Since I began fasting in 2019, I have noticed the subtle changes in foods I crave. When I first started, I always tried to make a healthy choice. I didn’t always succeed. As the fasting became more manageable, making the right decisions about eating became slightly less difficult.

What I noticed was my stomach felt a lot better when I ate healthier choices. Perhaps I felt better emotionally as well. Let’s talk about the physical aspect.

I typically have a lot of joint pain in my back and neck and my hands. I have discovered that my food choices affect how badly my joints hurt. Highly processed foods like potato chips, cookies, fast foods, or even homemade sweets cause me more pain. What all these foods have in common is enormous amounts of sugar. As great as sugar tastes, I believe it is poisonous to the body. Upon consumption, I immediately feel the painful effects.

Contrastly, when I manage to make better food choices, I have little to no joint pain. My back pain is never completely gone resulting from my 2010 surgery. Eating more whole foods decreases the effect. The longer I eat healthier foods, the better my joints feel.

The fasting has done a great job of detoxing my body. Before I started fasting, I had gotten to the point when the first taste of something sweet, or alcohol, would cause immediate pain in the back of my neck. I’d had surgery on my neck in 2016. The pain always began in the exact location. I cannot remember the last time it occurred. I believe the long periods without food gave my body the detox it needed.

Effects of Fasting on Mental & Emotional Health

Fasting has benefited me even though I have not entirely corrected my food choices. Another effect of fasting is the shrinking of my stomach. Unfortunately, my mind has not caught up. I still try to eat as much as I used to. As a result, sometimes, I make myself uncomfortable by overeating. I am not used to leaving food uneaten.

Perhaps this need to completely clean my plate is leftover from childhood. In the United States, we teach children to eat everything. The usual incentive to do so was dessert.

Fasting has helped me to improve my physical health. Eventually, I believe I will be able to correct some of the emotional and mental aspects. Health is not only about the body. The mind needs to be as healthy as the body. And I have noticed that the better my food choices, and the more I fast, the better I feel mentally and emotionally. I am less stressed. My mind is more clear. Generally, my mood so much better.

So I find that fasting is good for the body and the mind. I wish I had known about fasting while I was still in the military. Perhaps I could have avoided some injuries to my back. As I was steadily gaining weight, I was still doing my best to keep up with the fitness requirement of the Navy. I am sure this contributed to my injuries. We live, and we learn. At least I know now.

That’s it for now.