Friday, April 07, 2017

Three-day Fast; Take Two

"Like is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."
~Helen Keller

You may not consider the topic of this post as an adventure, but I sure do. Remember when I did a three-day fast that one time almost THREE YEARS AGO?!!? I had intended to make extended fasting a more regular part of my lifestyle due to the many health benefits it provides, but apparently I didn't make it a priority and nearly three years has past.

Well, I'm at it again. Encouraged by a few articles about immune-boosting benefits of fasting as well as first-hand experience by my friend Randy, I started yesterday, Monday, April 3rd.

Since I've fasted for 24 hours numerous times before (without food or water) and successfully completed an extended 3-day fast (with water) once before, I know a little of what to expect from myself. So for my own personal reflection, I'm going to track my thoughts and experiences as I did last time during the 3-day fast. So far I've found it useful in reminding me how to approach it this time around.

Day One (Monday, April 3, 2017):
As expected, the first half of the day proved to be not too difficult to abstain from food. By the second half of the work day, maybe around 3pm, I was getting a little antsy for something to eat. Luckily, I'm already a dutiful water drinker, so I just kept drinking.

Unlike last time, I gave KDJ a heads-up that I was fasting and would probably be grumpy by the time I got home. She was very encouraging and had also completely eaten dinner by the time I got home, so I wasn't really tempted by any delicious smells of tacos, like last time. I'm glad I thought to give her the heads-up. Lesson learned from last time.

Interestingly, like a repeat of last time, I found myself looking at every food recipe on Pinterest, or every online advertisement about food. I'm not sure that I sought these out, so much as noticed them more readily now that I wasn't eating. But I certainly have several meals I'm already thinking of whipping up this next weekend. :)

A headache started coming on sometime in the afternoon and into the evening. I continued drinking water, but decided to take some ibuprofen to ease the headache while I was finishing an assignment for school (did I tell you I'm getting my MBA?). The headache eased a bit and then persisted when I woke up twice in the night, once at about midnight only a couple hours after I went to bed, and again at about 4am. One of those times I took some more ibuprofen. I'm lucky that my stomach isn't bothered by ibuprofen without food. Most people in my family have to take it with a little something to prevent stomach upset.

I know this whole 3-day fast is designed to be a natural way to reset my system and be healthier so I don't NEED to take pills for pain or anything. Eating better, and especially eating less sugar, will help with any pain or inflammation. But I decided that to ease myself into it, I would do it. Plus, I know full well that those headaches had to be sugar-withdrawal headaches. Once I get through them, I'll be fine.

Total water intake: 88 ounces (less than I planned, but not bad at all at about 15-20 ounces more than my average)

Day Two (Tuesday, April 4, 2017):
5:13pm - Today has been a busy day at work with several meetings, so I haven't had much time to think about food. Lucky for me, my norm in meetings is to sip on my water cup and drink an entire 16 ounces of water. Today, in one 90-minute meeting I drank 32 ounces.

A good friend and co-worker stopped by my desk for advice around 1pm with a king-sized Snickers bar he was eating for lunch. It looked yummy, but I wasn't severely tempted as I expected I might be when I first saw him eating it.

Have had a very low-level headache on and off throughout the workday today. More off than on.

One good thing is that I remember to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste to work today.

Total water intake: 96 ounces

Day Three (Wednesday, April 5, 2017):
3:07pm - Woke up with a headache. Ugh. Low-level, but still. I hate when that happens. Isn't sleep supposed to help your headaches? Sugar withdrawal, be gone!

Fasting can be difficult because most people around you are not fasting. Today I not only had a department lunch run (luckily it was ordered in, so I'm saving it for later), but after a brisk early afternoon walk, I came back to my desk to find a disgustingly delicious looking cinnamon roll slathered with very sweet (but strong smelling) frosting just sitting on my desk trying to tempt me. Wow. I'm a sugar addict. It smelled so good. I immediately tried to give it away, but no one wanted it. Instead, I transferred it from the plate to a Ziploc bag and plan to give it to the homeless man who always stands at my freeway exit on the way home. There's probably a pound of sugar in it, but I'm sure he'll enjoy a rare treat.

I'm feeling a little tired this afternoon. Not bad, just a little less energy. Maybe it's my mind wrestling with the sugar addiction. I really want that cinnamon roll. And oh the frosting. YUM! But nope. No can do.

7:43pm - Went shopping to get some bone broth to help ease myself back into eating tomorrow. Randy recommended Kettle and Fire beef bone broth, so I got two cartons of that. I also decided to try a few different kinds of Pacific bone broth.

Total water intake: 120 ounces

Day Four (Thursday, April 6, 2017):
Today I'm a little weak, but not terribly. It's interesting because I feel like I could probably go another day, though I don't think I will.

3pm - Opted for a late lunch/snack to break my fast. Had about 3/4 cup of the Kettle & Fire beef broth. Good flavor, but bland at the same time. Bland because there is no added salt. But it would be a great base for a stew or soup. I was very full after eating that. I forgot about the stomach shrinking.

6pm - Ate some steamed zucchini from my Rumbi lunch that was purchased for the department lunch the other day. (I took it home and have had it in the fridge since then.)

Total water intake: 80 ounces

I'd say I don't feel a 180 degree change, but I do feel better. I've lost a total of 14 pounds since I started. I know that probably 5 pounds of that will hop right back on as soon as I start eating, but still, that's a good jump-start for me.

And? No sweets for me until at least Easter. And even then, I'm going to try to go basically sugar-free. I'm starting with the obvious stuff; sweet treats, candy, added sugar to things like flavored yogurt, etc. But I'll be honest, it's a big deal for me to steer clear of desserts and candy. So I'm patting myself on the back.

Maybe I'll do this fast once every other month.

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