Fasting: Day 4

This is Day 4 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

It’s the end of Day 4 of my water fast. Here are my stats for today:

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  • 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

Overall Review

Today is definitely a step forward from yesterday. The signs suggest that I’m in ketosis now. For example, I’ve been getting sensations around my body (like aches, but very mild version of aches), slight nausea, and a general desire to just sit still 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 fast is doing them bad than good, and I can understand why. I’d probably react that way before I read up about fasting. That’s what most of us have been conditioned to believe through society anyway, that not eating will kill us all.

Medication and Healing

The thing is, any supposed sickness signs are signs of toxins in the body and the body 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 give me medication if I ever got sick. I didn’t get sick often but when I did, the natural reaction from parents and teachers alike would be to take medicine. For example, treat 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 would wonder if the improvement 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 is 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 go with self-healing. Funnily I rarely got sick after that change. I could go for several years without getting sick, and I wasn’t sick even in circumstances that’d leave an average person sick. For example, several times in the past I’d be caught in the rain when running, and I had to run back in the rain because there was no shelter (and I was running barefoot to boot!). One of the worst times was when I had to run back in a heavy rain for about 15-20 minutes. Interestingly I didn’t fall sick during any of those occasions. Whereas in the past I would be dependent on medicine, today I feel free and empowered.

I feel that a lot of medication today 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, 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 (from our diets, lifestyle, unaddressed illnesses, baggage, etc.) and later resurface at an older age as a separate major illness/disease. So much for healing!

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Our body is well capable of addressing many illnesses 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 all this while. I wrote a lot about the detox process in my 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 unhealthy diets for a large chunk of my life, I can imagine there’s a huge load of toxins to process in the next 16 days. Some of the next 16 days may be rough (from what I read from some reports, there can be acute pains, deep emotional purging, etc.), but I’m ready to deal with them.

I honestly don’t think that a 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 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 system 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 in the past 3 days. Because of my high energy level which I mentioned on Day 3, I’m usually quite restless, energetic, and bursting with energy.

However, for yesterday and today, I’ve been really grounded. My body doesn’t feel like moving. At any given point in time, my body is completely still. If I need to move to get something done, only the required body part will move while the rest of my body is completely still.

For example, as I’m typing this article now, only my fingers are moving. The rest of my body is fully at rest. When I lie on my bed to sleep, my body remains still in that one position. I’m not tossing or turning or moving. I don’t feel like moving my head or hands at all (unless there’s discomfort in that position). 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 stay still now. My natural mobility is also slower by about 30% overall when I do move. There are points when 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 stuff. I thought the following passage from Loren Lockman is interesting (he is an experienced faster who has been supervising fasts in the past 9-10 years):

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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

(Source)

That means that if you want to do an extended fast and you have a physically intense routine, it might be helpful to take some time off and concentrate on the fast itself. Take it as a much-needed vacation — when’s the last time you took time off anyway?

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) and it was perfectly okay.

My plans for the next few days remain the same as my original plan — head out as needed, else just focus on resting. I’ll continue to work on a daily basis (write new articles, plan for upcoming workshops, coaching, etc.), which are brainwork and don’t require much movement anyway.

Other detox signs include mild feelings of nausea and body aches in 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.

(Source)

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 (or 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 backward from there.

The funny thing is that this was exactly what I wrote about on Day 2, regarding my personal growth journey:

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… as I progress in my growth journey, I see a trend in how my past issues are processed. It started off with me working on the most recent issues in my life, then slowly progressing to issues from college, high school, and then childhood. Since embarking on conscious living in 2008, I’ve been working through my personal issues, one by one (which you can observe by looking at the kind of content I’ve been writing on PE over time).

Nice to see that our growth, whether physical, mental or emotional follows the same underlying pattern 😀

Light-headedness

The light-headedness is still there, heavier than yesterday. It comes when I move quickly from one position to another, say from sitting to standing up. I’d black out for a few seconds or longer if the movement was very fast. I’m going to address this by being more conscious of this and getting up slower from now on.

Body Weight

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 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 my weight reach the 50s-59 range (kg) if it does get there — that would be a really pleasant change. I haven’t been in that range 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 on Day 5 later.

UpdateDay 5 is up!

This is Day 4 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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