Let me just say, nothing is more annoying than spending a lot of time writing a post and it not saving at the end… ya that just happened.
So last week my cousin decided she wanted to try a 7 day water fast. I told her “GOOD LUCK”. Being that I had tried a 24 hour water fast before, and how hard it was for me, I for sure thought 7 days would be unbearable. Believe it or not some people do 21 to 30 days or even longer. So in the scheme maybe 7 days isn’t so bad. 24 hours should be icing on the cake right?
Well during my 24 hours I not only obsessed about food, but I got a really bad headache as well which is a common side effect. I for sure thought my cousin would be in worse shape. Headaches, no energy, wanting to sleep all day, maybe even give in and eat. To my surprise she did a great job. I wasn’t with her during the day and maybe she slept a lot I dunno, but to me she seemed fine. She was taking hot yoga classes, we went on a hike (where I’m not gonna lie, she had a hard time), she even walked around for a few hours with me at a bridal expo. It seemed like she didn’t even have the urge to eat. Her first day, I wasn’t even thinking and asked her to go grocery shopping for me. What a brat I am!! But she didn’t eat food, and she didn’t get sick. She appeared to have fine energy, and again, she did a great job! Her thought was “Why wouldn’t I be normal?” MIND OVER MATTER.
She decided for the following 7 days she would ease herself into a juice fast and asked me if I wanted to join. I was hesitant at first but she was excited and told me she found recipes so I figured I would give it a TRY. I’ve always wanted to try it anyways. With “try” being the word that was allowing me to escape if I needed to.
Yesterday was the beginning of Day 1. I was motivated. Got dressed and made myself thejuices of the day. Having had done 24 hours on water before, I knew what to expect as far as obsession over food goes, the hunger pangs, and maybe a little headache or so.
I was doing fine, and then I walked into a tenant’s office to deliver her something and there it was. Her bowl of chocolate. She must have filled it up that morning because there were these new big pieces of chocolate with caramel oozing out the sides. If you know me or have read My Mornin’ Coffee, you might know that I have a bit of a candy addiction. Part of me wanted to grab the candy and say “fuck it, no one will know…it’s just a bit of chocolate” but the other part of me was thinking “you can’t give in within the first 20 minutes of being at work, no way”. I told my “fuck it” brain to “fuck off” and passed the bowl of chocolates. MIND OVER MATTER.
Throughout the day I was doing pretty good then my fiance text (he’s trying it too) with “I’m starving”. I text him back “It’s MIND OVER MATTER, and now your mind is on food”. What guess what happened? Now MY mind was on food. I started picturing a grilled cheese sandwich and chewing it. Savoring the taste of it. The experience of it filling my stomach. Oh the chains food has on me. Then I became starving. Like deathly.
My cousin text me and told me to go get a smoothie so I did. It held me over the rest of the work day but I knew my biggest struggle was going to be when I got home. The place where I like to snack, snack, and then snack some more. It’s such a habit that sometimes I just end up with food in my mouth before I even realize what I’m doing. I remember one time I wanted to stop eating junk food/processed sugar and I was watching TV. Next thing I know I’m sitting stuffing a bag of marshmallows down my throat. SWEAR, I didn’t even realize. It was like I was hypnotized or something. Again, the chain food has on me.
After work I had my counseling session and then decided to go straight to the gym to take a class. I wanted to take a class because I knew by doing just cardio I’d have more time to obsess over food. I got to the gym a bit late and the class was pretty full so cardio it was. I began doing cardio, with no music or TV. Could this get any worse? Let’s just say the WHOLE time all I did was think about food. How I just wanted to chew something and swallow it.
One of the reasons I even wanted to try this fast was to practice and strengthen my discipline. I know that food has a tight chain on me and I want to free my mind. It is quite interesting to pay attention to how much I obsessed over food through out the day and tricked my body into thinking I was dying of starvation. But only when I chose to focus on it. If I was focused on something else I was totally fine. MIND OVER MATTER.
I came home and almost immediately wanted to give in. I went upstairs and told my fiance I needed to eat something just very small. I would still be fine but I just needed SOMETHING in my stomach. He said “make a juice” but I was convinced it wasn’t enough. This is how i felt:
I went downstairs, looked in the cabinets a few times, looked in the refrigerator and grabbed three small pieces of cut up pineapple, I was gonna eat it without my fiance knowing. RIGHT when I did that I heard the door close as my cousin just came back from a hot yoga session. DAMNIT I was gonna get caught. I hid them in my hand and passed her slyly and walked up the stairs. She then asked “How’d you do today?”. Aw man, I couldn’t lie. I said “Fine until now” and I slid into my room and stuck the piece of pineapple in my mouth. She asked what I meant and I showed her the remaining pieces of pineapple. She said it was fine and that she was about to make a juice and asked if I wanted one.
Look at that, it was FINE. Who would have thought. In my head I was in “fuck it” mode and probably would have given in to other food if it wasn’t for the feeling of “yea it is fine”. It was what it was. I had three pieces of pineapple and it was fine. I could still continue on my juice fast. I wasn’t a failure. I didn’t have to give up. Again, MIND OVER MATTER.
Most times, when people feel like they’ve failed it can be very easy to give up completely. In reality, you should acknowledge your “failure”, you ACCEPT it and learn from it, and you continue to move on. I learned that I really didn’t even need that pineapple. It was all in my head. My cousin made a juice, I drank half of it, we talked about stuff and I was fine the rest of the night.
Some of this may sound crazy, I’m literally fighting myself from eating food. Some people find it hard to understand. Why would I choose this? Why don’t I just eat? Do I have an eating disorder? Am I trying to lose weight? JUST EAT if you’re hungry! Funny thing is, half the time I obsessed over food, I wasn’t hungry. It was a mental thing. Your body doesn’t go into starvation mode after just one day. I wasn’t dying. I wasn’t “starving”. I was still consuming nutrients and vitamins.
I am a slave. A slave to food, to television, to the internet and my cellphone. A slave to what people think about me, how I look, my image. A slave to my mind. What is something that controls you? Alcohol, a boyfriend, gossip, cigarettes, self-esteem? Even if you think nothing, when you take something away, even if only for 24 hours, you can think more clearly and catch a glimpse of what’s really going on. If you are mindful. Most people don’t eat because they are hungry. They aren’t “starving” when they think they are. We develop habits and they begin to control us to the point that we just do what we do, think how we think, for no other reason then simply because that’s what we are used to. Even if it’s something we don’t even like.
As humans, we are capable of FAR more than we can ever imagine. Our mind can be a very limiting place. You can see just throughout this post I went from almost giving in during the beginning of the day, to thinking I was “starving” to actually giving in and wanting to give up, to ending the night with feeling like a success. All in a mind’s day work. Wouldn’t it be nice to live your life out of intention versus habit? To feel like the things you do are because of a choice you are making rather than something that just happens so “fuck it”? Could you imagine the things you could begin to create when you realize the true control you have? You break free from the chains and begin to live the life you choose. MIND OVER MATTER.
I challenge you to CHALLENGE YOURSELF….and win!!! just witness how life will unfold.
Here’s to Day 2!!!