Fasting and Exercise


“The best of all medicines are rest and fasting.”   Benjamin Franklin

Ok so before I begin, I would like to say that Star’s focus on fasting was not to loose weight but to help clear up her skin. She believes that her skin reacts badly to some foods and she doesn’t know why. So sometimes she fast to help clear up everything and start over.  She doesn’t have  Anorexia and she loves food.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m proud that she was able to make it through the 3 days she gave herself to fast. She had minimal, soups with no chunks, to help her when her body wanted something. She did low level exercising, like a slow pace on the elliptical and  treadmill. After the fast was over, she didn’t go out a buy a burger, she had apple slices and a yogurt.

Once again, even though losing weight wasn’t a main goal, she still lost a whooping 8 pounds! She fasted before in the past and never lost that much. It tells me that her body was holding on to some extra that it needed to let go. Now some people say that fasting is unhealthy where as other people said it’s go to fast to help your body catch up. I found some information that’s helpful from Yoga Sutra By Vandana

Many people across the world fast regularly – some for the health benefits while others due to their religious beliefs. Some fast to reduce weight, while others to please God or to fulfill their desires. In India, while fasting, people do not eat at all, eat once or eat only fruits or saatvik (simple) food, while others do not even drink water the whole day.

I am sure at some or the other point you may have wondered why. I always believed that there must be a damn good reason for people to stay without or very little food for a whole day than just making your wishes come true.

In Sanskrit, fasting is called ‘upavaasa’. Upa means ‘near’ + vaasa means ‘to stay’. Upvaasa therefore means staying near (God), meaning mentally coming close to God.

It was believed in the earlier days that people spend a lot of their time and energy in procuring, preparing, cooking, eating and digesting food. The effects of certain food on our body may make our minds dull or even agitated. By abstaining from eating or by eating light food, the otherwise pre-occupied mind is able to focus on spiritual thoughts and stay close to God. Hence, on certain days people decide to save time and energy and entertain noble thoughts.

The other perspective is that just like every other system, even our body needs a break and rest to ensure smooth functioning. Positive thoughts and fasting on certain days are very beneficial to the digestive system and the whole body.

The more you indulge the senses the more they make demands. Fasting helps us cultivate control over the senses, sublimate the desires and guide our minds to be relaxed and at peace. Since this is a self-imposed form of discipline it is usually adhered to with joy and does not make us weak or irritable.

The Bhagavad-Gita urges us to eat appropriately – neither too less nor too much – yukta-aabaara and to eat simple, pure and healthy food even when not fasting.

If I was to fast, I would have to do it when I’m not in a environment where my coworkers order food for lunch. My will is not as powerful as Star’s.

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