Fasting: Day 3

This is Day 3 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 Experiment

Today is the end of day 3! Here are my stats for today:

  • Today’s Weight: 137.2lbs / 62.2kg
  • Diff vs. Yesterday: -2.6lbs / -1.2kg
  • Total Difference: -7.2lbs / -3.3kg
  • Water consumption: 4.6 liters
  • Body Temp: 36.1 C / 97.2 F

Overall Review

Today was another great day! I was half expecting to get aches in the body, pain in the organs, sensations, etc, which are signs of the body processing the toxins and healing in those areas. Rather, there was none of that (nothing significant anyway). If anything, I feel great, especially mentally. But then again, it’s too early to expect detox – it’s just Day 3, and ketosis typically kicks in Days 4-5 onward.

I was also half expecting to deal with food urges today, but there was none of that, as per Days 1-2. It was a breeze going through the day without food. Seeing people eat and seeing food didn’t make me want to join in. I was even browsing raw vegan restaurants online and checking out their menus, complete with drool-worthy pictures!

There were a few points here and there where I thought “it’d be nice to eat that” or “I wish I ate more of that before I started the fast”, but I was conscious the whole time and never thought to eat anything. (except 1 point where I was reading a raw food article and it mentioned prunes and dried fruits as good food to snack on the plane –  after which I suddenly thought of the dates I bought a few weeks ago that I could eat now. I promptly caught that thought and bookmarked the article for later reading :sweat: )

I’m beginning to think that the difficulties people associate with fasting might be self-magnified. If the rest of the 18 days are going to be as easy as the past 3 days, this is probably one of the easiest fasts in the world. :D

Mobility, Energy Level, Groundedness

One thing I noticed is that my movement is slower by about 10%. For example, when I think about drinking from my mug, the whole process of my hand moving up to get the mug is slower by about 10%. When I walk I’m also slower than my usual pace. It’s not surprising as my body is no longer getting energy from glucose, which is an instant source of energy.

By no means does this mean I’m having lesser energy. On the contrary, I’m actually more active today than the past 2 days. For example, I went out twice today, first for a walk, then after that to the library to borrow books. I was out of the house, standing and walking the whole time, for a total of 3 hours (give or take). I also did some work as per normal today. I’ve been awake for 14 hours so far and am feeling wide awake – I don’t think I’ll be sleeping for at least another 3-4 hours.

I suspect that the reported “tiredness” / “lack of energy” from some fasters is really mental. It’s probably because they had to combat food urges, self-imposed fears about the fasting process, and perhaps subconsciously seeing fasting as a hurdle. I’m actually having quite a lot of fun doing this fast right now and I can’t be happier to transform my personal health around.

Rather than see the reduced dexterity as lesser or more energy, I think it’s my body channeling my energy very constructively. For example, usually I have a huge overflow of energy. This causes the energy to spill over everything I touch, and makes me do things in a very haphazard, spontaneous manner. I can be doing like 4-5 different tasks all at one time, and switching across them every few minutes. Nothing bad about it, just that it can get somewhat out of control sometimes. I get inspired very quickly and get tired of the same ideas very quickly too. I feel that I always have to chase after my thoughts because once that interest is lost, I’ve no more spark for what I’m doing/writing and have to move on to the next inspiration.

Whereas right now, my energy is very contained; very grounded. It’s a steady stream of energy flowing into whatever I’m doing at the moment. A good comparison would be a huge fountain with water overflowing and splashing everywhere, vs. a steady river stream. I can’t say I prefer one over another at this point; they’re more “different”, with things going for each. It’s definitely interesting to see how this develops.

Heightened Consciousness

At the same time, I’m a lot more conscious of my surroundings. Like heightened awareness, if it makes sense. For example, walking in the park today, I was able to perceive a lot more aspects of the surroundings than my past walks. Same pace, same intent to observe, but different experience. A close analogy I can think of is like watching a regular movie and the 3-D version of the same movie. Technically it’s the same content, but the experience is different. It’s richer and much fuller.

I really like it as it’s letting me have a greater appreciation of everything. I feel that most of the times, we are just busy whizzing around every day, getting from point A to point B, finishing up X tasks, and never get to truly experience the moment. I can easily see how the fast is helping me become more present to the current moment.

The heightened consciousness has also made it really easy to do higher value work. For example, I have a habit of checking my stats, the forums, and email regularly. However today, I didn’t feel like doing that at all. A part of me was going “Hey! We should check our mail to see if there’s a new mail”. Of which my dominant self would think “Who cares? It doesn’t matter whatever mail are in our inbox now. It’s more interesting to continue what we’re doing now!”

