Well, I’ve decided to do another fast. No grandiose mystical aspirations this time, although I wouldn’t be surprised to have something like that happen. You inevitably have psychological and spiritual side effects from depriving yourself to that degree, or examining your relationship to food and the emotional stimulation it provides.
It’s interesting to recall that after my first really profound mystical experience, the first thing I wanted to do was go eat something. It was so simple and grounded and elementary, even having all the emotional baggage of one’s life temporarily scrubbed away only enhanced the simple pleasure of eating.
Alas it’s not usually like that. Of late my addiction to sugar has gotten pretty out of hand. A bag of chips and slurpee everyday in the summer is fine when you’re 21, but 30 is pushing it. I found I was leaving the house specifically to buy bulk jube jubes at the grocery store.
Part of it is having a fairly fast metabolism. my skin feels almost searing hot to me, sometimes, and most people in a position to have noticed say I really throw a lot of heat. I’m sure the weight training only enhances the caloric demands. I can burn 250 to 300 calories on the cross country ski trainer, and then do maybe a half hour of heavy lifting maybe three times a week. Anyone who’s done that sort of thing can attest that you’re pretty much always hungry.
But that level of psychological dependence on junk food is troubling. Even on my regular fasts I was juicing and that’s like mainlining sugar, quite frankly. Sure I walk everywhere, and keep a steady weight on my admittedly fairly thick eastern european farming-stock body, but I cannot abide uncontrolled addiction.
In any case, the rules are simple. Drink water. that’s it.
I’m adding a colloidal mineral supplement to the water to keep my electrolytes and muscle strength at an acceptable level, since I still need to work without fainting, but no calories. Just 3-4 liters of water a day. I may introduce some green bentonite clay a little later as a detox measure, but that’s all. Hardly appetising.
In any case, no interminable podcasts this time, just one blog entry, but I’ll update it as we go.
Day 1: I find if stay busy I can cruise through the first half day of a fast pretty easily. It’s mostly mental. One thing that upset me and set me on this course was finding I was starting to get mild stomach cramps in the morning, along with a vague nausea until I ate something, presumably from sugar withdrawls . I got that today, but it was pretty mild. The first two thirds of the day were easy enough. I found myself fantasising about food rather a lot.
It’s pretty shocking how enjoyable it can be just to fantasise about food. The mind really does crave the textures and stimulation of eating. Myself in particular. I often eat things just for the tactile sensations, not so much the taste.
I’m not sure I got enough water today, as my lips are starting to dry a bit. Later in the day I was getting fairly strong bouts of spaciness and low blood sugar related weakness. This is hardly surprising , but still a bit odd considering your body is still digesting food in your intestine 2-3 days after you stop eating. It’s because most people are on a roller coaster of glycogen from the liver and are used to topping it up every 3 hours or so. When you quit doing that, everything slows right down. I felt like I was sitting in the bottom of a well, muttering up to people . This is all overwrought emotional content, but goes to show you how your moods are built around food.
Day 2: Ghastly. My body has felt weak and rubbery all day. I think constantly about pizza and jube jubes. I can hardly make it up the stairs without pausing. I can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. The water tastes horrible and metallic, despite filtering. I may have to buy some bottled.
I walked to the library to get some air and sunlight, and I was okay physically, so it’s clear I’m mostly just jonesing. My mouth has a coated chemical feeling, and my sweat smells even worse than a regular carnivore’s would. Did I mention Alaina was away for two weeks? Lucky her, ha ha. The tongue takes on a slightly grotesque film when you fast, something about eliminating toxin through the glands, skin and all. One way of knowing you’ve finished a detox-style fast is that your tongue goes back to being pink.
I do have to think about when to stop doing this, however. I have a few markers in mind. Two weeks is probably an outside limit, as I don’t know if I could hold up around Alaina and her fridge.
1) as above, when I get some kind of body sign that the detox side has run it’s course.
usually this is when the skin is clear, the tongue is pink, and the eyes are especially white.
