I once attended a seminar given by a fairly prominent and well-published M.D. He began by telling a story about a woman who had gone on a 30 day fast, and then came in to see him. “It didn’t work at all” she told him. “All my symptoms came back the first time I had a few french fries.” On reporting this to the class, the doctor and most of my fellow attendees rolled their eyes and snickered self-righteously, laughing at this woman as if she were an idiot. Me, I sat there thinking the woman was absolutely right. The fast didn’t work, or her hold on health wouldn’t have been so precarious.
Surely, if we are healthy, our systems should be able to tolerate an occasional indulgence. No, I don’t recommend beer and hot dogs, and no, I don’t believe fasts are particularly beneficial. And yes, we are responsible for making choices that are appropriate to our state of health. I would even say that a sign of health would be to make predominantly healthy choices in every aspect of life, including what we choose to eat, or not eat. But my definition of health would include the ability to deal with a certain amount of stress without having symptoms, whether that stress comes in the form of exposure to a virus, an upsetting argument, or an occasional serving of french fries.
Health is a life-long commitment and a life–long process. We have a thousand opportunities every day to choose something that will enhance our health and well-being or, to make choices that will weaken it. The more conscious we become of our choices, the more responsibility we have to make them good ones. I guess that’s why they say ignorance is bliss…
In my experience, short-term drastic approaches such as fasting, colonics, and radical diets do not work, because the body has not been given the support it needs to sustain the changes. That is why a single serving of french fries could blow a whole month of work. Health is a process that takes consistent work, and consistent commitment. It’s not the easy way, but it’s what works, every time.
Health as a process includes our weaknesses, our slips and all the uncontrollable factors of life, as well. While there is integrity in doing the best we can, there is guaranteed failure in targeting only perfection. Anyone who’s ever tried a diet knows what I mean!
The good news is that as our health improves, (1) we naturally and more consistently make more choices that support it and (2) we are better able to withstand the stresses we are expose to, whether voluntary or involuntary. Do your best to make as many choices each day that support your optimal health, and you will see and feel changes! And if you need help, well, that’s what I’m here for.