The Fast: 40 Days – Retrospective Reflection

I know, I know, I’ve been way to busy eating to blog.  Just kidding!
I successfully completed 40 days of the fast.  Breaking the fast was quite uneventful to be honest.  It was almost like food was the one thing I had longed for, built up in my head, desired, craved, wanted and became obsessed with for 40 days and at first bite I couldn’t help but think: this is it? 
Don’t get me wrong, I love eating, but I guess it’s like anything else you build up in your head after abstaining from it.  The reality of it is usually much less than the expectations you had built in your head.
As you may know from my last blog post, I have become a vegan.  I bought all of these vegan recipe books and I have to say that after fasting for 40 days, it’s not that hard.  It’s pretty easy to convince yourself of things like: cheese?  Oh I don’t eat that.  Does that have cream?  I don’t eat that. Etc.  I’m thankful for being able to easily transition to a vegan lifestyle (except for my Camel hair coat and variety of leather boots which I have no desire to be rid of).  The best thing about going vegan has been that I have been able to sustain my weight loss from the fast quite easily.
In 40 days I lost about 25 pounds.  Since completing the fast I’ve gained back about 3 pounds and maintained a 22 pound loss.  If you remember, prior to fasting I had lost 20 pounds by exercising and eating better.   This means that since April of 2011 I am down a substantial 42 pounds.  Not bad, still some to go.
Here are the less tangible benefits of the fast that I would like to share:
Cleansing = forgiveness: it seems that I was carrying more than a few extra pounds including some pretty heavy baggage that didn’t really belong to me from some ex-lovers.  Around the fourth day of the fast I did some intense meditation, wrote some compassionate letters to myself of understanding and forgave me, him and them for some hard-earned scars on my heart.  Three days later I met someone pretty amazing (who I’m hoping won’t read this blog).
I can have a great time (shocked face) WITHOUT booze:  I know, I know, it’s crazy.  I actually like hanging out with friends without drinking.  Most of you who know me in person know I love a great Malbec or Pinot Noir and of course some whiskey or scotch on the rocks but guess what?  I don’t need to drink to have a good time (it helps tho) but not necessary.  I find myself meeting up with friends for tea or doing other things that don’t include drinking.  It’s pretty awesome.  Also, I save money.
I feel better about myself: physically, mentally and emotionally.  I feel…dare I say, happy.  I’m proud of my accomplishment and it was hard and I’m happy that I stuck through it.  I proved something to myself and let go of the need to prove things to others.  Of course, my body feels a lot better after dropping significant weight and consuming healthy foods.  I also feel more secure, like I don’t need so much validation from the outside world in my endeavors because I know what I’m doing.  There’s a quiet confidence in knowing you can do whatever you want to do.  Also, I have less patience for those individuals that have nothing but excuses, particularly because that used to be me.  I guess it’s like Herman Hesse once wrote in Demian: “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” 
That being said, I’m looking for my next challenge.  I kind of feel like: Okay, I fasted 40 days, now what? 
Any suggestions?

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  1. MJB - October 21, 2011

    So proud of you! We should do a 30 or 60 day Bikram challenge! :)

  2. GuerreraBella - October 21, 2011

    Wow that would be intense…might be a good idea for the winter though – you just finished a 60 day one no? How was it? Huge time commitment…60 days, everyday?

  3. MJB - October 24, 2011

    I did it earlier this year. It is a time commitment, but doable! You can start with 30 and we can do it together. I was planning on a 60 starting Jan 1… Yes 60 days straight. If you need to you can a double…but better to do one day at a time…

  4. GuerreraBella - October 24, 2011

    Okay…I generally hate Bikram but I'm thinking I might like it come the cold of January. I'm a maybe – strong maybe if you're my yoga partner. :)