Learning to Listen to My Body

So I’ve been fasting for a few weeks now. I fast on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I find it easier to fast during the work week than on the weekend. For one, I’m really busy during the work week and barely have time to eat anyway. Secondly, on the weekends I’m with my family and usually do the cooking/meal planning. I do 42-hour fasts. For instance, I will eat dinner on Sunday night and then not eat again until Tuesday at lunch. I drink coffee with a tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning, lots of water, and then I have bone broth at lunchtime and dinnertime.

When I first started doing it, I found that I was eating way too much when I was coming off of my fast. I found that if I eat something small, but rich in fat, my stomach handles it a lot better. I have usually felt better eating some avocado coming off of a fast. Mondays have been a lot easier to handle. But there have been a couple of Wednesdays or Fridays that I wasn’t able to get through the whole 42 hours. It usually happens around 24 hours where I have a tough time getting through. The first time it happened, I will admit I felt like I failed myself somehow. But then I started to realize, it’s not failure – it’s learning how to listen to my body.

By fasting, I’m finding that it’s easier to hear what my body needs. I’m still learning the cues and what it means. And I think yoga is helping as well. By giving myself time to be silent and still, I can tune in to what my body is saying and how it feels. By taking food out of the equation during the fast, I basically have three choices to give my body to find out how to address certain cues. For example, if I have a headache, I can either take a sip of my coffee, take a sip of water, or take a sip of my lemon/salted water. One of these choices tends to resolve my headache. Or maybe my stomach is growling. Again, I have the choices above or maybe it’s time for some bone broth.

Becoming sensitive to what I eat and drink is not just occurring during the fasting periods. I’m making very specific choices during my non-fasting days as well, First I choose based on how it’s going to make me feel. Next I choose based on what I want to eat because I’m not eating again until two days from now so oh my gosh I need to choose something that I really want to eat right now… Yes, that was a run-on sentence. This is exactly what goes through my head on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is something I think will curtail the more I do my fasting cycles. I am really appreciating everything that I’m learning about my body, how it works, and how to take care of it. And even though I’m learning a lot from research, science, doctors in the field, and others who have done this before me, the most important learning resource is myself, my own body.

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