The Real Challenge to Fasting

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Is psychological hunger.

There is nothing that makes fasting more difficult than my brain trying to constantly sabotage my efforts by obsessively thinking about food. I attempted to go on a 72 hour fast yesterday, but broke it by the 43rd because I couldn’t stop thinking about food.

Physical hunger itself is not a problem. After all, it only comes in waves, and passes rather quickly. So the real challenge to fasting, for me, is gaining control over my thoughts rather than the opposite.

This is also true in other aspects of my life. One thing I learned from Unf*ck Your Brain is that when you restrain, you create rebellion, which explains why I feel like I’m split into two: a rational self who says I should stick to fasting, and an irrational one that constantly reminds me of all the glorious food I’m depriving myself of.

What I haven’t practiced doing is the remedy to this problem—allowance. According to Kara, creator and host of Unf*ck Your Brain, you need to give yourself allowance instead of restraint to prevent this split from occurring. Give yourself the option to do that thing that, with restraint, you tell yourself you can’t do. You can do it. It’s a choice. But it comes with a consequence. Then decide if you’re okay with that consequence.

That’s what I remember from the podcast, which, again, I highly recommend you give a try. I’m adamant about going on brief extended fasts, and I will, eventually, when I have mastered this strategy of not restraining and instead allowing, and making better choices based on what I really need.

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