A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine suggested that I try fasting, as they found it to be a great way to cleanse their system and reported feeling much better after. They informed me that they felt the following:
- Increased sense of mental clarity.
- Enhanced ability to ignore food cravings – better willpower!
- Give the body a chance to rest from digestion.
- Aid in weight loss and healthy eating.
I felt at the time, that the idea of fasting is complete nonsense. I reiterated that my body needs iron and asked how can it help with enhanced mental clarity if essentially, you’re limiting food intake?
Fast forward to last week!
I woke up and decided to try fasting. The first few minutes all I did was think about food. Ha-ha. I mean, my mind knew my body was limiting my food intake for 10 hours, and my stomach was struggling to comprehend the logic.
I began reading a collection of short stories to take my mind off food and after a few hours reading, I kind of forgot my hunger? Or rather, I never felt hungry. I must say that I was drinking water throughout the day. I guess you could call it a water fast.
As time progressed, I stopped feeling hungry, but I did feel a lot clearer in mind – Afterall, I didn’t have to think about what I was going to eat for lunch, or if I had enough spinach. (he-he, which is a thing I do each day!)
On the tenth hour, there was no rush to the kitchen to eat. I simply sat around a bit and thought about my relationship with food. I mean, for years I’ve always felt I needed it more than I came to realise I do. I thought more about what triggers specific eating habits:
- Certain members of family/friends.
- Relationship woes.
- Negative life events.
I agree this may be a common thing for many people embarking/currently on their weight loss journey. But, how many of us sit and examine the impact? Some of us may acknowledge that our shitty situation has caused us to find comfort in the wrong places; food, alcohol, sex or drugs. But who among us has taken the time out to really understand why they eat how they eat?
My 10 hours of fasting opened an area of my life that I’ve ignored. Or failed to fully understand. I then repeated the fast for 2 more days and for me it helped:
- Enable deep reflection on my relationship with food.
- Aspects of my life that trigger poor eating habits.
- What truly motivates me on my health journey.
- That I don’t need to consume so much food, even if most of the food I eat is super-healthy.
- Ways in which I can negate those triggers – to prevent overeating.
Would I try a water fast again?
Absolutely, I feel much better as a person for abstaining from food. I’m not sure I would try like a complete fast. But I will most certainly fast for 10 hrs at least once a week. I feel I gained a lot of positives from my experience.
Would I recommend fasting?
I would suggest that those of you who are interested in fasting, do some research first and speak to your GP if you have any health-related questions or pre-existing medical conditions.
I hope your health journey is going well.