Holistic Healing

Fasting and Disordered Eating – When the Lines Blur

I want to talk to you about the demon that is disordered eating. If you are prone to this kind of behaviour and are considering an extended fast… you in the right place!

I have experience with an eating disorder. I have gone through many relentless cycles of restricting my food and then bingeing. It is a horrible place to be in, both physically and mentally.

I truly do believe that fasting can be a wondrous healing tool. However, if you have danced with the eating disorder devil, you should proceed with caution and care.

The goal of this article is tell you what to look out for when you are fasting. This should help you to navigate yourself back to a place of love if you are ever to spiral into eating disorder town.

Disordered Eating

Disordered eating usually involves some form of restriction in order to achieve a certain weight goal.

It entails behaviours that range from mild to wild. From calorie restriction to purging food and it wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. When someone suffers from an eating disorder, there is usually a lack of self love. The individual is not content in their own skin. There is a lot of ego involved and often an unrealistic self (and societal) imposed expectation of how one should look.

Fasting 

fasting and disordered eating
Fruit Fasting CAN be heaven on earth!

Fasting when done from a place of love, is usually aimed towards healing.

Sometimes it is done for weight loss purposes, which can be a healthy strategy when navigated consciously and maturely. Fasting, when done by someone who embodies self love. This person stands a much better chance at not being triggered, as opposed to someone who is unsettled in themselves.

Fasting from Love VS Fasting from Restriction

Regardless of the motive behind fasting, weight loss often results and usually this is a pleasant side effect.

For someone who has been unable to resolve the trauma of disordered eating, rapid weight loss can be a trigger for dysfunction. For this person, fasting can become an addictive means of losing weight quickly. Or as a way to ‘get back on track’ after periods of indulgence. 

The problem with using fasting in this way, as a means of restricting calories, lies in the word ‘restriction’ itself. Fast from a place of love, the mind doesn’t necessarily see the process as a form of restriction.

If the original motive is one of healing and self love, there is less chance of you running into problems with bingeing and / or bulimia (to name just a few horrid forms of ED). Both of which are acts self loathing.

When a fast transforms into an act of cruel self deprivation, in order to lose weight, the experience becomes negative in nature.

If the mind feels as though it is being restricted, you can almost guarantee periods of bingeing are around the corner...

… Followed by another period of fasting to ‘undo’ the ‘damage’. Followed up another binge and so on. 

This repetitive, relentless cycle can get stuck on repeat and it confuses the hell out of your physical body. It is actually a counterproductive means of weight loss. Your body will cling to fat in order to protect you. What’s more is that your hormones (which are ESSENTIAL to health) can end up in the gutter. 

The mental and emotional levels of your being can also become very unbalanced. As is the nature of restriction, you become obsessed with those foods you ‘can’t have’. You go to bed thinking of food and it is the first thing that creeps into your consciousness upon waking. You will avoid social situations in order to keep temptation at bay. If you do over indulge, you will make up for it by not eating at all the next day.

There is a very real risk here of losing all sense of balance and becoming mentally consumed by what you can and cannot eat. 

How to Fast Consciously 

The word consciously says it all. You must always fast with awareness. Be conscious of your original motives and make sure your fast doesn’t transform into a game of self deprivation.

Notice the nature of your thoughts.

Is the mind running stories of self love, nourishment and healing, or ones of restriction, guilt and shame? If you can be aware of this, you can pull back when necessary. If you do see there is a need to pull back, focus more on a balanced diet. Eat an abundance of healthy foods as opposed to trying to navigate a full blown fast. You can still achieve amazing results by eating a more transitional diet of fruits and plants. 

Break the Cycle

If you do find yourself stuck in a restriction mindset, hit the restriction hard. Give yourself a week where you eat as much as you want of whatever you want.

That might seem daunting if you have the calorie fear. However trust and notice that the mind stops obsessing when you allow it to have what it wants. Maybe the first day you WILL eat 20 cookies, but the next day, maybe it will be 10. Then it will be 5 and so on. Maybe there will be a day where you don’t have any.

Trust this process!

