I started intermittent fasting a while ago. I wanted to try it just to see how things went and if my afternoon snack session would be curbed.
The concept is: you get to eat for 8 hours of the day and the other 16 you can drink water, black coffee, and green or black tea (no sweetener).
Since 8 hours are spent sleeping, I would eat dinner by 8 pm and then wait until lunch to eat my first meal of the day.
In the name of self-care, I have done 1-3 day cleanses before and figured I could handle the fasting pretty easily and was pleasantly inspired. Within the first week, I craved less sugar and my afternoon snacking was totally gone. I felt full faster when I did eat so I’d eat a decent lunch and my dinner serving was reduced, naturally.
My intention was not weight loss. It was health and well-being.
I succeeded so well that my husband decided to try it. He has always struggled with getting hangry. (hungry and angry) and his hope was to eliminate the cranky side effects of blood sugar ups and downs. He has now been intermittent fasting for over a year and prefers to keep it that way. The benefits far outweigh the occasional hunger pain in the morning.
While I am not as rigid as Jay, I’ll fast about 4 times a week, I have found moments I do it with intention. Like if I have a particularly heavy food day one day I may fast with intention and purpose the next morning to allow my body to process the excess from the previous day before giving it more to deal with. Call it self-care for my gut.
Living with intention has been a theme in many of my conversations over the last few months with family, friends, and colleagues. Our discussions often turn to a general feeling of instability and how to create a sense of control and well-being.
It always comes down to self-care. And yet, self-care without intention can fail to fill your cup and leave you feeling a little guilty for taking the time out instead of succeeding at this or that or the other.
I’ve told you how I love a good bath. When I *do* take them it is always with the intention of letting go and splurging. A friend mentioned she likes to sink all the way down so her ears are covered and sounds are literally drowned out. It made me smile and while I had a little bout with a personal phobia I tried it and fell in love. I felt surrounded, supported, and totally let go in the moment blocking out the world and enjoying a little weightless delight.
My intention of letting go was enriched with her little tip of indulgence.
Another sweet friend I recently connected with is currently in school. We talked about her challenge to focus on some of her assignments and her guilt when she chooses to play a game or watch a video to avoid the work.
The guilt was easily removed when we looked at it as self-care and a reward for hanging in there. You do a little school work and then take a break with intention and thus remove the stigma and complex which enables and encourages a little more work for another reward.
Adding intention to the moments you choose for self-care means they actually feel like you’re filling your cup. Your days are easier and lighter and you can go to bed feeling more balanced and accomplished.
Last week I worked hard in flow. Some days I ate minimal food because I would simply forget to eat. Drinking water would slip my mind and I would end the day exhausted. And while I ended my days totally encouraged with my progress my physical body suffered.
On Friday I set the intention of healing and personal care. The food I ate that morning made me emotional. It was that much more delicious because of my intention and determination to nurture my body and I was so grateful.
Where can you add intention to your life?
Where could self-care have a huge boost and lasting effects by adding sincerity to the reason?
Do you need a little more joy? And is it possible to find more just by starting your day focused on seeing it?
Living with intention totally changes things around. You get to take control and create something more compassionate and loving.
May your next intention be divinely inspired and amazingly enjoying.