A few days ago, a friend mentioned that he and his partner were inspired by “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”, a documentary about people trying to improve or restore their health using “juice fasts”, periods of eating only or mostly juiced fruits and vegetables. I watched it, and felt the same inspiration (you’d have to be pretty hard-hearted not to be deeply touched by where the story ultimately goes). It’s a slow burn, and you have to stick with it for the payoff. It’s neither a particularly well-made movie nor a bad one (why they felt the need to periodically jump into cartoons is far beyond me), but it picks up in the second half. The final short scene at the end of the credits is incredibly moving, and will always stick with me.
For the past year, in which I haven’t been well, I’ve kept up my GTD tasks and projects, but have set aside Allen’s higher “horizons of focus”. When I sat down recently to consider them, I realized that each of the things I’d like to accomplish in the next few years is predicated on first restoring my health. I can’t even begin to consider tackling most of them. Even when I feel the energy to get started, I’m just in too much pain. I recently finished my second round of physical therapy. I’m currently doing an hour of neck exercises in the morning and an hour at night (and burning through audiobooks in the process). I’m making progress compared to how truly debilitated I was last year, but it’s slow. Maybe an improved diet could be the last piece of the puzzle. I’m going to try a fast. Amazon dropped a juicer on my porch earlier today.
I looked at my calendar and decided to follow the plan for a five-day fast Monday-Friday of next week. That will allow me to go to the family reunion the following weekend without repeating three dozen times why I’m sitting there with a Shamrock Shake. If all is going well, I may pick it up again Monday to continue with another 5- or 10-day fast.
Since reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, I’ve stepped up my intake of whole foods, but am still not eating enough green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. I’m curious to see how my systems react when I suddenly start mainlining them. Everyone who does this comments on how much energy they have. I’ve been feeling a great lack of energy and ambition lately, and hope to get back some of my vitality. Any improvements it offers to my general wellbeing can’t help but help my neck. And… I could stand to lose 10 pounds or so.
We’ll see. I’m excited to give it a try.