A word of caution when you start eating only once a day

December 14, 2016

Be very kind, understanding and above all gentle with yourself when you begin this program.

This is not something you decide to do on a weekend and dive straight in on a Monday…it takes time for your body, mind and spirit to unlearn many of the eating habits that you are accustomed too since the day you came into this world.

Begin my reducing the quantity of food for breakfast and lunch. Taper it off to zero over a period of time. In between meals never snack. That’s the least disruptive way. For me at least.

In the beginning your mind and body will fight you tooth and nail – that is only normal. However gradually these murmurings will fall silent.

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‘The way you react has been repeated thousands of times, and it has become a happy routine that is your way of life. You are conditioned to be a certain way. And that is the challenge: to change your normal reactions, to change your routine, to take a chance on a new way to experience another dimension of life.

For me when one goes from eating three to four meals everyday to only one.

It is a very intense form of meditation – many people are uncomfortable with that word, meditation. As it conjures up images of hermits sitting cross legged while chanting – that to me is simply one version of meditation. There are many forms of meditation – one can be in the gyre of a mental and physical activity and still be very much in a meditative state.

Being in a meditative state does not necessary imply the inclusion of a higher being or order – God is optional.

But it certainly requires a sort of understanding – one where you must know WHY you are doing this and perhaps even WHAT you are likely to experience when you decide to do it – this is mindfulness and to be in such a frame of mind is to be in a meditative state. So don’t get entangled in dogmas, lexicons and ideology – moving from three to one meal a day has nothing to do with all that.

If anything it is simply a journey where you will begin to experience many sensations for probably the very first time in your life. At one level of understanding the feeling of hunger can be a painful one, so can restlessness and the sensation of not having enough energy. But with the skeleton key of mindfulness – one is able to discern very clearly this is the mind and body’s way of managing change…it is resisting change itself….and that is only natural.

Remember what I said in the very beginning – The way you react has been repeated thousands of times, and it has become a happy routine that is your way of life.

Understand this reality for what it is – don’t fight it…don’t sweat it out….just understand it by coming to terms with the reality – by repeating what I wrote in the beginning. As this is not really about will power as it’s all about understanding completely what you have set out to do.

Try to see this in the context of a meditative exercise on loneliness if you like. I certainly did when I found myself refraining from eating when everyone else did. I was acutely conscious of my apartness from all others like an island set in azure seas in the middle of nowhere. It seemed at first to be a cold and hostile place, so unlike the postcard image of coconut palms set in pristine white beaches where the waters are so clear that one can even see fishes swimming in the depths. Here there were sharp jagged cliffs and stiff thorns.

That was at least what my mind’s eye once saw. Perhaps it will be different for you. But no matter what and how you may see yourself during the course of this journey – you will certainly be very different when you emerge out from the other side.

Only please remember, be kind, understanding and above all gentle with yourself. Good luck.’

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