I have used it many times before and mentally saying ‘YES’ invites a calmness into the mind. It is when we say ‘no’ repeatedly, that when we do indulge, the mind says ‘better eat enough for 45 men now. Here’s a one time deal’… but it’s never a one time deal is it..

If the mind knows, its ok, I can have some more later. Or tomorrow, or the next time, it is less likely going to panic and let gluttony run the show. 

Take Home Message

Fasting from a place of love can provide the body and the mind with a well needed rest. Stay conscious and aware of your motives and the kind of stories that are coming up in the mind. Know when it is time to pull back and end a fast. In these times choose love by nourishing yourself with an abundance of healthy foods.

Try to see food more often as fuel as opposed to guilty indulgence.

YES, it is great to indulge from time to time. However the more you use food to energise your being the more mentally balanced you will come in regards to your meals. Find other ways to feel pleasure, stimulation and connection.

Restricting yourself and then feeling guilt and shame when you do eat, these are all self imposed layers of suffering and can be mentally crippling. Love yourself enough to only fast with pure intent. 

Holistic Healing

How to Get Rid of Bloating🤰4 Home Remedies

How to get rid of bloating. This is a question I have I typed into Google and Youtube search engines countless times as a result of my own IBS struggles, so I KNOW you are looking for instant relief. 

Sadly there is no deflate button that I can point you towards, but I am going to share with you four strategies you can try right now.

They have provided me with relief in times of distress and each work in their own way. See which one helps you out and check out the video content for a breath work demo you can do anywhere at anytime!

how to get rid of bloating
Pregnant or Bloated?

When is comes to bloating, there really is no magic pill.

I know that is not what you want to hear, but take my word for it. I have spent years scouring the online realms for one. Even though there is no magic deflate button, there are some practices you can incorporate to help relieve your suffering and that work to prevent bloating in the long term.

The protocols that have helped me are; activated charcoal, yoga, breath work and fasting.

Let’s break them down now. 

Activated Charcoal

You can take a couple of tablets or mix a teaspoon in some water and this is going to work to absorb any excess gas that has built up in the gut. Do this after you’ve had a meal that isn’t sitting right.

It will help with feelings of being overly full and reduce any gas that is making you uncomfortable. 

Yoga 

how to get rid of bloating
Pavana Muktasana – The Wind Relieving Pose

This is actually my number one, my go, to when I am uncomfortably nine months pregnant bloated.

The idea is to move through postures that stretch, twist and compress the abdomen. The key is to move slowly. To move with your breath. This isn’t something you can rush through and expect instant results.

Spend a minimum of five deep, conscious breaths in each pose. Feel the lungs and belly expand as you inhale, and notice how they fall back with each exhale. Move into postures that encourage any stagnant energies down and out of the body. I have video content with yoga flows that specifically work with bloating, so check those out!

Breath Work 

You can utilise the power of the breath while practicing yoga, or you can focus on just the breath with some Pranayama.

Specifically, Kapalabhati breathing is good technique to invite warmth into the body as it strengthens the abdominal muscles which can help with any bloating. 

Kapalabhati Instructions

Sit kneeling if possible with the arms straight, palms resting on the thighs. If you are unable to kneel, take any comfortable seat that allows you to keep the spine straight. 

Allow the belly to be soft and take a deep inhale into the nose and exhale all of your air out to prepare.

Inhale again and then forcefully and audibly exhale the air out of the nose. With each vigorous exhale, suck the stomach back towards the spine. The inhales will come automatically, so give all your attention to the exhales and the contraction of the stomach.

It might help to bring your hand to the belly for the first few breaths to feel it contracting back. 

Do this for as long as is comfortable and repeat three times. 

This can help to reduce minor bloating and get things moving. It has the added benefit of strengthening the abdominal muscles to help minimise bloating overall. Stronger muscles are going to help to keep the belly tight. 

Fast 

When nothing is working, when you are uncomfortable beyond belief, my advice to you is to fast.

Even if it just for 24 hours.

Even if it is just an extended intermittent fast. Push out your breakfast until 12, 1, 2pm and allow the digestive system to settle. Allow any irritation or inflammation to calm down. When my bloating is really horrendous, taking a break from eating is really the only thing that works.

