I’m on a mission to become my best self.
If who you are was easy to become, is that someone worth being?
The last year has marked monumental self growth. The biggest change is I stopped accepting the limitations that others placed on me. I started fighting for the life I dreamed of despite the crushing forces that came against me.
Before last year I had this list of things I wanted to do but was afraid to or thought I never could actually achieve. In the last year I have started demolishing that list with everything I have got, and though I’ve come up against resistance and challenges that were so painful and overwhelming I have never felt worse in my life, I have come out of them on the other side with success, and a success that sets me on fire for my future.
On that list has been a 40 day fast. I’m not religious anymore, but I grew up saturated by religion, and always thought the 40 day fast that Jesus did was probably his most impressive miracle. In high school one of my friends did a 40 hour fast and I remember thinking I could never survive that kind of misery. I laugh now because to date I have done quite a few 40+ hour fasts, including 5 day fasts and my longest — a 14 day fast.
Resisting the physical, and, to be honest more potently, the mental and emotional dependence on food, has become pretty important to me, as lately, my lack of self control when it comes to eating has nearly destroyed my sense of self respect. I’ve worked so hard to become a better, stronger and more authentic person this last year, but when I look in the mirror and see my weight gain (caused initially by hypothyroidism and then by a persistent intestinal infection and its subsequent medication, and kept on by a cycles of anxiety induced eating), I see my weaknesses looking back at me, not my strengths. It’s time to be rid of that.
I initially thought I would do a 21 day fast, but I realized the only reason I wasn’t going for a 40 day fast was because I again was falling prey to believing that I couldn’t make actually make it. The first stretch of a long fast is the most difficult, so why at that point, could I not keep going? I’ve seen enough testimonies of people on 40 days of fasting exhibiting more energy than I was feeling on day 13, or even on plenty of days when I’m not fasting, to be honest.
At this point there is nothing stopping me: I live alone, I do not have any social commitments in the next 40 days that will force me to eat that I can not easily bow out of, and I have done physical and mental preparation, as well as accumulated extensive knowledge on safe fasting and a satisfactory amount of body fat to sustain me.
In fact, the weight loss is a two birds with one stone target. The 40 days is a goal in itself, and the weight loss is a separate goal as well. I might actually achieve my weight loss goal on this fast, which would be incredible. We’ll see….my current weight is about 148 and my goal weight is 118. I may land closer to around 125lbs or so, which I would not complain about either. It’s difficult to tell how my body will react to that long of a fast, but based on my calculations of my weight and tracking other people’s weight loss from long water fasts of a similar weight, it will likely land somewhere in that range. From that point on, I will have to break the fast slowly and then transition to healthy eating and exercise, from which point I can achieve my ultimate weight loss goal.
I will be allowing myself very low calorie beverages such as coffee, tea, carbonated water, water infused with lemon, ginger or cucumber, as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. It’s important during a fast to maintain adequate potassium, sodium, and B vitamin levels, especially. I don’t usually drink carbonated beverages and I’m a little suspicious of how that will make me feel, but I have read it can be helpful when fasting and feeling particularly hungry, so I might give that a try.
Similarly, I might allow myself a few sticks of sugar free gum while I’m transitioning into ketosis and trying to stay alert at work with tanking blood sugar levels. I did this before and it helped me get through it. I want this fast to be pretty pure though, and won’t be trying to rely heavily on these tools. I know from even last week doing 4 days of having just about 300 calories a day in preparation, that I’m going to be experiencing some pretty unpleasant detox effects. During those days I was having headaches, white tongue, dry mouth and excessive oil on my face.
For day 1 I will be buying a full length mirror, possibly a new scale (my current one is suspect as to its accuracy), taking pictures, tossing out the remains in my fridge (in preparation I have very little food left: mostly just some peanut butter, chicken wings, potatoes and protein powder), buy enemas and supplements, and then do some ritualistic physical preparation: I’m going to shave all my hair and cut my nails.
I’ll keep track of my stats and post an update every day for those who want to follow my progress and learn about it.
Let’s do this!!
Making a big life change is scary. But do you know what’s even scarier? Regret.