Day 9 Fasting!!
I am about to surpass a major milestone in my fasting practice! To date, I've only been able to fast up to 8 1/2 days, and those last two were very difficult. Luckily, each fast is unique and comes with individual differences and challenges. I have not been nearly as fatigued as I have been my last few fasts. I completed my longest fast at the end of May, barely. I struggled with that feeling of fatifue and misery for the last day and a half; I thought it was not going to end, so I broke the fast. This time, I am on Day 9 and about to pass that 8 1/2 day mark feeling good. I've been a little tired, but not the kind that feels debilatating. I also recognize that whatever I feel during this fast (and in life!) -- physically, mentally, or emotionally-- will pass! I am trying to translate that into my life experience; to recognize that painful and uncomfortable feelings will pass--as in fasting, so in life. This has been decades of inner work to apply. I'm not an idiot. Of course I have recognized this fact. Yet I have not been able to take it inward, recall that a bad time or painful feeling will pass, and apply it when I need it most! If I can take only this one lesson and retain it for the rest of my life, then fasting will have been a major victory.
Although the physical changes are remarkable and much desired -- I've lost nearly 12 lbs. since starting my fast at 8pm last Monday, Aug. 10-- I seek emotional, mental, and spiritual transformation as well. I feel myself moving inward as the fast progresses: my desire for human company has greatly diminished, I have let go of the need to watch the horrible events vividly described on the news, I have replaced news with dharma talks and positivity lectures, I have allowed myself to rest, I have started meditating again, and I feel a longing to move inward that is gushing up from deep within my soul. I am listening to that longing. I feel an expanding sense of gratitude that I have this Particular Time in this Particular Place to fast, move inward, heal, and strengthen my Self and my Body.
While I am overboard thrilled and astounded at the weight loss, there is more! My fancy scale gadget shows me that I've lost fat weight and decreased BMI as well! I'm about 1.5 lbs. from the weight I was when I left China last year! Another 10 lbs. and I will arrive at the weight I was in Austin, prior to departing for China in early 2018. During the hardships since 2015, I had gained about 10 lbs. every few years. Lose regain, lose regain. Then up another 10, until holy sh** WTF happened! But in present times, I know that fasting will help me lose it and keep it off permanently, for I will change my relationship with food and my body, increase my emotional resilience, apply the lessons I've learned about stressful times passing and acceptance of what I cannot change, and begin to manage stress differently!
Each 10 lb. loss is a major victory, because each of those 10 lbs. are representative of a stressful time or event in my life over the last 5 years. Due to a crippling injury and the emotional trauma that comes with the end of a long-term relationship, I had gained 20 lbs. during the last few years I lived in the Caribbean. Admittedly, I've always been up and down the diet and weight roller coaster by 10-20 lbs., but being a runner, kept myself at a healthy weight, even with those ups and downs. Of course, with a distorted body image and unhealthy relationship with myself and food, I always felt fat, even wearing a size 4! From the Caribbean, to Panama, to Texas, and ending up in Key West, I was down again to around 145. Between running, lifting weights, and yoga, I carry a lot of muscle, so 140-145 is a good weight for me. I maintained that in Key West, then living in Korea, then landing back in the US again. Then He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named happened, combined with being in school, not being able to get work, tearing my meniscus, and the shit hit the fan. I fell hard into the black hole of depression, crippled by a lack of basic security, my knee, and dwindling money. Bam! 10 lbs. Thus, circling back to pre-China, 2016-17 in Austin, getting my life back together with job and exercise and mental health help. Still 10 lbs. over, but recovering emotionally, professionally, financially, and physically. I moved to China in February of 2018, and am beset by a horrible job and horrible pollution, along with all the normal accompanying stress of living in a foreign country and not having the wherewithal to learn the language. In summary:
2005-2008: ~135 (Caribbean)
2008-2010: 145-160? (Caribbean, Panama, Texas)
2011-2015: 142-145 (Texas, Key West, Korea, Texas)
2016-2018: creeping back up 155 (Texas)
2018-2019: 165+ (China, Australia)
By 2019, I was in a serious physical and emotional black hole that I could not escape.
But that was then, and this is now! It's summer 2020, and I am recovering on all levels as my weight decreases in proportion to the increase in my positive outlook!
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surprised it is 2020! Holy crap when did that happen!