Fasting: Day 14

This is Day 14 of my 21-day fast in Feb 2011 and probably the most in-depth fasting series you will ever find online. If you’re new to fasting, get the full background here: Fasting Experiment. Access all my articles on fasting: The Fasting Series.

Meditation at the beach

Here are my stats for Day 14:

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  • 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 in discomfort on my 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. I felt like I was being hit on multiple fronts in my detox — physically, mentally and emotionally.

I think part of the reason I felt so bad is that water fasting is the most direct route to remove 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 and drinking less than your daily calorie requirements) or mono-fruit fasting (only eating one type of fruit) which help in detox, but they work a lot slower.

Physical Detox

So basically I was faced with all my past unprocessed issues at one go. Physically, my body was purging toxins from way back in the past — since I’m deep into ketosis on Day 14, and my body weight is now at 58kg which was my weight from back in junior college / early university years, we’re talking about toxins piled on from 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 from a sleeping position or stood up. My nausea was stronger than it has ever been, and I would have thrown up if there was actually anything to throw up.

My tongue was extremely white and bitter 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, but I was also very tired of lying on the bed. Just sitting in my room or staying at my home felt claustrophobic, because I have been 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. This was therapeutic and made me feel slightly better.

Mental & Emotional Detox

Mentally, my mind felt compressed on all fronts. It’s almost as if there was a huge amount of baggage and frustrations that was suddenly let loose and my mind didn’t have the capacity to hold them all in. In my earlier fasting logs, I mentioned having emotional eating habits all the way from 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 an 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 proxy you used to deal with it. So in my case, food was my proxy, and fat storage from the unnecessary food intake represents my unresolved issue.

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So beyond a physical detox where my body is burning the fat reserves accumulated from the past (again, we’re talking about toxins from way back, like 7-8 years ago), my body is also going through heavy mental and emotional detox. Past unresolved issues which I tried to use food to cushion away were released and engulfed me like a huge ocean tide. I was literally sitting in a huge vortex of baggage. There was such a big influx of negative emotions that I couldn’t even single out anything. 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 a result of all my issues weighing down on my mind. I tried verbal brain dumping which helped somewhat, but there was too much coming in too fast, so in the end I just sat in a detached manner and soaked in all the emotions whirling around me. Meditation didn’t really help either — it’s more useful when you’re dealing with a light wave of emotions than when you’re hit with a huge tornado of negative emotions every second.

Relationship with Self and Food

One thing that came to my attention during this emotional detox is the amount of self-contempt that is in me. Subconsciously I knew that it’s been there all along, just that I haven’t had the chance to work on it yet. A lot of it goes back to the past I believe. I mentioned on Day 2 that when we work on our personal growth, our past issues typically unfold and get addressed in reverse chronology — from most recent issues to oldest issues. As I address my different personal issues, I knew that at some point I would get to issues with my self-image. I believe that the time is almost here, so I look forward to exploring more of this in the near future. (Update in 2012-2013: I have subsequently addressed my issues with my self-image as I documented in my series on femininity, body image, and beauty.)

The other thing is surrounding food, and it 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 this 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 desire over a lot of foods, I feel happy when watching people eat/get fed. I also feel like I’m missing out when people eat and I don’t (not during this fast, but a general feeling that I have). When I probed further, I realize it is because food is like a representation of love (from 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 self-love, and hence getting that is important. This chain of thought is definitely linked to the issue of self-contempt, so as I address my self-hate I’ll be working on this moving forward.

Appreciating the Detox

The plus point is that whatever discomfort I’m feeling now is the result of my body removing toxins. So the more uncomfortable I feel, that means the more toxins it is 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 many toxins as possible before I restart my diet post-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 my body and never got processed. It made me see a lot of the foods that I used to see as “delicious” or “comfort food” in a different light. Eating food that makes you feel bad, both emotionally and physically, isn’t “self-comfort”; it’s just self-damage. Also, as I pick up different healthy recipes, I’m beginning to get insights into the creation process of many cooked, processed foods today. I realized that a lot of cakes, candy bars, cookies, and supposed “sinful delights” use a huge chunk of sugar, butter, and salt. Knowing this has made these foods a whole lot less appealing to me now, and made me a lot more conscious of what I should eat.

Yesterday (Day 14) I couldn’t wait until the fast ends — I was literally counting down to the number of days left. Today (Day 15) 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.

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I can’t wait until the fast is over. Not having eaten for 21 days is 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 radical lifestyle shifts I make such as fasting or raw food trials unless needed, because it’s usually met with resistance and skepticism.)

Food Cravings

Yesterday while I was at the strongest point of nausea, I kept fantasizing about food. Specifically, two of my favorite meals (wanton mee and brown rice with curry and vegetables). 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 all my feelings of nausea/pain and cravings disappeared completely at the same time. It definitely reinforced what I mentioned above about how part of my desire to eat stems from the filling of a void (self-hate in this case).

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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. My makeup 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 after this fast.

I noticed a couple of zits which I believe are due to my foundation, because they only appeared after I put on makeup. 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 in the dark.

Weight Loss

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

My favorite berms are now very loose, to the point that it’s possible to pull them down from my waist even when they are buttoned and zipped up! I’ll be throwing them away at the end of the 21 days. It’s a pity but these berms have served me well in the past few years — I’ve worn them the most out of my bottoms. 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 has made it hard to find bottoms that fit. I’m glad that it’s not going to be a problem anymore. Of course, maintaining my 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 clog your mailboxes and all. But hearing from you has made me realize 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, my mind is light and clear (compared to yesterday), and the light-headedness is still there but nowhere as severe. I’ll update again later today or tomorrow, so stay tuned!

UpdateDay 15 update is up!

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This is Day 14 of my 21-day fast in Feb 2011 and probably the most in-depth fasting series you will ever find online. If you’re new to fasting, get the full background here: Fasting Experiment. Access all my articles on fasting: The Fasting Series.

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