It’s funny how a fast works. Day 1 is easy peasy. Day 2 is hell. And day 3 is still pretty hellish, but manageable. And on all 3 days your relationship with food, and thus your body, is exposed. It’s a highly uncomfortable process.
I’ve just finished a 3 day juice fast. Today I break the fast, and let me tell you, breaking a fast is about as interesting as being on a fast. It’s hard to decide what I feel like eating – the past three days I’ve wanted tea and biscuits … a lot. But now I’m not sure what the hell I feel like eating. My stomach feels tender and everything I place in my mouth is contemplated; which I guess is the point.
I also am very much aware of how I distract myself from myself with food; how food is both a reward and punishment when I’m feeling miserable, and a trip to the kitchen cupboard is a nice way of circumventing painful and/or stressful thoughts.
Since a teenager I’ve had a complicated relationship with food (pretty much the status quo for every woman in the world). It’s certainly become less complicated the older I’ve become, the more therapeutic processes I’ve committed to, and the more yoga I’ve practiced. But drinking juice three times a day and nothing else (except water) is one way to bring yourself face-to-face with your food desires and cravings, and how you are feeling when you have them (and how you feel when all you can have is a cucumber, carrot, celery, ginger and apple juice … not happy is the answer!).
It’s also a good way to really appreciate the effect food has on the body. My practice this week while fasting has varied from elated, to dismal, light and fantastic, to light-headed and weak. And so as I slowly start adding variety, whole-foods and protein back into my diet, I’m going to watch what happens to my morning practices. What we eat is so very many things – comfort, culture, social connection, reward, desire, loneliness, heartache – but mainly its fundamental to how we operate in the world, and the quality of our experience therein.
Fuel, plain and simple. But then there’s nothing plain and simple ever, is there?
These two blogs make my foodie, fast-breaking day. Enjoy.