Fasting: Day 7

This is Day 7 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

Day 7 of  my water fast is over! Here are my stats for the day:

  • Today’s Weight: 132.3lbs / 60kg
  • Diff vs. Yesterday: -0.9lbs / -0.4kg
  • Total Difference: -12.1lbs / -5.5kg
  • Water consumption: 1.3 liters
  • Body Temp: 36.3 C / 97.7 F

Overall Review

Today marks the end of the first week of my water fast! It’s pretty amazing how fast it just went by.

Key Notes for Week 1

On the whole, week 1 has been pretty easy – Easier than what I’d have originally thought about going without food for 7 days! There were no hiccups or no major issues. The only big ‘challenge’ was (a) the feeling of nausea that I had on Day 5, which subsided in Day 6 and (b) languidness (physically) and slower mobility due to the body channeling energy inward for healing, so more time was spent resting. This kicked in on Day 4 and increased thereon. While I could still go on my daily activities, that wouldn’t be beneficial for my fasting, so I opted to rest more instead.

This means that for those of you would like to fast while still continuing with your daily routine, it’s might not be such a good idea (unless your work is a home-based online business which doesn’t require you to travel much). Fasting is about inner healing, and by spending all that energy doing stuff while you’re fasting, you’re effectively canceling out any benefits fasting can bring you (since you’re not letting your body heal). Not to mention it is also inherently dangerous.

I’d also feel light-headed when getting up (since Day 3), which I addressed by getting up very slowly.

Food hasn’t been an issue at all, interestingly. As I wrote throughout my daily logs, I’ve not been tempted by food nor people eating around me, and instead have been able to look at food as an objective observer than someone craving it. And this is coming from someone who is a big emotional eater too. This break from food has allowed me to think about my relationship with food and what to do about it. It has reaffirmed my desire in living a raw vegan way of life, so the challenge now is to integrate that in my life, in a society which does not support it yet. I’m in the middle of doing my pre-work right now. The move wouldn’t be easy, but I’m ready to make it work out this time.

For sure, the fast has changed my perception on how much one actually needs food to survive. In the past I’d have been alarmed if someone went without food for say, over half a day, but now I realize that was just a conditioned belief. My eyes have been opened, and the verdict remains open on what is the exact role food will play in my life after the fast. This is something I’ll be thinking over before the fast ends.

Mentally I’ve been more conscious. The direction of energy inward for healing has definitely made me more grounded and calmer. I think I’m more sensitive and patient toward the people around me as a result. My dreams have been pretty vivid (as I mentioned in Day 6), though they already have been vivid before, so I’m not sure if fasting did anything in that area.

Weight loss has definitely been a clear, tangible benefit from the fast. For Week 1, I’ve lost 5.5kg / 12.1lbs, which is huge. I’ve slimmed down on the whole, and it shows in my tummy, hips, shoulders, and on my face. Today I tried on a size 8 shorts (US) which I bought a while back but was never able to wear it. And guess what – it fit perfectly! :D *happy dance* I’m normally a size 10-11 US, so that’s a drop in 1 dress size.

I’ve written a lot of insights and observations in the daily logs for Days 0-6 which I’m not going to repeat here. I highly recommend that you check them out if you haven’t:

Below I’ll post a couple other updates for Day 7 before I end off today’s review post.

Rest and Healing

Today (Day 7) I had a coaching session, so I went out and got some stuff done first (walked in late afternoon for about 15 minutes or so. I walked very slowly to conserve energy) At the end of it I felt somewhat tired and my heart was beating quite fast, so I decided to take a cab to the coaching location and not kill myself just to save some money.

I also cancelled an outing with a good friend tomorrow, because I wanted to focus on resting instead. The more rest one gets during a fast, the better, since your body has more energy to process and heal the internal toxins.

Water Consumption

I’m now taking the approach of drinking only by thirst, and not by the total quantity I’ve drank for the day. I read that drinking water just for the sake of drinking is actually dangerous (assuming that one’s sense of thirst has not been desensitized), because it adds additional load for the kidney. In the situation of fasting where your body is already trying to use available energy to heal, that doesn’t aid you in your cause. Here’s an excerpt from Dr Ben Kim’s article Why Drinking Too Much Water Is Dangerous:

Whenever you disregard your sense of thirst and strive to ingest several glasses of water a day just because you have been told that doing so is good for your health, you actually put unnecessary strain on your body in two major ways:

  1. Ingesting more water than you need can increase your total blood volume. And since your blood volume exists within a closed system – your blood circulatory system – needlessly increasing your blood volume on a regular basis puts unnecessary burden on your heart and blood vessels.
  2. Your kidneys must work overtime to filter excess water out of your blood circulatory system. Your kidneys are not the equivalent of a pair of plumbing pipes whereby the more water you flush through your kidneys, the cleaner they become; rather, the filtration system that exists in your kidneys is composed in part by a series of specialized capillary beds called glomeruli. Your glomeruli canget damaged by unnecessary wear and tear over time, and drowning your system with large amounts of water is one of many potential causes of said damage.

Putting unnecessary burden on your cardiovascular system and your kidneys by ingesting unnecessary water is a subtle process. For the average person, it is virtually impossible to know that this burden exists, as there are usually no obvious symptoms on a moment-to-moment basis. But make no mistake about it: this burden is real and can hurt your health over the long term.

So when should we drink water then? Based on our sense of thirst. Try by drinking a little water first, and see how your body reacts to it. If you start feeling thirsty, that means you are in fact thirsty, and you should continue drinking. Else, cut back on the water until you feel thirsty. Other indicators of thirst include dryness of lips and coloration of your urine (assuming you’re not taking any heavily pigmented foods or chemicals, which can color your urine).

I’ll continue to track my water consumption during the fast for reference purposes and for any of you who might find it helpful.

Onward to Week 2

It’s already the start of Week 2 as I’m typing this (Day 8) and I’m pretty excited about how this week is going to turn out. For Week 2, I’ll probably combine updates for 2 days or even 3 days if there’s nothing much to report. Either way I’ll keep all of you posted on my progress, so check by regularly.

Visit the forums as well, where there have been meaningful Q&A going on about fasting itself. Next week I’ll also be posting the answers to your fasting questions posted to Loren Lockman, so stay tuned!

Update: Day 8 is up!

This is Day 7 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.

Image © Shutterstock

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