It’s the morning of the 6th day, which means my fast is over!!! Goodbye little fast! Maybe we meet up again sometime but you’re now officially an over-staid house guest.
I must admit with a tiny bit of regret that around midnight, after tossing and turning and doing nothing but thinking about the adorable little bananas in my kitchen, I finally surrendered and made myself a banana smoothie…ok I know that is NOT the model way of ending a fast, but it was still 5 full days and I’m STILL very proud of myself. I put a good dose of pro-biotics in it to make it really pop. I hope this freshly enlisted platoon of little microbes are charging bravely toward the final death of any languishing candida/parasites lurking about in the search for a micro-morsel of food.
So thinking over hunger…
What is normal hunger? No really, what is it?
I spoke on my video about the difference between psychological and physical hunger. When I lookëd up hunger in the oxford dictionary, I got:
a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat: she was faint with hunger
- a severe lack of food: they died from cold and hunger
- a strong desire or craving: her hunger for knowledge
I asked myself which one of these descriptions describes most of my hunger experiences. Obviously not the second. I’m in a western country with pa-lenty to eat at any time of the day or night. It’s this vice that is killing us at the other end of the food battle. The third description is what happens to me around 10 at night, for whatever reason. I often have an insatiable desire to stuff myself with something I will immediately regret. It usually comes down to cookies, chips, chocolate, or pizza.
The first description is what most of us think we have, and what most of likely DO have, generally speaking. That being said, I think most of us can stop before we eat and ask ourselves: is this real hunger, or am I just upset/sad/depressed/bored/frustrated/angry? We also eat to celebrate. The women in my family are amazing cooks, so every occassion to come together is marked with a literal smorgasbord of yummy appetisers, main dishes, and treats for along the way. I love sitting around with my family all day, “grazing” on the various things we’ve made. My mother loves to eat a lot on these occasions which I find super cute, but she is still slim because normally she really listens to her hunger. Most days are quite modest for her.
So how did I deal with my psychological hunger on my fast? I found this little trick by living vicariously through “the eaters” around me. With all subtlety, I would fixate myself on their eating experience and savour the smell and taste while not actually eating it (ok with those close to me I brazenly stared). I even asked a friend if I could treat him to something of my choice and watch him eat it. Once it was a chocolate muffin and another time m-n-m’s. I would tell him to blow air in my direction so I could smell it, particularly with the m-n-m’s as the candy-covered coating just doesn’t smell much. But once you start chewing…wowsers that’s an awesome scent.
While I feel like a devout angel of health today after having fasted, I’m a little devil when it comes to “food-time” days, and I know for a fact I eat when I’m not really physically hungry. I love the chocolate, I love the cheese, and to my horror I recently renewed my passion for bread. I stopped eating it about 5 years ago so you can understand my bewilderment when after work I find myself drooling in the bread section of the grocery store. I have a sneaking suspicion that my body doesn’t want bread, but the little critters squatting in my bowels do.
That being said, fasting trains the brain to know the difference. The body is intelligent, and it knows what it really needs. When the emotional hunger comes, and we don’t give in during a fast, our brain wrinkle (or shall we say trench) to eat the pain away get’s a little bit less. Now I’m not advocating starving yourself or embarking upon any sort of eating disorder. But I will put myself out there and say that it’s becoming alarmingly normal to be overweight, and while it has to do a lot with the type and availability of food, it also has a lot to do with mistaken hunger.
I will meet a friend today for lunch, and we will eat to live but also eat to celebrate our friendship together. I am so super excited to celebrate my end of both physical and psychological hunger with someone I care for very much. I hereby make a pledge to consistently ask myself about the source of my hunger. I will no doubt ignore that little voice here and there, but this fast has taken me that much closer to the real source of what hunger is to me, and I want to honour that new knowledge. I’m that much more confident that what ails my body does not have control of me. It is an amazing vehicle for my spirit, and I’m the one driving. I promise to check its oil religiously and say tender things to it every day.
Vidoe of me pre-banana smoothie