It is not going to heal the gut, but it will provide symptom reduction while you figure out your next move.

I am not recommending that you jump into any kind of extended fasting, unless you are well informed. My advice here is to fast just long enough to provide relief and let the worst of it pass.  

I have been in IBS struggle town for years. I know that desperation that bubbles up as you look to every corner of the online realms for something that will deflate your stomach immediately.

I wish I knew of a magic pill, but it just isn’t out there. For me the most effective thing to do is to practice yoga, but remember that this isn’t something to be rushed. Spend at least 20-30 minutes stretching and twisting the belly and sending each breath down into the problem area. 

I hope one of these provides some relief for you my friend and stay tuned as I get closer to cracking that heal all. It’s close. I feel it.

Holistic Healing

6 EASY Steps to get healthy and STAY motivated 🥑💪

We could all use a little motivation to be healthy, to get fit and to STAY in that realm of nailing life. In this article I want to try and inspire some motivation to not only get healthy, but to find ease in the perceived effort!

Motivation certainly comes in waves for most, but why do some people find it easier to keep the ball rolling?

I am going to share with you what I consider to be six essential elements, when in alignment, that help make commitment to healthy lifestyle change more attainable.

motivation to be healthy

Lets just take moment first to acknowledge that the journey towards becoming our most healthful self – it is rarely linear.

We will get spun around multiple times, sent ten steps back and then propelled forward. This is learning and this it what means to growth.

We are usually derailed from our path, when our egos of gluttony and instant gratification become more dominant. However, never allow yourself to feel guilty for these ‘steps back’, instead trust there is learning in every step, both forward and back.  

Find your power WHY

Why are you here reading this? What is your motivation to be healthy? What is it you want from this LIFE?

For me – I want to live in a way where it feels like my IBS has disappeared.

I want to prioritise time on my yoga mat and I sure as hell won’t with a hangover.

These driving forces are more powerful then anything else (most of the time). Sometimes they are not and I ‘fall off the wagon’, but this doesn’t mean I have un done all of my progress.

We are such harsh critics of ourselves and any step taken other than forward can sometimes result in some pretty negative mental noise. Belittling yourself of feeling guilty are both self imposed layers of suffering. They will trigger anxiety and depression and will never get you where you want.

Never allow your mind to become a bully. Instead talk to yourself the way you would talk to a child. Be soft, be loving.

Environment is Key

Simply feeling that motivation to be healthy… it is not always enough. Environment is key. Truly it is.

For many of us, we our products of our surroundings. We are likely going to behave similarly to those that we spend the most time with, those we live with, our partners. Look at what and who is around you. Do you see similarities?

Do keep in mind however, that you can’t run away from your own mental baggage.

One time I took myself across the world in order to drastically change my environment. I wanted to go and eat only fruit and heal my body without all the temptation that surrounds me in my ‘real world’.

Little did I know, that mental baggage gets checked onto all of your flights for free.

Away from all of my friends, from all my typical comforts, I STILL found myself (all on my own), elbows deep in cooked food and wine. Not to mention, all of this took place the night before a raw vegan fruit festival.

I woke up still drunk, pulling crumbs of shame and bread from my hair, as I walked to towards a bus of glowing fruitarains!

Anyway, my point is – you have to do the emotional work to change your beliefs and mind set.

Of course, it is only going to serve you well to surround yourself by an environment that is conducive to your health goals. 

Find Support

If you are unable to change your environment, then find support any way that you can. The online realms connect you with all kinds of people, on all kinds of paths. Facebook groups are a great start in connecting with those who are speaking your language.

During some of my most confusing times on my healing path, it has been my online pen pal people that have been my biggest support.

Look online, find events that resonate with your goals and meet people. They are out there. Feeling alone will make you vulnerable.

So find your people – physically or online.

Self Care Practice

motivation to be healthy

You don’t have to practice yoga and meditation as I do, but do find your version of something that quietens the mind and makes you feel amazing.

