Quite a few months ago I started a new relationship with my food intake. I came across a book called The Fast Diet. The diet wasn’t really a diet per say, but a change of eating habits.
The basic gist is you eat less two days a week. I picked Mondays and Thursdays. A man eats 600 calories for those two days, (a woman 500) get the calories as you like. I chose lunch and dinner. No picking, and just drinking herbal teas or water in between.
After a few weeks I started changing my relationship with food; pass by that fruit bowl or jar of almonds, no glass of wine at a friend’s house for dinner, “No thanks I’ll pass up the piece of cake today thanks.” Not huge sacrifices by any means, but a definite change of lanes from the usual unthinking ways our minds, mouths and stomachs demand instant gratification.
I always liked some sort of discipline once and away. I used to give up drinking alcohol for a year every few years when I was younger. Just to challenge myself and get a glimpse of how some friends had to live their lives because of addictions. I always found it a good exercise, and it certainly changed my relationship with alcohol. A side effect was how friends, and society in general, viewed these years of abstinence. Try it and sometime for a month or so and see what I mean.
Anyhow back to my food fast. Cutting out the snacks and cutting down substantially on the portions twice a week has brought many side benefits. One being I am back to my high school jean’s size of a 32 waist. Not that I was terribly overweight, but obviously the size 34 I had been for nearly half my life was just because of my eating behavior and not an inevitability of the aging process. On the other five days I can eat and drink what I like but am conscious of my snacking, and know what a high calorific content alcohol does have. (Back in the eighties on one of my year-free alcohol episodes, I lost a lot off of my frame when I was the heaviest I had ever been, and managed to save lots of money as well).
I am enjoying the fast days and it is interesting to see how much life is based on food, snacks, alcohol, etc. If on those days I have other commitments, or a dinner party to go to, I can really test my discipline, or just skip or change the day. The idea is not to be hair-shirt about the process, but enjoy and learn from it. The many side health benefits are all bonuses, especially as we are getting a bit older. Check out the link above and look for yourself.
I was enjoying the process so much I decided to have a technology fast two days a week as well. Not all technology, as I still may drive our car or use our land-line phone etc, but mostly not turn the computer on, and if we did have a mobile phone I would turn it off, but we’re still one of the families without that technology yet.
Changing our habits let’s us realize how much of our life is dominated by society’s norms. I’m not saying these are bad things in themselves, but rarely do we think about the constant in-flow of texts or just check emails without a quick petition read and signing, and explore a link or two sent from a friend, small dip into facebook maybe, world news, youtube video?
This fast has also changed the way I deal with my daily life. I am less information hungry, and enjoy feeling cut off from the the world-wide web. Technology is slowly taking over people’s lives. (That discussion is for another time). I don’t see where it will all end and personally am not sure how much the good outweighs the society we now have based – as ours is – on texts, emails, facebook, twitter etc. Maybe a tad too much information syndrome creeping in.
I think the upcoming generations will be faced with challenges of their own in dealing with a life of never ever being disconnected. I believe the cracks are starting to show. I just hope that the health issues don’t become too serious, as much of that has been swept under the rug, but is still not a finished subject.
I am finding both fasts quite useful in checking my place in the world. Life has many challenges, and to keep check on ourselves is a constant choice we make or don’t. I feel its nicer to know we can still live without being ruled by our food and drink, or in constant contact with all and sundry. Our friends, family and the news will always be there, as will that piece of chocolate and cold beer on a hot summer’s day. Can we live without them for short blips of time, or are we more addicted to these things than we might think? If so inclined check it out for yourself.
Here’s a different spin on the fast lane.