Life Lessons in a Taxi

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I was heading to the hospital. He asked me point-blank what was wrong with me. I told him that I had just had my gallbladder removed a month ago and was heading to the hospital for a checkup.  

He had all the windows in the taxi open –  forming a vortex of hot muggy gross wind in the backseat, plastering my hair around my face.

He shouted over latest hits from across the sea as he swerved in and out of traffic.

I listened.

“You know, you shouldn’t eat too much. You shouldn’t eat to here.” He brought his hand up to the show the part where the neck meets the head to emphasize his point. “No, don’t eat too much. Not good for you.”

“You see here.” I pulled my hair back to see. “I keep my lunch here. I eat small meals. You eat too much at once and your body doesn’t digest. You need to let your food fully digest before you eat again.”

“The only time you should eat too much is at parties. So much good food. Only once in a while. I eat good steak and chicken and big shrimp. Then I take 2 Xantac and fall asleep.”

He stopped at a red light. The vortex died down.  He turned around to look at me.  I brushed the hair from my face.

“You know people like you and I try to do our best, but it’s not up to us. It’s up to god. I don’t know if you believe in god, but I do. He decides what happens to us. We can try our best to be healthy but in the end it’s up to him.” He raised both of his hands to the sky.

“He does give us lessons though. He gives warning. Yes he does. But only if you’re willing to really listen.”

And in the end, isn’t that the truth?

Thank you.

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7 Things Learned From Completing a 14 Day Juice Fast

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.