I'm two hours away from Day 6 of my 21-day Water Fast! Whoo hoo! Only 2 days and 1 hour to go! 49 hours! I can do it! I am doing it! I will do it! My determination has been increasing, despite strong fatigue and frequent (though short and mild), bouts of hunger! Yay! In fact, I'm gaining increasing confidence that I'll be able to extend the first part of this 21-day fast beyond 7 days, to 14, and then to 21! Although I definitely want to lose weight and improve my heatly, my other motivations for completing the full 21-days are emotional and spiritual. As I've previously mentioned, this fast is vastly different from my first attempt at an Extended Fast (EF) at the end of March. I am experiencing intense shifts in my mind and emotions. Although I struggle with the hunger and fatigue, my determination has grown. I am feeling the value of an EF and want to continue my progress. I really, really, really want to heal my relationship with my body and with food; I mean, this is it! I'm not doing it anymore! I'm sick of hating my body and using food as an escape from feelings. There are a lifetime of toxic mother-messages and upbringing and societal cues behind these problems, and it seems as though I have done 2 lifetimes' worth of work to overcome both, yet I still don't have it down at age 51. I don't want to spend the next 50 years struggling with these problems. And now, after all my research into EF, IF (Intermittent Fasting), keto eating, LCHF (Low-carb, High-fat eating), ADF (Alternate Day Fasting), and OMAD (eating one meal per day), I am convinced that I have found the solution! It's not an easy solution, but I know it works, and there is empirical evidence to prove that statement! The evidence is one reason I want to continue the fast. The shifts I have experienced are the other reasons. I am approaching food in a new way, and as I continue fasting, my attitudes will continue to change. In this experiment with my body, my attitude toward my body will also become more positive. I want to live a full life where I am fully engaged, rather than hiding in my home behind a jar of nutella and a K-drama for weeks at a time; hiding from my feelings, avoiding fear, and gaining weight so that I have an excuse to isolate and hide even more! With each day that passes during this fast, I feel like I get closer to the solution to my eating disorder, body image, and problems with food.
Photo Credit: www.bbcgoodfood.com
I have joined a few support groups on Facebook related to Dr. Jason Fung, as well as the member support groups on his website: thefastingmethod.com , and am getting some good advice from experienced fasters (as well as some not so good by my-way-is-the-right-way thinkers). In complaining about the constant hunger, I was advised to reframe those thoughts, and upon a tummy growl, thank my body for doing its job and acknowledge that the fasting was working. That advice really helped change my mindset about the constant hunger reminders. Now every time my tummy growls, I think, "Thank you body for doing your job," and "The fasting is working!".
This led me to the idea that I could also reevaluate and change my thoughts about feeling terribly fatigued the past few days! I'm not working, and I have the time and physical space to "just be fatigued" if I am. Why fight it? The fatigue doesn't mean I need to break my fast or end at 7 days, any more than the hunger growls do! The hunger growls pass and they are not overwhelming now. The fatigue will also pass. I have an entire list of activities to do while fasting, to replace eating and watching movies, and one of those is Take A Nap! Yesterday, I felt extremely worn out after a walk and other activities, so I lie down for a 45-minute yoga nidra session (deep relaxation). I felt so much better afterward! I wasn't buoyantly jumping around, but I felt rested and like I could make it through the day.
I feel more accepting of the hunger growls, and they no longer make me feel as though I need to break my fast! Yay! This means, if I replace thoughts about the fatigue with new, positive thoughts, then that will completely rid me of the fading desire to break my fast at 7 days! Yay, again! Therefore, I can accept both the hunger and the fatigue, let them pass, and continue my fast! This knowledge has given me renewed hope that I will successfully complete not only a 7-day water fast, but the 21-day water fast I had originally planned to do! In fact, I've decided that I will NOT end my fast on Monday, but rather, continue it on for another week. I know that if I can fast for 7 days, I can certainly make it 14, and if I make 14, 21 should not be too difficult! I WILL do it! I love that my saying: "I can do it!" has morphed to "I will do it!"! I am, after all, doing it!
In conclusion, just like accepting the hunger growls and letting them pass, I have decided to also accept the fatigue and wait for it to pass. It's not such a bad thing, after all: I'm not shirking responsibilities or affecting my life negatively. In fact, I am honoring my body by giving it the rest it requires, allowing it to heal, and maximizing my chances for fasting success!
I am so grateful for these changes to my mind, heart, and body!
surprised it is 2020! Holy crap when did that happen!
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