Dear Doctor Amy may you suggest some tips on coming out of a fast? what are the steps to come back to a normal eating routine? Whats an easy way and healthy way to do it? This is the part that scares me the most of fasting.. how not to go on a total binge?
-Dr Amy: I understand, this is quite common. It’s typically much easier to do the fast itself, rather than coming off of it. Though, this part of it is perhaps highlighting where our attention and further need for self-understanding and care is. I’ve even heard people say you shouldn’t fast because of this. Rather than “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” – I suggest taking this as an opportunity to be taken into the next level of what a fast teaches us. It isn’t just about the wonder and amazingness we feel on the fast, with so much more clarity and energy – it’s also being willing to confront what we’re faced with, coming off it. And that’s often what’s unresolved within us. Avoiding fasting doesn’t solve that repetitious issue. So lets take it a bit deeper. Here’s some suggestions:
–First and foremost: remain humble while fasting without getting attached it this state (as our original issues may very well be there as we come off it, and roar with a vengeance…. ie, the tendency for binging, eating uncontrollably, or feeling out of control with food.
–Keep connected to your body – and belly. Stay tuned into yourself, both physically, and emotionally. It’s so much about awareness. The head wants to slip back into the driver seat, with all its fears, conditioning, and programming… which often also includes how we use food to subdue that gnawing and discomfort. Lose awareness of you, and wham, there we are acting out for food and feeling more shitty than ever after all our “hard work.”
–Hold yourself, that little child inside of you. She needs you now more than ever. Sit with her. Ask her what she’s really going through, really listening like you would with anyone you love. Allow her to express, be seen and heard – and why she may go to food instead of being acknowledged for her stresses, overwhelm, etc – that makes her potentially act out.
-Avoid being hard on yourself with self-condemning or cursing with language such as “STOP”, “I hate it when you do that”, and how that language/feeling state reflects on your self-image and body. Instead, see if you can hold yourself there, self-inquire, and create self-understanding. Otherwise, you’re options may narrow to what you’ve known… and for many of us, that’s acting out with food – then hating ourselves for it after… especially after fasting.
-Once tuned in with yourself, and in the state of holding as talked about above, ask your inner little one what she needs from you… and ask her if you can bring awareness to how you use food when bored, stressed – or simply out of habit. Now tune into your belly, as you’re tuned in with her, and breathe. Slow way down. And do your best to honour the agreement to stay tuned into and listening to your belly. Before you eat anything, use your awareness – and ask your belly if it wants it. This is an honouring way to create self-discipline and guide yourself into listening to your belly and following what it wants, rather than feeling like you’re running amuck with the rampant voice of over eating (also get to know that voice… does it bully you, push you around, and make you do things you don’t want?)… by listening to your belly and following its lead, our inner bully finally also gets the attention it needs, and perhaps is willing to be feed with self-love, rather than grabbing uncontrollably with food.