2) weight loss. according to some brief looks online, my target body weight is about 162 lbs, which seems ludicrous and arbitrary. I have a wide frame, a smooth, if not flat, abdomen, and a fair bit of muscle, especially through the legs and I weigh 180-184 at 5’9″ most of the time. My legs are a bit thick, and a little on my hips, but twenty pounds?hmmm…
One loses about a pound a day while fasting. I suspect I will drop it a bit faster, what with my metabolism and my regular activity level. On my juice fast I lost about ten pounds in a week. So… on water? God knows. But if I start to look gaunt, or go below 165, I’ll pull the plug. I suspect it’ll take maybe a week and a half to go that far.
3) Unacceptable levels of weakness or mental deterioration. Spaciness and weak spells from withdrawl is fine. total confusion or inability to work is not.
The evening has been better. The worst of the withdrawls and frantic desire to eat are gone. Voiding huge amounts of water, which makes sense. One of the ways your body sequesters toxins is to surround them with water. If you give your body a chance to drop everything else and eliminate this stuff, the excess water goes with it.
Day 3: Rough start so far. Disturbing dreams, trouble sleeping. Stomach cramps and headaches. Lots of water shedding in the night. Woke up this morning at 5 o clock. Worst of the hunger is gone, and some of the clarity and detachment of a good fast kicking in. It’s mostly just chemical cravings now. I suppose this is what cold turkey feels like.
Correction: this is exactly what cold turkey feels like.
Went for a walk again, to run some errands and weigh myself at the gym. Before I started, I think I was at 182, and averaging out on two scales I’m at 178 right now. So that’s 4 pounds in two days. Mostly undigested food, I’m sure, but that’s pretty much over with by now. I can start to see the top edges of my ‘six pack’, so I may stoke my vanity, at least.
Dull headache, stiff neck, and green and yellow film on my tongue. All that food coloring goes somewhere, my darlings. I’ll hear nothing to the contrary.
On the upside, my hunger is pretty much gone, just vague cravings. So I’ll be making a go of it. Yesterday, I wasn’t so sure
note to self: mineral water tastes even more vile than filtered tap water.
Too tired this evening to go to class. hard to concentrate on anything with little sleep and the constant subtle cravings for food. Oh well. My work is being cooperative this week. Nothing to do for a little while. Boring but probably neccesary.
I presume by tomorrow I will be in the groove and dropping a couple pounds a day. If that’s so, I’ll be quite slim in about a week. If my real body hunger comes back before then, or my detox finishes early, then I’ll pack it in.
I do miss having enough spare blood sugar to run my brain at the usual speed. But it’s a double edged sword, as it feeds anxiety as well as ideation. Anyone who’s listened to my podcasts has an idea of the speed I talk and think. It’s nice to lift up the car and check underneath once and awhile, however.
Day 4: Fuck Me. A lifetime of careless eating is getting it’s revenge.
I dunno why it didn’t occur to me that putting some liquid clay into my stomach wouldn’t be a good idea, when your digestive tract has shut down.
Anyway, when I woke up this morning and starting moving around, I had the most profound urge to puke. As soon as I got to the toilet and passed the clay out the other end, I felt much better.
Ever felt so nauseous your hands were tingling? Oh, it’s a scene, man.
My tongue is now GREY, and for awhile I was too weak to stand up. I feel rather good now though. Mentally very calm and clear, no hunger to speak of. The idea of eating or drinking anything seems vaguely repulsive actually.
I am regenerating, getting stronger. Since I got out of high school, I was 185 pounds for about ten years. When I started hitting the gym, that got down to perhaps 175, and crept upward again as I added muscle stabalising at the 180 or so I started the fast with.
Which basically means that in a couple days, I will be thinner than I have ever been in my adult life. Rooting out those pockets of toxic fat and water is ample explanation for the way I’m feeling, and it will keep happening as I flush that shit away.
As horrible as it’s been thus far, I would nonetheless recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone. It is surely no fun, and maybe it’s just because I have one of those personalities that gravitates towards shamanic ordeal, but moving towards discomfort and the growth it signals is what makes us conscious, and human. I feel sure of that.
I don’t think I’m at all inherently special ( my mother sometimes half-jokingly claims I was tampered with by aliens in the womb, but that is another story) , and to the extent I might be, it’s simply choice and hard work. Overcoming these trials gives me hope for us all. If I can do it, then anyone can.
Which, I suppose, is the point.
…it’s now 1 o clock. After the horror show upon waking, things definitely took a suprising and profound turn.
With no particular warning, I was overcome with a deep sense of peace, happiness and energy. Almost euphoria. All cravings and nausea gone. Indeed, for awhile the very thought of eating anything junk acquired an almost gnostic aura of revulsion and terror.
I decided to walk to the gym again, and as soon as I started moving, I got the most powerful sense of tingling chi in my hara ( behind and slightly below the belly button) , and flowing down into my legs. It literally felt like an immense tingling coiled spring near the base of my spine. Great emotional release, happiness, and healing catharsis.
“I’ve been poisoning myself. I’ve been killing my body. KILLING IT. ” But now it was awake, and healing, and I guess, thanking me for the favor. I felt immense sorrow for what I had done, and all kinds of body intelligence that was being suppressed came up. I was actually perceiving the world as a whole organism, not just a mind in a body. not quite sure how to expand on that.
At the gym, I saw my weight was down to 175, so that 3 pounds since yesterday. I feel pretty alert and energetic though. I figured I’d stretch at the gym and try some cardio, to test my energy levels.
To my surprise, I was able to go at nearly my normal resistance setting for 15 minutes. Could have gone longer but my heartrate spiked up to a maximum pretty quickly. Decided to forego any weights. A weak or faint spell on the bench would be ‘bad’, in the egon spengler/ghostbusters sense.
I’m really hungry right now, in the body sense, which is to be expected when I’m burning calories faster than I can break down fat. Should calm down soon enough. I wanted to test it out before kung fu tomorrow. If the hunger doesn’t go away, I might have to stop. I’m craving healthy stuff right now. At this rate, I’ll have to quit in maybe three days at the most, anyhow.
Almost done for today, just one more thing. I still feel pretty good.
But anyway: You would think that FOUR DAYS after you stop eating, that there’s nothing left in your digestive tract.
In my case however, you would be wrong. I will spare you the gory details, but suffice to say, if you knew how much stays in your body for how long after you stop eating, you’d be fucking shocked. And rightly so. No wonder I felt so sick, at times.
I swear, it’s one meal of raw vegitables a day for me, from now on… or as close as I can manage. Somewhere in the middle for sure. LOL.
Day 5: Getting a bit predictable now. Wake up, writhe around for an hour or two till I can start to move the toxins that build up while I sleep out of my system, and drink a bunch of water.
Started taking some digestive enzyme capsules yesterday, and another this morning. Along with the clay, they can kill off any parasites in the intestine, which is the cause of many allergies and auto-immune disorders in people. It’s known colorfully as ‘leaky gut syndrome’. Eventually your intestinal wall becomes so compromised in places that the poisonous waste products of parasites and god knows what else starts leaking back into your blood. Good times.
Of course getting rid of this stuff is almost as bad as not getting rid of it, at least for a while. Because when it’s situated somewhere in your muscle or fat tissue, or lodged in your intestinal wall, you don’t feel it directly, just the systemic effects.
When it passes out however, you get to experience the love all over again, to a frightening degree.
Keep in mind I’ve got a reasonably good diet these days: lots of fibre and minerals, no dairy, plenty of water, fresh air, sunlight and excercise.
I shudder to think what this might be like for an overweight smoker/drinker, who has done various drugs, prescription or not. You’d probably want to eat a bullet before long.
Kung fu later today, which ought to be fun. It seems I feel a lot better when the blood and lymph are moving around. Long as I don’t faint, puke, or start crying spontaneously, that is…
A bit later now. My tongue is starting to evidence signs of going back to normal color. It’s just a purpley-whiteish, with pink coming in from the edges. Yay.
Looks like no vigorous exercise tonight either. My teacher has food poisoning, it seems. I tell ya, the non-food kind of poisoning is bad enough.
On a more esoteric note, I cannot help but notice how events seem be conspiring to help me out on this. I planned it to line up with alaina’s trip, but the lack of work obligations, quiet emotional atmosphere, and tax refund cheques to soften the blow of no work, are all serendipity. Looks like the mojo is working, wherever it originates from…
I’m attempting just now what is called a ‘saltwater flush’ wherein one drinks 2 liters of warm water with a level tablespoon of sea salt dissolved in it. The salinity and specific gravity of saltwater makes it so your intestine can’t absorb the water into your blood, so it washes right through you. I’ve heard of it before and it’s a venerable technique of indian ayurveda, but these days it’s associated with the somewhat dubious master cleanse, which I did try once, minus the salt water. We’ll see how it goes. It should expedite the removal of any odious intestinal contents.
