The current project: 90-day remake challenge!

The current project: 90-day remake challenge!
Trying to inhabit the body that's been there all along

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 4: June 11, 2009

Still going. . . . and today was fantastic. I felt good all day: high energy, focused, motivated, even-tempered (except for a few moments of understandable frustration when dealing with a toddler’s “logic,” or lack thereof), and not really hungry. I had a growling tummy, maybe, twice today that I recall. Food temptation is also getting easier. The primal urge is waning.

I hope this cleanse is helping me become less self-immersed. I have noticed over the last two days that my thoughts and feelings are much more focused outwards than inwards. It is almost as if a veil has been lifted from before my eyes . . . a veil that has inhibited me from really listening to people and being present in the moment. Now, I don’t know what is actually going on in my body. I admit that there’s a chance that detoxing is just a bunch of hooey. I know that Western medicine doesn’t generally accept it as effective or necessary, since one’s body automatically detoxes on its own. But, I also don’t put much stock in Western medicine since it is controlled by multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies whose aim is to keep people sick and on expensive prescriptions. And, of course, this is just one of the problems corrupting the business of health in the West. But, that’s for another day.

The bottom line is, whether the sense of a lifted veil is a result of toxins being purged, whether it’s wholly psychosomatic, or whether there is some other biological cause that I don’t know about, I feel like a better version of myself because of it. I hope it keeps up and becomes even more manifest, since the world could certainly benefit from one less self-absorbed girl. (Don’t worry. I understand the irony in the last sentence as I write about myself on a blog created by myself :

Part of it is pretty simple, I suppose. Because I can’t cook or prepare food or shop for myself, my thoughts about food obviously shift exclusively to my husband and daughter and their needs. Today’s shopping trip to the Co-op (my first time and it was amazing!) was completely focused on what good tasting, handy, and healthy foods I could get that my daughter and husband would enjoy. I bought them things that I wouldn’t have bought for myself, necessarily. But, I also really savored the experience of being IN the grocery story and smiling at the patrons and the people working there, of looking, feeling, and smelling the fresh produce and marveling at all the natural, bright colors. It made me appreciate food in a whole new way. And, most importantly, I was grateful to God for providing us with such a wide array of raw foods that look so amazing.

It’s a shame that processed foods ever came into existence. It must make God kind of sad, like what He provided for us wasn’t good enough so we had to fiddle with it, cook it, add fake stuff to it, color it, preserve it, and then package it in materials that will outlast hundreds of generations. It’s like putting hours into baking a homemade cake for your kid’s birthday party and then having her tell you she wants the generic one from the bakery at the grocery store instead. Ouch.

Fasting also completely changes what I cook and how I feel about my cooking. Tonight, I catered the entire menu to what Jere and Kaya would like, as I did last night (though I really would have liked what they had last night, too. Although, honestly, I’d probably eat cow’s brain if it were offered to me. My palate is not too discretionary at the moment). I made broccoli, sweet potato pancakes, and barley. If I were making food for myself, I would have definitely thrown in some type of protein. But, I knew that Jere would be content with just that (in fact, he probably would have been even happier if I had substituted beet greens for the barley—he’s my veggie boy). And I wasn’t disappointed as I was preparing the meal, thinking, “Oh, I’d really like to eat this.” Instead, I was thinking, “I’m so glad that this food will taste good and provide healthy sustenance for the people I love. I don’t have to eat it myself to enjoy it.” I count that as a real breakthrough.

A few people have expressed their concern to me about this cleanse. While I appreciate the fact that they presumably want me on the planet and do not want me to die of starvation, I find their concern hyperbolic. The general reaction to a cleanse this drastic is, “Are you for real? You must be crazy. What would possess you to do that? That’s really unhealthy.” (Okay. I kinda jumbled together a bunch of reactions I’ve gotten.) But, as I was deciding whether to do the cleanse or not this past month, I often thought about how frequently “fasting” is a part of recorded history. Historically, fasting is an important part of every major religion. The Bible tells of several instances of fasting; in fact, Christ fasted for 40 days when he was communing with the Holy. It’s also interesting that when Moses descended from Mt. Sinai after 40 days of fasting and connecting with God, the Israelites said he was “glowing.” Common knowledge is that he was glowing because he had been in the presence of God, but I wonder how much the act of fasting enabled him to interact with the spiritual on far deeper levels than if he was scarfing down a big ol’ bowl of lamb stew. “Food for thought” is an appropriate aphorism here.

Being hungry is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. It’s just a sensation, like a headache, an itch, or a sore throat. Too often, I think, we rush to fix the uncomfortable, instead of just living in it and trying to see if there’s anything we can learn from it. One time shortly before I was married, I was deathly ill for a whole month. I had sinusitis, bronchitis, and a double ear infection. The reason I got so sick was because I was teaching my brains out (16 hour days, 6 days a week) and didn’t have the time to go see a doctor when my symptoms of sinusitis first developed. Many days I wouldn’t take anything for the pain as I didn’t like feeling foggy from the Dayquil. I only started to take a cough suppressant when I couldn’t make it through a lecture without going into scary coughing fits (talking is a pretty important part of teaching). At one point, I remember thinking that I might die and actually believed it with my whole heart. But, when I finally got better, I was so very happy to feel well and I remember relishing the feeling of health for weeks afterwards. If I had medicated myself the entire time, I never would have appreciated to the fullest depths how good it felt to be “not sick.”

I suppose that’s enough philosophy for one day. And I guess it’s official. With the fourth day of the fast over and done with, I have officially lost my funny. Insert sad face here.

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