It’s the end of Day 4 of my water fast. Here are my stats for today:
- Today’s Weight: 135.6lbs / 61.5kg
- Diff vs. Yesterday: -1.5lbs / -0.7kg
- Total Difference: -8.8lbs / -4kg
- Water consumption: 4.0 liters
- Body Temp: 35.4 C / 95.3 F
Today is definitely a step forward from yesterday. The signs point to me in ketosis now. For example I’ve been getting sensations around the body (somewhat like aches, but very mild versions), slight nausea, and a general desire to just sit and not move.
I think most people who have not read about fasting will probably panic when they get such signs and think that the fasting is doing them bad than good, and I can understand why too. I’d probably react that way before I read up about fasting. That’s what most of us are conditioned to believe today through the society anyway.
Medication and Healing
The thing is, any supposed sickness signs are signs of toxins in the body and the body is trying to process them. Left to our own devices, we’re actually well capable of healing by ourselves.
When I was young, my mom would feed me with medication if I ever got sick. I didn’t get sick often but when I did, the natural reaction I’d get from parents and teachers alike would be to take medicine. For example, coughs with cough syrup, fever with fever tablets, flu with flu medicine, and so on. Sick = Take medicine, plain and simple.
The funny thing was that while the signs of the sickness would be relieved with the medicine, overall I didn’t feel all that awesome. For one, after a few hours of feeling somewhat okay, the cough/fever/flu etc would return after that, and I had to take the medicine again. This would repeat until I was finally well, of which I wondered if it was really due to the medication or my body recovering on its own. Secondly, when I took medication I felt largely drugged and my senses dulled. It never made sense to me why something that was supposedly meant to heal your body would leave you drugged in the process. It just seemed like a band-aid solution.
After a while I decided not to take any medication and just go with self-healing. Funnily I rarely got sick after that change. I could go for several years without going sick, and I wasn’t sick even when faced with circumstances that’d leave an average person sick. For example, several times in the past I’d be caught in the rain when out running, and I had to run all the way back in the rain because there was no shelter at all (and I was barefoot running to boot!). One of the worst times was when I had to run back in pretty heavy rain, for about 15-20 minutes. Interestingly I didn’t fall sick for any of those occasions. Whereas in the past I would be dependent on medicine, today I feel free and self-empowered.
I feel that a lot of medication makes things worse in the long run – they address the symptoms and are unable to address the root issue. Unfortunately, rather than truly helping us heal, the medication prevents our body from processing the toxins, which are subsequently stored away in the adipose tissues. Ironically even though many may seem okay on the surface, many of us have a big pile of toxins stored inside us (all the way from since we started eating the average diet as a kid). These toxins accumulate throughout life (via our diets, lifestyle, past unaddressed illnesses, baggage, etc) and later resurfaces at an older age as a separate major illness/disease. So much for healing!
Our body is well capable of addressing of many illnesses we experience if we just lay off and let it do its job. Fasting gives our body a chance to process all those toxins that have been stored away all this while. I wrote a lot about the whole detox process via fasting in the original fasting article which I’m not going to repeat here, so do check it out if you haven’t.
Looking forward to detoxing
Having been on a meat-based diet for 23 years of my life, and subsequently switching to a vegetarian/vegan diet which isn’t exactly the healthiest of all (there are actually many vegetarian foods that are very unhealthy, and I’ve come across plenty of overweight vegetarians in the past few years), I can imagine there’s a huge load of toxins to process in the next 16 days. Some of the next 16 days might be rough (from what I read from some reports, there can be acute pains, deep emotional purging, etc), I’m ready to deal with them.
I honestly don’t think that just one 21-day fast is enough to purge all of the waste in my system, but this isn’t going to be the only fast I’ll be doing anyway. If the fast goes well (i.e. I see the benefits after, and I’m already seeing benefits now actually), I’ll continue to practice fasting in the future. Also, the knowingness that I do not need to eat every day, for X meals, has made me realize that I can just not eat when I don’t want to. I’m not going to die; conversely it’s a great way to let my digestive systems take a break and for my body to concentrate on healing than eating/digesting/processing food.
Detox and Resting
Like I mentioned above, the signs point to me being in ketosis now. For one, I’m not as active as the past 3 days. Because of my high level of energy that I mentioned in Day 3, I’m usually quite restless, jumpy and just bursting with energy. However, for yesterday and today, I’ve just been really grounded. If I need to move, I can move fine, but otherwise my body just wants to remain where it is. When I need to do something, only the body parts needed to complete the task will move, while the rest of my body stays completely still.
