Love Fasting

I thought I would never be a person that would fast. These judgements held me back. The truth is I didn’t know all that much about fasting. So how I could I end up loving fasting?

My first understanding of fasting was through a friend during my teenage years. She practiced Ramadan and since then I didn’t think it would ever be a part of my life.

Nor did I foresee that it would teach me 3 important lessons about life and of course, how we eat.

My journey into fasting ended up being unexpected as I started reading about gut health. I started noticing small health problems like feeling tired a lot and after reading I decided to change how I ate.

Lesson 1: It’s not what you take out, it’s what you put in.

You ever notice that diet programs are centred around telling you what to take out or what’s not allowed. Well, that’s what I did, I removed wheat and dairy from my diet. And because both had been such a significant part of my diet I needed to find a carbohydrate replacement.

I had forgotten about carbs like oats and rice (although I grew up on rice) were available to me. And as I searched for different ways of fulfilling nutrients I noticed so much more food items that were available to me in my normal supermarket and in local shops near my home.

It wasn’t about removing wheat and dairy, it became about what I could add in, not take away.

Lesson 2: What we’re taught about food isn’t applicable to everyone’s body.

This seemed hard to digest (no pun intended) but as I continued working on my diet, I unlearned a big belief of mine. Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day.

Now, it may be for you and others but it wasn’t for me and in fact, it isn’t necessary to consume breakfast when you start your day. If your first meal is at 12PM then that could be breakfast for you.

So many beliefs about food and how to eat are based on someone’s opinion that came from a study. That’s it. That doesn’t make someone the authority, let a lone an expert, on how you should be eating. It serves as information that could help guide us but it’s definitely not the authority on our bodies.

Lesson 3: Scarcity leads to abundance.

This is similar to the less is more concept and I didn’t really get it until I fasted. After not having a traditional breakfast in the morning I noticed I could go for longer periods without eating. And so I decided to incorporate fasting into my life.

After reading about it, I gave it a try and scheduled a 1-day fast. And I was shocked, I made it 2 days. Not only that, I wasn’t as tired as I thought I was going to feel. I wasn’t ready to do a marathon but I was able to do the normal stuff I needed to get done in the day without keeling over.

And although I “removed” a lot of food, I actually gained so much. I gained time and energy. Eating in a simple way saved me time in planning my meal and eating for my body gave me energy.

And today I love fasting. A woman who thought I would never, I did it. Sometimes those judgements are the ones that will grow us the most.

I discuss more about my personal food journey in the podcast episode 20: Love Fasting.

How to Say “Yes”

Just say No! That’s what we’re taught. We need boundaries, constraints, limits, etc. And the all important, say “no” to bad things like drugs and anything illegal.

We’re not really taught how to say yes because social decorum sometimes dictates that we should say “No” when we mean “Yes” or that a “Maybe” is a “No”. It gets confusing and I want to clear up one big distinction about Yes and No.

When somebody says No to me, I take their No at a face value, no matter what society has taught me. I take the “No” as a “No”

It’s important to make the distinction between how we interpret someone’s Yes and No and how we communicate our Yes and No. Our responsibility does not include extracting any other sort of meaning from someone else’s Yes, No or Maybe. A “no” is a “no” and a “yes” is a “yes”.

Someone else’s No is a No; a Yes, a Yes; and a Maybe, a Maybe. Our only responsibility then becomes to clarify the Yes and No in ourselves.

So how we clarify it when we’re not taught this? Well, let’s talk about how we say No. A lot of the times we are taught to say No to something. Like No to sugar or social media.

Saying “no” becomes outside of us. The sugar, social media all things we need to control and manage and all those exist outside of us. This can be misleading because what we’re saying “no” to is false and conflates the “yes” as well.

When we say No to social media what we need to remember is that social media is the external No and the internal Yes is what we need to make more clear. For me, social media serves as a distraction and even when I say No to it, I find other ways to distract myself from the task in front of me.

And then, what I’m saying Yes to is actually the distraction, whether that’s in the form of social media or something else. The No then becomes the task in front of me that needs to get done.

Whenever we don’t clarify the internal Yes in our decisions the No then becomes muddled in an attempt to control and manage external things in our lives. And trying to control things like sugar or social media can make what we’re trying to achieve frustrating.

Next time you want to say No to something see what the Yes is in that No and from there you can figure out your next course of action to what you say No and Yes to in our life.

I talk more about my battle with social media and saying No to it in podcast episode 15 How to Say “Yes”.

Hot and Cold

Ghosting? I didn’t know what this meant but I was guilty of it and it being done to me.

What does ghosting someone mean? When someone stops being in contact with you, that’s ghosting. It happens all of a sudden, he/she is gone without warning and sometimes you’re left wondering what went wrong?

Recently, I had a ghosting experience and more accurately, a re-ghosting experience (a hot and cold pattern) with an acquaintance/friend. And with hindsight, I was able to take away some insight with regard to intimacy.

Ghosting will usually follow when there is a common pattern in intimacy. Often, the silent treatment to no contact ends a relationship because no emotional intimacy was established in the first place. There can be physical intimacy but when there’s a lack of true intimacy, often the ending is abrupt.

In my recent experience, I started interacting with a long-time acquaintance a lot more. We started having more chats about a subject we were both interested in and then it seemed we were moving from acquaintanceship to friendship.

We were making up for lost time, we started to have more meet ups, text conversations, etc. And it was intense compared to the sporadic acquaintanceship from before.

And then, it stopped, there was no contact. I reached out to her a few times but there was silence. And I thought, no problem, life happens.

But then, she took up contact with me again and we had a few more intense interactions (a lot of sharing) and then again, ghosted.

Looking back on my own ghosting behaviours and my history with intimacy, I could see that there was no emotional intimacy established not only in the relationship but also within myself.

And what I came to realise about ghosting (the cold pattern) is that it’s similar to intense interactions in a relationship (the hot pattern). And sometimes the intensity in a relationship can look and feel like vulnerability and intimacy.

But often, the extreme side of sharing and being vulnerable is masking an inability to establish emotional intimacy with another.

Ask yourself: if you really knew someone who ghosted you? Did you learn about their true desires, fears, etc. Did you really know him/her?

What I saw in my patterns was I never really knew the person. I knew a lot of things about them, their daily lives, opinions but never the really scary stuff. The stuff where you got a glimpse into what kind of suffering they’ve experienced in their life.

Ghosting and intensity are often a double edged sword. Both sides sting because the intensity can get “hot” where you get burned and then the no contact leaves you “cold” where you get frostbite. And well, both don’t feel good.

I discuss more about the incident and what I decide to do in episode 14: Hot & Cold.