I *love* the word Contemplation. I love the concept of contemplation. It’s an introspective process, one where you take a thought or idea inside yourself and bounce it around gently to see if it settles in and fits. When I wrote Unmired, I called it a Book of Contemplations for just that reason.
However, within the field of psychology, Contemplation has a more specific definition. There are various theories about the process of modifying human behavior and one is called The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) or commonly, “Stages of Change” model. And within that framework, Contemplation is the stage at which a person recognizes that they have a problem and begins gathering information and making plans to create change in their life.
This is where the real difference between traditional diets and intermittent fasting begins.
Diets are EASY to start and HARD to sustain.
Fasting is HARD to start and EASY to sustain.
Ryan has written about this more extensively than I, but there are rewards to the contemplation phase of starting a diet: research, making lists, buying special foods and gadgets. It all feels very novel and exciting. You are focused on the plan, the low fat or low carb foods you’ll eat, and the payoff that will soon come from it. Then you start and after a few days or a few weeks, all the shopping and planning and deviating from normal life begins to grow old. Your body isn’t really happy with the diet and neither is your mind. The familiar ways you ate before the diet start to call to you…..
The contemplation phase before fasting can be tricky – it can bring up a lot of fear for people. There is nothing to really buy, nothing to do, no “fun” to fill that gap. There is just the fear of the unknown (how hungry will I get? How hangry? Will I faint? Will I be able to control my behavior? Just how uncomfortable is this going to be?). All this irrational fear keeps many, many people from ever starting to fast. They talk themselves out of it and never find out that just on the other side of a brief adjustment phase is FREEDOM.
Freedom from needing special food. Freedom from excessive planning and calculations. Freedom from the health consequences of frequent eating and/or restrictive dieting.
Easy to start, hard to sustain……or hard to start, easy to sustain? The only standing between you and finding out is…..starting. The fasting life is like a beautiful island and you have to get over your fear of swimming a short distance to get to it. Take a deep breath, jump…..and reap all the rewards.
My 33-day email series Enjoy Your Life: 33 Days of Forming Fasting rituals is based on Delay, Don’t Deny and approved by author Gin Stephens. It provides daily support to “get from here to there.” I’ve lived it and my passion is to help you find freedom, too! Check it out using the link below.