This is the 7th post in my series, “IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness.”
Seven months into converting to an intermittent fasting lifestyle, I have learned 7 important lessons in mind, body, and spirit.
Lesson #1: Addiction
Intermittent Fasting is what I can only imagine as similar as entering a rehabilitation treatment program for drug and alcohol addiction. At first, IF seemed easy in its’ adaptation to withdrawing from food and fasting for prolonged periods of time at least in my personal experience. I felt almost immediate freedom from joint inflammation, insomnia, and I saw positive body composition results. I began losing more weight than merely water weight than I had in over twenty years.
If I am being honest, the motivation went up after seeing immediate results after just a few short weeks with intermittent fasting. But just like drug and alcohol addiction, food addiction is a lifelong journey. Notice I didn’t use the term, battle. I am not at war with my mind, body, and spirit.
Battles are won or lost.
A journey is to a destination.
My journey to wellness is for peace in mind, body, and spirit.
Lesson #2: The Spirit
If I am being honest, my journey to wellness began almost ten years ago. Traumatic life events that capsize one’s life rarely appear out of nowhere. They too are rooted in a journey that began even longer ago. The reckoning begins when God intercedes in that sinking, and in my case, I grabbed a hold of His life raft.
In my opinion, the mind and body can never be at peace if the spirit is not.
The spirit always leads the way.
Once I grabbed onto that life raft and began feeding my spirit with God’s help, my mind began draining of all the lifelong junk much like the junk food I was feeding my body. It is my spiritual life that ultimately feeds my mind and body. Together, it is what encourages me to stay focused on the right path.
Lesson #3: The Mind
When I began daily OMAD (one meal a day) during the Lenten Season, I was not only purifying my spirit but my mind too. I began to feel the euphoria of fasting for prolonged periods of time and my craving for junk food turned into a craving for all things pure – free from self-defeating thoughts on auto-wind and free from processed foods and sugar that comforted those thoughts.
So why do “rehabilitated” addicts’ relapse?
If I am being honest, my journey to wellness was only beginning in mind, body, and spirit because the doors of my self-imposed rehab treatment opened to the outside world after merely a few months into this intermittent lifestyle.
Lesson 4: The Relapse
July was vacation month. It meant enjoying all those things associated with relaxing, enjoying the sun, sand, and water – barbecues, macaroni salad, potato salads, cookies and ice cream. No one says that intermittent fasting must be restricted; however, it takes willpower of a veteran faster to overcome the temptation. I have more empathy for the reformed alcoholic or the junky who finds difficulty in mingling with family and friends at the bar or party.
While I continued to fast alternating between varying fasting time frames, I was slipping back into old eating patterns. While bypassing winter comfort foods were difficult early in my intermittent fasting conversion, I was now finding summer fun foods were not a breeze either. I was deluded into thinking that with fresh vegetables, fruits, and berries, I would have no problem with sticking to my IF regime.
How can I redeem myself?
Lesson 5: Redemption
Currently, I am in my eighth month of intermittent fasting. Although I am not completely back on track, I still have too many days where I eat 3 meals. I have occasionally backslid into eating fast food for convenience, and if I am honest, for the pleasure of it too.
So how I do recover from my food indiscretions?
I have been writing in journals almost all my life. I have another blog, The Prayer Journals, Facebook page and a Twitter account for The Prayer Journals. Above is what I posted on August 5, 2019 and the topic of my prayer journal for that day. My prayer journal is where I go to help me keep going on my wellness journey in mind, body, and spirit.
Lesson 6: My Tribe
We all need a tribe even if one is described as a loner. If I am being honest, I have become more of a loner over the years by burying myself in my writing and poetry. I was also never one for support groups, especially the ones my physicians would suggest when trying to advise me in a variety of weight loss programs. I am just not a “joiner,” I replied.
Who is my tribe?
An Intermittent Fasting Facebook group I found is one. These intermittent fasting members from around the world post everything from there before-after photos, their fears, their concerns, their encouragement to other members. I never thought I would find such motivation and encouragement from a support group, and perhaps; if I am being honest, I don’t have to drive anywhere or mingle. But to give you an idea of the motivation in this group, a member whose first name is, Jenny posted this recently.
“I met my goal weight this morning of 120lbs my SW was 438lbs 4 years ago.” I cannot think of anything more motivating for an obese person to read and see someone else’s persistence in their journey to wellness.
Secondly, they are my soul-sisters, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers who share my Christian faith and who lift me up in their presence and prayer in my journey for wellness in mind, body, and spirit.
And thirdly, and most importantly, is my husband and our two sons. I love and adore these three men who have put up with so much from me in so many ways. Yet, they still love and support me in all ways on this life journey. While my journey is mine alone, if I am being honest, I want to live long enough to share in their journeys as long as God sees fit.
Lesson 7: Perfection
Perfection is impractical. This is but one of the most difficult lessons for me to learn. A planner/perfectionist personality is always analyzing every move, every event, and every failure or misstep. If I am being honest, it is going back to all these lessons I have learned to this point in my journey to wellness and more lessons I am sure to learn that will help me to overcome any relapse or wrong turn.
Failure is not the opposite of success; it is part of success.
Peace is possible.
I have God. I have my tribe. I have you, my readers. I am grateful for all of you.
Until next time…
I will continue to post monthly in this series, IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness until January 2020. I will then post occasionally until I reach my weight goal.
Blogging my progress helps me to keep it real for me in mind, body and spirit. If you need me to be a part of your tribe for wellness in mind, body and spirit, I hope you will reach out to me. I would love to hear from you. I sincerely appreciate my readers following The Blogging Owl and my other blogs too. Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me by email at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com.
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