Fasting: Day 14

This is Day 14 of my 21-day fast in Feb ’11. If you’re new to fasting, get the full background here: Fasting Experiment. Access all articles on fasting: The Fasting Series.

Fasting

Here are my stats for Day 14:

  • Today’s Weight: 127.9lbs / 58kg
  • Diff vs. Yesterday: -1.1lbs / -0.5kg
  • Total Difference: -16.5lbs / -7.5kg
  • Water consumption: 1.2 liters
  • Body Temp: 35.9 C / 96.6 F

(It’s Day 15 now as I’m writing this so I’ll be referring to Day 14 as yesterday)

Overall Review

Major Detox – Physically, Mentally, Emotionally

I think I was pretty much in fasting hell yesterday. I felt bad the whole day, and if I wasn’t writhing around in discomfort on the bed, I would be sitting in my own vortex of negativity. Pretty much what I wrote in my Days 11-13 update continued on to Day 14. This is by far the worst I’ve felt throughout the fast. It was like being hit on multiple fronts (detox-wise) – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Part of the reason why I felt so bad is because water fasting is the most direct route toward removing toxins from the body. It brings about the maximum benefits in the shortest amount of time. There are other types of fasts like juice fasting (just drinking juice that’s below daily caloric requirements) or mono-fruit fasting (only eating 1 type of fruit) which help in detox too, but it’s a lot slower. Basically, the closer the fast is to your daily intake, the slower your body will detox.

Physical Detox

So basically what was happening was that I was suddenly faced with all the unprocessed issues from the past at one shot. Physically, my body was purging toxins from way back in the past – Since I’m already well into the deep part of ketosis at Day 14, and my body weight is at 58kg which was my weight from about JC/early university years, we’re talking about toxins that were piled on from all the way back then. I felt nauseous, had slight stomach pains, and was absolutely fed up with the light-headedness that kept hitting me when I sat up or stood up. The nausea was stronger than it had ever been, and I would have thrown up if there was actually anything to throw up.

My tongue was extremely white and bitter to taste, so it didn’t help with the feeling of nausea. I tried to sleep the discomfort away but I would wake up feeling the same. Not only that, I was also very tired of lying on the bed. Just sitting in my room or staying at my home felt claustrophobic, because I was doing so much of that already.

At one point in the night, I couldn’t sleep, so I just sat next to my window and enjoyed the cool breeze. That was therapeutic and made me feel slightly better.

Mental & Emotional Detox

Mentally, my mind felt compressed from all fronts. It was almost as if there was a huge amount of baggage and frustrations that was suddenly let loose and my mind didn’t have enough capacity to hold all of them in. In the earlier fasting logs, I mentioned having emotional eating habits all the way from since young. Basically, my belief is that when you address an issue by way of eating something at that particular point in time (or filling it with a certain addiction, say smoking or drinking), that issue doesn’t get resolved. You may feel better at that time, but it’s just on the surface. Instead, the problem gets filed away in your body via whatever you used as the proxy to deal with it. So in my case, food was my proxy, and the fat/toxin storage was a representation of my unresolved issue.

So beyond just a physical detox via the body “unlodging” the deeply embedded toxins from the past (again, we’re talking about toxins from way back, like almost 7-8 yrs ago), my body was also going through heavy mental and emotional detox. Past unresolved issues which I tried to use food to cushion away were released and flooding me like some huge ocean tide. I was literally sitting in a huge vortex of baggage. I think there was such a big influx of negativity that I couldn’t even single out anything in particular. I just felt overwhelmed by the whole feeling.

In fact, mentally I felt so compressed that I don’t think my headache was an actual physical detox but more of a manifestation of all my issues weighing down on my mind. I tried verbal brain dumping which helped somewhat, but there was too much, too fast, so in the end I just sat as an observer and soaked in all the emotions whirling around. Meditation didn’t really help either – it’s more useful when there is light bristling around you, vs. when there is a whirlwind hitting you each second (metaphorically speaking).

Relationship with Self and Food

One thing that is brought to my attention is the amount of self-contempt sitting inside me. Subconsciously I knew it’s been there all along, just that I haven’t had the chance to work on that yet. A lot of that roots back to from way back I believe. I mentioned in Day 2 that the order our past issues unfold and get addressed is typically in reverse chronology, and as I worked to address my different personal issues, I knew at some point I’ll get back to the fundamental roots and my self-image. I believe that time is now almost here, so I look forward to exploring more of that in the near future.

The other thing is surrounding food, and is actually linked to the self-hate issue. I believe I’ve worked through a few of my food issues in the past few weeks, but there remains a lot of work to be done in the area. After all, these are deeply embedded chains formed from since young. It’s kind of like a computer game, where there are different levels to be worked through. Right now I feel like I’ve addressed levels 1 and 2, and there are still levels ahead to be explored.

