Juice Fast

It’s easy to unconsciously fall into habits and rituals. Three years ago, I was running a wellness program. Providing thorough supervision meant being available during the various classes we offered, some of which I taught. So I decided to participate in all of them, to show the instructors support and to grow the department by building community. After a few months of participating in Tae Kwon Do, Belly Dance, and the water aerobics and swim lessons I taught, I was down to a size six. At 6’2, that’s the smallest size I’ve ever been. Then I broke my foot.

A fall from a back deck onto concrete badly fractured my right heel. I had surgery, I now have a plate and nine screws (permanent unless something goes wrong), and spent a year recuperating. And I started to develop a deeper, more attached relationship with my couch, the television positioned so conveniently in front of it, and the Dorito bags that so wonderfully appear right next to me. Today I’m still striving to get back to the health and ease my feet used to have.

Up until now, this extended recuperation has been only very gradually building momentum, and my relationships with my couch, television, and Doritos have continued to evolve, turning into habit that now needs to be broken. Groan… Willpower is one of the most exhausting muscles to rebuild. Tonight, my habits have done me a favor.

Sitting on my couch, marathoning television, eating Doritos, I watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. The focus is on a man rebooting his health and dropping weight through a sixty day juice fast. I’ve fasted before, but not in a long time, and never for sixty days. Now, I feel, is the time to try.

Of course it’ll mean giving up my other less than healthy habits. Neither coffee nor tobacco makes much sense while maintaining a cleanse, particularly a long one. Wow, that’s scary, coffee and tobacco have been regular habits of mine even longer than the above couch scenario. Coffee won’t be so bad, I don’t drink it every day though I do dearly enjoy espresso. Tobacco though, tobacco will be a challenge.

I’d actually quit smoking two years ago, it’s tough every time. A tragic personal loss, which added to my commitment to the couch scene, created enough stress for me to justify redeveloping the smoking habit I’d conquered. Smokers are often perpetually quitting, and in the past two years I’ve had a few gos at it. None have stuck for longer than a week, but this time I’m feeling confident again.

Now for the first step, a visit to my primary care physician. In the movie I watched tonight, they repeatedly mentioned checking in with your doctor pre fast to ensure that you’re not putting yourself at risk while fasting. Though I’ve never done this before, all of my past fasts occurred on a wing and a prayer, I’ve also never committed to doing one for so long, and for two months of pure fluid nutrition, a doctor’s supervision makes a lot of sense to me.