Is there anything more controversial these days than juicing? Srsly. It seems that people feel more strongly about juice fasts than smoking.
About 2 months ago I successfully completed a 14 day juice fast. Why did I do it? I honestly couldn’t tell you. I’m not even sure if I believe in them, but I did one anyway.
Did I lose some weight? I guess, but I’ve pretty much gained it all back. Did I experience some other-worldly out-of-body state? Nope. Did my skin clear up or health issues? I don’t think so.
In my (not so expert) opinion, a juice fast is not a quick cure-all for health issues. It is not a permanent weight loss solution (some say it messes with your metabolism). It is not to “detox” your body (another contentious subject). It is not to feel “clearer”. Whatever the hell that means.
So, you may ask, what was the point?
What I Learned From Juicing for 14 Days
1. Not eating is hard. There is a certain sensory and social pleasure that comes from eating. When this was removed, I went through a period of sadness. It was an interesting experience, because I’ve never realized how much joy I got from food. I felt a huge gap in my life that took a while to figure out.
2. Not eating is easy. Once I got into the swing of things (I would say around days 4-5), it became oddly easy. I realized how much of an influence our daily habits can have. It made me question, how many healthy habits could I bring into my life if I was serious enough about it?
3. 90% of our hunger is ‘mind-hunger’. I read somewhere once that a way to tell if you’re actually hungry is if you’re hungry enough to eat an apple. I was never hungry for apples. I was hungry for chips. I was hungry for chocolate. I was hungry for things I couldn’t even name. I was hungry in such a deep way that I realized food would never fill. I got to point near the end where I felt sad watching other people eat things that I knew they weren’t hungry for. Empathy in the deepest way I suppose.
4. We eat our feelings. Well, I do anyway. Like I mentioned above, I felt a lot of sadness during this period. It wasn’t about anything in particular, I just think that I was getting in touch with stuff that I haven’t ever dealt with. I felt like I got to the point where I could step outside of myself and objectively analyze my emotions. I’m not sure that I’ve experienced this again since.
5. I can do hard things. I had pretty much accepted that I have zero willpower. I tend to skip town when things get hard. I needed to do something really difficult to prove to myself that I’m not a loser.
6. There is something greater than me. I had previously read Women, Food, & God (and have reread it many times). This was the first time the words truly sunk in. I would highly recommend reading this book (fasting or not). In short, it’s about how we replace our connection with god (spirit, whatever) with food and our obsession with ourselves.
7. Fasting is a spiritual tool. Fasting has been used for thousands of years as a spiritual practice and whether you like it or not, you will take something from it. This can be something good or bad. Done safely, it is an important spiritual tool. You will learn something about yourself. Some people are in the right position for these types of realizations, some are not. Make sure you’re in an okay mindset if you choose to take this on.