#TBT What 72-hour fast taught me…
It was around this time last year that I embarked on my first 72-hour fasting adventure that boosted my health and wellbeing in so many ways!
And this week I started my sixth 72-hour fast because I love the way it makes me feel and the incredible impacts it’s had on my overall health.
As I reflect on the past year and what fasting has done for me, all that I learned during that initial 3-day fast still holds true and the lessons aren’t exactly what you might think they would be.
Check out this week’s #throwbackthursday video and blog for tips on how to assess if fasting is right for you, how to prepare your body for longer fasts and what lessons you can learn from it too!
Fasting has been getting a lot of press lately with the rise in popularity of the Keto diet which has shed light on the benefits of intermittent and prolonged fasting regiments.
In general, fasting can have a wide range of health benefits such as:
- Balancing blood sugar
- Promoting weight loss
- Reducing inflammation
- Regulating hormones that signal for hunger
- Healing the intestinal lining (leaky gut)
- And decomposing damaged cells and generating new ones (this is absolutely fascinating biology, geek out more on it here)
Fasting has been used for ages in eastern medicine philosophies to help reverse or prevent health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
If we think about fasting from a primal or ancestral standpoint, it has been around basically since the beginning of mankind. As hunter-gatherers, our primitive ancestors frequently went without food for periods of time in between successful hunting trips and during times of famine when food sources were low or hard to come by. They didn’t have the luxuries of fast food drive-thrus on almost every corner or food at their fingertips like we do today.
Fasting is NOT right for everyone. Before attempting to fast, you should consult with your health professional about known, or unknown, health conditions that might be contraindicated.
Fasting may not be right for you if:
- Have existing hormone imbalances (thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, etc.)
- Currently suffer with sleep issues
- Have underlying vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Your liver is already sluggish or overloaded
- Have heavy metals or other toxins built up in your body
- Avoid salt or don’t eat enough of it
However, even with some of these contraindications, you can still give fasting a try IF you do the right lab testing to understand what is going on in your body and then take action to best support it while fasting.
I decided to do a 72-hour fast as a way to heal my gut.
Fasting is one of the most effective ways to reset your gut health, to heal leaky gut and improve digestion. When given a break from digesting, the cells of your gut regenerate and produce a whole new lining within 3 days!
I’ve made a LOT of progress in the gut healing department over the years but I’d never tried fasting before in order to fully restore my gut.
I made the decision to try it ONLY after I confirmed my body was in a healthy place to thrive while fasting. I knew my body could finally handle a 72-hour fast when:
I was able to go prolonged periods of time without food while maintaining a high level of energy, indicating my body was “fat-adapted” (able to tap into fat stores for fuel easily).
My thyroid and other hormone tests consistently came back in optimal functional ranges.
I was consistently sleeping well through the night, had drastically reduced other variables of stress in my life and had a solid self-care regiment in place.
I felt 100% like myself on the regular – energetic, at home in my body and strong inside and out.
The physical results of my fast were amazing. I felt lighter, leaner and cleaner on the inside.
But what was most surprising was what I learned about my body and myself over the course of the 72-hours…
In this week’s video and blog, I’ll share exactly what 72-hours of fasting taught me and the insights you can gain about your health from my experience too.
If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, energy or any kind of health issues like me, then you know what it feels like to lose faith and trust in your body; and even if you come back from it, fear about losing it all again can still be constantly running in the background of your mind.
Aside from the physical benefits I got from fasting, it also helped me develop a healthier mindset, a relationship with my body and to finally get over the fear of losing it all again.
Here’s the priceless wisdom I gained from my experience with fasting…
Before starting the 72-hour fast, I asked my body to trust me. To trust that I wouldn’t push my limits and deplete myself like I had done in the past, and that I would abort the mission if my health or wellbeing suffered at any point in time.
I had to trust that my body was capable and healthy enough to handle a fast going into it. And coming out of it, I have more trust in my body than I’ve had in my entire life. We are truly best friends once again.
With a history of autoimmune disease (Hashimotos), a sluggish thyroid, other hormone imbalances and issues related to toxic mold, I’ve always questioned whether my body would fully bounce back to where it used to be; if I would ever get my physical strength back, be able to eat certain foods again without issues, have unlimited energy and be my 137 pound confident inside and out self again.
Well, I did.
Being able to do a 72-hour fast showed me just how resilient my body is because I couldn’t have done it without feeling all of these things! I proved by body is resilient enough to come back from whatever crisis I might face with my health or in life.
Faith is waking up still believing something will happen even if it didn’t the day before. Holding onto faith throughout my health journey hasn’t always been easy. You don’t always know how or when the results will come, but believing in the possibility and having faith is what matters. It’s what keeps you going.
Giving up crossed my mind countless times, but that would have meant having to settle for something less than what I deserved or desired so I held onto faith.
And as a result of having faith, here I am. In the best shape and health of my life, having completed a 72-hour fast as a result of being in such good health and using it as a tool to take my health to the next level.
So here’s what I hope you gain from my experience too…
- Understanding that health is as much of a mindset as it physical #healthisamindset
- Your body is capable or more than you could ever imagine so hold the space for that
- Believe in the impossible and have patience because there is a solution for you too
With the right lab tests and resources it is possible to find the missing pieces of your health puzzle, to actually fix what is wrong and finally get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time)!