This could look like hiking, painting, creating music, maybe its going to the gym if that is your jam. Find something that YOU love that much, that it makes those un-healthful behaviours seem not worth the price. 

Once your priorities start to fall into alignment, the effort will become less in keeping the motivational ball rolling.

Establish a Routine

Get into a routine. I LOVE routine. Our bodies and our mind respond well to routine.

On my days where I am my most ‘healthful’, usually there is a vague plan in place. I’ll know what time I am getting up, how long I can spend on my practices and when I am going to fit in exercise.

I know how many hours I am going to work for before I take a break and have planned ahead what needs to get done that day.

I roughly know when I’ll be eating and I know what time I will meditate before I go to bed. I make sure I get enough sleep so I can get up early and do it again the next day.

You don’t have to be so rigid with this. Seriously, try to be fluid and be flexible. Have dinner an hour later and see friends last minute. Go and jump in the ocean if you need a pick me up, or take a nap. Just notice on the days where you have made time for the things that make you feel your best – you are more likely to stick to them.  

Get Mentally Sound

Check in with yourself and your mental game – what stories are you running throughout the day?

Are you constantly stressed and ‘too busy’? Are you sabotaging yourself because there is some emotional upset in the mind? A lot of people don’t even realise that they are making un-healthful choices – food and other behaviours – because the mind is unbalanced.

We are so very hungry for connection, pleasure, stimulation and there is nothing wrong with that. However, in our attempt to grasp these we often sabotage ourselves. We want instant gratification NOW and we often get it in the form of food, drinking, drugs and just being lazy in general. 

The Most Important Part?

BALANCE

I stand by these six elements. I truly believe that when they are in alignment holding onto motivation to be healthy comes with ease.

However!

Life is all about balance. I can be captain extreme and I have found myself too serious at times. Too invested in going to bed early. Too harsh on myself when I end up on the wines with friends.

Always enjoy what you’re doing. If you try and force yourself into a rigid plan you are going to burnout and blowout. Trust me when I say I have been there.

There is more to life then being 100% healthy all of the time.

Laugh. Play. Drink the wine and eat the pizza.

Take Home Message

The 6 elements that inspire motivation to be healthy;

Find your power WHY 

Environment is Key

Find Support

Self Care Practice

Establish a Routine

Get Mentally Sound

Don’t feel guilty when you are not ‘perfect’ 

Allow for indulgence! I like to live by the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I am acting in alignment with my health goals. 20% indulgence is OK.

This is more calming for my mind, because 100% restriction is the devil. It can transform into guilty bingeing. Followed by more restriction to ‘get back on track’.

This is a HORRIBLE repetitive cycle to be stuck in. So be kind and show yourself love. Trust that if you just keep showing up – these healthy behaviours will become habits!

Holistic Healing

Can Fasting Trigger Disordered Eating 🍽 ?

Fasting and eating disorders. Two sides of the same coin?

Not necessarily. Often fasting is criticised for being a form of disordered eating. However this is only true when the intention to fast comes from a place of deprivation.

In this article I want to talk to you about the demon that is disordered eating. It is essential that you comprehend the care that is required when it comes to fasting, if you are prone to this kind of behaviour.

I have experience with eating disorders and have gone through many relentless cycles of restricting my food and then bingeing. This is a horrible place to be in, physically and mentally.

I truly do believe that fasting can be a wondrous healing tool. I just think if you have danced with the eating disorder devil, you should proceed with caution.

Disordered Eating

Disordered eating usually involves some form of restriction in order to achieve a certain weight goal. It entails behaviours that range from mild to wild. From calorie restriction to purging food, both of which wreak havoc on the body and the mind.

When someone suffers from an eating disorder, there is usually a lack of self love. Often the individual is not content in their own skin. There is a lot of ego involved and there is often an unrealistic self (and societal) imposed expectations of how one should look.

Fasting 

fasting and disordered eating

Fasting when done from a place of love, is usually aimed towards healing.

Sometimes it is done for weight loss purposes, which can be a healthy strategy when navigated consciously and maturely. When someone embodies self love they are less likely to triggered into disordered eating. The risk is much greater for someone who is unsettled in themselves.

