It seemed like a good idea at the time -killing at least several birds with one stone:
– shed some of the 7 pounds that I had gained in one short month, thanks to a disastrous double-whammy of delicious Malaysian fried food and irresistible all-you-can-eat buffets 3 times a day while I was giving a couple of presentations at El Nido Eco-Resort
– for the longer term, reboot my appetite out of “pigout” mode, and back into “disciplined”
– recoup my energy and equilibrium after several weeks on the road, gathering my resources in readiness for the US speaking tour (of which more details coming soon).
So when I Googled on “fasting retreats” and stumbled across Dharma Healing International in Thailand, it sounded just perfect. The blurb on the website was hitting all my hot spots – “renaissance…. philosophy…. self-empowerment…. holistic… spiritual transformation… freedom… higher focus… ecological sustainability… rejuvenated, vibrant and dedicated to live a healthy life”. So I clicked through and signed up to a “very thorough week of fasting, detox and cleansing”.
But now I am wondering what I have let myself in for. Although I have a strong masochistic streak – how else would I row oceans? – I also love my food. Yet for the coming week, my intake will consist of purified water, medicinal herbal teas of the day, lime water, fresh coconut water, veggie broth soup, and as a grande finale, a drink of Epsom salts with a chaser of extra-virgin olive oil.
And generally I prefer to take my coffee with plenty of steamed milk, a shot of caramel syrup, and ingested through my mouth, rather than laced with hydrogen peroxide and self-administered (ahem) up my butt.
Still, like many things that I wouldn’t have signed up to if I’d read all the small print first (e.g. rowing the Atlantic) this will hopefully prove to be thoroughly worthwhile, if not entirely enjoyable at the time.
Hillary is certainly a great advert for her therapies. We met yesterday afternoon for the first time, and she comes across as a vibrant, energetic, radiant 60-year-old, despite consuming fewer calories in a week than I would eat in a single El Nido buffet breakfast. She told me that in the first year after she moved from California to Thailand, she would spend 3 hours a day swimming, 2 hours practising yoga, and 6 hours studying Thai. It was then that I started to wonder if, despite appearances, she was actually entirely human – and just what I had let myself in for.
The fast starts tomorrow (Monday). Since I arrived on Friday night I have already started detoxing (after a perverse last-minute go-for-broke tox-toxing in Manila). I have been living on an admittedly delicious-while-ridiculously-healthy salad that Hillary kindly made for me yesterday, and a stash of Larabars that I have been lugging around Asia since I left Papua New Guinea. But shortly all that will be gone, and the fast will begin.
I dropped a crumb of Larabar on the floor today. By Friday I may be scrabbling around on all fours, trying to find it.
Meanwhile, I am enjoying some unexpected benefits of my new temporary home. I have a lovely little wooden cottage (or bungalow, as they call them in Thailand) right on the beach. With a super-fast wireless internet connection. Oh heaven! The first time I have had this luxury IN MY ROOM for more than an odd night here and there since I left the US in April. So the good news for me (and possibly the bad news for you) is that you will get to vicariously enjoy my fasting experience. Don’t worry – there will be no photos of the self-administered caffeine enemas.
Before I left El Nido, I recorded a new podcast. We have an alternative to “Roz Rows” while I am on dry land. Co-hosted by Vic Phillipson, we are calling it “Roz Roams”. We are just sorting out the technical details with the guys at TWiT Cottage, but hopefully it will be going online soon. We chat about my adventures in time, space and ecology since finishing my solo row across the Pacific.
We’re having an auction of Pacific memorabilia – stuff that has crossed much of the Pacific on board my boat. All proceeds will go towards funding next year’s row across the Indian Ocean. Please check it out, and bid generously to buy a little bit of ocean rowing history!
There are now only 30 spots left on the California Climate Ride, and there are lots of fab prizes going to new recruits and top fundraisers. You could win a Solio solar charger, a cool New Belgium Cruiser bicycle, a 5-day trip to Glacier Park – and loads more besides. And you could ride with Team Roz. What more could you possibly want?!
I spent much of today clearing a mega-backlog of admin and organisation emails. Couldn’t have wished for a nicer office – sitting on my porch looking out at the ocean. All I could have asked for was a nice cold beer… NO, DON’T THINK IT! YOU’RE FASTING!!! First the perfect honeymoon resort – on my own. And now the perfect porch for sundowners – with Epsom salts to drink. Life has a rich sense of irony….