Maybe you’ve dieted before. You don’t like how tight your pants have become or how you look in your swimsuit. Fasting is different from dieting – it’s important to understand the difference between the two.
The difference between fasting and dieting
One can choose not to eat for different reasons. When we are focusing on the logic of if I don’t eat this, then I will lose weight, we already know the outcome we are seeking and we develop an expectation that it will happen. Expectation brings all those other lovely side effects, like the feelings of succeeding or failing.
When we have expectation, we may not notice when something else amazing happens outside of that which we were seeking. We may also miss when something really dangerous is happening. But when wekeep a zen mind, we maintain a highly observant state.
The word zen comes from the Sanskrit word dhyana. It’s the beginner’s mind, full of awareness and free from conditioning, beliefs and memory.
If I walk up the street outside only looking for the address of the place I am goingto, then I may miss the potholes to avoid in the ground. I may also miss the pretty flowers that are greeting me on my way.
Be smart about how you fast
When fasting, pay attention to how the five elements – space, air, fire, water and earth – are changing in your body. We need optimal levels of each. Whenever a person fasts, the water element in the body can decrease. This often lowers the level of lubrication in the joints.
I have seen someone lose a bunch of weight and then suddenly start having joint inflammation because the bones were rubbing more. Instead, fast because you are interested in being aware.
Fasting is a spiritual experience
In ayurvedic medicine, fasting is considered a spiritual, or non-rational therapy. If you are doing it to lose weight, it is purely a diet.
In fasting, you don’t know what will happen. You will discover which biological processes begin to shift and change.
It’s a bit like meditation, but instead of watching your mind the way you would in a meditation practice, you are watching all of your biological processes and what happens to your mind in response to them. If you turn fasting into a diet, then you will miss the magic.Fasting is not the same as dieting. It’s a spiritual experience #wellness #nutrition Click To Tweet
Try it and see what happens. Your body may end up getting lighter, but it won’t be the most important thing that happens to you in the process.
Image by Jamie Street, Unsplash