I hate to say it, but I’m pretty cranky today. We had a staff meeting today and it was someone’s birthday. This means I had to sit in front of a chocolate cake from Portillo’s the WHOLE MEETING. Then we had a staff lunch so I had to watch all of my coworkers chow down on some delicious looking sandwiches…and then the cake.
Today is my 35th day and I know I only have 5 more days to go, but I’m getting really sick of fasting and I the only thing that is getting me through it at this point is pure grit and a commitment I made to myself to do 40 days.
I’m really hungry. Furthermore, I’m so tired of carrying these water bottles of juice with me everywhere I go. I miss glasses of wine and being able to taste new things (other than fruits and veggies).
My body is ready to return to solid foods again, but I’m not prepared yet. I have an idea of the lifestyle changes that will need to follow this fast, but I need to get my head in the right place. I don’t want to gain back much weight or lose any of the health benefits of this fast.
I’d like to delve into those benefits now and uncover for you what gets me through fasting:
Clear Skin: My face looks and feels amazing. People have commented on a certain “glow” I have and I’m definitely attributing it to the fast. You’d glow too if all you ever consumed was fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Of course I did have to go through some bad skin days prior to this – as part of the detox.
More energy: You’d think that on a 40 day fast I’d be starving and bedridden or tired but I generally feel great from the moment I wake up in the morning. I have a consistent energy throughout the day and an alertness as though I’d consumed three espressos minus the jitters. My mind is clear and my body feels great too.
Weight loss: this is a given, right? On my 35th day of the fast I am down 22 pounds since starting, which means 42 pounds since April. My old clothes from college fit again (even a little big). Of course other things result when you feel better about how your exterior looks such as more confidence, better fashion decisions and some high credit card bills from the new clothes that look so cute on you now.
Zen: I feel really peaceful and have felt a lot more balanced than usual. I sometimes can be slightly erratic in my energy levels but with this I feel a sense of calm always. It’s quite nice actually.
“Can do” Mentality: I just fasted for 35 days!! Yeah I can get into that yoga pose. Sure I never have run in my life but yeah, I’mma run your 5k. Why? Because I can!
It’s not all peaches and cream. There are moments, like now, where I have to remind myself of why I am doing this; where I have to make a mental list of the benefits. I do get hungry. I miss cooking, eating, drinking, etc. I especially miss partaking in these activities with friends and family. There is a sense of isolation when you are fasting despite when you are with people. It’s as though society is all doing one thing (eating regularly) and you’re not a part of it.
It reminds me of how important cooking was to past societies. We didn’t develop language until we had fire.** Some anthropologists attribute this to sitting around fires to cook our food. Food is such an integral part of being human. No other species uses language like us and no other species cook their food. Sharing it with others is even more so.
Proponents of fasting say you stop getting hungry once you start fasting and it’s true to an extent, but you never really get over the hunger – it just passes in waves. Also, juice is filling. I never thought I would say that but I can drink fresh fruit or vegetable juice and feel very full.
There have been some moments where I almost ate. I’m not perfect and this is difficult, but I didn’t because I realized that I would only be failing myself. I told myself 40 days and I will complete 40 days and as hard as this is I am seeing the end of the tunnel clearer and clearer. Five more days to go! I’d like to say that I am grateful for anyone who has provided me support and encouragement during this time. It really did/does help.
**I’m fact checking on the language emergence coinciding with the fire/cooking bit. I remember it from an anthropology class but don’t quote me. Feel free to comment/correct me below.