My eating habits for some time have mimicked what is now being calling Intermittent Fasting (IF). I first became conscious of the demands of food on my body systems during the time I was getting up very early in the morning, generally around 3am, to meditate. I noticed then that if I ate dinner at night, my focus at 3am was more on my stomach, and the things it does when processing its contents. I was conscious of metabolising, which made it difficult to focus on meditation. Being the pro-active type, I formulated a plan to address the situation. My plan was to stop eating at night.
Then 11 years ago I went through another life-changing experience, a near death experience, that altered many aspects of my life, one of which was, again, my eating patterns. On the day of the event, my interest in eating fairly well disappeared. I decided on, or moved into the space of “I know I need to eat to keep myself going.” I began eating one meal per day, beginning early with with tea and coconut milk, eating whatever I wanted at lunch, and foregoing dinner as was my habit already.
I didn’t recognize all of this as intermittent fasting, nor did I particularly acknowledge any superior benefit other than obviating the metabolizing factor at 3am from not eating the evening before.
The relationship between food (input) and my body is an ongoing process of discovery – and then, as I’ve noted, the game always changes. It makes for a very big wonder as to how to deal precisely. The point is, it isn’t precise. It’s fluid, and organic, and requires a lot of in the moment self-awareness.
Metabolism is the result of a request of the body to respond to input. That input may be intentional, as in food in mouth, or automatic, as in breathing, assimilating through the skin from the air, etc., etc. One thing I’ve learned from my reading about IF is that it summarily decreases the demands we make on our tissues, organs, body systems. It allows all of those aspects to process what hasn’t yet been processed, and to take a slight break from tending to new input.
It’s easy to imagine how this might be helpful. How often do we, in our conscious, waking mind, wish we were on vacation? On that desert island, with the sun, and the beach, and the perfect conditions for our own perfect relaxation?
We need to make peace between our mind and our body! Shake hands, work together, everyone play well for the good of the whole. Intermittent Fasting can be a very tangible aid in the process.
How do we get our minds on board with IF? There are LOTS of ploys – lots of books to read on the subject to help convince our minds. Which one is right for you is for you to figure out. It may take some time, some on-again, off-again attempts, but eventually you might, as I did, settle on the eating pattern that includes elements of IF that actually brings comfort and relaxation.
Curb the chaos I say… put on your inner smile!
Here is an infographic from Dr. Joseph Mercola about IF, its benefits, foods to include (and exclude), with a suggested eating schedule at the bottom that uses sleep time as part of your total fasting time – a good ploy!
Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat.