Fasting: Day 8

This is Day 8 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.

Meditation at the beach

Today is the end of Day 8 and the first day of Week 2. Here are stats today:

  • Today’s Weight: 131.4lbs / 59.6kg
  • Diff vs. Yesterday: -0.9lbs / -0.4kg
  • Total Difference: -13.0lbs / -5.9kg
  • Water consumption: 1 liter
  • Body Temp: 36.1 C / 97.2 F

Weight Loss

I entered the 50s range for my weight today. 😀 *happy dance* That hasn’t happened since… when I was in university. I’m excited, at the same time I know that all this loss means nothing if I don’t follow up properly with healthy eating habits after my fast. That includes not just the type of food I eat, but also reasons for eating. The fast is a platform to reset bad habits and accumulated waste from the past, so that I can now start afresh.

I’m now armed with a pool of raw recipes (thanks a lot Glenn!) and will be collecting more over the weekend. On Sunday and Monday, I’ll be out shopping for appliances that’ll help me with raw meal preparation. I’m actually quite excited to try out the different raw recipes I’ve been reading about. 😀

Detox – Tongue

Earlier I mentioned that a white coated tongue is a sign of detox. In the first few days of the fast, my tongue was somewhat white, but I didn’t feel it was any whiter than normal. Yesterday I saw my tongue and was surprised by how white it was! Definitely at least twice as white as usual. I can see the pink taste buds fine, but otherwise everything is white. The white coating is pretty thick too. That’s a good sign that detox is underway. Supposedly the tongue will suddenly turn pink when detox ends at one point, so I’m curious to see when it happens.

Detox – Mental Aspect

In the past couple of days I noticed I’ve been having bad dreams. Nothing significant nor recurring, and I can’t remember much of the dreams either. Some were life-and-death situations, while some weren’t I think. I just remember feeling fearful in the dreams, and then waking up and realizing it was just a dream. I think my mind is going through emotional and mental detox. It does sound like a progression, from physical detox in the first few days, to now mental and emotional.

I don’t see any weird mood fluctuations or unhappiness while I’m awake though, so for now the processing seems to be taking place in the subconsciousness.

Physical Energy

Today I felt pretty tired. I worked in the afternoon, and later in the evening I just wanted to lie down and rest. Facing the computer for prolonged periods felt draining. I think it’s partially the heat from my laptop and the radiation or something.

Later in the night, I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on my laptop for about 20 minutes before I felt too tired and had to go and rest. Whenever there are more “action-packed” scenes, where the animation becomes rapid and the music becomes fast-paced, my heart would beat faster too and it’d feel somewhat draining. I had no energy to write the update post for the day either. I just wanted to lie down, do nothing and just rest.

(In fact I’m typing Day 8’s update on Day 9 right now, and Day 9 is a lot better – I’ve been up since afternoon and felt great. Will update in Day 9’s post.)

Hunger Signs

Since Day 1 I haven’t had physical cravings for food (i.e. compulsion to eat). There were points when I thought that it’d be nice to eat something, but it was more of a mental thought vs. an urge that had to be fought back. Whenever such thoughts came up, I’d process and reflect upon them, which would give me meaningful insights on how to take my relationship with food moving forward. I wrote a lot about them in the daily updates already which I’m not going to repeat, so check them out if you haven’t.

My stomach still continues to growl though every once in a while. I looked up on what causes growling, and here’s what I found (from How Stuff Works):

Stomach growling, which originates in the stomach and the small intestine, can be explained by a closer look at how the digestive system functions.

The digestive system is, in essence, a long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. One of the most important things to know about the digestive system is the manner in which it propels food. Waves of muscle contractions move and push the contents continually downward in a process called peristalsis. [T]hese contractions help churn food, liquid and different digestive juices together, rendering them into a gooey mix known as chyme.

Stomach growling is the result of this process. Moving with those solid and liquid chyme ingredients are gasses and air. As all these ingredients get pushed around and broken down, pockets of air and gas also get squeezed and create the noises we hear. Stomach growling can happen at any time — not just when you’re hungry — but if there’s food in your stomach or small intestine, the growling becomes quieter. It’s like putting a pair of sneakers in the dryer by themselves versus with a load of towels. The towels muffle the noise of the shoes as they bounce around.

[So] if your stomach is empty, why are the muscle contractions that digest food happening to begin with? The reason has to do with hunger and appetite. About two hours after your stomach empties itself, it begins to produce hormones that stimulate local nerves to send a message to the brain. The brain replies by signaling for the digestive muscles to restart the process of peristalsis. […] Muscle contractions will come and go about every hour, generally lasting 10 to 20 minutes, until you eat again.

Well nice try, Mr Stomach. :rolleyes: Also makes me realize how growls often get mistaken as hunger, and how people eat just to quieten the growls, resulting in overeating.

Stay tuned for Day 9

Thanks everyone for your warm support so far! Stay tuned for Day 9’s update tomorrow!

Update: Day 9 is up!

This is Day 8 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: Meditating at beach