Does the word fasting trigger some fear within yourself? Are you always concerned about your next meal or are you looking for a healthy way to control your eating habits? Fasting is a step many of us should take for the sole reason that it vastly improves our bodies and overall health. It has helped me overcome stress eating as well as understand certain triggers that were deep seeded in my unconscious.
My father had left the family by the time I was 6 years old so I was left without a male role model. All the cartoons on T.V had muscular men who fight crimes to save the city or world. Others had Prince Charming who had all the good looks and completed his mission to save the princess. Not all of these left bad impressions, some life lessons can be derived from watching these shows. On the other hand they showed a male form that was not indicative of the times. Many men would have to get some sort of performance enhancing drug to be like these action figures and super heroes. Along with all of this we had the rise of professional bodybuilding. Due to the facts that I didn’t have any one to look up to in the male arena I turned to bodybuilders. It just seemed like the natural thing to do with the current knowledge that I had in my life. I was still very young and impressionable. I also watched a lot of WWE where it was much of the same, actors being paid to put on a show. What boy didn’t want to be a high flyer off the ropes crashing into people?! It was entertainment for our developing minds. I looked up to The Rock, Kai Green, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, Undertaker. Here is an example of Ronnie Coleman :
Obviously this is a clear example of how manhood was projected onto young males at the turn of the century. Nothing about his physical appearance is natural, this is achieved through performance enhancing drugs. Yes, I will not argue that going to the gym takes hard work and dedication. You don’t just inject these supplements and become a monster. If I am looking up to this person as someone I want to be at the age of 12 there is an issue. I will subconsciously always want to reach this status, but never will. Males are told that if you don’t look like this then you will not get girls or you will be considered weak. If you don’t eat meat then you are not a real manly man. If you don’t chug Bud Light, you are not a man.
When I had reached puberty I started to find outlets for my anger and this turned out to be karate. Karate and the gym were my sacred place as a teenager, somewhere I could escape from the world for a little while. I was obsessed with working out and getting stronger. I wanted to look like some of these people that I looked up to. In particular my focus had changed from Ronnie Coleman to Zyzz (Aziz Shavershian) and Frank Zane.
I had turned my critical eye onto myself and would constantly nitpick my body. When I looked into the mirror I saw someone completely different, a worse image because I didn’t look like these people. I would spend hours at the gym doing the most random exercises just in hopes that it would help. I never had great self-esteem due to these issues that were developing. Second guessing myself became second nature to me, I was afraid to approach anyone or even to ask a simple question. No confidence to talk to girls at all. Many relationships in my young life were affected by this and caused much strain on me. I had became a loner and was constantly depressed as a teenager. This is when I developed the stress eating habits. To cope with the loneliness I would come home after school and go straight to the gym then karate then eat my weight in food. Sometimes ate so much that I felt sick to my stomach. It was a form of escape that I could get used to because food tasted so good. Whenever a bad mood struck me I would want to eat or lash out. I had never developed healthy coping habits and the mass media was not helping at all.
Fast forward to when I was in college and these habits followed me around like a ghost of my past. It got increasingly worse due to the fact that there was now an all you can eat buffet style cafeteria. I started to workout less because of my class load and I was eating more with the stress of starting college. This is where I began to gain a decent amount of weight, although I had learned a lot from studying nutrition and exercise I was still clueless. The topics I was learning about are now being proven wrong. The one topic that remains today and is actually gaining traction is fasting. I had turned to intermittent fasting multiple times to try and reduce my weight to a comfortable level. Every time it had worked, but I had not stuck with it. A few more years go by and I get heavier, barely workout anymore, and get depressed again. I also got old enough to drink and started to binge drink. At this point in my life around 24 I had felt as if I had failed everyone and anyone. I never reached my goal to look like those guys and I was not the perfect man that was projected onto the silver screen. In magazines these men were gods and viewed as such.
After my father had passed it truly jump started my awakening. I was always connected to Source and divine beings, but I had lost my way due to society. Earth at this time was very different from how my soul is. I had switched to a vegan lifestyle and took my life into my own hands. I began to exercise more, incorporate yoga and fasting into my life. At this point I was 220 lbs, the heaviest I have ever been in my life.
I adopted an intermittent fasting eating habit, I only eat from 12- 8 and mostly drink water. I only ate a plant based diet as well. Never in my life have I felt more alive and healthy. Fasting helped strengthen my mind. I worked overnight shift at a Turkey Hill, one of the lowest points in my life as well. I had just tried to piece my life together after my father had passed and now I felt like I was at rock bottom. Most days I just wanted to run away into the forest and not look back. Overnight I would fast since I slept most of the day away being on graveyard shifts. Being alone at night in the middle of nowhere surrounded by candy and snacks, but I didn’t allow myself to eat any of it. It was the type of challenge I needed to grow as a human being. I still struggle with self worth and some image issues, but I am much stronger today. I know now that my struggles will help me heal people along their journey. Many men are afraid to talk about topic like this. I want to be an inspiration and healer for the world, I never want anyone to struggle like I have. If you have, just remember you are not alone and you are loved. If I can do it, you can too.
In closing, I highly recommend trying to get into fasting. You don’t have to start with 1 day fasts or even multiple day fasts. You will need to let your body adjust to the change. Intermittent fasting is a good starting point, even if it is for one or two days out of the week. Try it for yourself and see how you feel. If you combine this with a plant based lifestyle you may discover you can do things that you never felt possible. Mostly this will come from the new found confidence in yourself. If you put oil into a car for 50 years without ever changing the oil, what happens? Same concept with the human body.