Friday, September 17, 2010

Bye-Bye to Twenty


Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to. ~Unknown

I now feel I can tell this unspoken thought on my blog. I let go of something...a part of myself. I am not sure I will ever get it back. I am not sure I ever want it back. Yes, I am pretty sure it was not worth keeping, although I could get it back if I really wanted it.

It happened during the 40-day fast. I did not mention it before because I did not want to take away from the spiritual focus and significance of the fast. However, I lost about 15 to 20 pounds during that fast. It is gone. It has stayed gone for nearly month with a vacation (of sorts) in between. I am thinking it will not be coming back easily and I do not need it. It is a vanity thing, I know, but I am very pleased with the way my clothes are fitting—actually I should say that I am very pleased with the way my thinner clothes are fitting because many of my jeans are just too big now.

My husband lost about 45 pounds! We both weigh about the same as when we were first married. Of course, being that it is over twenty years later that weight just does not have the same look, but we know how to shape our bodies because both of us used to practically live in the gym. My husband was a competition body-builder and trainer. He even was part owner of a gym at one time and trained a co-worker of mine, who won a number of local competitions (more than he did, I think), but I found that he had trained her after we had met later.

We have a workout area in our garage that was recently cleared of clutter (Yay!) and we have been begun using it again. We just gave up on working out mostly after the Princess was born, but before that it was not only a big part of our lives, it was one of the main things we had in common when we met. I still enjoy working out and I wanted the Princess to learn the proper ways of doing it also. She has begged us to show her since she was four years old—I suppose I should not be surprised. Then there is that whole modesty issue with it that I will have to address with the Princess, which was not an issue for me when I was working out and lived in Florida where swim suits were common wear and shockingly tiny. In comparison, I was fairly modest (most of the time).

I have digressed....

I wanted to share a few of things that this fast confirmed for me:

1. Typically, a person loses several pounds in the first 5-7 days and then usually about a pound a day until the fast gets to about two weeks. At that point, the body makes adjustments in metabolism so a person tends to slow down the weight loss; this is one of the reasons that if I am fasting to lose weight, I usually only go up to two weeks. Of course, much depends on the amount of body fat one had at the beginning and what type of fast one is doing. Our fast was supplemented with juices, broths, teas, and raw milk, all diluted with water, as well as water alone. I read somewhere that the average American has enough body fat to do this type of fast for 70 to 90 days. Unbelievable, right? I have heard people tell me they cannot fast even one day although they had no health issues to prevent it; this is simply a mind-set and fasting does help a person change his ideas about what he can and cannot do.

2. Having about two to four ounces of whole raw milk before bedtime actually stimulated the metabolism enough even after the first two weeks to continue a higher rate of weight loss for my husband. When I only lost two pounds in two weeks and was waking up twice a night and having difficulty sleeping, my husband suggested the milk before bedtime. I slept better and began losing weight also, even though I was supplementing with juices more during the day! Just a little fat can be a good thing after all! (I did do a raw goat milk and water fast many years ago and I was very pleased with the results, but that was a health experiment, not a spiritual fasting thing.)

3. On long fasts, your body will regulate its weight loss according to how much body fat you have. My husband lost more than I did, because he had more to lose.

4. Regardless of what many medical professionals have told people for years, fasting does not make you gain more fat after the fast is over and you start eating. Their philosophy is that the body goes into starvation mode and begins storing even more fat whenever you eat. Actually, the body has so much greater need to use the nutrition it is taking in that it cannot bother with storing it! (Honestly, it scares me sometimes when I think these people have degrees.)

5. Longer fasts are like hitting the restart button on your metabolism. It is definitely higher than before the fast and produces a more energetic feeling. Digestion of food is far more efficient, energy is increased from the foods eaten, and healthier foods are more enjoyed.

6. Based on recent research, fasting heightens the human growth hormone (HGH) naturally. HGH enhances healing, slows aging, encourages fat loss and muscle building, and even brings back some youthful qualities! This bears repeating: Fasting can actually stimulate muscle building and fat loss.

6. Fasting is a self-discipline that inevitably infiltrates other parts of your life.

7. After a fast, it is just as easy to maintain the new lower weight level as it was to maintain the previous weight level. I really don't eat much less than I did even before I began working out. You probably are wondering how can one be leaner eating as much as one did before? I have lots of ideas as to why this happens including many of the aforementioned benefits of fasting, but regardless of what reasoning I have, it still seems like a miracle to me as well.

Fasting has a number of other benefits such as detoxing the body, but I just wanted to address the ones that were a confirmation of what I already believed but had not really experienced since I had not done a fast beyond two weeks before. It was an amazing spiritual experience and now I am enjoying the physical advantages very much.

I could justify that we are working out to be stronger and have more endurance because we plan to do some laborious tasks planned in the coming months and that is a part of it. However, to be honest...well, I suppose it is vanity, but...yeah, I am going to say it: I do look good!

~ Thank you, my Lord, for the miraculous health benefits of fasting. ~

4 comments:

  1. You sure do look good! ☺ And it addresses some other concernes you have mentioned about getting older. You will be in much better shape for that part of your journey. ♥

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  2. I readily admit it is a concern with an only child having such older parents. My husband is one of two children, but his sister died about ten years ago and so he is the one and only now. I think about how some day this burden of caring for her parents in our old age will fall to her alone and how our age differences are so far apart, but I am confident in God's purpose for that also. Besides, knowing my husband and myself as I do, I know we will not get old without a fight and just the necessity of keeping up with the Princess should keep us young at heart at least, but it is nicer when the body is on the same playing field with that.

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  3. I have really struggled with fasting, can you tell me what you do each day, I assume you are eating at times??? I just find so much conflicting information, just have two small meals a day, just eat a light supper, only eat the same food at each meal, for example bread and water 3 times/day, just don't eat for 24 hours, well you get the picture. I think my problem comes with the fact that when I think of fast I think that means nothing at all, except a little water, and then I fail, because I get hungry and then eat a little something and then feel like a loser. I have prayed about fasting, but I always seem to start with good intentions and then fail.

    What is your advice?

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  4. Welcome, Bean! Perhaps you are expecting too much too fast--no pun intended. I am posting the link to is a previous post on fasting (before I did the 40-day fast). I have two links in it that are very good sources of information. My Last Fasting Day

    On my one-day-a-week fast, I do not eat anything and usually only drink water or warm water with lemon on cold days. I have done fasts like this up to 14 or 15 days. For a one-day fast, I do not do much prep but I tend to eat light the night before. The day after, I eat lighter with yogurt or raw milk in the morning, fruit in the afternoon, and a salad for supper. It is usually suggested to do the same for the day before a fast as the day after, only that you eat each meal lighter towards the fast and each heavier coming off of it.

    Longer fasts take more discipline and at least three days prep. It is just something you have to train yourself to do. I started with one meal, then two meals, then one-day fasts a few times, then a couple of two-days, then quite a few three-days. The third day is always the very worst one for me and many other people, but it actually is easier after that third most of the time.

    When I felt I had the hang the three-day with a three prep going into the fast and three days to back out of it--yes, that would be nine days of commitment. After that, I went to a five-day, six or seven. After that you can easily do a two-week. I had fasted for a least a year before I tried a two-week fast.

    Here are all my posts on fasting so far: Fasting. I hope you will find some encouragement in them.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.