One thing I noticed is that while I don’t have the same lingering over a lot of foods, I feel happy when watching people eat / get fed. I also feel like I miss out when people eat and I didn’t. When I probed further, I realize it is because food was like a representation of love (of the person cooking, preparing the food), and by consuming the food, one is accepting/receiving love. And when I dug into why accepting/receiving love is important to me, the answer that came up is because I don’t have the self-love, and hence getting that is important. This chain is definitely linked with the issue of self-contempt, so as I address this I’ll be working on both in tandem moving forward.

Appreciating the Detox

The plus point is that whatever discomfort I’m feeling now is the body removing toxins. So the more uncomfortable I feel, that means the more toxins it’s removing. Also, the worse I feel, the more likely the detox is coming to an end. This is the best period to purge my body of as much toxins as possible before I restart on my diet post the fast.

The whole detox really got me thinking about how I had been feeding my body with so much junk in the past. Junk that got stored away in the body and never got processed. It made me see a lot of the past foods I used to see as “delicious” or “comfort food” in a different light. Food that make you feel bad, both emotionally and physically, isn’t comfort food; it’s just self-damage. Also, as I pick up different raw vegan recipes, I’m beginning to get insights in the creation process of many cooked, processed foods today. I realized that a lot of cakes, candy bars, cookies, supposed “sinful delights” use a huge chunk of sugar, butter and salt. Knowing this has made those food a whole lot less appealing to me now, and made me a lot more conscious of my food preferences in the process.

Yesterday I couldn’t wait till the fast ends – I was literally counting down to the number of days left. Today I’m feeling a lot better though – the nausea is almost gone in fact, much to my pleasant surprise. No more mental baggage too. I’ll update on Day 15 later today.

I can’t wait to till the fast is over. Not eating for 21 days is for sure going to be a great conversation starter.

Friend: “Hey, what have you been up to this month?

Me: “Oh, I didn’t eat for 21 days.

Friend: “

:sweat: (I’m kidding about the above by the way. I rarely talk about the more radical lifestyle shifts I make such as fasting and raw veganism unless needed because it’s usually met with resistance and skepticism.)

Food Cravings

Yesterday while I was in strongest point of nausea, I kept fantasizing about food. Specifically, two of my favorite vegetarian meals (wanton mee and brown rice with curry and vegetables, vegetarian versions). I kept thinking about how good they’d taste in my mouth and when to eat them when the fast ends.

Interestingly, there was a split moment in the night when my feelings of nausea/pain disappeared and all the cravings just disappeared completely at the same time. It definitely reinforced what I mentioned above about desiring to eat stemming from a filling of void (self-hate in this case).

Complexion

My complexion continues to be great, if not better. My skin feels nice and soft to touch. It’s really great not to get any of the large pimples I usually get around my chin. The make-up makes my skin looks nearly flawless now because my skin isn’t oily anymore (and hence much smaller pores). I do want this benefit to remain, so I plan to control my intake of oily food thereafter (in situations where I’ve to eat cooked vegan food).

I noticed a couple of zits which I believe are due to my foundation, because they only appear after I put make-up (I’m using ZA at the moment btw). I’m going to switch to a different brand after I finish this one. The fast has been useful in helping me isolate the sources of my pimples vs. grappling around in the dark.

Weight Loss

My weight yesterday was 127.9lbs / 58kg, a loss of -1.1lbs / -0.5kg vs. yesterday and total difference of -16.5lbs / -7.5kg. It’s decreasing again after the temporary gain from Day 12 to 13, so that’s good. At this rate I should probably be about 56+kg by the end of the 21-day fast.

My favorite 3/4 pants are now very loose, to the point that it’s possible to pull them down from my waist even when it’s buttoned and zipped up! I’ll be throwing it away at the end of the 21 days. It’s a pity but these pants have served me well in the past few years – I’ve probably worn it most often out of every other bottoms in my wardrobe. I had always been conscious of buying shorts/pants because of my large hips/waist; that and that most sizes in Singapore are for smaller frame people made it hard to find bottoms that fit. I’m glad that now that’s not going to be a problem anymore – of course maintaining the weight post-fast with proper meal plans and eating habits are going to be crucial.

Utility of Updates

A lot of you have told me that the updates have been very helpful and insightful for you, so thank you for letting me know. At first I was wondering if there was any use in posting these daily updates – I didn’t want to end up clogging mail boxes and all. But hearing from you directly has told me that there’s value in these updates, so I’ll continue to write them.

We’re now entering the third and last week of my 21-day fast, so I look forward to what the third week brings. By the looks of it it does seem that the worst is over – no more nausea today, mind is light and clear (compared to yesterday), and light-headedness is there but nowhere as severe. I’ll update again either later today or tomorrow, so stay tuned!

UpdateDay 15 update is up!

This is Day 14 of my 21-day fast in Feb ’11. If you’re new to fasting, get the full background here: Fasting Experiment. Access all articles on fasting: The Fasting Series.

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