I swear… the david fucking blaine of stupid personal development stunts…
hmm… well I choked down the two liters of salty water, which took about a half hour to do. I’m not sure where it went though. I suppose I must have been somewhat dehydrated. I know I probably haven’t been drinking enough of the vile filtered water.
salt is a funny thing. You need a little bit as an electrolyte so your body can assimilate water, but too much and it’ll make you sick, or give you the squirts, as anyone lost at sea finds out to their peril.
I saw a few different figures on how to mix a saltwater flush. One was as high as two table spoons to one liter of water. Insane!
That would be basically four times the concentration that I had. Nevertheless, I might have to give it a go tomorrow, as I seem to be peeing all this out right now, which means my intestine took it up into the blood. But it’s all to the good. Cycling water through is always helpfull in detox situations.
Did I mention I’m pretty hungry? I could use a plate of chicken wings right now, I’m telling you…
Day 6: Woke up at 2am this ‘morning’. I feel quite alert and full of energy. My eyes are a bit scratchy but they’ve been scratchy for a few days already. Otherwise, I’m good to go. I’ll probably get sleepy again in a couple hours but for now I couldn’t really sleep.
Partly I thought I was hungry, and it was keeping me awake, but now I think perhaps I was thirsty. Most people don’t distinguish between hunger and thirst very well, and I’m no exception. When I think about it, I’ve probably been depleting my body salts for about a week with all the plain water, and excercise related sweating, and it wasn’t untill yesterday I added some salt back in, ( unintentionally ).
So perhaps I’ve been mildly dehydrated, at least insofar as I need a lot more water than normal to flush everything out. Drank a couple glasses of water and felt better. I’m sure I’ve enough salt in my blood for a little while…
That said, I still want to try this saltwater flush again, and now is apparently the optimum time for it. Early in the morning, that is.
I think I might be coming up to the end of the water fast here. My tongue is going pink with a bit of white, My energy is way up, and my body hunger is getting stronger, to the point where I probably shouldn’t ignore it for too much longer.
I’m noticably thinner, but I haven’t weighed myself since thursday. I’m guessing maybe 170? There are a couple patches where the skin seems loose in a slightly unnerving way, but I’m sure it’ll tighten up. Skin is elastic after all. There are still some pockets of fat around my legs and hips, but I’m not sure how far I want to push that.
Anyway, I’m going to try and choke down some more warm saltwater without projectile vomitting. I mean, it would be sort of unfair to not puke at all through this whole thing, wouldn’t it?
Catch you on the flipside…
“Ah, I see” said the blind man… upon a bit of last minute research, I see that the salt has to be non-iodised. Well fuck me. I figured all sea salt was, but it seems I was wrong. So that’s deferred until I can hit the grocery store…in about 5 hours….
Passed out for another couple hours. Body feels like lead. This weakness is not so good. It’s starvation, not poisoning. So this is definitely the last day
things to do:
-buy some non-iodised sea salt, do the flush.
– go to the gym and weigh myself once more
– pick up some juice, fruits and vegitables to eat tomorrow. ( maybe even later today if this weakness doesn’t let up. )
– buy some good quality probiotics to replace whatever has starved or washed out in my gut.
– make it through the day without disaster.
…okay, so I walked about a little bit to get some apple juice, blueberries, and sugar peas for tomorrow. I couldn’t find sea salt anywhere, so I would have to wait till later to do the flush, and I don’t know that I want to.
I also feel stupidly weak. I can make myself lurch around on force of will, but I’m just burning myself up. This thing peaked a couple days ago, and from this point on, I’m just depleting stuff I need, along with the fat and toxins.
So I figure I’ll finish today on juice. Apple juice seems to have a flushing effect itself, in my experience, along with some malic acid that loosens fatty adhesions. People use apple juice for liver cleanses. The flushing effect probably has something to do with the density of apple juice relative to water, along with it’s sodium and vitamin c content.
So I’m working on a liter of apple juice now, very very slowly… you have no idea how good it tastes. My brain is waking up again. I may do another later, if need be, and tomorrow it’s fruit and veggies.
