I keep having thoughts about breaking this fast. Today is Day 24. I feel fine--good in fact. More energy than I've had in a while, increased mental focus, positive attitude, mental and emotional changes and increased self-awareness... the only downer is repeated bouts of hunger and I haven't lost any weight in 5 days.
As I consider the reasons WHY I might end the fast, I must also ponder the reasons why NOT to stop now. In serendipitous fashion, I opened my journal to some notes I made about cues and triggers related to habit cycles.
Each time I give in to a cue/trigger, I reinforce the behavior, and it becomes a habit--whether eating to appease uncomfortable emotions, sitting instead of moving, watching a film to relax, eating when hungry, or any action that is not self-compassionate or nourishing or helpful.
I realized, that if I give in to hunger during this longer fast, that I am reinforcing the "give-in" behavior for my next, short fast. From that, I determined that I need to finish this fast and reach my goal of 30 days to replace the old pattern of giving in to physical hunger cues immediately. During the last 7 days of this fast, I can learn to wait out the hunger, let it pass, without responding except by downing a glass of water. That action--and the refraining from the other action--will build my willpower so that I can successfully complete shorter ADFs; the fasts during which I have the most trouble remaining consistent! Thus, if I can resist the physical hunger cue, I will reinforce that resistance and create a new habit. The new habit will be a pause after the hunger sensation, I won't be a slave to that desire to eat. Yes, hunger is a valid physical cue for nutrition, but I'm referring to specific dysfunctional behavior related to that cue and the resultant behavior. I'm still learning that being hungry is "okay". Acting on this cue, and thus, reinforcing it, is the reason I have trouble with shorter fasts. I easily talk myself out of a fast because I'm hungry, which simply reinforces the quitting behavior.
Whether I make it to Day 30 or not, I will reach my Micro-goal of 25 days, which is tomorrow! What is significant is my mindset and self-awareness, and of course asking myself the question during these last 7 days: "How can I be kind to myself in this situation?". If fasting remains the kindest and most nourishing form of behavior, I will continue. Further, I want to be aware of what behaviors I wish to reinforce and strengthen in response to specific cues.
I want to be in control of my hunger and my actions; not the other way around!
surprised it is 2020! Holy crap when did that happen!