Day 88 - 92: Water fasting, baby!
After two weeks of cleansing, meaning no processed food or caffeine or sugar, it was the last day of eating. At lunch I had a huge bowl of vegetables, it looked amazing with all the colors and it smelled just as nice. When I ate I tried to be in the moment as best as I could to just take in the flavours and consistency because I knew from the last two times that the memory can take in so much more than we think it can.
After a normal working day it was time to introduce my body to the lightest possible last food, it was time for a clean soup with a stock cube, a banana and the last apple. I took my team and chewed both the apple and banana like they were the last things I would ever eat, surprisingly enough they tasted as good as never before too. Going to bed I really felt good, not hungry and very motivated. I can do it.
My night was rough. I experienced a couple of mild nightmares and similar to the first time of water fasting, when I was at 1400 meters above sea in the mountains, I had visions of me being so weak that I would end up dying in this bed, unable to move or let anybody know that I was there. My thoughts spun themselves into infinity with both concerns for Marjorie not getting out of the house and dying with me, as well as myself curled up with guilt because I did do that to her. By the time I had to get up to work in the morning I was not sure if I should continue at all. I felt weak in the knees although it only was the first day and I had something to eat yesterday. I doubted myself.
Then the most glorious thing happened, the sun was there, helping me soaking up warmth and vitamin D. Unexpectedly some strength came to me as I stood still for a moment, watched the clear view over the bay and realised that I could just go to work right now and not worry about later. I was supposed to paint decks which meant that I was lucky enough to be outside and absorb every ray of sunlight. Off I went and with the sounds of the ocean waves beneath me, playing children in the garden opposite the two pods, the playful, soft breeze bringin in the smell of salt water and the seagulls and other birds singing, I just started.
Earlier than expected I finished this job and went down to the main house. Over a nice glass of water I was told about two more lambs, a boy and a girl, on the croft over night and after that we went up to clean the back decking of the house I am staying in right now, as well as paint the front decking. It took a little time but now and then I paused and took in the beauty of my environment and carried on with my work.
Back down at the main house Sarah and I finished up on some garden work we were eager to do for ages but couldn't because of the weather conditions. And sure enough time flew by and I was ready for a nice walk on a beach with Marjorie, Bolt and Freyja. It really helped to be home by half past seven in the evening and I had not felt any hunger up to this point. While it was still bright outside I decided to just watch some television because I felt exhausted and tired, otherwise I probably would have liked to do some yoga on the freshly cleaned back deck.
This night I slept very well, probably because I was exhausted and needed it. With a smile on my face I counted one day done and knew then, I can do it.
Familiar with the conditions on a second day, I got up and felt very slow. Difficult enough to get motivation on but then I saw that on the contrary to what had been forecast, there was no sun in sight. Because I knew weather can change often around here within hours, I tried to not let it bother me to much and went to do the first task of the day, painting the back deck that I cleaned the day before. At first my muscles were not smoothly doing their job and I felt light-headed, soon though the flow kicked in and my determination grew stronger. When I arrived at the main house I felt very light in my body, almost out of body, but motivated to get this working day done.
We moved a lot of furniture back and forth between the main houe and the Atlantic Longhouse, the one I am staying in, in preparation for the start of the season. Also we drove down and made sure the lobster had enough to eat, collected rope for garden decorations from a pit where fishermen can drop the things they do not need anymore, ready to be recycled and even managed to do some more transplanting from root trainers to the raised beds in the polycrub. Sarah did feed the cows while I tended to the chicken house cleaning, which was way less dirty because since the 31st of March they are allowed to free range again!
I started struggling during the planting in the ploycrub and when I saw that there was another task to be done this evening I did not know if I had the mental strength to pull through.
The lambing had begun and in order to keep them safe and be sure that every lamb and mother is healthy the plan was to build a solid night enclosure. This would be achieved by several metal barriers in a circle around the sheep's night shelter, meaning unloading each single one and carrying it down there through ankle deep mud, slippy moss and down a slope.
I was not sure I could manage but this family's joy in their work, their uplifting spirit of singing tunes and motivating each other brought out the mental strength within me and with a team effort we were able to achieve it. Admittedly though I would be lying if I'd say it wasn't that hard in the end because I struggled, focusing on one step after the other, one foot at a time, to finish this task.
When we drove home I was sure I couldn't even manage a dog walk but once we were through the valley and bright sunshine was greeting I knew I wanted to be out there and enjoy the warming sun. And so I did with Marjorie, Bolt and Freyja at my side. The evening sun is the most gorgeous one, it shines but not to bright, with a warming gold and the reflection of a thousand and more golden pieces on the calm ocean ignites the appreciation for everything around you. I felt calm and tranquil, with no worries and no rush, no cooking to get to, just being up on this hill called Gallan, watching the sun slowly going down. There was no weakness left, there just was serenity and flow and love. I returned home with a feeling of strength and knew once more, I can do it.
Today it would be all about relaxing, no work just a lovely dog walk with Sarah and Elliot, as well as the new addition to their family, the sheep dog Glen. When I got up I felt the weakness in my legs again and was very glad for the garden area to let Marjorie outside while I could slowly get my body to start moving. Three quarters of an hour of deeply focused, stretching Yin Yoga with Mady Morrison helped enormously to get into my body and away from the typical out of body feeling when you feel weak in the morning. After that I snuggled up with Marjorie on the sofa for a bit, full of awareness for her fluffy, multi-colored fur, her breathing, her heartbeat. I guess during water fasting awareness grows because you take care of yourself and do things more slowly than you would do normally.
