Let me go back to the last few years of my life. I am 32 years old, and I had an addiction that in many ways was just as bad as any drug or alcoholic addiction, I was addicted to video games, you are probably laughing at that, but I was a very sad excuse for a human being. I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I would do was get my son fed while I turned on my computer and logged into my favorite game and there I would sit from about 8am to sometimes the wee hours of the morning, with occasional breaks to go to the bathroom and eat and take care of the basic needs of my child. He was never neglected so I would tell myself, he got fed and clothed, but I really wasn't spending the quality time that I should have been. I wasn't a bad mom, just not the best mom. A very sad fact that I am in no way proud of.
I knew I had a problem but it was always one excuse after another why I couldn't stop playing. After years of playing this game and with very little exercise my weight slowly started packing on. I went from 135lbs to 230lbs in about five years, I could feel my body starting to fall apart as well and the more weight that started piling on the more I have suffered from depression, aches, pains, migraines and worst of all a separation from my family and friends. I didn't want to face reality so I would spend more and more time in my virtual world. It was my escape from reality.
One day I typed in the command of how much time I had spent on one of my characters in this game and about fell out of my chair. I had well over 200 hours of accumulated time just on this one character, and I had over 10 characters on my account. This is time I have wasted over the last five to six years of my life, precious time I will NEVER get back. I realized what I was doing was not fair to my family and it wasn't fair to myself. Ignoring reality wasn't going to change my situation, it was only going to get worse. I knew my health would get worse and the weight wasn't going to change other than get higher and at what point was I going to draw the line 250lbs? 300lbs? No one was going to do it for me.
I remember reading one night in Matthew 6:24 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot server God and mammon." I know mammon translates to money and riches, but I think it goes even deeper than that, not just money but things, "stuff". I was so focused on my dumb game that I was loosing sight of my connection with my Heavenly Father. So I made a commitment to myself that I was going to start making some changes in my life and made a list of goals. The three most important ones on my list are:
Strengthen my relationship with my God
Strengthen my relationship with my family
Strengthen myself emotionally and physically
Strengthen myself emotionally and physically
I have deleted the games off my computer and I have to admit, it was hard at first. For those who have never played a multiplayer online games probably won't understand, but you gain an attachment for the characters you create, it's like putting a little bit of your very soul into them as you level, quest, and go on adventures with other people from around the world. I would recommend to anyone thinking about getting games like this DON'T and if you do play get out, stop, find yourself in the real world with real people. It is far more satisfying than your time and energy into little pixels on a screen. So far I have not missed the online games. I had on the occasion played a few games of Solitaire, but I considered that my "nicotine patch" from the hardcore gaming.
Okay, okay, back to my juice fasting story: My sweet husband, Todd, is the one who initially started me on this path to enlightenment, he had been talking for months about getting a juicer, which I thought was a good idea since, Sage, my two year old son drinks way too much juice, and the bottled juice you buy off the shelves is nothing but empty calories and way too much sugar. So one day I was online looking at juicers and found some links for juicing recipes, and of course one link always leads to another and another and another, I came to a page about juice fasting, I was completely amazed at the information I was finding, I started soaking it up like a sponge. The concept is so obvious more fruits and veggies = better health, but by juicing you are getting more nutrients and minerals, while giving all your internal organs a break from cleaning out all the garbage we shovel in our mouths (which in today's fast paced society, is hard to avoid.). It is hard to get a meal now a days that isn't loaded with refined sugars, enriched flours, artificial sweeteners, MSG, and, well, let's face it, every thing our bodies don't need. Over worked organs leaves the body weak and unable to naturally heal itself from some of the most deadly yet preventable diseases, obesity, arthritis, infections, to the common cold. It is nothing more than common sense really, nature is an amazing thing the sun gives life and energy to the plants and they in turn give that same life and energy back to us.
Growing up in a LDS family fasting was never a foreign concept, every first Sunday of the month was the day we fasted which was always hard as a kid, I just wanted to eat I thought I was starving! As I got older I gained more appreciation for fasting, it was easier to focus on my relationship with God when I was fasting. I had many prayers answered in my time of fast and it gave me a better appreciation for the things that I had rather than focusing on the things I did not have. I had never thought of the benefits of fasting from a physical point of view till now, but as I start my juice fast I want to combine both physical and spiritual. Not only am I doing this fast for the health for my body, but I am doing it for my spiritual benefit as well.
I welcome you to join me on my journey, I have a goal of 10 days. At the end of 10 days if I don't feel I can do it any longer than I will break my fast reaching my 10 day goal, but if I can go longer than I will. I watched an amazing documentary about an Australian man named Joe Cross, call "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" which has really given me the strength to do this. In the Documentary Joe goes on a 60 day juice fast, loosing almost 100lbs and virtually curing him of an immune deficiency disorder. Along his road across America he meets another man who commits to a juice fast and committed to 10 days and continued on for 60 days loosing 200 lbs and turning his life around. My priority in my juice fast is not to loose weight, but if I do I won't complain. I just want to be able to wake in the morning ready to face the day head on to have the energy and the vitality to be a better mother, a better wife, and a better servant of my God.