While for some people the pandemic was a time to cave into less physical effort and bad eating choices, for me it was quite the opposite. Since there were so many restrictions regarding places you can travel to and visit, I challenged myself to go out every day in the morning, regardless of the weather, and do some intense exercises in the park. The extra time and energy, combined with many restaurants being closed, pushed me to cook all my meals and use only natural ingredients. I even cut out gluten at some point. But once the restrictions were lifted, I did not feel the urgency to keep up with my daily routine and missed a lot of morning walks. In top of that, my eating habits also started to fall apart. Slowly I started to try out restaurant foods and various processed foods due to lack of time and energy from exploring new places but also out of curiosity.
As time passed by, I felt more and more disappointed in myself, of my food choices, of my lack of control in caving in to certain foods and my lack of energy compared to the past.
So it was time for a change.
From experience, when it comes to food, trying to slowly shift your eating habits from non-healthy to healthy is not that successful and also not very pleasant (plain food does not taste so good). Chances of giving up along the way are very high. The best method to make a change is to cut out all food and then experience the gratitude and wonder of eating anything simple and basic, like an apple for example.
But besides the physical aspect of it all, I also felt the need to do this, from a more spiritual sense, like a calling. As I was showering one night, it just hit me….I have to do a water fast and I will do it on 7th of January. It was set in my head with great conviction. I was ready.
My intention was to do a just 24 hour water fast (as I did a couple of years ago) but somehow along the way I decided to extend it. So here is my journey.
Day 1 – Temptation Day
When starting a fast you may think the beginning should be the hardest part, but now looking back, day 1 was actually the easiest one. It may have to do also with the fact that it was a very sunny, warm Saturday and I could go for walks in the park, taking my mind off food. Well, at least, most of the times. Turns out, when you decide to fast, you will be bombarded from everywhere with food temptations. You will see people eating on the bench, you will feel food smells from large distances. Even going online was a challenge. Each commercial, video or photo had some food references to it. Is it a coincidence? Is a temptation send intentionally by dark forces? haha..maybe…or maybe is it just a law of the Universe of attraction that says you attract what you focus on, even if you wanted it or not. And I was focused on NOT wanting food.
Despite not getting my daily meals, I had a very good amount of energy and motivation to do some things around the house that I postponed. I moved some furniture around and did some cleaning.
As I was resting in bed I also had some flashbacks from childhood. I never was a fan of eating large portions, especially not with heavy greasy food, and deep fried meat. Unfortunately the Romanian cuisine is abundant in just that, and whenever I could not finish eating all from the plate, I would be confronted with words like : are you sick? why are you not eating all of the food? you should eat all of it! look how skinny you are! And a lot of times I forced myself eating more than I needed, feeling sick afterwards.
I also remembered some episodes from school, when the teacher would ask me : have you eaten today? whenever I would speak in a low pitched voice. There was no correlation between the food I ate and my voice, but somehow I was programmed to believe that if you don’t eat a lot you are weak or you will get sick.
After all of this experience I tend to believe the opposite may be true. Less eating is actually healthier. Moving on..
Day 2- Floating Away
The reason I decided to extend my 24 hour fasting was a video I stumbled upon on previous day, of the initiator for a fasting camp held in Romania at a monastery. He was actually in his day 5 of fasting going towards 15, dedicating his fast to God so he can succeed in opening a fasting center. All of his videos were really helpful, with many details of the physical aspects of it all, but also with a big emphasis on repenting of sins, prayer and connecting with God. I decided to join his mission, as much as I could, and fast along with him, following him each day, because I truly believe in the power of fasting, in changing your life for the better.
A challenge I faced in the morning of day 2, was not a lack of energy or hunger, but constipation. Apparently if you stop eating, the bowel movement is stoped or very slowed down and it’s hard to eliminate anything. The most indicated thing to do in this situation, so that toxins don’t get trapped in your colon, is to perform an enema. Luckily for me, who is not open to such kind of thing, there is an alternative, and that is drinking 250 ml water mixed with about 2 tablespoons on epson salt. It’s also good to drink this before fasting, but I discovered it along the way. Epson salt is not like regular salt, it’s actually based on magnesium and it’s very bitter. It is a natural way of cleaning your intestines. I drank one a glass with 1 tablespoons at noon and one close to bedtime.
Despite this minor physical inconvenience, day 2 was actually my favorite day of all because of what I have experienced from a intellectual, emotional and spiritual point of view.
First of all, my mind was extremely quiet and operating in slow motion. It felt so relaxing and peaceful. If I sat on the bed to reflect on things, it felt like 3 hours passing by, when in fact it passed only 20 minutes. Somehow time slowed down. All of my 5 senses were 10 times stronger. I could see a lot better at a distance. I could feel the taste of water in great detail. I could see very well in the dark and distinguish all objects. Any small touch would give me goosebumps or shivers and it gave me constantly the impression that I was very cold. And maybe I was cold…I’m not very sure.
