At the risk of being completely petty, considering what’s going on in the greater world, this is a last update on the 21 day fast. Frankly I need the closure. Here’s how it all started.
On Thursday, January 7th, I began what for me ended up being a ten-day fast. My goal was 21 days. It’s been a thoroughly frustrating experience.
Examining My Motives.
I have to admit that I went into this really wanting to lose the weight quickly and with very little effort. I thought this fast would be “very little effort.” I am not sure why. My sister who has done the fast said it was “really difficult.” I heard what I wanted to hear. I underestimated the sacrifices. Here’s what I wrote a ten days ago.
“The theory is that our bodies are full of toxins from poor eating, the environment and general bad living. So, in order to have our body working at maximum efficiency one needs to flush it of all those toxins. Over the last year I have had chronic headaches (two to three a week), right knee pain, TMJ – jaw clenching with pain, gastrointestinal issues, a weight gain of fifteen pounds (at least), to take antihistamines for frequent allergies, to take antidepressant medication because I suffer from depression and anxiety.
I have also gone off a prescribed medication, quit drinking alcohol, and quit smoking. (I know I’m amazing. I’m applying for angelic status.) Ahem, back to reality. Quiting these things was good for me but I now have toxins stored up in my body, I’m thinking.
I’ve been reading the book 21 Pounds in 21 Days by Roni DeLuz, RN, ND. My sister did this fast and saw incredible health benefits, several health issues completely resolved and she felt fantastic!
It took me about six days to find a stride where I wasn’t starving all the time. But I juiced fruit. And it turns out that’s a no-no. Also, I didn’t quit coffee totally. Another rule breaker. W e are to have our green drinks, Berry drinks, fresh veggie juice (mostly green) and the soup, the supplements and tea. So, I hate green drinks. I tried holding my nose but it’s just awkward to drink 6 oz of something totally repugnant, while holding your nose. Another faster, who read my blog said this:
“Wow. You are persistent and determined with all these ups and downs. Good for you. I’ve done the detox 4 or 5 times before and am doing one now so there are a few suggestions I can make. You really should limit your use of fruits. Fruits are a feeding food and while a small piece of apple is okay to add for taste, any other fruits besides lemon or lime should be avoided until maintenance time. It could be that you are making and drinking too much fresh juice all at once. Six ounces is plenty and make sure you take something every two hours – tea, water with lemon, green drink (the Berry Berry is best but maybe you can find a better drink in your health food store, if your tastes are discriminating). Peach tea or cranberry weightless from Traditional Medicinals is good also. Are you taking enzymes? Also available at store and necessary to help digest. I always start a detox with a colonic so I don’t have the issues you mentioned. Senna tea is harsh and if you use it, don’t steep too much, especially if you haven’t had a colonic and there’s a lot of material in your system.” — Lauren
Water, water, water. I didn’t drink enough. I juiced fruits, should not have. But mainly I got pissed because I felt that I wasn’t seeing it on the scale and was tired of feeling bad about it. I’m trying now to recall what I felt that was so bad. Perhaps it was the boredom of not eating “food.” Sometimes I am a mystery to myself.
All in all, I got down to 161, from 170 lbs.
My Problems with this Plan.
- For someone who has never fasted this is a hard one to start with and I would recommend a three-day or five-day fast to start.
- MONEY. This is the rich person’s program: $1,200 – $1,700. Colonics $65 x 3 = $195; Lymphatic message: $60 x 3 = (I did only one) $180; Supplements & drinks: $200 +; Veggies, distilled water = $100?; misc supplies (enema bag, dry brush, teas, tinctures) $75+; Juicer = $200*; Chi Machine = $180*; trampoline = $25-40*; Book borrowed, as well as *. I didn’t even do the saunas and body wraps which would have added $500 from a Spa. I did not spend that much as many things were borrowed or I already owned. (Caveat: If I were ill with cancer or had some other sort of “incurable” disease I would try something like this in a heart beat. Because I am not saying that it doesn’t work or help. Just too expensive for your average Joe.)
- TIME. It takes a lot of time to “take care of yourself” to this degree. A luxury I have, but most do not. And I experienced guilt.
Positives & Lessons learned.
- You do lose weight. Nine in ten days is actually quite dramatic and I am positive if I could have finished it I would have lost another nine at least. It’s impossible not to with the amount of calories you’re taking in.
- My mood is good today and I feel good. This is a triumph for me as one who fights chronic depression and I look forward to discovering whether I manage to get through the winter without depression. That would be a first in six years.
This fast forced me to spend a lot of time evaluating my food. Thinking about what I put into my mouth. Thinking about the fact that we literally ARE WHAT WE EAT. If you put sugar, fat, processed foods, preservatives and other toxins in your body you will suffer for it. The purpose of food is to give us energy. Anything that you eat that you know does not give you energy (donuts, cookies, chips, candy, soft drinks, too much alcohol, nicotine, medication) takes away from your good health.
You will not lose weight and likely will continue to gain weight if your lifestyle is sedentary. The older we get, the more likely this is. A person should have a BM once a day. The better you treat yourself the more energy you will have to live your life!
All in all, it was a good experience because of what I learned about myself. The value of caring for this body I have been given — We only get one. We only have one life. Eating well is counter cultural but worth it!
What do I mean by counter cultural?
For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat. An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. 18.5—24.9 is healthy. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
I am now 161. This BMI Index chart says I should be 125 to be in the healthy range. I think this is a bit extreme. The last time I was that weight was in my early twenties. The only way I could get back to that weight would be eat healthy, build muscle, limit fat and sugar. About four years ago I got down to 145 and my mother-in-law (who is quite healthy herself) said I was too thin. But I’m thinking it was more that I was unhealthy. Me at 125 would be counter cultural because it isn’t the norm to be so thin, but I would love to be. We’re so used to being around squishy overweight people. That’s the norm.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a BMI calculator for every age. Once you determine it, it’s important to track what you are eating and your exercise. Because we lie to ourselves! Here’s an online tool for tracking.
I’ll finish by suggesting that you read this article by Mike Adams, Editor of NaturalNews.com, from May 29, 2005. Here are a few sound bites.
“So why do we live in such a degenerate society? What’s the cause of this degeneration? There are basically two causes. Primarily, there’s an utter lack of nutrition, both in our national food supply and in our avoidance of sunlight and nutritional supplements. Secondly, the American people’s minds and bodies are being poisoned by prescription drugs, food additives, metabolic disruptors, artificial light, toxic chemicals in personal care products, household cleaners, and so on.” …..
In the food category, the mass consumption of hydrogenated oils causes malformed brains and nervous systems in infants. It disrupts normal brain function, causes brain fog, and lowers the oxygenation of cells throughout the body. Americans eat well over 10 billion pounds of hydrogenated oils each year, and the FDA still refuses to ban the ingredient even though the World Health Organization urged nations to outlaw this substance decades ago (in 1979)!
- Cardio Exercise Daily. (currently 1.5 miles on treadmill.)
- Build muscle by going to the Y with my mom three times a week.
- For the next few weeks I will eat MOSTLY fruits and veggies. Stay away from breads and small portions of meat.
- Get regular. (You know what I mean.)
Cheers to good health, mental and physical.
P.S. US Obesity Trends has dramatic statistics by Ethnicity & Race.