1. abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.
• synonyms: eat nothing, abstain from food, refrain from eating, go without food, go hungry, starve oneself.
• antonyms: eat
I’ve been fasting once or twice every few years since I was twelve. My first fast was very unhealthy and unprofitable for my body: I ate 1 cookie a day because that’s all my friends were eating. And as I entered high school, I began to think I was fat and so I’d pick at my food or simply starve myself because I felt light and my stomach felt flatter. Sometimes I’d take exlax, a chocolate laxative, if I really wanted to feel empty inside. When I reflect back, my own ignorance breaks my heart. The feeling of not being thin enough, not pretty enough, not nice enough skin… these feelings carried me through many a fasting experience.
Why do we want to lose weight? Why are so many New Year’s goals about losing weight? For many people, it is because we think that when we lose weight we’ll look better and feel happier, we’ll get more attention from our spouse and feel loved, we’ll be able to be more active and feel more freedom and empowerment. Maybe you will get more attention from your friends or asked out on more dates and then you’ll feel loved.
Does it work? Does the loss of pounds equal the feelings we hope for? Honestly, how many people have you seen gain and lose weight over and over and over like a pendulum? I wonder why, what is the lesson they haven’t learned yet? What lesson do you keep going back for?
In the past few years, I have been making it my goal to do things because the doing of it brings me joy, peace, empowerment or another desired feeling. I guess you might say I’m anti-Perpetual Self Improvement Projects. We don’t need to fall into complacency, but we also don’t have to perpetually improve ourselves because of some notion of “not good enough.” There is a middle ground.
That’s the kind of conscious fasting experience that I propose to you today. A conscious fast is one of those things that – in the doing of it – can make you feel empowered, clear, and all sorts of amazing. It’s kind of like climbing a mountain!
Healthy, body-Profitable Fasting
I fast for the health of my mind and body. Imagine your body is a sophisticated smartphone. When you first get your new phone you start downloading apps, using your GPS, checking emails, writing Facebook posts, adding to your Instagram stories, taking photos, playing games, taking notes, and whatever you do on your phone. And imagine, too, that you never turned off the apps (just like all our adorable parents and grandparents), or uploaded your photos to the cloud, or reset your phone, or cleared out the data. Your phone might work well for the first year, possibly even the second year. Eventually, however, your phone will be a sluggish POS (piece of sunshine, this is a family-friend blog!).
Our bodies are much more sophisticated than a smartphone, thank goodness. And our medical system is very good at developing work-arounds if the body gets sluggish, too. (Metamucil anyone?) Naming a problem – sluggish, brain fog, difficulty sleeping, sleep apnea, excess weight, joint pain – and taking a pill is not the same thing as taking care of your body.
Doing a conscious fast will give your body a break from active digestion so that it can focus on the removal of rubbish while you provide nourishment for your body. That’s why we fast.
You can follow my Ketogenic Fast journey right here! A keto diet is where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. Spoiler alert: it involves copious amounts of exogenous ketones or fat. Subscribe to learn more.
Tools For Prepping and planning
- Google calendar: since it’s already an app I use daily on my phone, it’s a no-brainer to schedule my “meals” and brisk walking right into my Google calendar. Plus, when I schedule events and appointments I’m reminded right away that I’ll be fasting and so I can easily schedule around my fast.
- Trello: I love, love, love Trello. This is a great platform for team collaboration, event planning, budget planning, meal planning … a Ketogenic Fasting Plan possibly. 😉 I could go on. But instead, I’ll just invite you to see one of my public Meal Planning boards so that you can get a taste of what Trello is like!
We’d love to hear from you: What is your fasting protocol?