For example, as I’m typing this article now, only my fingers are moving. The rest of my body is just completely at rest. When I lie on my bed to sleep, my body just remains in that 1 position. My body doesn’t toss nor turn; my head doesn’t even move (unless there’s any discomfort in that position which there isn’t). I’m just comfortably lying in that space.
I wouldn’t say it’s tiredness or lethargy. If I need to run, walk, move around, etc I can do that perfectly fine, just that my body’s natural preference is to just stay still now. My natural mobility is also slowed by about 30% overall when I do try to move. At some points my mind seems to fall into a trance state.
Apparently, this preference for stillness is a natural occurrence of a fast. This way, the body can concentrate on healing rather than spend energy doing other stuff. I thought the following passage from Loren Lockman was interesting (an experienced faster who has been supervising fasts in the past 9-10 years):
Fasting properly means following the natural model: the sick animal lies still throughout the fast. Fasting means complete physiological rest, so this is the ideal way. I encourage my clients to spend as much time as possible resting comfortably with their eyes closed. Attempting to fast while continuing one’s normal routine is a recipe for disaster, as the body becomes quickly exhausted.
That means that if you want to do an extended fast and you have a physically intense and laborious job/routine, it might actually be helpful to take some time off and concentrate on the fast itself. Take it as a much-needed personal vacation – when’s the last time you actually took time off any way? On the other hand, if your work doesn’t require much movement and is more mental brainwork, then I don’t see much of an issue as long you’re not trying to juggle 20 things at one go. I was working today as usual (calling, talking to different people, too) and it was perfectly okay.
My plans for the next few days remain the same as my original plan – Head out where needed, else just focus on resting. I’ll continue to work on a daily basis (writing, planning for upcoming workshops, etc), which are brainwork and don’t require much movement anyway.
Other detox signs include mild feelings of nausea and body aches on different parts of the body, which are normal, expected and signs of healing/recovery. I expect more of such signs to come up over the next few days/weeks. Here’s an excerpt from Loren in the same article:
Aches and pains, cold and flu symptoms, congestion, headache, and many other symptoms may also arise. One thing that often happens is that people find their internal organs. Many people are not really aware of their internal organs, and don’t know where they are. When fasting, it is not unusual to feel some aches in these organs, especially the liver and kidneys, which are the primary organs of detoxification. They will likely be working much harder than usual, and you may feel some pain there as a result.
It is also not unusual to experience aches and pains in old injuries. Injuries that healed improperly or incompletely tend to improve while fasting. When given a chance, the body goes back in and begins the work of completing these repairs. They may hurt while this is going on. This is the body’s way of reminding us to stay off them while they are healing.
Detox: Red eye
Today I noticed my left eye was red. It’s not even sore or painful, just red. This is interesting because several days ago, I wore contacts which really irritated my left eye. My eye never went red at that time (nor for the next few days when I wore specs most of the time) but today it slowly turned red.
I thought it might be a detox sign. Which led me to think that the detox process might be in reverse chronology, meaning starting with the most recent (unhealed) toxins, then working backwards from there.
The funny thing is that this was exactly what I wrote about on Day 2, regarding the journey of personal growth:
… as I progress in my growth journey, I see a trend in how my past issues are processed. It first starts with the most recent issues, then slowly backpedals into later years as you work through them one by one.
Nice to see that our growth, whether physical, mental or emotional follows the same underlying pattern 😀
The light-headedness is still there, in fact heavier than yesterday. It occurs when I move quickly from one position to another, say from sitting to standing up. I’d black out for a few seconds there or longer if the movement is very fast. I’m going to address it by being more conscious of it and getting up slower from now on.
Today I’m at 135.6lbs / 61.5kg, which is a -1.5lbs / -0.7kg difference from yesterday. On the whole, I’ve lost -8.8lbs / -4kg from since Day 0. I haven’t seen this weight for a while, so it was nice to see that register on the scale.
What I’m looking forward to is to see it go into the 50s-59 range (kg), if it does get there – that would be a really pleasant change. I haven’t been in that range from since my university days.
On to Day 5!
That’s it for now, and I’m going to head off and sleep now. See you guys in Day 5 later.
Update: Day 5 is up!
Image: Meditating at beach