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Rebel Without a Car – My Week of Living Dangerously, Part 2

This article appeared in the on-line magazine for actors The Networker, in October 2010

Last month’s article, “My Week of Living Dangerously” prompted lots of positive feedback and one criticism. An actress wrote to point out that “writing about fasting” was dangerous, especially in this industry where so many suffer from various eating disorders.

To be clear, my article was on “cleansing,” not on fasting, but in hindsight, I can see how detox, cleansing, and fasting may seem like the same thing to some people so I thought I’d take a moment to clarify the differences.

First of all, I agree with Alicia, who emailed me, that we need to be careful about the message. I agree that I’m responsible for what I write and that as industry professionals, we must be aware of what we put out there.

Second, I realize that a simple overview of the differences between cleansing, detoxing, and fasting might be appropriate.

Cleansing is done to clean ones digestive tract and colon from toxins. Cleansing can be done on a daily routine.

Detoxing is focused on the cleansing of entire body, not just the digestive tract, of toxins which include smoke, chemicals, etc. from one’s environment. This is more difficult to do on an everyday basis, and people often choose detoxing at different periods of their lives.

Cleansing and Detoxing are often referred to as the same and both can be done at the same time.

Fasting is the simple abstinence of food, and in some cases also liquid, for longer periods of time. Some people follow certain rules for fasting and some fast as it is convenient for them. Some fast for spiritual/religious reasons, some to lose weight, some to make a political statement (protest/hunger strike) and some for health reasons.

As I finished my cleansing, a friend of mine started his religious fast for 30 days . We talked about what it means to fast for Ramadan and I watched him cope with it day after day.

He’s been fasting for a very long time and his body is used to it. He is healthy, he doesn’t drink, nor smoke, nor take any drugs. He fasts because of his religion, not because of his image.

If you consider fasting to look and feel healthy, I would suggest that you do a lot of research and consult with your doctor, advisor, health professional, spiritual leader. There are many websites out there and it is easy to do research and I’m sure you’ll find what is best for you.

A few tips for healthy fasting:

  1. Do it for health, not for vanity!
  2. Feel good about yourself first, then do the fast!
  3. Consult with a health professional before starting!
  4. Ease your body into it!
  5. Check your weight that you stay within your healthy weight limit.
  6. Research! Research! Research!
  7. Fast with a friend so you can check on each other!
  8. Stop if you get sick or feel any discomfort!
  9. Do it when you have no appointments and nothing stressful is going on in your life!
  10. Preserve your energy!
  11. Journal!

Whatever advice you choose, be sure to choose the best, not the easiest. Choose a method that has been proven to be good and healthy for centuries, don’t choose the latest fad.

When it comes to health and weight criticism, listen to your family or your closest friends. They are the ones who will be honest because they care!

No matter how we look and how we are being judged, our mental and our physical health need to be aligned because that is the most important in our lives, public or not. If we are healthy and happy, a zit, a love-handle, a tight pair of pants won’t matter because our radiance and our laughter is what people will remember most and that is what will influence them for a very long time.

Be healthy and be happy, that is the best thing you can give to yourself, your fans and your followers!


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