Wouldn’t it be great to achieve clarity and a high energy state without doing drugs or other magic pills? Numerous people I heard of were diving in a so called water fast. As the digestive system counts for a large portion of the bodies energy use, if stopped the amount of energy left could be huge.
A few months back I read the book The transformational power of fasting which resonated a lot with me. I slowly started to understand that my sometimes obsessive nature on food originated from running away from the current emotional pain. To cope with the daily dose of stress I simply want to eat. It is to fill up the apparent ’emptiness’ inside me. To stop eating for some time is a terrifying thought for me. But…that is why I know I had to do it. To face my fear and persist in the tough feelings. To start the transformation to a more healthier relationship with food and myself. For months I had this idea in my mind but only until recently I had the courage to pull the trigger.
A 24 hour fast during one of the weekends was my goal. The day before the fast my mind already started to make up stories of not needing to do it. “The timing is completely wrong I cannot does this right now”…Excuses right. So there I was, eating my last meal. It tasted really good and immediately afterwards I started to somehow panic a little. “I’m still hungry, I cannot survive until my next bit of food 24h away.” I had a strong feeling to make a hot comfortable chocolate milk because that is not food right…? Well, the title says ‘water fast’ right? So only water. Oke, I allowed myself to have hot water with ginger. That felt oke to do. During the evening, on numerous accounts, my thoughts of food were present.
Waking up the next day surprised me. It felt like I had a full stomach. I have to say that this day was a rather packed program with many social encounters. During the day I kept on thinking about food and I was counting down until I could eat again. Although I didn’t feel very hunger the temptation was definitely their.
After one of the meetup’s with a friend I felt emotionally unstable. I realised at that moment in time, I was too hard on myself. That for now I should let go and relax. So I did. After 19 hours I broke the fast. It felt as the right thing to do. I had peace with this happening.
A week later I tried again. This time with more experience and a day without appointments. This was much easier to handle. The evening was oke, the morning the same as before: almost no hunger. And the afternoon was beter to cope with as I had some distractions that kept me busy. At the end of the day I celebrated my achievement with a well deserved glass of wine. I made it!
So I learned numerous things with this small challenge. When stress is occurring in my life, I have the tendency to cover it up. To bury it deep down. When I have to face it some anxiety is building up. This pattern I also notice in my meditation practises. Sometimes there is a large resistance on being present. It hurts to really confront yourself. It takes tremendous courage to see who you really are. I tend to cover it up with eating or diving in a new podcast or video. Other people take drugs or do skydiving to not be confronted with themselves.
To what degree is figuring out these patterns necessary for a happy life? How many people really dig inside their backgrounds, habits, and addictions? And to what degree are we ‘gifting’ our problems to our children?
With each new step I take I unravel more of what I am. This is not always a pretty picture. Actually it becomes painfully clear that I have issues. Problems I have to work on and take responsibility of. Then again, who doesn’t have problems? The pretty girl on Instagram showcasing her beautiful life could be depressed. We all know this. But knowing is not the same as actually feeling it deep inside. We will keep comparing until the moment when we are consciousness enough to see this pattern unfolding. Then we can take action and steer our mind in more nuanced thoughts. Then we can finally be free.