Today is day 7 of a 12 Day journey in learning how the food and liquid that we consume can be used to help heal and detox the body.. The first 3 days vegan, the next 3 days liquid, the next 3 days vegan and the last 3 days Intermittent Fasting. For the last 3 days, I really did not have much of an appetite, and that was rare, as lately I have been eating almost everything in sight. While we had options of water fasting or fasting using the popular “Master Cleanse,” where we make a mixture of water, maple syrup, lemon, and cayenne, I chose water fasting to start day 4, as I did not have the ingredients to make the “Master Cleanse,” The second day, I started off on a roll and took my time making my master cleanse. I started off drinking 18 ounces and then another 18 ounces early in the day...however, as my day progressed and I began working, I was not as intentional about drinking. Day 3 of the liquid fasting, I woke up with no desire for food or drink. I had not had my first glass of water until evening. Some may say I was dry fasting, but I knew better. I was approaching that place of despair, that apathy that enters in after yet another period of “overgiving” to others and lack of giving to myself. A place where I am angry, sad, and unfilled at the same time. A place where yet again, I have given until my cup is empty and I have nothing else left. A place where my energy is at 0 and I am crying out for others to pour into me as I have poured into them. Unfortunately, these thoughts began to consume me, even after spending over 12 hours of hiding away in therapeutic jewelry making, I realized I had let these built up emotions win this battle. After going without food and water for the rest of the day, out of no where (it really was not out of no where…) a thought came, “eat those potato chips and since they are there, eat that “vegan” junk food that reminds you of the junk food you used to have as a little girl...reminding me of cheese doodles. A smaller voice said, don’t do it, stick to your program, don’t give in. The louder voice said, you are not perfect go for it...so I gave in. I had some kettle jalapeno chips and some vegan cheese doodles. It was so delicious. I felt guilt - I hid my napkin full of these snacks from my 10 year old daughter. I did not want anyone in the fam to know that I was in a “backslidden” state as I have been communicating to everyone that I was on a 12 day fasting journey to better my health. There was shame involved. There were many emotions I was experiencing. I found myself going back for 2nds and then for 3rds and then the craving was satisfied and then it hit me. Why did I really eat those potato chips? When I began to reflect, I can trace that decision to eat the potato chips to an experience I had close to 32 years ago when my first love wrote me a dear John letter while I was away at a summer program. I remember the many tears, and I recall I wrote a poem to reflect the way that I felt called “Life is Hurt.” I remember sharing what I thought was my best work at expressing my inner pain and when I shared it with my 11th grade English Teacher, he basically said it was garbage. Why did I eat the potato chips? Well throughout the day there were events that occurred in my environment that had me feeling similarly to how I felt when I wrote “Life is Hurt.” What really hit me is throughout the last several years, I have really been living at this place of hopelessness and despair - not because I am a depressed individual, but because I have not found a way to properly protect myself from the energies of others around me, but the question that has been haunting me for 32 years ago is, why don’t they think I am worthy of the love that I give? It is pondering that question over and over and over, sometimes several times in 1 day again that has caused the 40 plus extra lbs to have its way inside of my body over the last 4 years. Over the years, when this question pops, the internal struggle begins and thus my patterns-which have been to 1) spend time with people out of desperation that may not necessarily be the best for me, 2) overspend, and 3) overeat. I am so glad I recognized it in a new way last evening. Eating those potato chips last evening was a blessing. There is a new question...Shannon, why do you think you are not worthy of the love you give? And this is where my new journey begins just 2 days before my 48th birthday.