Dear Diary, I am fasting today. Or at least I plan on fasting today. Don’t know how successful I’ll be. So far so good, but, I had to stop myself twice already when I had an impulse to go to the kitchen. I had to remind myself that I’m supposed to be fasting. And it’s only 8:55AM. I can tell this is going to be very difficult.
It’s amazing because I used to have excellent control over my eating. It was the way I was able to stay weighing 90 – 100 pounds up until I started eating food for comfort from a bad marriage at about age 32. Not that there’s anything so admirable about weighing 100 pounds in your 30s. It’s ridiculous really, and nothing to be admired; but I had some growing up to do. I won’t pretend I’m completely cured of my weight obsessions; but I’m definitely over that nonsense where I would go so many days without eating anything substantial that I would get severe gas pains that would end in me passing out. All so that I could feel special to have people tell me how skinny I was.
On the other hand, nothing is so great about being fat either. Not that I’m fat; but I’m not at a comfortable size and I think that’s the key for every woman. She should aspire to be at a comfortable size, but make sure she’s making a decision about what’s comfortable for her without the influence of fashion magazines and girlfriends who have blindly consented to be slaves to these magazines and to aspire to look the way the girls in the magazines look because they think it somehow makes them special to be reed thin.
I know some women who are older than I am, and I’m 37, who say their goal is to be a size 2. These are women with children, heading for their 40s or already in their 40s. They want to be a size 2 because they think that will make them special or enviable or something.
Maybe I have a different perspective because I spent more years of my life wearing size 1 and sometimes a size 0 than the time I’ve spent fluctuating between a size 4 and 10. When I consider what it cost me to maintain my 90 – 100 pounds, starving myself for years, I don’t consider it such a great thing to be skinny but miserable with hunger every day. I’d rather feel strong and happy even if it means being a size 10; but for me, comfort comes at a size 4 – 6.
If I have to be bigger than a 4 – 6 though, I would still prefer that to being emaciated, as long as I don’t have unneeded layers of fat on my body. There are plenty of healthy athletes who wear a bigger size who don’t have layers of fat hanging off their sides and layers of belly fat and back fat. My goal right now is to drop any excess “fat”. I’m not concerned about weight at this point in my life. I don’t have a scale in my house and haven’t had one in at least 5 years. What concerns me is that I feel good about myself, that I like what I see when I look in the mirror, and that I feel healthy and strong.
So why am I fasting you’re wondering? Well, I’m not fasting to lose weight. I’m doing it to combat fat. Yes, a person will lose weight when they fast, but the goal for me isn’t to be thin but to not have unnecessary excess fat hanging off me; and sometimes fasting helps to speed up the breaking down of fats or to ward off the depositing of more fats in your problem areas after a day of indulgence.
Starving yourself can be pretty hard to do when you’re wired to eat every time you feel a little bored, restless, or blue though, and I have definitely become wired to eat through my numerous stress moments; but what’s interesting about it is that once you get a day of starving yourself under your belt, it gets easier to keep it up. It can be dangerous if you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons as you can easily get carried away and develop a problem. I’ve have patches every year when I have to pull myself back from the brink of slipping back into my old pattern. Interestingly they always coincide with family visits…
Note: I acknowledge that it can be unwise to just get up one day and decide not to eat anything. There’s more to fasting than just deciding not to eat. In fact, most recommended fasting and detox programs are programs that allow you to eat certain foods or consume certain drinks like juices and teas. Please educate yourself about how to fast.