NaBloPoMo 2016, Letters to Patients, Day 15
To Patients Who Are Fed Up:
That pun really was unintended!
I asked a colleague about fasting once—what are the benefits, why does he do it? He asked, “Don’t you ever feel like it’d be a good thing, every once in a while, to stop eating for a day?” Ummm… No, are you kidding me? That would never and still has never occurred to me, I love food too much!
Tonight, however, I think I may understand a little better. Maybe fasting is about counteracting overconsumption. Certainly we have a problem with food glut here in the US. I have heard the word ‘detox’ associated with fasting, too… Maybe I just refuse to admit how poisoned I am by the food I eat to consider this remedy—I am pre-contemplative here.
I am finally ready to concede, however, that I overconsume Facebook. Sure, it provides plenty of material for this blog, and I really do interact meaningfully with a lot of people (but wait, do I, really?). And, I have let it overtake my consciousness too often. The time suck is interfering with other tasks and yes, relationships, I must admit. I rationalize that I am ‘reading,’ that it’s a source of so much interesting information and idea exchange. That may be partially true, and still, it costs too much.
So I commit to a Facebook fast this day, November 15, 2016. It’s been a long time since my last fast—actually a year, come to think of it—yup, almost exactly! How funny…
Is there something you need to take a break from? Something you do habitually, that’s not all bad, but that may be excessive, a little out of control? Maybe you don’t need to quit it altogether, necessarily. But maybe taking a little time away will help put it into perspective? A little break—a pause. Test your ability to resist, challenge yourself to notice where the habit shows up, what drives it, what you might substitute for it, and how the withdrawl sensations may evolve…
Now I’m wondering if I could actually apply this to my eating. No, not fasting from all food (again, are you kidding??), but maybe something a little more manageable: Fast from dessert for a week—substitute fruit. From sweetened condensed milk on weekdays (“That’s like dessert!” one of my patients exclaimed once)—substitute soy milk. This looks more like actual behavior change than just fasting… huh.
I will be back on Facebook tomorrow. It will likely look very similar to my usual pattern, maybe even a rebound effect—a more intense fix after the sudden withdrawl. Well, we’ll see. I feel a lightness to trial and error lately, and this is worth a try. I shall report back, so stay tuned!