How Did I Do It?
Today I am on day 13 of the Daniel Fast. With 8 days left, I want to share some of the things that have helped me be successful. But first I want to share a little story about it. I was at dinner with a couple of women who are also doing the fast. One of them commented to another friend who wanted to know about it that I was the person she needed to talk to because I have so much willpower. It made me think about why I had been so successful. (I’ve lost seven pounds and a couple of inches off my waist and hips… and it has been pretty painless.) These 7 steps are what have helped me get through this far, and I know they are what will carry me through the next 8 days.
Step 1: Research – When I was asked to join a group of 21 women doing a 21 day “fast” I was curious, so I began researching what the fast entailed. I also looked at different resources to see what the commonalities were.
Step 2: Count the Cost – Before I ever agreed to do the fast, I decided whether I was willing to pay the cost. I looked at what social events were coming up, thought about the fact that I would still be cooking “regular” food for the family, and thought about the foods I must do without for three weeks.
Step 3: Commit – I made the decision to do it, and when I say I am going to do something… I do it (99.9% of the time). In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says, “Be impeccable with your word.”
Step 4: Clarify Your “Why” – Once I was committed, I thought about why I was doing it, so that when times were tough, I could go back to my “why” for motivation. For me, I wanted to detox from all the drugs I have had to take since my accident, to get off the weight loss plateau on which I had been, and to support the woman who asked me to participate (as well as the other women in the group).
Step 5: Prepare – I downloaded shopping lists, devotional materials, and other paperwork related to the fast. I shopped for vegan food, so that on Day 1 I would have the fruits and veggies I needed.
Step 6: Enlist Support – In this case, the support was already in place in the form of a group of women who have a conference call once per week, and a group facilitator that is available via email. I am also involved in other groups that use Facebook groups, email, and conference calls for support. I can’t tell you how important this step is. I voluntarily posted my waist and hip measurements to a private group I belong to (called The Big Push) on Facebook… pretty scary, huh? Without support, it is too easy to slip… and eventually fall altogether.
Step 7: Visualize the Desired End Result (with Feeling) – Every day I visualize myself looking the way I want to look when I get to my goal. I won’t reach my goal before the end of the fast, because I have an aggressive goal, but I still use my desired end result as my motivation. I see myself as I ultimately want to be… healthy, fit, and a size 6. An important component to this visualization is feeling the emotion you will feel when you achieve your goal. I feel how light, excited, and vibrant I am going to feel. It may take you a little bit to get into the feeling, but take the time because the payoff is so worth it. It will propel you forward like rocket fuel.
Be Intentionally Flexible – This is not cheating. This is saying, “My body really needs more protein, so I am going to include eggs.” This is meant to help it work for you, not to give you an “out.”
Remember It Is Temporary – When you are on a detox program it is meant to be temporary. On days that you really want to quit, tell yourself, “I can do anything for 21 days (or however any days you have left)!” And you can.
Be Willing to Make Part of It Permanent and/or To Do It Periodically – I have never considered going vegan until I saw that it isn’t so painful. If I do go back to eating meat, it won’t be nearly as much as I was eating before. I have never been a huge dairy person and I will continue that, I’m sure. I have also had the thought that I will probably do the fast quarterly. I have done much more aggressive cleanses, but got no better results. So I think I will put this on my calendar for August and do it again.
If you have had an experience with the Daniel Fast you would like to share, please feel free to do so. If you have questions about my experience, feel free to ask.