Breathing

My natural breathing has switched from light breaths in the past to a steady, deep, breathing. The interesting thing is that it’s my body doing it by itself. I’m just observing it happening.

Water Consumption

I continue to drink as and when my body asks me to. Even though I drank 4.6 liters today, it really didn’t feel like I drank a lot. In fact I felt I was not drinking enough because my lips were somewhat dry in the afternoon. After drinking more water, they quickly became hydrated in the evening.

Weight Loss

Today I weigh 137.2lbs / 62.2kg (-7.2lbs / -3.3kg from Day 0). I haven’t been at this weight since 4 years ago, so it’s definitely nice to see that. In a way I’m somewhat looking forward to weighing myself each day, because (a) it’s one of the tangible aspects of the fasting experience (b) the weight is definitely going to go down as long as I continue what I’m doing.

It’ll be interesting to see how low it’s going to go eventually. I’m also quite excited to see how I’m going to look and how the clothes will fit after losing the excess weight. :angel:  One faster lost 33 lbs (from 175lbs to 142lbs) on a 30-day water fast (and maintained the weight thereafter on a raw vegan diet. In fact her weight 1 month post the fast was 1 lb lower). Another faster lost 23 lbs (from 148lbs to 125lbs) on a 21-day water fast, and lost 6.5 additional pounds 1 month post fast, on a healthy vegan diet. Previously she was on the Standard American Diet, i.e. meat-based with junk food and all.

Light-headedness

I noticed feeling light-headed a few times in the day, particularly when I stood up after sitting/squatting for a while or after I got up from bed. Light-headedness is a natural occurrence when fasting as blood pressure lowers. It’s good for people with high blood pressure; whereas since my blood pressure is already 90, healthy but at the lower end of the healthy range (80-120), the fasting probably lowered further.  One way to address this is to move slower and prevent sudden large movements, which I’m going to start doing.

Fasting vs. Vegan Diet or Diets for that matter

I was thinking today that fasting is actually so much easier than sticking to a truly vegan diet, or any diets for that matter. I mean for fasting, you don’t eat. You can only drink plain water. Straight and simple. If you eat, you’d break the fast.

Whereas on a vegan diet, it’s often hard to draw the lines between vegan food and vegetarian food. For one, so many food items today have dairy and egg, even if it’s a trace. And then when you decide to make things easy and just take in food with a little milk, or cheese, often times you’d just continue to consume those products.

Not only that, when you eat, it creates a cycle to continue eating. Be it eating 5 meals a day, or 3 meals a day. Be it the stimulants in the food that trigger hunger. Be it eating to reward yourself, or to punish yourself for eating in the first place. That’s probably why so many diets don’t work, because you’re constantly treading on that thin line between eating and not eating.

Society’s Fixation with Food

While I was out today, I suddenly realized that the society is so fixated with food. For example, when I was sitting at a bus stop, I kept seeing people eating or carrying packaged food. Food as a snack, for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, etc. It’s like our lives are so intricately intertwined with food.

In the past I’d think that I need to eat at least 2-3 meals a day, else I’ll be damaging my body or leading myself to death. But this fasting experience has taught me that we’re well capable of living without food for a very long time. I’ve not eaten at all for 3 days and I feel as good, if not better, than before. A lot of the beliefs the mass public have about food, or other things for that matter (such as hours of sleep one needs a day, what constitutes a healthy diet, capabilities of the human mind/body), aren’t necessary hard truths. They’re only truths because we take them as truths, and they’ll continue to be the truth in your reality as long as you accept that.

The only way you can really know if there’s something better out there is to constantly challenge the beliefs and experiment with different things. My experimentation with fasting, switching from a meat-based diet to vegetarian and later raw vegan diet, astral projection, meditation, etc, have all opened my eyes on the power of the human body. Whatever your beliefs are about what your body can do, there’s a near 100% chance that you can actually do more. It is my desire that with my open and transparent sharing of my growth journey on my blog, it’ll help you in your own journey as well.

Other Updates

Today I told my parents not to buy/prepare any food for the time being until I tell them otherwise, so all’s good for now. :D

I’ll continue to update daily for the week. I’m thinking that I might switch to 2-3 day updates after Week 1 if there’s nothing significant to report each day. Let me know your thoughts in the forums.

Stay tuned for Day 4′s update tomorrow!

UpdateDay 4 is up!

This is Day 3 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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