Years ago someone told me the first meal after a three-day water-only fast tastes life-changingly good.
I’d heard of fasting then, but 1) didn’t think much of it and 2) thought humans would die after a couple days, even with water. But he didn’t seem like he was lying and I liked the idea of a life-changing experience that cost no time or money, rather would save them.
In May 2018, I did my first. Today I did another. I forget if it was my second or third. I know I’ve done a few two-days, maybe a two-and-a-half day. I haven’t kept track.
I wrote up the first time in this story in my Inc. column, I Haven’t Eaten for 3 Days and It’s Amazing: It’s Sunday and the last food I ate was lunch Thursday. I’ve ingested only water for 72 hours and the experience is life-changing. Rereading it, it covers most of what I would say about this experience, so I recommend clicking it. It covers health, building up, motivation, lessons, and more. (EDIT: found a post about the 2.5-day fast, which I recommend too: 60 hours only water). That’s not me in the picture, but some Getty image from the collection Inc. let us pick from.
One of the top lessons I learned the first time was that people have chosen to abstain from food for a few days at a time for thousands of years. People of all types do it today: old, young, male, female, athletic, sedentary, from all backgrounds, etc. I’m glad I learned how common the practice so I didn’t think I did anything too special.
I’ll mention a few things about this time.
Yesterday happened to overlap a kettle bell workout day, laundry (which meant climbing five flights up from the basement twice), plus sunny enough to charge the battery (which meant climbing eleven flights up to the roof twice), plus two errands outside (another four flights up each time). So I ended up climbing forty flights on top of some Turkish get-ups, kettle bell swings, and farmer’s walks.
This morning’s meditation, 48 minutes in a half-lotus, my feet went past losing sensation. I couldn’t wiggle my toes. I’m used to them feeling numb but not to them not responding to the signal from my mind. I’m not sure if their not moving resulted from not having eaten or that I recently added three minutes to the duration. In any case, they worked fine after I finished and the circulation returned.
Doing my burpees this morning and evening made me dizzy and seeing spots.
It wasn’t trivially easy, but not hard either. The hunger passes. Having done it before, I knew what to expect. I think I’ll fast more often. It helps clarify.
I chose to do it because starting my six-day exercise cycle with the first of the month, February leaves me with four days without an obvious exercise choice. Months with thirty-one days only leave me with one day unaccounted for. I’m considering making them fast days.
As usual, I didn’t take a “before” picture. I had put on a few pounds of fat, which also contributed to choosing to fast for three days. Several came off. The first day I peed a lot, so I figure I mostly lost water, but I did it for mental growth more than physical reasons.
I last ate 7pm Friday. It’s past 9pm Monday, making it over 74 hours. I’ll have a small salad for dinner, maybe followed by some fruit.
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