Have you ever done a juice fast/cleanse/feast? I’ve never done one before, but am now on day 4 of my very first. I did some research before starting, including watching a fun documentary called, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. If you have the opportunity to see this, I highly recommend it.
What prompted me to do this? I’m so glad you asked!
According to the research I’ve done, juice fasting will cure a multitude of ills, including but not limited to, weight loss. I would like to take better care of my body, and in doing that… my body gets in the way. In other words, I’d like to run, but my right knee gives me grief; I’d like to stretch and touch my toes, but my belly gets in the way; I’d like to eat more raw fruits and veggies, but my addiction to food takes over… Oh wait, that’s not my body doing that, its my mind.
In fact, all of it is in my mind. Can’t run? Walk. Can’t touch your toes, so what? Stretch anyway. No, no, no, my mind says – if you can’t do it right, why bother?
So, ultimately, this is about me challenging my mind. I think I have an addiction to food. When I feel hunger pangs, I run (see what I did there?) to the refrigerator. When I see myself in pictures or in the mirror, I feel shame. I’ve been working a lot on that last bit – feeling embarrassed or ashamed of what I think I look like, as if people won’t approve of me or love me unless I fit into what our culture has decided is appropriate. I’ve actually come a long way with that and feel the confidence I used to feel when I was younger. However, its a work in progress and I reckon that no matter what weight or size I am, I’ll have to work on it.
Side note: I was at a wedding recently and I didn’t know very many people there, so I was free to just sit back and observe. What I noticed was that all of the women there were really lovely. They all seemed happy and had beautiful hair and pretty dresses and slender bodies. However, when they didn’t think anyone was looking, they each tugged at their dresses, or used a purse to hide behind, or shied away from photos. They were beautiful, but they didn’t know it. Good lesson for me – even slender women have body issues.
Back to the Juice Fast.
So, working on my body thoughts is secondary to the first: Challenging my thoughts about food. Do I have a food addiction? I don’t know, but I do know that I turn to food when I’m upset. Almost anything can set me off, and I’ve never learned how to soothe myself otherwise. In doing my research about this Juice Fast, I found a blog entry from some guy who seemed to struggle with the same stuff I do, and he said that during his fast he had to find other ways to deal with his emotions, instead of turning to food, and I was like, YES! So my thinking is that if I take away the bandaid (food), I will be forced to deal with my thoughts head on.
This is only day 4, so I don’t know how much of that has occurred so far, but I’ve certainly had to deal with hunger pains, which used to send me running to the fridge. Now I just remind myself that I’m safe; that nothing bad is going to happen, and they subside. Someone once told me that hunger is fear. I believed him then, but now I grock it.