While I was traveling for work, a friend of mine mentioned that he was just breaking a 28-day fast. My first thoughts were “I’m impressed he didn’t die” and “I could never do that”. The thing is, my friend isn’t an idiot. On the contrary, he’s one of the most intelligent, well balanced folks I know. Given that stimulus, I started looking into fasting. I found a lot of quackery, but also a good amount of actual scientific research. After convincing myself that I probably wouldn’t die, and instead could potentially see some substantial benefit, I decided to take on a fast for myself. I’m not currently sure how long the fast is going to go – it’s going to depend on how I feel along the way as well as potential external social factors. I don’t have any known social events coming up for a while, but if that changes, I intend to continue enjoying my life with my friends and family, fasting be damned.
Before reading further, you should know that I will be journaling fairly openly about gross body functions. If that’s a problem for you, you probably want to stop reading now.
Decided to do this in earnest. Haven’t eaten since ~22:00 last night. My wife is skeptical / worried. Starting weight: 270.
Pretty normal morning. Regular BM before shower. Feeling a little hungry in my stomach and a little queasy. This is normal for me when getting close to meal time.
Normal late morning BM. Stomach still making its presence known. My wife asked if she could still eat in the house. I told her not to worry about it – do what she would normally do – that I’m not trying to avoid being around food.
Having some small muscle spasms in my right buttock.
Made it to lunch time. Realizing that when I switch contexts I always think I should eat something – interesting emotional response. Stomach is still reminding me it’s there, but nothing too bad – not churning anymore. Muscle still spasming. Belching some – taste acid sometimes. Mouth is watering a lot.
Had a few minor passing light-headed spells throughout the day. Having a bit of a hard time focusing…not that that’s abnormal around this time of day.
Time is passing slowly. I went outside and weeded the dog run to get some activity and sun. Currently reading http://soilandhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/02/0201hyglibcat/020102moser/020102Moser03ch3.html, which besides being terribly OCR’d seems to contain quite a bit of pseudo-science and psychobabble.
Regular “first thing in the morning” BM. No “after breakfast” BM, which is a change for me. Urine is lighter than “normal”, but darker than I would expect for the amount of water I’ve been drinking and lack of anything else going in.
Overall, not too bad of a day. I’m settling into the idea of not eating. I still want to eat whenever I switch contexts. I don’t feel hungry though – it’s all psychological, not physical. I made my wife a salad and a cheeseburger today. I’m finding enjoyment in handling and indulging in the smells of food without feeling compelled to eat them. It’s interesting.
My energy level has been up. I went grocery shopping, ran out to the pet store to get a cone of shame, took the truck for a quick drive to keep it moving, got the TLR running for the season and took it for a ride, and did some weeding in the back yard. My wife commented on my unnaturally high energy level as well.
I’m not as thirsty today as I was yesterday. Yesterday, I drank a good sized glass of water ever hour or so. Today, I only had maybe three glasses total. I’ve also determined that water is exceedingly boring, so have been experimenting with solid ice, chipped ice, and a few drops of lemon juice from the tree in the back yard to break up the monotony. As I’ve seen in a few other fasting journals, it’s no the cravings that get you – it’s the boredom.
I started coming down in the evening. With my energy a bit lower, I vegged out on the couch for a few hour before bed, watching Logan and Lego Batman. When I got up to go to bed, I noticed some general body fatigue and just “meh” feeling overall. I think this means I’m running out of stored glucose.
Last night was pretty bad. I had a hard time sleeping at all. I felt some combination of nauseous, achy, light headed, and physically hungry in my stomach all night. When the sun came up and I started getting my wits about me, I noticed that my breath is terrible and my teeth have a sticky coating on them. Bad breath lines up with what I’ve been reading of other fasters and the sticky coating on my teeth sounds a lot like the white crap people get on their tongue. Looking in the mirror, my tongue looks whiter than I remember it, but I didn’t think to do a “before” check, so that could just be in my head.
I mainly got out of bed this morning so that I could drink some water. I think lowering my fluid intake yesterday has a lot to do with how bad I’ve felt for the last 12-hours or so. No BM this morning. Urine is darker than normal – another sign that I didn’t get enough water yesterday.
Starting today with a 20oz glass of water with a little squirt from yesterday’s lemon. Already feeling a lot better as I write this. I think I let myself get dehydrated, which I’ll need to be more deliberate about managing moving forward since my body isn’t telling me to drink anymore.
When I’m lost in my head, I find myself fantasizing about flavor variety. Averting boredom is going to be key to sticking to the fast. I ordered a whole bunch of tea and ketone strips today. I figure if drinking herbal tea and some lemon in my water gets me to stick with it, that’s better than trying to only do “pure” water and giving up early. Ketone strips will help with gamification / indulging my inner data junkie.
Morning weight: 261
Feeling very cold today. Some wind yesterday evening brought in some cold air and the house is cooler than it’s been the last couple days, but normally I like it a bit cooler. It’s currently 66F in the house and my fingers and toes are cold with the very beginning signs of numbness. I’m glad I did a lot of reading before starting this fast and know what to expect. Feeling cold is pretty common and a good sign that blood pressure is lowering. I’m going to take a warm bath then find some warm comfy clothes.
Feeling much better after a long warm bath. Confirmed with my housemates who are not fasting that it actually is cold in here. Made and drank some loose leaf mango tea that’s been sitting on the shelf forever. It was nice to have some flavor and drinking the tea hot was a nice change as well. I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to continue without food. Boredom is what it is. I’m much more interested in the food science side of getting back into eating than the nothingness of not eating. If I could lay around in a bed or “communing with nature” at some fasting center for the next couple weeks, that would be one thing, but I need to stay functional in day-to-day life…and tomorrow is Monday.
Need to brush my teeth. This sticky coating is gross.
I’m breaking the fast now for a few reasons. First, I should have been more careful with my hydration level to avoid the very bad second night. I don’t want to push myself beyond my limits and I feel that I need to get back on an even kiel and start again later. Second, warming into this whole fasting thing, I need my “unknown” days to be on weekends. Tomorrow is Monday and that’s not a good day to not know if I’m going to feel amazing or terrible.
This time around, I fasted from Thursday night ~22:00 to Sunday morning ~10:00. That’s 2.5 days or 60 hours. Next time around, I’ll start on a Wednesday night with the intention of again breaking the fast on Sunday morning to not be fasting on Monday. If this is something that seems to be benificial for me in the long run, I’ll continue pushing the start day back one day at a time until I reach whatever duration seems to be best.
For the moment, I roasted up twelve brussels sprouts with a light mist of olive oil and ate two. I’m currently sipping on some more of the same tea from this morning.