retreat in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Valley above Solvang, CA. My family and I came here this weekend for a getaway, but wait... even that wasn't so simple.

Several weeks ago when I learned that BFO had several hundred stashed away in his paypal account from selling stuff on eBay I suggested that we go away for a weekend. He discovered and reserved a cabin at Zaca Lake earlier this week. I wasn't as enthusiastic as he wanted me to be at first and he had doubts about whether we should go.

On Friday morning, the scheduled date of our departure, we were still undecided. There were several things I was unable to do if we went on the trip including take a rescue pup to get spayed, and wedding related festivities for a beloved friend. I wanted to do both of those things very much, but was so worn down from my first week of fasting that I thought a mountain getaway would be a much better respite. What could be better for my fast than a therapeutic stay by a lake?

I took the afternoon off of work and headed home to make tons of juice for the weekend ahead. I really didn't want to take Jack Lalanne because he's a pain to wash in a regular kitchen sink never mind the absence of a kitchen in the cabin at the lake. I cleared all the produce out of the freezer and set to juicing...

I broke two fingernails in the process and while I was washing the sink a small glass fell into it, broke, and a chunk flew up and hit me in the left eye. That probably would have been a good time to stop.

I made several varieties and packed up the leftovers from the day before that I'd had a hard time stomaching and once BFO got home we packed the car and hit the road.

We picked spiderman up from his last day of preschool for this year and attempted to leave LA on a Friday around 4pm.

Despite the typical traffic from Culver City to the 101 the drive was pleasant and easy.

We stopped for the boys rations and other supplies at a Target in Camarillo. That was when things started to become difficult for me. This entire experience so far has been about learning how to cope in different environments. After tackling juicing all day at work the first day being at home was a totally different story. The second day I managed to do both. Then, I worked on my other office, and added more advanced techniques at home like sitting with the boys for their dinner.

This weekend I was tackling so many new things... Juicing on vacation. Juicing on a long drive. Juicing while grocery shopping for "camp food" (aka bacon). Juicing while BFO eats flaming hot cheetos and drinks orange crush in the passenger seat of the car I'm driving...

The Target trip wrapped up with a tantrum from spiderman and we got back on the road. We arrived in Los Olivos (where Zaca Lake's address is) around 9:30 pm. This is right about the same time we are out of cell reception.

We didn't realize we were lost until the GPS told us we had arrived and we were looking at an empty field. We proceeded along the road looking for the number 8000 but always seemed to miss it despite the fact that seemed impossible.

We drove back and forth and back and forth on the dark windy mountain road for another hour before we found 8000 by accident.

The gate. Was locked. We searched for the keypad so we could enter the code but there was none. The padlocks were secured and we were screwed, it seemed. We drove to where we had some cell reception called the lake and got voicemail (lakes have voicemail?! Why yes... Didn't you know?)

We gave up on Zaca and started to work on plan b which could have been pea soup andersen's inn in Buellton if BFO wasn't a bit snobby. We were on the road to Solvang when BFO got a call from the lake. Guess what? The key code is for the padlock. Sigh. I decide the people who operate Zaca Lake are poor communicators to avoid directing my anger at my husband. Who ever heard of calling a combination a key code?

Around this time I verbally acknowledge that I'm finding it very difficult to not eat. See? Juicing while being locked out of resort at 11pm on a Friday... Something new to adapt to. BFO asks me if I'm hungry and I'm quick to respond no, I'm upset. The right thing to do seems obvious then and I continue to choke down my warm juice.

We get back to the gate at Zaca and open the padlock with the combination. We drive five more miles on a dark windy road, cross two creeks and finally arrive at our cabin at midnight. We make the bed, move a sleeping spiderman from the car to his bed and settle down ourselves. BFO is out like a light but not me. My stomach is still wildly churning.

I decide to take a shower and that sensation calms my nerves and my gut. I'm surprised by that and make a mental note to remember that other strong sensation changes can reverse the false hunger sensations. I crawl into bed with a book by louise hay. Do you know her? She and her rainbow heart logo are so familiar to me because my parents were followers in the early 90s when my dad was dying of aids. So I'm reading about how I can heal my life and am not surprised by anything she says. Like her, I also believe that thought is creative and we control our own experiences in good and bad ways with our minds. What I am surprised by is how emphatic and overly simple with some concepts. The therapist who leant me the book warned me, but I was still surprised. Using words like always or everyone quite frequently is a bit bold, lady. Yowza. I'm not sure what ms hay's writing is like now, but in 1984 she could have benefitted from a sit down with Marshall rosenberg.

Anyhoo. I'm particularly struck by some things she writes about weight and dieting. She doesn't support any type of diet plan. She believes that when we begin to love ourselves we will automatically become a healthy weight. I start to wonder if I'm torturing myself by juicing when what I should do is love myself. Or is juice love? I'm confused.

I drift to sleep and the next day is beautiful. We swim at the lake, row boats, and lounge around. I discover that many of the juices I brought along are delicious and enjoy them very much. Despite the nagging of a scratched eyeball it seems I have adapted to juicing while glamping!

Then (the ominous music rises and clouds quickly fill the sky--ok not really) I discover that we need ice before all of our food and juice spoils. We get in the car and head to town BFO asks to drive and I put my sea bands on to stave of my typical motion sickness. Of course, according to louise i wouldnt have motion sickness if i didnt believe i would... Ha! We make it a mile down the road before I am ready to hurl. We trade seats and I wish for speedy recovery.

Thing is, I usually combat motion sickness with a full stomach of starch and fat and that is not exactly juicing compliant. I try to walk it off, juice it off, water it off but nothing works. The gurgling mass in my gut grows. I start begging for bits of BFO's chips and sandwich. He denies me every time. Sternly at first and then with pep talks about marathon runners hitting the wall and pushing through. He's sweet but I'm not sure I could run a marathon either... The self doubt is taking over.

Back at the Zaca gate I lick two potato chips while BFO isn't looking. Yum. I start to feel better. At the cabin I take a nap and again... Feel better. I drink some mineral water and am already 99% back to homeostasis except I have convinced myself that I want... No need... food.

I go for a granola bar, take a bite, am not impressed so I spit it out. An hour later I stick my finger in the peanut butter jar. I stick it in my mouth and just intend to let it sit there. I am surprised by how easily it melts and slides down my throat. I go back to the jar two more times while BFO grills hot dogs over a wood fire

When the dogs are ready I feel desperate for one. I ask BFO for a bite of his to find out if it's worth eating. Oh yes it is. I slather one in chili and cheese and scarf it down. Next I'm at the cooler making a turkey sandwich. BFO asks me what this means.

I tell him I'm making bad choices now but that doesn't mean I have to make them again in the future. I'll start over again. I'm starving.

Well, I am not but my stomach is upset again from the peanut butter so why not keep going. This pain is comfortable. I recognize it. I know how to cope with it. It's easy.

I finish the meal with a bacon wrapped dog covered in more chili and cheese and a swig of 7-up. The pain feels good. We all get ready for bed and lay down together in the dark. Spiderman is asleep in a short while and I find myself wide awake unsure of the feelings in my gut. I head to the toilet expecting to shit my guts out but it doesn't happen. I get up and stick my finger down my throat suddenly filled with regret and fear about not wanting to have another day one again or shit my guts out tomorrow... I gag but it's too late. The dogs and sandwich are gone. Already on their way down into the intestines being digested, reacquainting with my body, wreaking havoc on my plans.

The fast has been broken. Hastily. Extremely. So, what does this mean? What's next?