Fasting is when a person refrains from eating, drinking and/or a combination of both for an extended period of time. Various cultures, religions and people fast for many reasons. I do not have a particular affiliation, religious reason or driving force for the fast I just completed, but rather it’s a mix of things. First and foremost, I was, and still am, working through a large/heavy time of personal introspection, and with that, have a lot of feelings coming up. Fasting has been said to allow for physical, mental and emotional reset, as well as allowing a person to face and conquer personal issues or feelings within themselves, more directly. With the state of my own mind, body, and heart, as well as the energy of the world lately, this seemed like an optimal time to do this, at least for me.
I think it’s good to feel and experience real hunger, to really feel what it’s like to be without. I know that in my life, I have been privileged enough to never be left in want for things, least of which basic necessities; however, I know that privilege does not extend to everyone. I can’t always manipulate my circumstance to truly encompass the pain of others in a replicated sense, but I can with hunger. I believe it’s important to recognize things that other people go through, to both increase gratitude and recognize where we are more fortunate than we tend to believe.
I also felt like my body needed a break. I am a person who has some pretty angry insides, and my IBS is no joke. Letting my body have a small window of peace, where it’s not trying to process food (or anything really, including alcohol) 24/7 isn’t a bad thing. I have done research, I know most healthy people won’t die in 3 days of fasting. I also did a (relatively) low key fast, by including water, electrolytes and bone broths. There are many who fast much more intensely, but I didn’t feel that was necessary for me at this moment.
With all that – I am did a (roughly) 60-hour fast, from Sunday night to Wednesday morning
Sunday – My last meal was a small dinner on Sunday evening around 6pm. I didn’t want to gorge myself because I knew that would just make me more uncomfortable anyway, so I opted for a small serving of beans and chicken. Went to bed around 9pm.
– Woke at 6am and had my morning coffee and water, but with added electrolytes. I don’t normally eat much for breakfast so that’s not much of a switch for me.
– Lunch consisted of 12oz of bone broth, which the savory flavor helps ease the boredom of just water. I have been good about not snacking so much in the last month so this isn’t too bad.
– I am mindful of my need to not over exert/fatigue myself since I will be doing this for another full 2 days, so I opt out of pushing myself through a workout, although I am tempted. More water and electrolytes to try and keep any sort of headaches at bay. Overall, not feeling terrible. Tummy makes some interesting noises from time to time, but don’t feel like I’m dying.
*The TIMES of normal lunch and dinner do cause some disruption, as I can tell my mind is very acutely programmed to think I should eat because it is a specific time of day. Luckily – I have much to do and between work and life, I can fill the time and distract myself somewhat. This is also why I thought it would be good to do this over week-days, since I fear a weekend would leave me too much time to be tempted to eat or snack.
– Dinner time marks the end of my first 24 hours! Whoo! That also makes this the longest duration of fasting I’ve ever done – but I think I can hold out. More bone broth for dinner and more water to help stay hydrated.
– Went to bed around 9pm, however had a really hard time falling asleep, although that’s been a normal thing for me of late, so I wasn’t surprised or upset.
– Woke at on my own before my alarm? Strange. 5:30am I woke, so I got up, even though I typically don’t get up until 6am. My sleep was more sound last night (after I eventually fell asleep) and I felt quite a bit more rested/refreshed this morning than I have for the past month or more.
– Aside from knowing that I hadn’t eaten for something like 30 hours, I otherwise felt quite fine and normal. Got up and had my morning coffee and water/electrolytes mix. I also felt quite focused and alert. Did my morning journaling, reading and such. It does feel quite nice to not have any dishes to do lol. I don’t feel any different and I don’t think I look any different, so I seem to be fine thus far.
– I will say that I’ve had some interesting and frequent bowel movements during this fast. Mostly (unsurprisingly) very liquid, and the urgency shows up quite suddenly. I know – it’s gross but you might as well know the truth of what’s coming.
– Felt some twinges of hunger – but most were psychologically driven, as I would see food and then think I would like some. I managed to stay strong and I had my bone broth for dinner.
– Went to bed relatively early (around 8:30pm) and I’m sure because my body was a bit depleted, fell asleep more quickly than normal.
– Woke to my alarm at 6am, and felt well rested. I felt like the night before I had slept quite hard and moreso than normal.
– Had a morning glass of water and electrolytes. Was a bit foggy/irritable for a bit, but that I am sure had a bit to do with lacking of food and just my general feelings right now in life.
– Broke my fast just after the 60.5 hour mark, with a cup of coffee, some crackers, roasted vegetables, a small portion of kale salad, and a half chicken breast.
It felt good and I worked to consciously eat the food, taking in the taste, smell, and sensation of eating. It was odd, but I felt like I could feel the food going down inside of me. I am interested to see how I react to having food, since I did start to feel a bit tired/sluggish by the 36 hour mark. I have a full day of work and life planned, so I am hopeful that giving my body some nourishing foods will re-invigorate me.
This marks the end of my 60-hour fast and what I came out of it thinking, feeling and learning. I felt like it was a really valuable exercise for my mind, body and spirit.