Happy February to you! and Congrats to me for surviving 30 days of fasting meat, alcohol, and social media.
On the last evening of our fast my husband and I did a toast with white cranberry peach juice in our wine glasses and reflected on our 30 days of fasting. I thought I'd share a few of my reflections with all of you.
No GroupMe doesn't have to mean No Communication.
In my day 12 update I mentioned that usually when I take a break from GroupMe there is little to no communication between myself and my girls.
Within days of posting that update I reached out to one and had a nice conversation with her, each of us briefly updating the other about what's been taking place in our lives. The next day or two she reached back out to me stating that someone asked about me in the thread, which gave me the opportunity to inform her I was fasting, information she then relayed to the group. Turns out she was fasting too!
Throughout the rest of the month I communicated with all but one of them, even if it was just a quick text. One of them even reached out to let me know she was praying for me during my fast. That really warmed me up inside.
Although I felt at peace during this digital detox, I really did miss hearing about the things that were going on in their lives, and I was missing some pretty big updates too. We have been friends for 10 years now. Although we are all very different, and sometimes in conflict, we will probably be 7 old, grey haired grannies still partaking in a good roasting session or twerking on a cruise ship dance floor one day.
One major thing I've taken away from this fast is that I need to be intentional about nurturing my individual friendships. I need to accept 100% responsibility and ownership for the trajectory of my relationships, expecting zero in return. Not 50/50, 100/0. I'm trying to get away from just going through the motions, putting out half-assed effort and getting half-assed returns.
If relationships are our greatest resource, then this is an area in my life that needs a bump in priority level.
To deny oneself takes a great deal of discipline.
Which means I should stop saying that I am not a disciplined person, because that is false. To deny myself of things that I consume on a regular basis, daily even, requires a great deal of discipline, strength, and self-control. Going cold turkey ain't easy.
I actually almost had a moment of weakness at a Jr. League social I attended. There were like 15 bottles of wine sitting on a table. Half way through the event I started thinking, "It's okay to cheat just this once. I've been good all month." I even found myself starting to walk toward the wine table and when I was halfway there, I stopped, decided not to go through with it, turned around, and found someone to talk to. If anyone was people watching. Ummm, yeah that's what was happening...
Also, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who decides to make a change and then is tempted to do what we said we wouldn't do. Like the oh-so tempting emails directing me to log in to Instagram after two weeks of not using my account.
*DELETE* That ain't gonna work on me.
And besides the wrap I ordered one night for take out that had bacon on it, but didn't list bacon in the ingredients, I stuck to my vegetarian diet. No cheat days this time. I didn't really crave meat, but it still took a little extra effort and creativity this go round.
Without getting too deep, I was reminded to stop with all the negative self talk and placing limiting beliefs on myself. I can be very disciplined. I proved it this month. When I find myself thinking the opposite, I need to remember examples that provide support for "I am disciplined" being a true statement and not a false one.
The end is really just a new beginning.
Before the fast ended I had already decided to stick to a primarily plant based diet. I wasn't 100% committed though and wasn't going to walk around calling myself a vegetarian. You know I was thinking I was gonna be a 85% vegetarian and once in a blue moon enjoy a buffalo hot wing or two, or a Philly roll.
They call non-committals like me flexitarians. (There's a word for everything.)
The primary reason I decided to continue with it (albeit, not fully) was because of my health. I cannot ignore the impact that eliminating meat from my diet has had on my digestive health. I am totally convinced that meat is what has been irritating my gut. I know for sure I'm not lactose intolerant and I don't have Celiac's. The painful stomachaches that have me screaming and crying really aren't worth it.
I did not have one episode during January, and whatever I have, sometimes strikes multiple times a week. Plus, that What the Health documentary just about sealed the deal.
Since I wasn't fully committed after the fast ended, I decided to eat a large smoked salmon dish for lunch this weekend. I was going to get the same dish I had the first time I ate at this particular restaurant and then thought, "I denied myself all last month. I deserve a treat, right?"
ERRR. WRONG. You want to know what happened? I'm sure you can guess so I'll spare you all the details. Cheers to new beginnings and new journeys. I am officially a vegetarian, by force, not by choice.
Which leads me to my final reflection that just came to me this morning.
You get what you pray for.
All month long I was praying for discipline and consistency. I don't know what your beliefs are, but I believe that God doesn't just give us the character traits we ask for.
Pray for patience and he puts you in a situation that gives you the opportunity to practice patience. I prayed for discipline and he has given me an opportunity to practice discipline, to cultivate and develop this desired character trait.
My body is clearly telling me that I should eat a plant based diet, and I should eat that way all the time whether I feel like it or not. And let me tell you I don't at all want to fully give up meat. Hence, vegetarian by force, not by choice. And not like I can choose to be pescatarian, cause it was salmon that made me sick. I may be a little dramatic, but I honestly feel like I'm grieving the loss of something.
I prayed for discipline though and here's my chance to exercise discipline when I really don't feel like it.
I'm not sure what I expected to walk away from this fast with when I started. I didn't choose a resolution and choosing to do this detox was decided on a whim. I figured it would be good for my health and I thought I just wouldn't waste as much time on my phone.
I feel different though. I am not sure how to explain it, but I feel different, a little more mature, a little more grounded, with a bit more positive energy.
But enough about me! I'd like to hear about any detoxes, fasts, or lifestyle changes you've made. Tell me how it's going and what you've learned so far!