I’ve been a faster for years. Not strictly water- I have a masticating juicer that I create nutritional powerhouse juices with, mostly veggies with some fruit for palatability. It provides me with all my necessary vitamins and micronutrients (hey, a vegan diet doesn’t kill you- this just takes it a step further for a short period of time), while I abstain from all unsoluble fiber to shut down my digestion. This energy otherwise used in digestion is redirected into all sorts of interesting bodily functions that yield fascinating and useful side effects, like incredible mental clarity and the healing of old injuries.
I lost 50 pounds in 90 days last year, in time for Dustins and my wedding. It was a deeply introspective and enlightening period of my life. I had attempted shorter fasts in the past, but never more than 18 days or so. This was a total shift in consciousness for me. Unfortunately, the supremely beneficial physical and mental results only lasted as long as the wedding, where booze was reintroduced with dramatic and fantastical results that lasted for 6 harrowing and destructive months.
I’ve been sober for 112 days today, and the biggest crutch I found in early sobriety to help with cravings was chocolate. Ohhhh, chocolate. Pastries, cookies, cereal, candy bars, baked goods, M&M’s, ice cream. It was all fair game. I shouldn’t be surprised that I gained 30 pounds back already. But dang, that stings! So much effort in the weight loss, and again in the abstinence from alcohol, only to look in the mirror and be horrified at the physical results. Not only that, but I feel very sluggish, unmotivated, and need greater and greater quantities of coffee just to get basic things done. My back is also bothering me again, a malady that went into remission while fasting.
Now that life is relatively settled, it’s time to go back to that place of heightened clarity and health. I’m doing another 90 days, starting today, Memorial Day. How very fitting for this memorializer. The first 3-5 days are typically the hardest for me- there’s a lot of consistent disappointment mentally at first, like realizing halfway toward reaching into the bowl of chips, or finding myself thinking, “What do we have to ea… oh wait, nothing for me (sad face).” The hunger, really, isn’t that big of an obstacle- it’s just another sensation. There’s no actual pain there. The whole thing is really more of a mental game. Once you take the option of eating off the table, if you are able to realize that the voice in your brain screaming at you (“Oh my god!! You’re not eating!! You will die! Die! Die!!!”) is actually a big, fat liar, you’re destined for a successful fast.
I’m very curious to see how this process will be different now after several months of total sobriety. My spirtitual life is much more prevalent now than it has been in a very long time, as it tends to be with a lot of newly sober alcoholics, and I bet the increased meditation time in my life will be very beneficial in my self-discovery during this fast.
I’ll be sure to check in as this journey continues.