By Joe Fraser
I don’t really research fitness online. If I do I’m looking to renew a gym membership. So, I don’t know why this man keeps popping up on YouTube ads trying to get me to stop eating for a day. He calls it intermittent fasting. Supposedly it’s good for your body – a detox so to speak. But I don’t particularly want to do that. So, I didn’t.
But I don’t normally get what I want. During a recent religious festival (Yom Kippur) I had to go 25 hours without food or water. Again, it’s supposed to help you in a way. Instead of your body though, you’re supposed to feel like an angel – detached from your physical self that is dependent on food and water.
The only problem is I can’t go 5 hours without craving some food so the feeling wasn’t mutual. Instead of bouncing on a cloud I was like Spongebob when he goes into Sandy’s house for the first time. “Waaaaterrrrr.” (A niche reference but a good one if you get it).
I powered through and finally got to the end of the fast, gorging on any bit of food I could find. With this SCAB, I thought I’d be able to share my thoughts and development through this but I felt the same as I do every year I do the fast – kind of annoyed. Annoyed I had to go through with it, annoyed that I sat uncomfortable and sickly for a whole day, and annoyed that I didn’t get any spiritual or physical benefit from it all (I don’t care what the YouTube man says!) I also missed a day at SCA, which, being here for only a week, I already know is a bold choice with all the work I miss.
So why do I do it?
I guess fasting gives you a sense of self-control. So much in our lives we’re governed by ours phones or by trends or by what our parents/friends tell us to do that it’s hard to truly grab control of something for yourself. Fasting (and I personally don’t eat dairy products, pork or shellfish) gives me a sense of control of what I put into my body and strangely gives me a sense of discipline in myself that I find scarce in most parts in my life. I control my food as the religious obligation it is meant to be, rather a time to challenge myself directly in a physical and mental way.
The ability to say no is a liberating one.
I don’t recommend this to everyone, though feel free to try. But I do believe that having things in your life that you reject gives you the power to be more controlled in other parts of your day-to-day activities. I find that I can push myself to get out of bed more, push myself to be more social and push myself to be more creative. Which is what I’m here to do.