What did I learn from doing the fast. There are a number of things
|What I observed||What I would do differently|
|1. My habit of going to the fridge was not based on hunger it was based on based on a stress response.||I need to be careful about that and remind myself not to eat for the sake of eating.|
|2. There is no requirement to eat on a schedule. Obviously, if I can go 14 days without food, I can make it to 5 pm without raiding the icebox once an hour.||This actually leads to the next phase of my nutritional plan as compared to the fast but essentially you need to establish limits and then measure yourself against those limits.|
|3. As much as I felt really good on day 4 of the fast I feel amazing today. While on the fast 40-45 walks were doable but did involve some fatigue.||On the next fasting cycle (I am going to do this again) will be limiting aerobic activity to about 30 minutes per day.|
|4. Muti-Vitamins and Salts are essential.||All the other junk I was using were basically a distraction but on the next go around I’m going to make sure that I have potassium, sodium, and magnesium available every day after the third day as your muscles need those salts in order to function properly.|
|5. I tried to drink 4 L per day but on some days that just wasn’t possible. However, sometimes you need to force yourself to drink.||Minimum of 3 L of water per day. There were a few days I barely managed 2 L of water and it showed the next day in terms of fatigue, muscle tightness, and other small signs. Next time would definitely ensure that I drank at least this amount per day.|
|6. I thought I was prepared but essentially I wasn’t.
Things I didn’t need to be including:
|What I would have available before starting a fast again.:
|7. There seems to be a big difference between pushing through pain because you have something to prove and being stupid about it. For example, the initial mild stomach cramps around day 7 were related to removing waste from my system. A bit of laxative help and the problem disappeared (no pun intended).
The cramping that started on day 12-13, however, were intense and a good sign that it was time to stop.
|When to stop: There are a few things that should signal where you should stop the fast and go into your emergency rations for fast-breaking.
|8. I did the fast alone. Not in the, I have no friends, sense of the word, just that many youtube videos of people who have done this type of a fast have made similar comments in that “no one cares you are doing a water fast but everyone will tell you its a bad idea“.
At the same time doing a fast is an intensely personal experience. Almost every religion has at least one period of fasting as part of spiritual cleansing throughout the year. I’m not religious but my feeling is there is likely some type of species advantage to fasting that has been lost throughout the ages and which survives today mostly in the form of these religious traditions.
|First off, I’m thinking I want to research more into the history of fasting and see where the custom came from outside of the religious connection.
Second, while I had not told certain loved ones I was doing this for fear that they would not understand, I’ve since come to learn that, now that I have reached this point, a few of them would have been there for me. You get so many emotions and feelings running through you especially as you get more into the 2nd week. I think next time that having their emotional support to go through this is important, even though technically it is not necessary.
|9. As much as I had researched the idea of water fasting beforehand, I had set uninformed goals.||So the idea that I could go 500, 800, 1100 hours on a fast was based in part on listening to the stories of other people who had done similar fasts. First off, I have a better sense now on where to set goals when doing another fast. Second, I need to admit to what I don’t know. For example, I don’t know if the cramps on day 13 were my body telling me it is hungry or if it something else. I do know that after a day of eating again the cramps went away. So I’m thinking it is not an ulcer or such as the pain would have been persistent after.
In fact, I was sorely tempted to being water fasting again this morning. Instead, I chose to start building up a keto nutritional plan as this was part of my long-term plan anyway. It is just happening 2 weeks ahead of “schedule”.
Just the same, when I try this again I’m going to set more realistic goals based on how my body feels and by watching my lean muscle mass rather than trying to get to 30 days simply because I’ve seen a pile of other people get to 30 days.
I definitely think it was worth doing. From my perspective having gone through it once already, every day after day seven needs to be based on your physical and emotional well being, not some artificial goal.
This is truly one of those things where the only person you are competing with is yourself. And not even then.