I’m a small girl. A 20 year small girl. I stand all of 152 cm tall and tilt the scales at 42 kg. My BMI is 17, and I am underweight. When we heard the announcement that we were to eat nothing and do nothing for 10 days, you can imagine how I felt. The only thing on my mind was how soon I’d disappear!
After having experienced this state of doing nothing and eating nothing, however, I have learnt to find everything in what seems to be nothing. Trust me, fasting must be experienced no matter how you weigh, how healthy or diseased you are or you are 15, 50 or 75 years old.
It has been 6 days since we began this project, and for the third day today, we have finished drinking the same lemon honey juice with the same taste, same amount, same way, for the 18th time – but with 96 different expressions. With that much variety, anything can be fun!
In fasting we give complete rest and relaxation especially to the digestive system, which has been constantly overloaded – like the garbage bins in the backyard. Fasting – or, in other words, cleansing – the body once in a while is absolutely essential. Let’s talk about your home’s water for a minute. Whether it is a small, medium, or big sized tank, irrespective of how strong the tank is, don’t we find it really dirty when we clean it once in a year? Similarly we need to clean our tanks as well, with loads of water, enema, cold water bath, air bath and with detergents like lemon honey juice.
Until today, the clock decided when I ate, not my stomach. A quick calculation here: In 20 years, I have probably eaten food 20×365×3=21900 times! Skipping 30 meals seems insignificant, but this would definitely remind me to be thankful and aware of what i put into my tank, because it is the 21900 meals that have turned me from a 3 kg baby into a 40 kg girl. It is that food that formed the organs, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, skin… I have realised a powerful truth today. If I want my body to be healthy and perfect, what I eat has to be health-giving and perfect as well. Every single thing I eat.
I was extremely tired this morning. My body temperature was a little above normal. My eyes burned slightly. It felt like a fever. My gums were swollen to such an extent that even drinking water was painful. After oil pulling, swelling reduced to less than half of what it was. I slept for a few hours in the morning – this gave an opportunity for my body to heal itself, and the fever disappeared.
By evening, all of us were in the terrace and all of a sudden we decided to play. Each one came up with a game they had played in childhood like lock and key, chain cut, tug of war… Tiredness and fever vanished, and laughter set in. Soon, it was time for the last 300 ml lemon honey juice of the day; we rushed to the nutrition lab so that we don’t miss out our ‘Red Bull’ for the day!
We’ve all heard a million times, ‘Fasting is the best remedy’. The meaning of the word ‘best’ cannot be understood. It has to experienced. It’s like love. Best is an understatement. You have to feel it to believe it. This has special significance especially in today’s world.
Whether it be the day’s schedule, office, social gatherings, the reason hostelites run home, the conversation after ceremonies – be it a marriage, funeral or housewarming ceremony – the one thing that everyone, everyone speaks about is food! And here we are, six days into our fast…
We have not eaten any mouth-watering dishes. In fact, we are only watering our mouths… but this feels different and, surprisingly, good as well, and has somehow pushed food out of the prime position we had given it in our minds earlier.
If there is one lesson I have learned, it is that the quality of the food should be judged not by its taste, but by the way it affects the working of the most wonderful gift we have – the human body.
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This article is written by Swathi Indrakumar, now in her third year BNYS at SDM College of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences, Ujire. Swathi is an avid learner and enjoys thinking out of the box. She has presented scientific papers in international conferences and won prizes for them too. Swathi can be contacted at [email protected].