Once every couple of years, I voluntarily subject myself to an act of controlled starvation, more commonly referred to as fasting. Many fast to lose weight (even though science says it’s counterproductive). Some do it to cleanse their systems – eliminating deep seeded toxins in hopes of establishing a fresh sense of vitality. Others do it for religious purposes.
For me, it’s none of the above.
I fast when I sense myself slipping into a system of routines. Most days, I have zero conscious thoughts or real observations by the time lunch rolls around. I’ve programmed myself to work off a checklist, something we all do to different extents, but I can sense mine approaching robot. As a result, the creative portions of my brain begin to fade. Personally, I’ve found fasting to be the most effective method to shake off that layer of brain dust.
In prior fasts, I’ve felt as though my clarity of thought was as clear as ever. However, I never set aside time to document anything. Leaving retrospection out of the equation, it’s very possible that sense of clarity was purely a mistaken hallucination. This time, I will block off some time to write. If anything seems relevant enough to share, you can find it here.
Starting Friday (tomorrow) morning to Monday morning, food will not be happening to me.
Post Fast Summary
I decided not to dedicate a separate post to the aftermath of the fast because there’s nothing particularly interesting enough to share other than a few notes on my physical experience with it. Proceed at your own risk (esp with the last bullet).
If I had to draw a theme out of what transpired over the last three days I’d call it, “What I’d Do Differently”
And the list would include:
- DO NOT fast when scheduled to work. Forcing your mind to remain active when attempting a restful process is a pretty miserable combination. Not to mention, eating is in large part a byproduct of stress (at least for me). Listening to your co-workers talk about food all afternoon is enough to make cardboard look like a filet mignon.
- DO NOT put yourself in social situations. Both at work and away, people often thought I was in a bad mood. They were right, but that perception was intensified because in the midst of a fast, not only does social interaction require energy that you probably don’t have, but it’s much more pleasant to observe than to participate. My lack of communication gave the impression that I was a hatestorm with legs. Not true guys, but I could see why it would seem that way. Next time (if there is a next time) I will practice my fast where no one goes (i.e. the mountains or a Marlins game).
- DO expect copious amounts of pain. I have no idea why, but the last 6 hours of the fast through all of today, my legs feel like they’re constantly being strangled. Honestly the discomfort is so bad I can now say with a straight face that I know what it feels like to birth a child. 😐 After a little research, the only plausible explanation is that the pain is a concentration of toxins trapped inside of my body. To paint the picture a little more bluntly, my legs are basically giant go-gurt tubes of poison. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing but it certainly is a disgusting thing. Sorry to anyone who was planning on eating in the next hour or so.
In conclusion: fast only if you have time off, you’re capable to take a few days away from society, and don’t mind the feeling of an invisible leg boa constrictor.