Day 4 and 5 were great and peaceful and relatively stress free except for one thing: caffeine withdrawals. They kicked in full force on the morning of Day 4. Headache, foggy thinking, lethargy, metallic taste in my mouth. You will remember that I cut my caffeine by half on Day 3. For some reason, Day 3 was great in that department. My body skipped a day in its response.
I powered through on Day 4, and felt pretty sick from the combination of symptoms from less caffeine, but underneath the discomfort, throughout the day, was this great feeling of steadiness about giving up coffee (eventually) for a while and just letting my body reset. I don’t want to be addicted to anything. I hate the thought of losing my ability to be self-controlled. Really, it’s the Holy Spirit who empowers me to be self-controlled. But I want to continually be honing that gift, and not allowing substances or habits to become hindrances to freedom. The tricky thing about real freedom is that you have to guard it. It’s not just anything goes, or an absence of boundaries. Setting up disciplines that enable freedom to continue are important. In seemingly small ways, like addictions to sugar and caffeine and alcohol and fast food, we can become physically bound by things that are completely unnecessary to our daily lives. Things that are treats, and blessings, not to be abused. We start to need them in order to function. We become addicted. Every so often I will completely give up coffee for a while, to prevent giving it a bigger place in my daily life than it needs, and take inventory of myself. Am I chasing the wrong things? Are my motives clear? Even more, is my conscience clear about the way I am treating my life and my body?
I know it might seem like I am giving a little too much thought to the physical body, when we are also spirit and mind. But they are inseparable. What I do with my body affects my mind, which affects my spirit, which affects my body, which…you get the picture. We are not just bodies or spirits or minds. Our very selves are gifts from God, to be valued and stewarded, and managed.
We cannot fully pursue our spiritual purposes and callings, with energy and clarity and peace, if we are not willing to treat our bodies with respect and wisdom. It is a whole-person life, and therefore, important to address the whole person. I think this is missing is much of our culture: our schools, churches, businesses, relationships, psychology, self-help, etc. A lot of our society’s “institutions” will hyper-focus on one facet of people, and leave out the others. We want to itemize people’s parts, and act as though there is no real relationship. When you think about it, you realize how crazy it is.
Throughout the day, on 4 and 5, I had my 2-4 juices, still with the same veggies and fruits I listed yesterday. I haven’t gone to the store for more yet, but I will be getting some more variety, like I said yesterday. I have been reading about kale. It is actually supposed to be more filling, lasting and nutritious in juice form than carrot. So I will be trying that as a base soon.
I have 3-4 quarts of water, herbal tea, a mug of detox tea, vegetable broth if I’m wanting salt, and every few days, a tablespoon of extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil. I’ve never done the oil before on a juice fast, but it is amazing stuff, and I thought I’d do a little experiment.
Other than that, it is still very quiet. The itchy skin has gone away, as well as the coated tongue and leg aches. I feel peaceful, steady, quiet, and at night, I have a deep tiredness which allows me to sleep really well. On a side note, a lot of big decisions have sort of worked themselves out in the last 5 days. This always seems to happen when I fast, even if my focus is not spiritual. It just simplifies things somehow, and one at a time, current decisions in my life that I have been perplexed about have just sort found their right place and I have been able to choose the right way easily. I’m still really glad I am doing this.
The skin on my face is really smooth and clear right now, and I am losing weight. I haven’t weighed myself on this fast. I know how much I weighed before I started, and I’ll weigh myself at the end, but for me, the focus of this was not weight loss, even though it’s always nice to drop the 5-10 lbs. that you can expect to drop on a 15 day fast, or sometimes more. I’d love to train for a half marathon after this fast is over, so if I’ve trimmed down a bit, it will be great for my finicky knees. I’ve noticed I get thirsty pretty fast, if I haven’t had water or juice or herbal tea for a couple of hours.
I should probably talk about bowels and what to expect and all that, but it’s not my favorite thing to write about, so we’ll see. Lots of people who know me personally read my blog, and well…I dunno, I’m kind of an old-fashioned girl.
Like I said, we’ll see.