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Monday, August 27, 2012

more on the fasting thing

I've done four or five fast-days now. In many ways, the first one was the easiest, but I am slowly figuring out what works and what doesn't.

What works:

- being distracted by work
- drinking as much water as possible
- Pepto-Bismol in the morning
- moderate exercise
- scheduling well in advance

What doesn't work:

- Gravol
- cooking for other people
- fasting on extremely stressful or tiring days
- no exercise
- too much exercise
- too much sleep

The most difficult part is not the experience of fasting itself, but scheduling the best days to fast, and then keeping to that schedule. It's irksome to spend several days at work, eating poorly because I'm tired and stressed out, and then spend my first day off fasting, when I really just want to be cooking delicious, slow, healthy food. So fasting at work is preferable. Fasting on Saturdays, however, while working in a cafe that maintains a line-out-the-door all weekend, is hellish. Luckily, my fall semester schedule is to spend Tuesdays and Thursdays in class all day, Wednesdays and Fridays at work all day, and Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays doing homework/housework, writing, making things, etc. Making a habit of fasting on my work days should be fairly straightforward.

As for the actual not-eating, the resulting lethargy is much harder to deal with than the resulting hunger. Everything I've read or that Tim has passed on to me says that my body should be getting better and better at regulating my blood sugar, and that I shouldn't be experiencing chill or sleepiness for much longer. Already, having fasted two (separate) days without taking any stupor-inducing Gravol, I think the lethargy is abating a bit. Getting enough water is also a challenge. I hadn't realized how much the body depends on liquid present in food.

I am planning to continue with the experiment. Overall, I'm feeling healthier, and (conveniently) less panicked if I can't fit a meal in every three hours. I'm also paying more attention to nutrition on feast-days, wanting to provide my body with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibre, protein, water--not just the right number of calories. I've realized that I simply can't afford empty calories. For too long, I've been paying the price in excess weight, stomach aches, vitamin deficencies . . . (Though it's far, far better than it was. Did I ever tell you about the time I was 16 and developed scurvy from living off free Starbucks? Oh yes. Scurvy. In a big city in North America in 2008. I've come miles from that point, but there is still room for improvement.)

Finally, you're probably curious, but I can't tell you whether or not I have lost any weight. I've not been weighing myself these past few months; I've been struggling on towards maintaining a healthy weight through good habits, and I think I'm on the right track. 

1 comment:

  1. I think weighing oneself is irksome, so I don't do it... mostly because I don't want a number to make me feel good/healthy/comfortable about myself (as it has in the past) but I want my actual limbs and mind and movement to be a marker of good health. That said, I'm struggling at the moment, just feeling worn out all the time. Anyway, I am really enjoying your experiment and experiences of fasting, and I love that Tim is so much apart too!

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