Fasting: Day 3

This is Day 3 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

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

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  • 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 body aches, pain in the organs, sensations, etc., which are signs of the body processing 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 can take up to Days 4 or 5 to kick in, especially since I consumed a lot of carbohydrates right before my fast began.

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 eat. I was even browsing restaurants online and checking out their menus, complete with drool-worthy pictures!

There were a few points here and there when 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 at one point when 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 future 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. 😀

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 process of moving my hand 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 can be a mental thing. For some, they may be tired just from the sheer act of combating food urges, combating self-imposed fears about the fasting process, and perhaps subconsciously seeing fasting as a hurdle. I’m having quite a lot of fun doing this fast right now and I can’t be happier to transform my personal health around.

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Rather than see the reduced dexterity as having less or more energy, I think it’s a sign that my body is channeling my energy more constructively. For example, normally I have a huge overflow of energy. This causes my energy to spill over everything I do and makes me do things in a very haphazard, spontaneous manner. I can be doing 4-5 different tasks at the same time, and switching across these tasks every few minutes. Nothing bad about it, just that it can get 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 have 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 are “different” with their own benefits. It will definitely be 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 many more aspects of the surroundings than during my past walks. Same walking pace, same intent to observe, but different experience. An 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 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 by every day, getting from point A to point B, finishing up X tasks, and never truly experiencing the moment. I can see how the fast is helping me become more present.

This heightened consciousness has also made it really easy for me to do higher value work. For example, I tend to have a habit of checking my stats, the PE forums, and email regularly. However today, I didn’t feel like doing any of 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 thought, Who cares? It doesn’t matter whatever mail is in our inbox now. It’s more interesting to continue what we’re doing now!

Breathing

My natural breathing has switched from light breaths to steady, deep breathing. The interesting thing is that my body is 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 like 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, and (b) the weight is definitely going to decrease as long as I continue what I’m doing.

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It’ll be interesting to see how low my weight is going to go eventually. I’m also quite excited to see how I’m going to look and how my clothes will fit after losing my excess weight. 🙂 One faster lost 33 lbs (from 175lbs to 142lbs) on a 30-day water fast (and maintained the weight thereafter. In fact, her weight one month post 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 one month post-fast, on a healthy diet. Previously she was on the Standard American Diet, i.e. a diet with junk food and sugar-loaded foods.

Lightheadedness

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

Fasting vs. Diets

I was thinking today that fasting is so much easier than sticking to a diet, for someone with emotional eating issues. I mean for fasting, you don’t eat. You can only drink plain water. Straight and simple. If you eat, you break the fast.

But when you eat, it creates a cycle to continue eating. Be it eating 5 meals or 3 meals a day, the stimulants that trigger hunger — such as the taste of the previous meal, pictures of food you just saw, food advertisements you see while buying food, etc. — are always there. Those who eat out of emotions are constantly fighting their desires between eating to self-reward and eating to punish themselves, and much of this is tied to their eating behavior for the previous day/days. That’s probably why so many diets don’t work because you’re constantly treading that thin line between eating and not eating.

Society’s Fixation with Food

While I was out today, I suddenly realized that our society is so fixated on 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 intricately intertwined with food.

In the past, I’d think that I need to eat at least 2-3 meals a day, otherwise I would 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. Many of the beliefs the mass public has about food, or other things for that matter (such as what constitutes a healthy diet, capabilities of the human mind/body), aren’t necessarily hard truths. They are 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 your beliefs and experiment with different things. My experimentation with fasting, astral projection, meditation, etc., have all opened my eyes to 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 sharing of my growth journey on my blog, it’ll help you in your own journey as well.

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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. 😀

I’ll continue to update daily for the week. I may switch to updates every 2-3 days after Week 1 if there’s nothing significant to report each day.

Stay tuned for Day 4’s update tomorrow!

UpdateDay 4 is up!

This is Day 3 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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