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Ash Wednesday Fasting With Leeks is Like Drinking Boiled Shoelaces

Woman Eating With Soup Ladle - Buy at Art.comI survived a day of Leek soup and no coffee.

I am nuts.

I tell myself that I like the idea of being able to fast each Ash Wednesday and make a commitment to a particular change for the following 40 days . . .

. . . except that after 7:00pm on this Ash Wednesday I most definitely want a chocolate eclair . . .

. . . and that’s the moment when I think I am quite possibly the most stupid person on the planet as I roll into some long diatribe argument in my head about how fasting really isn’t that hard and I can’t remember the last time I had an eclair . . .

. . . so why do I need one today just because I am having Leek soup. . .

. . .  I can now taste the eclair in my head . . .


It’s probably because I’ve only had 500 (or less) calories today and I went for a three mile walk along the Laguna De Russian River in Sebastopol, California.

My body thinks an eclair will save me from dying of starvation if I continue along this line of behavior.

Interesting that I am thinking of an eclair.  You’d think I’d dream of a big, juicy steak… and wine.

I’m sorry.

I just lost myself for 5 minutes in that train of thought.

Okay, why am I doing this?

Because I always do a liquid fast on Ash Wednesday.  It reminds me that I do have resolve, that I can control what I think and my subsequent actions — if I pay attention.  I am not my thoughts.

This is important for my thyroid sisters to remember: YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS.

Succeeding at fasting for 24 hours burns this into my nagging brain:  I have the power to change my life.

Often, we thyroid sisters tell ourselves some pretty harsh stuff when we are fighting to get better.  We can be the queens of stinking thinking — we do this silently, and to ourselves.   I call it “stinking thyroid thinking.”  I know in my heart that  we are more than those agitated thyroid thoughts.

I am offering up my observations about Mireille Guiliano’s book, French Women Don’t Get Fat because I think she has some great advice for treating ourselves better.

The Leek soup fast is really a metaphor for looking at what (and how) we eat and the kind of signals our bodies send us masked as hunger. When you fast for 24 hours, you get to feel real hunger pangs and gain a unique understanding that often our daily signals from our minds that we interpret as hunger … are actually stress.

That eclair would be more than happy to relieve the stress I am putting my mind and body under right now.  The only problem is that within a half hour of vacuuming it down my throat, a new form of stress over eating something so rich will begin and what will cure that?


Chocolate milk?

Ah, the viscous cycle begins . . .

We think we are allowing ourselves a treat, then we berate ourselves for having the treat, so we have a different treat. And I know some of you out there are just so fed up with having hypothyroidism that you’ve thrown in the towel and given up on fighting for your healthy life.

So maybe I can show you another way.

Maybe I can help.

I’m a mom, a redhead, a daughter, a friend and a choppy writer (wink) but if I can show you that this can be done, then I know you will believe that you can do it too. I know it.

We’ll figure all this out together … without the eclairs.

But you should know that boiled Leeks taste like salty shoelaces.


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About Catherine, the redhead mom blogger

Catherine’s hopes to make this blog a safe place for thyroid sufferers to come laugh and share the funnier side of thyroid disease while raising awareness around the world. She is a published author, known for her humorous speeches on finding your dream life and blogging for fun and profit. Catherine writes about her dream life at, 8 Women Dream and several online marketing publications. She would also like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations. Catherine posts on M/W/F. Join me on Google+ rapieress@aol.com

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