Well, I am glad I gave myself some flexibility in this fasting process, because unexpected circumstances tend to arise when you live in the back road forests of Costa Rica. The village where I live was short on the produce order last week, like really short. I had barely enough veggies and fruit to juice for one day, let alone the 4 days it would be before the next shipment of fresh foods was schedules to arrive. And that shipment would only come if the rivers that are so high they run across the road from the farm to our community were low enough for the truck to cross.
So I did what any rational person fasting would do, I stuck to my liquid diet and drank only water and teas. Wait a minute, I didn’t do that at all. I ate. I ate roasted potatoes with salt. I ate jasmine rice with salt. I was really missing some salt. I found myself over the weekend in full on survival mode, eating. It may have only happened twice, but that was enough for me to spend the next few days reaffirming my fasting protocol, redressing my lack of willpower to stay the course, and recommitting to one of the main ingredients I promised myself to have as often as necessary. Self- compassion.
Monday came along and I started the day with a huge glass of water. A HIIT workout was followed by a shower and then onto the computer to do some work. After that a cup of tea and some green juice with two heaping spoonfuls of spirulina. Then I found myself at the end of the day, watching an inspiring movie based on true events called Tracks and going pee for the hundredth time that day. Tuesday came a fresh order of fruits and vegetables to the local shop and I stocked up on all things juicy. I also got all the yummy ingredients to make my famous (at least among my circle of friends) root soup. All in all, I am on day 16 of the fasting and focusing on the many, many successes, not the few shortfalls.
And I realized that with so many goals we have the reward is in the end of the process required to get there. We are destination focused. And if not, we often are focused on the relaxation that happens when our process to achieve our goals has reached its end. This mentality is a hindrance to our ability to create new habits.
Healthy living can be a task we set out to do over a period of allotted time or it can be the building of a new habit. The turning of a new page, into a new chapter where you become the person that does health promoting activities, enjoys a weekly fasting day, or craves holistic and vibrant meals. It is not a goal, it is a paradigm shift. And that is what I have set out to do here with this process. Of course it has a time frame and I don’t intend to fast for the rest of my life. But, each drink, each bite, I am cultivating the habits of tuning in to what my body wants and creating the habit of being present to the activity of consumption. It requires ample amounts of patience with myself as my whole life I have been rushing to eat, emotional eating, or eating in a state of distraction.
At this point, I welcome this process of being present with the action of consumption. I welcome the compassion I feel towards myself during the moments I fall back into old ways of being. I trust that this new approach will anchor into my consciousness and then become the default operating protocol for my subconscious mind. And that is where effort and persistence fall away and the automatic habits and patterns are established as the new norm.
Cheers to creating habits of presence and well being.