It started with setting out on a process to honour my physical body, and ended in me falling flat and almost dropping it all, wondering… “what happened?”
I had been hearing about and doing some research on ‘Intermittent Fasting’. It had been getting really good reviews from others, and at times when I’d tested it, I liked the result and how it made me feel physically, but I had never done it for more than a few days or a week.
At the same time, I was using an app to develop a better and more consistent routine for myself. The routine consisted of starting small, with habits like drinking water, eating a healthy breakfast and doing light exercise in the morning.
I found there to be some stress building around me trying to integrate these two different elements into my life, firstly because the information was conflicting. For example, one was saying I should eat a healthy breakfast, and the other was telling me to wait and only eat after the 16 hour fast was over. Where I would be having this dilemma that I should now be eating, but no! I should wait till the fast is over! And secondly, sometimes my body or my day was not suitable for the exercise to happen at the time it should, or the breakfast to be as it should due to time or missing ingredients, and I would start going into panic or judgment that now I am falling on my commitment!
In essence: in an attempt to honour my physical body physically, I was instead causing emotional stress and self-abuse through my own reactions to trying to do everything right and follow all the instructions!
What I realize was that, these plans that have fixed and rigid times and schedules are not taking into consideration the most important ingredient: ME, my body, my physical composition, my responsibilities, my process points I am facing, and everything that makes up my physical and mental life that I walk with every day.
My hormones fluctuate throughout the month with my menstrual cycle, and sometimes I am very hungry later in the evening, or if I don’t eat, I begin to shake and have a blood-sugar crash. While other times the thought of food repulses me in the mornings. Sometimes my mornings are calm and relaxed with little physical activity, and sometimes I have a very physically busy day. I have OCD and migraines that make frequent disruptions in my plans, structure and scheduling, as well as being located on a farm where visits to town are less frequent, and where there are people, animals and other responsibilities that impact my life in ways that can be unplanned and unpredictable.
This is just one small example of the conflicting information we can receive from experts, from science, from plans, articles or the most recent fads – in the sea of information we are quite literally bombarded with each day, which wants us to follow their instructions and their plans to a ‘T’, while not taking into consideration that every single human being has drastically different physical, mental and emotional realities to consider, and that the changes of needs and requirements for one person can also fluctuate quite drastically throughout the week or months.
I am working with how to place ‘me’ firmly WITHIN MYSELF first, as I slowly introduce, test out and integrate pieces of information, instead of placing me within the information, as if that ‘me’ is a little mysterious black box that ‘should’ respond to the application of information exactly as it depicts.
In this way, I am using the information as tools to get to know me/myself/my body better: what do I need right now and what information would be the most supportive to apply? What are my requirements and how do they change over the course of the month? Which tool can I bring in for these days or couple of days that would support me best in these moments? In order to be able to discern which information would be of best support for me in the moment, I must first have an effective awareness and communication with my own body, and using the information as ‘tools’ in my life can assist and support in my process of developing that.
So, it’s a getting-to-know the information, getting-to-know me, and getting-to-know how the information integrates into me and my life in order to be able to discern what information to apply in my life and when.
If you’re curious, what I’ve found out is that for about two weeks a month, it is usually best to drop the intermittent fasting (before, during and a bit after menstruation). During menstruation I basically give my body what it wants, more sleep, and I place less importance on the exercise in the mornings and just make sure I move throughout the day a bit. I can be more disciplined for the other two weeks. I do drink the water every day, and will eat in the mornings usually 1-2 hours after waking up unless I wake up hungry. If I feel a migraine coming, that takes priority where rest, low stimulation, consistent food and water is what I need, and then with OCD, the best thing is for me to bring in the discipline and instruction-following – There is no plan on earth out there that is developed for this specific set of parameters. I have done this for me, and in the end, using my discernment when it comes to information has been the answer I was looking for in terms of how to honour my physical body, while taking into consideration that I am more that just a body, I am a mind, a beingness, and a person that lives in a specific environment at a specific time in my life.
Dis - dissecting the information
Earn – Earning the solution/answer through doing the work
Meant – ‘intention’, doing it with intention/being clear on what I intent to achieve, what I mean to do.
For some VERY supportive insights into this topic, have a listen to: https://eqafe.com/p/losing-yourself-in-the-information-age-back-to-basics
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