Fasting from Love VS Fasting from Restriction

Regardless of the motive behind fasting, weight loss is often a side effect (usually a pleasant one).

When a person experiences an eating disorder, there is a layer of trauma that needs to be unravelled. If this trauma is unresolved and dormant, fasting can bring it raging to the surface.

Fasting can become an addictive means of losing weight quickly or a way to ‘get back on track’ after periods of indulgence. 

The problem in using fasting in this way lies in the word ‘restriction’ itself.

When you fast from a place of love, the mind doesn’t necessarily see the process as a form of restriction. When the original motive is one of healing and self love, there is less chance of you running into problems. Bingeing and bulimia, both of which are acts self loathing, are just two of types of behaviours that can manifest.

When a fast transforms into an act of cruel self deprivation and becomes negative in nature, you will suffer.

When the mind feels as though it is being restricted, you can almost guarantee your periods of restriction will be followed up with periods of bingeing. Followed up by another period of fasting to ‘fix’ or ‘undo’ the ‘damage’. Then in due course comes another binge and so on. 

This repetitive, relentless cycle can get stuck on repeat and it confuses the hell out of your physical body.

The irony of dramatic and sudden weight loss, lies in the fact that it is actually a counterproductive means of losing weight. Your body will cling to fat in order to protect you and your hormones (which are ESSENTIAL to health) can end up in the gutter. 

The mental and emotional levels of your being can also become very unbalanced. As is the nature of restriction, you become obsessed with those foods you ‘can’t have’. You go to bed thinking of food and it is the first thing that creeps into your consciousness upon waking. You will avoid social situations in order to keep temptation at bay or if you do over indulge, you will make up for it by not eating at all the next day.

Play games like this and you run the risk of losing all sense of balance and become mentally consumed by what you can and cannot eat. 

How to Fast Consciously 

The word consciously says it all. You must always fast with awareness.

Be conscious of your original motives and make sure your fast doesn’t transform into a game of self deprivation. Notice the nature of your thoughts.

Is the mind running stories of self love, nourishment and healing, or ones of restriction, guilt and shame?

If you can be aware of this, you can pull back when necessary. If you do see there is a need to pull back, focus more on a balanced diet and eat an abundance of healthy foods as opposed to trying to navigate a full blown fast. You can still achieve amazing results by eating a more transitional diet of fruits and plants. 

Break the Cycle

If you do find yourself stuck in a restriction mindset, hit the restriction hard by giving yourself a week where you eat as much as you want of whatever you want.

That might seem daunting if you have the calorie fear, BUT notice that the mind stops obsessing when you allow it to have what it wants. Maybe the first day you WILL eat 20 cookies, but the next day, maybe it will be 10. Then it will be 5 and so on. Maybe one day you won’t have any. Trust this process.

I have used it many times before. Mentally saying ‘YES’ invites a calmness into the mind.

It is when we say ‘no’ over and again, that when we do indulge the mind says ‘better eat enough for 75 men now as it’s a one time deal’… but it’s never a one time deal is it. If the mind knows, its ok, I can have some more later, or tomorrow, or next time, it is less likely going to panic and let gluttony run the show. 

Take Home Message

Fasting and eating disorders are two distinct paths. However sometimes these paths can become unclear and lead you into the same dark part of town.

Fasting from a place of love can provide the body and the mind with a well needed rest. Stay conscious and aware of your motives and the kind of stories that are coming up in the mind. Know when it is time to pull back and end a fast and choose love by nourishing yourself with an abundance of healthy foods.

Try to see food more often as fuel as opposed to guilty indulgence.

YES, it is great to indulge from time to time. However, the more you use food to energise your being and find other ways to feel pleasure / stimulated / connected, the more mentally balanced you will come in regards to your meals.

Restricting yourself and then feeling guilt and shame when you do eat, these are all self imposed layers of suffering and can be mentally crippling.

Love yourself enough to only fast with pure intent. 

Connect with me if you are stuck and let’s navigate your way out of eating disorder hell together and continue to read up on how to practice fasting safely.