This is an update on a new way I have found to lose weight, called the ice water diet. You diet normally. Then, you jump in a pool of ice water. To avoid immediate death from hypothermia, you burst into a flame of speed splashing across the pool. You burn up all the calories at once that you’ve consumed for the last five days. Then you go lay in bed the rest of the day to recover.
Actually, to be honest, it’s not really that bad. I’ve decided it really, truly is an issue of mental attitude! If I sit there and shiver and think, "boy this sure is cold," well, yeah, it feels like really cold. Water torture. But if I tell myself, "this really isn’t so bad," and just swim, then it’s just refreshing. I can actually make myself feel good or bad at that moment, depending on how I think. It’s like walking on a razor wire — lean one way or the other, and the whole body goes that way.
The contrast was obvious on Sunday, when David joined me after I was already in the pool and had done a couple of laps. He thought the water was frigid. He never got to the point of enjoying the swim. I, on the other hand, finished the laps I had set out to do and decided to do two more for good measure. I could have done more, but I didn’t want to overdo it in one day.
This is in pretty sharp contrast to even a few months ago when I first started swimming. The first time, when it was much warmer, I thought it felt like torture. It really does get easier over time. I do truly believe it’s about 95% mental, both in terms of taking the first steps as well as making the decision to stick with it and keep going back every day, even when one doesn’t feel like it. Then, over time, one does begin to notice a difference in stamina, and it becomes rewarding.
But it definitely doesn’t feel rewarding in the first 20 days. Those days are just a matter of making the commitment and doing it! What the cold water actually did for me was to remind me that it truly is all mental, in terms of making myself do it to start with.