The Introspective Power of Keeping a Fasting Journal

by Robert Dave Johnston

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Keeping a fasting journal will provide you with immense wisdom and introspection of who you are, what limits you, and what thinking and behavior patterns you can eradicate to improve the quality of your life.

In this page we will tell you specifically how a fasting journal works and what is the best way to use it.

Also, you can go to Fasting Experience to start reading a day-by-day description of a 30-day water and fruit fast I recently completed.

The idea is to give you a front seat on what you can expect, the challenges and how I felt and managed to make it through.

Note: When we say "Fasting Journal," we are referring to a notebook or bound journal-type book specifically purchased for the purpose of writing your fasting experiences.

Pearls of Wisdom

In this notebook, you will be writing what you are feeling physically and emotionally as you progress through the fast. I followed a very specific format that I believe you also may find beneficial.

By the way, I have three journals totaling at least 200 pages of fasting experiences. I cherish them all and am grateful for every time I forced myself to write in them.

Often I find myself going through these fasting journals and finding pearls of introspection and wisdom about what makes me tic.

Reading them has helped me many times to identify negative belief systems that attempt to curtail my life quality and lead me back to destructive behaviors and eating patterns.

I highly recommend journaling to everyone, whether or not you are fasting. This is my motto: A life worth living is a life worth recording. Don't you think?

Oh, and I can tell you one thing: When your body and mind are pressured with fasting, what comes out while journaling tends to be very hard-hitting and intense.

You definitely will want to read what you wrote later. I guarantee that in retrospect you will be amazed at some of the things you will put on paper.

Sometimes it is necessary to squeeze the soul to cleanse ourselves of the emotional baggage and darkness that likes to hides in the innermost depths of our minds. Fasting can take you there. And keeping a fasting journal will be like the sights and sounds of your trip to the very center of your existence.

Buckle up !

Starting the Journal

It is very important that you pick a journal that stands out. This is going to be a life-transforming book. It should tell you that when you look at it.

Do not just buy any play old bland journal. Take the time to pick out something that, to you, makes a personal statement and beckons you to open it and make an entry.

It does not necessarily have to be expensive, just one that makes a statement to you. One you will be drawn to time and time again. This approach has worked for me!

Oh, and I do NOT recommend that you type your fasting journal in your PC. Anything electronic can be more easily lost or damaged and, besides, this is a book that you should become accustomed to carrying with you.

You never know when or where the inspiration or moment of clarity may come!

Moreover, do not try to cut corners and video record yourself either to the exclusion of a written journal. A friend of mine was doing an extended fast and said he preferred to just talk to a camera.

While a video may indeed be interesting so you can see yourself after you complete the fast, it should not be the ONLY journal of your efforts. Just do it! Write! You will not be sorry, I promise you. Nuf said.

Okay, there are three things that I always include before I start writing:

*The Time - The Date and - The Day of the Week . For example, I can start one particular entry as follows:

10/11/2007 3:00 PM Tuesday

I start journaling by first describing where I am and what I am doing.

Write whether you are by yourself or whether there are others nearby. If there are others, who are they? and why are they there with you?

Are you fasting while working or carrying out your daily activities? If so, specify that and explain why you were unable to take a break to fast.

If the problems are financial, by all means write that down.

Once I write where I am and what I am doing, I move on to how I am feeling physically and then, how I am feeling emotionally.

Somewhere between the physical and emotional other things normally come up and I start putting them down. Sometimes they are intuitive and deep.

Other times I am just whining about how hungry I am and how foolish I feel about getting involved with this fasting sh#*! That it will never work and that I am just wasting my time.

That is fine.

Nothing is too petty to write down in your fasting journal. If this is your first fast, a journal will help you go through the different phases of detoxification.

It will give you a very intimate view of how your body reacts as you move along.

During the first days, when hunger and discomfort are high, write as much as possible. Write, write and write.

I have one page during those first days that is simply a collection of profanity.

I noticed in other fasts that the hunger pains were most acute the third day, the same one filled with the obscenities in the fasting journal.

Anger is Normal

Most of us use food to stay alive physically, but also eat to cover up frustration, anger, stress and other emotions.

So when you stop feeding the body, the suppressing factor of food is eliminated from the equation and many hidden feelings can often surface that you were not fully aware of.

But it may not be limited to anger. You may feel a lot of sadness, fear and even sorrow.

Keep tabs on all of these emotional changes by writing them down in the fasting journal.

You may be reminded of something that happened recently or years ago that hurt you or made you uncomfortable.

You may find yourself remembering things from your childhood or things you never realized had occurred.

Allow yourself to feel the feelings, write about them, and stick to the fast.

If you stay the course, you will find most of them will pass through and evaporate - sort of like specters that were suppressed in your soul by food.

Let the feelings go and be thankful for the experience.

The fasting journal can also be used to include a list of spiritual or prayer requests, if you are so inclined.

Spiritual Fasting can be very powerful and help to exponentially increase your understanding of the invisible world and the laws that regulate our universe.

Fasting in Phases

Another approach I used in my fasting journal was to segment the fast in phases according to the number of days I intended to carry it out.

For example, if I was going to fast for 9 days, what I would do was divide the fast into three segments or "phases", each comprised of three days.

The first three days represents phase one, the next three days are phase two and the final three days would be phase three of the fast.

In the fasting journal, I then include the day and phase number along with the date and time of day in which I am writing. In other words, 1(1) would be the first day of the first phase.

3(1) would be the third day of the first phase, 2(2) would the the second day of the second phase and so on. The goal is to reach 3(3) which would be the third day of the third phase or, specifically, day nine.

Do not let each phase be longer than 5 days, however. If you are fasting, say for 21 days, do not break it into 3 phases of 7 days each. Instead, break it into 4 phases of 4 days and 1 phase of 5 days.

When I did the 40-day water fast I broke it down into 8 phases of 5 days each. Starting at 1(1) and ending at 5(8) was quite the thrill, let me tell you. It was a real feeling of accomplishment.

So, you may ask, why all these numbers and complications?

Personal Inventory

The reason, I found, was that dividing the fasting journal in phases helped me to have smaller goals within the larger goal of nine days, or whatever the total days are that I intend to fast.

Many times simply moving from phase one to phase two was enough motivation to keep me hanging on.

Segmenting the fast in phases gave me a motivational system that injected me with strength and resolve when I wanted to give up.

It gave me something to look forward to each day because I knew the journal was recording my daily progress and that I was moving up the different phases of my fast.

The Fasting Warrior

Putting your thoughts, feelings and physical reactions in writing also will serve to remind you in years to come of what you have accomplished and how your body and mind reacted.

One of the key benefits to fasting, apart from physical renewal, is that it gives us the opportunity to come face-to-face with our weaknesses and the areas of our lives that can be improved.

Some people spend years going to mental health professionals with emotional problems of all sorts and never quite find true healing.

Believe me I was one of them. But fasting is much cheaper than years of psychotherapy and can often produce quantum leaps in emotional healing that could otherwise take a lifetime to achieve.

I am by no means discounting mental health professionals as there are many excellent ones that do help many, many people.

What I am saying is that you can also take responsibility for your healing and use everything at your disposal that can bring down the barriers of pain and limitation and propel you to the life you always dreamed of living.

Return from Fasting Journal to Fasting for Weight Loss HOME.

Robert Dave Johnston
Fitness Through Fasting - Editor

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