At night, after I placed my head on my pillow to sleep, I just felt like I was floating in a tank of water. On one hand it felt so relaxing and blissful but on the other…I started to wonder at the Matrix movie, and at the idea of us being held in water tanks as energy batteries as a reality. Not gonna lie, I was afraid of going to sleep…and waking up in that water tank, escaping the matrix, or not waking up at all. In moments like these, you really start to question life and death..and you start to turn to Divinity or God. You start to pray. It’s the only way to find some comfort. Or at least I did.
Day 3- Survival Mode
When I woke up in the morning of day 3 I felt really bad. First of all, I felt tired from getting up many times during the night to go to the toilet. I have eliminated things through all possible ways and it was very unpleasant. And mostly due to the fact that my body entered the state of ketosis, where it starts to burn fat (ketones) instead of glucose. One of these ketons is actually acetone (the one used in nail polish remover), and I had this strong taste of acetone in my mouth, that it made me sick and puke. Somehow I thought it’s something toxic inside of me that I had to throw away (and maybe I actually did)…but after reading more about ketosis , turns out it is a normal thing to experience. Nevertheless very hard to swallow. Literally.
My energy levels were not that great and on top of this I had to start work ( it was Monday). Even if I worked from home, it was still something I wished I could have avoided somehow.. The main challenge was at a physical- body level- trying to adapt to this change I did not experience before, because intellectually I was very energetic, and it actually was no problem, as long as I laid down or be sited.
I did go for a walk at noon but I also laid down in bed a lot. At night time, after I laid down for hours, I felt very dizzy when standing up and then I experienced an intense sweat. Water was dripping out of my forehead. It only lasted for like 20 seconds and after that I felt imense relief. Even so, I decided to break the fast, and I went and drank some sea buckthorn juice. The taste was so intense, so sweet and sour that I could only drink about 100 ml followed by lots of water. At this point I realised I will not be able to eat anything right away, even if I wanted to. My body simply will not allow it.
Day 4 – Food? No thank you..
The more you go forward with fasting, the less the idea of solid food is appealing. In day 4 I could only drink liquids so I drank at noon another 100 ml of sea buckthorn juice mixed with water and at around 7 pm some fruit and veggie smoothie mixed with water.
My overall energy was pretty low and I started to notice some weight loss, around my face, around my legs and belly. Not gonna lie, I kind of felt like a zombie. I could go for a walk or do daily chores but in very slow motion.
Day 5 – My first meal
My first meal of the day was at around 11:00 am and it was a simple grape. Yes, that’s right. A grape. I used to eat 1 kilogram of grapes like it was nothing, but this time, I barely ate a single one. And I felt so many goosebumps taking just one small bite at a time. It felt so sweet and so sour. It took me about 15 minutes to finish it and I felt so grateful and satisfied to go back to basics.
For dinner I made myself some vegetable soup and I ate 2 thirds of a big bowl of soup.
Day 6 + Day 7 + Day 8 – Baby Steps
The next 3 days were just about me gradually eating more and more solids and regaining my physical strength and energy. But the cravings and needs I had were totally different from what I used to eat before and what I usually expect from me. I was craving more sour things and fermented things but no fruit at all. I barely ate any fruit, something that I used to eat daily before. I craved and ate a lot of walnuts and leafy greens. Beans, garlic and sour yoghurt. I craved and ate a lot of soups, especially the sour ones. I felt very cautious with everything I consumed, so I tried to find and buy only organic vegetables and nuts. I also ate eggs, as a single dish or mixed in with other things. I could not eat salty at all. I added none or just a tiny pinch to my dishes. My taste buds are so activated that the salt present in the vegetables is enough for me. I did not feel the need to add more.
Other notes and observations:
- Fasting can be dangerous if you have certain diseases and you should check with a doctor before starting it if you are concerned. I did not do any checks, but I take accountability for any consequences.
- Hunger sensations are actually more accentuated when you eat a little than when you don’t eat nothing at all
- Hunger sensations usually peak at the hours when you are used to eat. If you surpass that moment, you are good to go and don’t need to worry about it anymore
- If you had any pains or issues in the body, during a fast they are accentuated then eliminated (or at least this is what I experienced)
- Your tongue will turn white. Yes, apperently the act of chewing cleans out your tongue of dead cells. When fasting you have to clean it yourself.
- If you tell people about it, you may not get very much support and they will infiltrate doubt in your mind. This, more than anything, is a physcological battle, because physically it’s not worse than having a flu.
- It’s easier to do a water fast if you follow a vegetarian diet or an intermittent fasting before.
- Drink mineral water rich in magnesium and calcium and not tap water or tea. This way you will keep hydrated and avoid dizziness.
- If you use food also as emotional comfort to make up for feelings of boredom, sadness or loneliness, water fasting will reveal that and help you confront it
- The weight you loose during a fast of few days will be back in about a week or less, but it’s important to regain it by adding nutritious foods and not processed ones, full of toxins.
I hope you find my journey helpful or inspiring. I am very happy I am still here today and sharing my experience with you. I am also planning to do some more fasting in the future or at least intermittent fasting. I really feel like a different person, with new habits, with a fresh body, reloaded and ready for new things. Peace!