I was recently attending a Zen Leader 2 program titled ‘Leading Fearlessly’, and thumbing through my work book, I spotted the words, ‘Eat Just Enough’, they sat under a sub title ‘Working With Fear Takes……..’. These words deeply resonated with me, as since the beginning of January I have been following a diet from on a book called ‘Fast Your Way To Wellness”, by an Australian nutritionist called Lee Holmes. For those of you who know me, you will know that diet is an important issue in my life and the mantra, you are what you eat, is very close to my heart. Lee has become a trusted authority in my own search for an energy enriching diet, when a couple of years ago, I read her book, ‘Heal Your Gut’. This radically altered what I was eating at the time, and the change eventually resolved internal inflammation that I was suffering, changing my yoga practice from what seemed like moving through glue to being able to flow freely on my mat!
The words, staring at me in the work book, ‘Eat Just Enough’, clearly sit with a diet which involves fasting twice weekly, by only eating 500 to 600 calories on those days. This isn’t so different from Dr Michael Mosley’s famous 5 : 2 diet, and one which I have used in the past to maintain a stable body weight. The big difference with this fasting regime is the meal time eating windows, which are set to an 8 hour period, so breakfast is at 10am and my last meal of the day is 6pm (you can shift these times to suit yourself), giving my gut and digestive system a 16 hour rest and healing period. Holmes states that, “Jumping off the continuous-eating bandwagon and incorporating regular bursts of fasting will allow you to rest, reset and regenerate your body restoring its true function”. Holmes also states that is likely to take 8 -12 weeks for the real impact of this diet to kick in! Now, here is the amazing stuff, I am not a person who is low on energy, but this week (week 11 of the fasting diet) my energy levels have been extraordinary, I cannot remember a time when my energy has felt so clean and my mind so lucid. In fact I feel so good that my ego has began playing the game and taunting me with the ‘fear of losing’ this new found source of wellbeing.
So back to my Zen Leader program and ‘Leading Fearlessly, and what does fear have to do with fasting? And there on page 48 of Holmes book I read the words;
The Problem – Hunger scares you! The Fix – Challenge your fear by telling your hunger to ‘bring it on’!