Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3 month Post-Fast Reflections

As part of my final thoughts, I wanted to introduce you to an extraordinary woman. Myrtle Fillmore, born in the mid-1800s, was one of the first women of her time to attend college (at Oberlin). She later married Charles Fillmore (who was almost 10 years older than her) and, together, they founded the Unity Church. The reason that I am so impressed with this little lady is because she healed herself of terminal tuberculosis through a process of spiritual transformation. Unity is one of the religions that grew out of the New Thought Movement and one of its primary teachings is that the outer is a reflection of the inner. Thus, our health is an outward manifestation of our internal spiritual understanding. As Myrtle changed the thoughts she held in her mind about her health (and realized the true divinity of her being), from darkness to light, and became aligned with the Divine Perfection of "The Christ" within, her body naturally returned to a state of perfect health and she lived another four decades. Her husband was so impressed with her recovery that he soon followed in her footsteps and gradually overcame a very severe bone deformity caused by tuberculosis of his hip bone (and went on to live even longer than Myrtle!). I recently read her book Healing Letters from which I share this excerpt:

God is the one perfect life flowing through us. God is the one pure substance out of which our organism is formed. God is the...wisdom that gives us intelligence in every cell...God is the only reality of us...When we let light flood us with its sunshine, all clouds vanish and we begin to see ourselves in new ways...which lead to wholeness and health...God in the midst of us is a great steady stream of renewing and cleansing and vitalizing life, and we can have the use of this life if we will open up the channels of its flowing and...draw from this source. God has put in each of us the germ of immortality which will bring forth its kind...So within us is this Almightyness that we must cooperate with. As we cooperate with the Spirit of God in fulfilling His plan in us, all that is within us bursts into the beauty of wholeness. The moment a person yields his self to Godlikeness, he is letting the Spirit of God burst the shell of doubt and fear, and the light of God reveals to him the light of life. He becomes conscious of the joy of life...in himself and in everyone else. Yielding self means giving up the old concepts of the past; forgetting ourselves and our human desire[s]...and just rejoicing that all God's creation constantly springs forth in newness of life and light and joy and service. When we forget our own desires and devote ourselves to doing what God would have done, this moment and constantly, we shall find that there is no limit to the strength we have and the things we can do. We have yielded ourselves to the Source and entered into a Oneness that makes us receptive to all that the Source is and holds for us.

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It has now been three months since I completed my 25 day water-only fast at True North Health. Overall, I am very happy with my total experience and the improvements that have resulted. Unfortunately, the fast did not resolve my bazaar reactions to most foods. However, it did produce four very positive benefits that I would like to share with you. First, it allowed my body to heal a long-standing problem of orthostatic hypotension and tachycardia (low blood pressure and racing heart beat while standing upright, especially prevalent after being in a hot bath or after going too long without eating). This is an extremely significant healing for me and was one that I didn't really expect. I have had this problem for over a decade and none of the doctors I consulted about my health problems could ever tell me what caused it and the only recommendation I got was to increase my salt intake (which did help to some extent but was, of course, only a symptomatic treatment).

Second, I now have more internal strength than I had before the fast. By this, I mean that I feel deeply stronger in my body in a way that I have not felt in years. Consequently, I have been able to engage in a more demanding exercise program and have actually started running again--something that I have not been able to do for about 15 years.

Third, my heart and lung capacity is definitely greater now than it was prior to the fast. There is an uphill hiking trail near my home and every time I have gone up it over the past 4 years, I always had to stop on a very frequent basis to catch my breath. I no longer need to do this. This, too, is a huge improvement as far as I am concerned.

Fourth, I no longer have an insatiable craving for salt. This is a miracle. After a whole year on a low-fat, mostly-raw vegan diet, I still wanted salt virtually every day. I don't even think about now.

Nevertheless, I have still been having a very difficult time finding foods I can eat and feel good afterwards. I have spent the past three months since the fast experimenting with both raw and cooked vegan foods. I will not bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say that I have come to the conclusion that my digestive and immune systems are still extremely sensitive and seem to get overwhelmed by food quite easily. Since fasting always makes me feel better and, in my heart of hearts, I really want to eat an all-raw, fruit-based diet because I feel that is the healthiest choice for both my body and for Mother Earth, I decided to give Tanya Zavasta's program Quantum Eating another try.

I had tried it several months before my fast, but had such severe orthostatic hypotension and tachycardia that I became non-functional (having to lay down all the time) and had to stop my experiment after about a week. But, since the orthostatic hypotension and tachycardia were resolved with the fast, I wanted to give Quantum Eating another chance and see how my body would respond. For those of you who are not familiar with Tanya's program, she recommends eating all of your food for the day between 8 AM and 2 PM and then doing an 18 hour dry fast from 2 PM to 8 AM. She also advocates calorie restriction, which I am not doing. I am eating as much as I feel like eating and I am averaging over 2000 calories per day. And so far, so good! I have been doing this now for about 9 days, and I am feeling soooooooo much better. With 20/20 hindsight I feel that I should have come off my fast eating this way, but I was afraid to try it at the time because of my previous experience with it.

These are the benefits I am experiencing with Quatum Eating: much less mucus production in response to food, no scratchy/burning feeling in my esophagus, no "glop" in my throat, much less bloating, fatigue, and brain-drain after eating, more energy upon waking, sleeping better (no urinating at night), feel physically lighter when I go for my run in the morning, less teeth sensitivity from the fruit. I do, however, feel somewhat "hungry" (growling stomach, perhaps not true hunger) in the late evening and early morning hours, but I do not feel weak and I am able to run first thing in the morning with no problem. I am curious to see if my body will adapt to my new eating schedule after following it for a while. Tanya does not mention that she feel hungry once she has finished her food for the day and, in fact, says that when she eats later than her normal time she actually feels ill from doing so.

All in all, I am very pleased with my experiment and will continue to write about my adventures over at my other blog site The Tao of Fruit if you wish to continue following me. To everyone who has shared this sometimes difficult but ultimately rewarding journey with me, I wish to say Thank You! Thank You! for all your comments, support and encouragement. It has been a lot of fun.

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A man is but the product of his thoughts.
What he thinks, he becomes.

Mahatma Gandhi

6 comments:

Jasmin said...

I am glad that you are experiencing good results from the fast!!

Thanks for sharing your story!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Esmee. Great post and follow up. I had been wondering about your final impressions of the fast and refeeding. Great to hear you're also able to hike and run again. Both wonderful for the body, mind and soul. Keep up the good work. Love, Mom

Mish said...

Love the excerpt from the book thank you. Glad you are stronger and able to do what you like to do now.

Andrea said...

Esmee, had you noticed any difference in your teeth after the fast?

Esmée La Fleur said...

Hi Andrea,

No, I did not notice any difference in my teeth sensitivty post-fast, and I still have to be careful. I blend and drink all acid fruits like pineapples and raspberries but, for some reason, the 18 hours without putting any food in my mouth keeps the sensitivty to a managable level.

Blessings, Esmée

Alicia said...

It's wonderful to read about your success from fasting and I'm so happy you've found a method of eating that's working for you...That's great news!

I look forward to hearing more about your success as time goes by. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Big hugs to you!