Evening now. I had a bit of scare when I saw myself in the mirror at work. Something about the light off my hollower than normal cheekbones and neck, made my blood run cold for minute.
Not exactly life threatening, but these things can creep up on you. I think I let myself go too hard on this, and believe me, I can feel it. Thankfully my body is resilient and knows how to fix itself, provided I quit battering it with MY WILL all the time.
Still haven’t weighed myself. I’m almost afraid to find out how much weight I managed to drop in a five day period. I did some kung fu in the park, with no hangups, and elected for a fruit smoothie to top me off for the day.
I still need to get some probiotics tomorrow, but other than that, it’s a done deal. I feel normal+ right now, like I just got rescued off an island in the pacific or something. Maybe a bit tired and haggard, but a full stomach, some regular sleep and a few vegitable stir fries will work wonders, I’m sure.
And in a couple days, some chicken wings. Oh yes… chicken wings…
Some wrap up and conclusions tomorrow.
Day 7: Epilougue.
Well I feel totally fine this morning. Good, sound sleep, Normal hunger pangs in the morning, no detox shit. A little bit of white film on the tonuge, but that’s pretty avergage and It’s not like I did the detox aspect all the way to the end.
Considering the amount of exercise I was doing, I was continually producing new lactic acid in the muscles and other metabolic waste products anyway. I smelled bloody awfull, I know that.
I’m peering through a window of clarity and detatchment right now. When you can let go of something as elemental as food, everything else gets the volume turned down, to borrow a phrase. I had some thoughts on releasing dualism, but I’ll save those for another time.
I’ll be eating some blueberries forthwith, and a stir fry of sugar peas and some garlic a bit later. Yum! Fiber is good. Yes.
I thought I would close with some tips, and advice for others who might want to try this. Also reminders for myself next time around.
– DO NOT over exert yourself. The level of energy you get is deceptive. If you go too hard it evaporates into weariness.
– consequently find things to do while fasting that don’t involve intense excercise, or long exertion.
-fasting is boring. or more accurately, it exposes how boring your life is when you’re not sticking something in your mouth every few hours to level out your mood. a bit sobering, and it makes you look at how you do things.
– do something to flush your digestion a soon as possible into the fast. otherwise you’re just absorbing and reabsorbing the waste products of what’s still in your body.
if you’re inclined towards colonics or enemas, by all means go ahead. the salt water flush looks like the most thurough, as it does the whole tract, not just the lower part, as colonics might.
yes it’s gross. deal with it.
– do everything possible to wean yourself off the addictive stuff before you start the fast full-on. a couple days off caffiene, white sugar, white flour and alcohol would make going cold turkey on all food a bit easier. My first few days were a trainspotting-esque horror show, and all I was doing was coming off refined sugar.
– get some clean water. look around for a really good filter or distiller. when you don’t eat, the taste of tapwater or poorly filtered water gets distracting to the point you might not drink enough. 3-4 liters a day for an average sized person is what you need.
-know when to stop. on a similar note, know when to slow down. the body does things on it’s schedule, not yours.
I’ll set down some observations later today when I see how I’m functioning.
end of the day review:
-got my probiotics. all seems well on the digestive front. after a few days of nothing but water and venting your bowels, you start to get worried that you can’t hold food anymore. but it’s actually fine. better than fine, actually.
– gym was good. went as hard as possible and held up perfectly. afterword, I curious to listen to my body and see what kind of things it was craving, so I waited as long as possible, instead of just rushing out for some juice or whathaveyou. I ended up having a bit of sugar in the form of some dates, but mostly protein, which i got from tofu, at the local vegitarian buffet, along with some excellent stir fried vegitables.
I do have to be carefull about not picking what i eat with my eyes though, if you know what i mean. a bit too much fat, at the end of it, but good fats, anyway.
-actually listening to my body seems to be the ticket. the mind has limits, the bones and muscles have limits, but we expect our stomachs to take whatever we throw at them, as long as we think it’s okay, or our tongue wants it. dangerous habit. a simple thing like that could prevent a lot of illness and obesity if we taught it to people young enough.
-all in all a satisfactory first attempt. I feel better, I look better, I have more energy, and my brain seems to be working better as well. What more can one ask from 5 days of water?
Over and out.