The dog walk was grand with hidden beaches and slliding down dunes. Unfortunately my camera, though I carried it with me, did not have battery so I only took one shot with my mobile phone.
Nonetheless sometimes it is good to not focus on capturing a moment but instead be fully in it. It took a lot of strength going up and down hills and dunes, in the end it was all worth it.
The afternoon and evening turned back to deep relaxation. Wonderful Andrew gave me a few Disney movies to watch, I had a nice nap and Marjorie enjoyed her time outside in the garden, scenting rabbits and making sure everything was alright. The first two days of fasting seemed easier though because I was occupied the whole day and wasn't in a comfortable, couchpotatoe watching movies mood. So the first time I felt hungry came this evening with gurgles from my stomach. Mentally I numerously questioned my decision on why I wanted to do four days when I could easily enough stop at some time tomorrow. Then again I wanted to stick to the promise I gave to myself and if I make it to the afternoon what is a few more hours compared to the cleansing and water fasting that had passed?
Going to bed, not knowing how I would feel when I would wake up the following morning, I was determined either way, weak or unmotivated, tempted or hungry, I would see it through because I can do it.
Oh, how tired and weak I felt when I woke up! And my head was buzzing with all of the things I wanted to be done by the end of the day and from several dreams revolving around different dishes, lasagna for example. I decided to let Marjorie out into the garden so that I could have a slow, very slow, morning.
The first thing I managed was brushing my teeth although that wore me out which ultimately led to a twenty minute break on the sofa. I got up when Marjorie came back in to serve her breakfast and while I was in an upright position got dressed, before I sat down on a chair by the table to drink some water. Today was byfar the hardest day to get my metabolism going and the light-headedness had increased. Combined with a very challenging out of body feeling the next logical thing to do was Yin Yoga to get me back into my body.
While I did that I received a call from Sarah telling me that Marjorie had made her way down to their house, I suspect the slow pace and waiting around for her walk bored her. Because of the increased winds the bin barrier I build in front of the main gate had been blown away. I had not thought about that earlier, clearly indicating that my brain slowly was dicreasing. I went down to get Marjorie and afterwards made my way up to Gallan for a walk with her. It was absolutely arduous but I set myself small goals, one step at a time, slowly and steadily. The wind was so intense it sometimes nearly kicked me off of my feet and the starting rain, depending on the direction I was walking, felt like pins and needles on my cheeks. In the end though I managed to come home and a sense of proud fueled me to clean the chimney and have a shower. Nearly all of the to dos of the day done, now it was time to have a nap. Admittedly I initially planned on a meditation but immediately fell asleep.
At quarter to three in the afternoon my alarm went off for the yoga session with Elliot and the afternoon of games with Elliot and Sarah. I went down to the main house and felt exhilarated. Firstly I enjoy this Sunday afternoon ritual a lot even though today there would be no delicious dinner from Andrew for me, secondly I had nearly achieved my goal as the fourth day of water fasting turned to an end.
Something extraordinary happened next as I was presented with a gift and lovely card from Elliot, thanking me for our consistent yoga lessons and "just because I deserved it", his words entirely. My heart made a jump of joy because of so much kindness and thoughtfulness! Again my heart jumped and every part of my body shortly forgot about weakness when I saw that he presented me with the a jumper I was so keen on getting for myself! I had seen it on Sarah before and instantly fell in love with it, woolen and with harris tweed patches on the shoulders, it simply was lovely!
After our last yoga lesson and game afternoon together before Elliot would leave for school the following Friday, I went home awaiting my last evening and night of fasting. In my mind joy was replacing weakness because I one hundred percent for sure knew now that I can do it.
UPDATE: It is now three thirty after midnight and the first time my stomach is aching. I could not sleep and therefore decided to listen to my body and break the "cracker, soup, apple and banana" for the end of fasting this instant. I got up, made a clear soup with a stock cubic and water, arranged my plate of delicious light digestables and did a ten minute meditation before the first spoon of hot liquid entered my system.
Oh, how delightful it was. The warmth of the liquid filling my body which has been cold for the last two days was mesmerizing. The taste of this simple food let my taste buds dance and in addition with the crackers it tasted like heaven on Earth. The banana and apple were almost too sweet at first but served wonderfully as a dessert and made me smile while chewing them until they had fallen apart compeltely in my mouth. The more you chew, the easier it is for your stomach to digest and after such a long period of fasting it is important to make it easy for it. I am so happy and appreciative right now, I am proud and have a completely new way of seeing life, if I may say so. I am not exaggerating here. The simple joy of eating again makes you appreciate food so much more, makes you appreciate life so much more because without food there is something missing. Not only socially, more like realizing how blessed we all are to be able to have everything we want at any time for ourselves to enjoy, yes, I think the joy of life apart from freedom to do what you want without hurting others, the joy of life partly is food.
As for now I feel warm and cozy and well fed. Tired as well, so I will go to sleep and dream about all the food I am going to cook and eat very soon. Top of my list lasagna!
Love, light and lasagna, my beloved ones, and have a wonderful start into the bright and shiny new week!