Making the decision to put ONLY H2O through my body for three consecutive days was not one I was taking lightly. I would be hungry constantly. I would have to watch my family eat delicious and nutritious food right in front of me. I would constantly see ads for delicious food on billboards and commercials. Not to mention, running on low fuel while working in an extremely busy clinic and fast-paced atmosphere, did not sound like much fun. The laundry list of reasons of “why not to fast” kept playing in my head.
The more I researched, the more I began to see that the benefits clearly outweighed the risks.
Before I go any further, let me make myself clear: fasting is NOT for everyone. Please be sure to consult with your healthcare team before simply leaping into something this disrupting for the body.
I cannot tell you how many times I was asked, “why would you EVER want to do something like fast for three days?”
Here’s a few of the many science-backed reasons of WHY:
- Autophagy – a process whereby the body self-cleanses any broken down molecules and worn down cells. That is, you are getting rid of the particles in the body that are the weak links.
- Stem Cells – regeneration of these tiny (yet amazing) cellular powerhouses helps the body repair broken down tissue and then maintain it in a state of optimal health.
- Digestion – this is common sense: you are not eating, therefore your digestive system gets a break and can repair tissue that is normally in constant use.
- Brain and Immune Function – fasting helps the brain burn more efficient fuel and boosts immunity — why would you not do something that is going to help two of the most important systems in your body thrive?!
- Less Stress – fasting has been shown to increase our resistance to stress i.e. allow us to better adapt to the stressors that we face on a daily basis. These stressors compound over time and cause disease, so being able to mitigate them is so important for health and longevity.
The list goes on and on. I also noticed that I had MORE TIME for being productive when I was not prepping, cooking, eating, and cleaning up in the kitchen. I GOT SO MUCH DONE!
But here’s the ONE and ONLY reason that I decided to try it: SELF-DISCIPLINE.
How many people do you know that make sure they hit the gym 2,3,5 times every single week without fail? Ok great, now how many people do you know that make ABSOLUTELY sure that they do their mental training (brain train) regularly throughout their day, week, month, and life?
This is where all the hands go down when I ask this while speaking to larger groups of individuals. Whether it be doctors, entrepreneurs, or blue collar folks who are working hard outside every day, the mental training just doesn’t get done.
Your mind = You = Your Life.
You ARE your mind. Our mind is the most powerful tool we have available to us. In the modern era, the power of the mind has been all but forgotten. We are ever-more reliant on fancy technology to do the heavy lifting for us. But there’s something the mind can do that all the iPhones, Androids, Laptops, and Echos in the world could NEVER do: Actually make the decision to become a more disciplined person.
The best way to develop discipline is to do things you may be afraid of, are nervous about, or that you perceive to be just plain hard (even though you know that if you did it, you would become a better human being.)
That, to me, is the beautiful piece about fasting that everyone misses.
We are all hung up on the science and numbers and blood markers…we forget about the simple (but amazingly POWERFUL) fact that we are electing to deny the flesh by overriding our earthly desires with our transcendent mind.
Your level of success in this life is dependent upon your level of discipline and perseverance, and undergoing a fast is a great way to work on developing both of those qualities.
I’ll willingly choose to go through some pain any day of the week if it means I am going to grow to the next level physically AND mentally…and I hope you feel the same way too.