Updated: Jan 10
The first time I heard about fasting was back in 2009. That's 12 years ago... My soccer career had ended due to injuries, I spent 6 months working at Mc Donald's in France while waiting for my Master's degree to start... I was getting fat.
Despite studying Exercise Physiology & Metabolism, I was eating loads of fast food. As an ex-athlete, I thought I could eat anything and just "burn it". Yet, my body was saying something else, and it didn't feel good.
One day, my girlfriend Caitlin (to whom I'll ever be grateful), took me to a Yoga class. The teacher happened to be an acharya from Ananda Marga, which meant that he taught a very traditional Yoga lifestyle that included meditation, chanting, a yogic diet and regular fasting.
Looking back, I see this time of my life as a drastic shift, a big step in my conscious awakening. I became vegetarian, started to meditate, and focused my scientific interest on natural health. I dropped my plan to pursue a PhD to travel to India and learn about Ayurveda.
Since then, I've constantly been learning about and experimenting with fasting. The peak of this explorative journey has been my solo 5-day water fast in the New Zealand wilderness. I took my camera on this adventure and made a documentary out of it.
This experience was definitely one of the most insightful of my life... as you'll be able to tell if you watch the documentary until the end.
Of course, fasting is not the only practice that has been supporting my spiritual growth and wellbeing. Even if it is tremendously powerful, it only really works when integrated within a comprehensive and holistic lifestyle. Spoiler ALERT: the magic bullet doesn't exist!
That said, here are the top 4 benefits I'd like to attribute to my fasting journey:
1. TRANSFORM MY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD
The distance we create with food during fasting allows for an increased awareness of how we relate with it. We get to understand our emotional eating and cravings, while developing a refreshed sense of appreciation for what food really is: a source of joy and vitality.
2. FLEXIBLE METABOLISM = MORE FREEDOM
Fasting not only helped me become a better "fat-burner", but also gave me the freedom to be more flexible with food. I've developed the ability to go longer without eating, meaning that it has broaden my capacity to make the right nutritional choices. So if there's nothing healthy around, my metabolism can adjust quickly to utilize my body fat, which gives me more time to find something nourishing.
3. DEEPEN MY SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Working to let go of our desire for food requires discipline and determination. Both of those are important qualities on the path of meditation. And we should be careful to do this in a healthy way. It is important to fast for health and longevity, not malnutrition and suffering. This is also a spiritual practice: balanced awareness.
4. I BECAME A HEALER
And you will too! There's nothing "woowoo" about this. Fasting simply unlocks the healing potential of the body. And there's a few reasons for this, which I'll cover in another post. But honestly, this concept of healing has taken a whole new meaning to me. It's hard to explain, but it's as if there was a new sense of trust and intimacy emerging from the core of my being.
So that's a brief summary of my story with fasting and the value it's added to my life.
Twelve years ago, who would have thought that I'd now be leading a worldwide seasonal online program with hundreds of people following an intelligent fasting protocol... quite a journey from my McDonald's days eh?
And that's the beauty of this human experience. We can change. We can plant seeds and watch them grow. We can learn, integrate, and then share.
Playing with fasting has been such a platform for me, and I am very excited to be guiding fellow humans on this path now.
In my next posts, I'll explain a bit more about the Seasonal Renew and some of the risks to watch for when fasting.
Thank you for taking the time to read my very first blog post on this new site!