I’ve been rather troubled as of late – unhappy, tired, and generally disconnected form Spirit. To get out of this “funk” I’ve done some purifying of my personal space and began a fast – a juice fast to be exact. This is to purify me and help me step back and figure out what’s going on. I don’t have a specific amount of time set for this fast – I’ll know when it’s done – but I’m guessing I’ll be at it for 3-5 days. I actually just finished my last meal until my fast is over (some butternut squash soup and bread) and and readying myself mentally.
Fasting always seems to be a problem for me, just because of the way our world is. My family is very food oriented – our entire society is food oriented, really – and to not eat tends to worry folks. This is also a weekend that I’ll be spending with by boyfriend; if he wants to go out to eat, I’ll have to not eat and I hate making people feel awkward like that.
But, the most important thing I’ve learned from fasting (and yes, I’ve done this many times before) is to know your own limits! I know good and well how long I can do a certain kind of fast and I know how to listen to my body – I know the difference from being hungry and actually needing food (and yes, there’s a difference). Here are my limits, thought not necessarily anyone else’s.
Straight fast – no food or water: I cannot do this type of fast for more then 3 days, though I prefer to limit it to 1 day, unless I have a very specific need to do it longer.
Water fast – no food, just water: This is similar to the straight fast insofar as there are no nutrients or calories going into the body and therefore cannot be sustained for long. I limit this the 4-5 days, but generally don’t go much longer then 3.
Juice fast – no food, only juices and water: This is the by far the most common type of fast and can be sustained much longer then straight or water fasts because juices can actually nourish your body. I would do this no longer then 7 days.
Partial fast: This fast can vary greatly, it can be fasting from sun-up to sun-down (like Ramadan in Islam) or abstaining from a certain kind of food (such as meat or dairy). These types of fast can be done for a week, a month, a year, or for the rest of your life (vegetarians/vegans). It really depends on what exactly is being abstained from.