I have a confession to make.
My relationship with food is very unhealthy. I am one of those people who deprives themselves by completely avoiding that Nutella crack brownie. BUT, if I do cave and take just one bite, my mind tells me I screwed anyway, might as well just devour the whole thing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Ever since Ramadan started, I am spending my time just watching the clock, counting down minutes till iftar time, so I can get some food into my system. I spend most of the day sleeping and wide-awake at night.
So, I thought, what if I took food completely out of the picture? What if I bade farewell to eating for the next few weeks, and actually did something productive and useful, instead of waiting ’til the sun sets, and I’m finally able to break my fast? This month isn’t supposed to be about food, but about being more spiritual and feeling a closer connection to God.
I had been reading about water fasting for a few weeks, and it seemed that this was exactly what water fasting is supposed to help you achieve. It not only detoxifies your body completely, healing you from the inside out, but also helps to regulate and balance your relationship with food. I was a health freak for the last 3 years, (vegetarian, mostly raw/plant based diet/ getting my exercise), but over the last few months, I started caving in to sweets and unhealthy snacks that quickly sent me on a downward spiral to disaster. When you eat crap food, you start craving it, and the more you have, the more you’ll crave, making it harder to stay away. It becomes an addiction.
I have put on a good 15 pounds over the last 2-3 months alone, and lost my motivation for hitting the gym. So for me, this was my reset button. I wanted to ween myself off of all the unhealthy things I started putting into my body again after years of clean eating. I also wanted to eliminate coffee from my diet. My addiction to it is not on a healthy level, and I don’t want my energy throughout the day to rely on my morning dosage of soy latte…no matter how cozy it makes me feel. My face has also been breaking out due to my poor diet, so I am also doing this to clear up my skin. I understand that to some people (including my family), I might have taken this to be extreme, but I have always been one of those people who has no limits when it comes to my health.
So what are the benefits?
Fasting is an ancient, and powerful, approach to healing many common disease conditions. It allows the body to rest, detoxify, and to heal. During fasting, the body moves into the same kind of detoxification cycle that it normally enters during sleep. It uses its energy during a fast, not for digesting food, but for cleansing the body of accumulated toxins and healing any parts of it that are ill. As a fast progresses the body consumes everything that it can that is not essential to bodily functioning. This includes bacteria, viruses, fibroid tumors, waste products in the blood, any build up around the joints, and stored fat.
What do I expect to gain?
For me, this is more of a mental battle. To prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. But, of course, there are also other things to gain from a fast like this one… such as:
- Regulate and balance my eating habits
- Mental clarity
- Sharper eyesight
- Spiritual and inner peace
- More energy
- Stronger and more powerful digestion
- Detox and rid my body of all toxins and bacteria
- Clearer skin
- Loss of excess weight
- A jump start to a healthier happier me
So here is my log. To be honest, I aimed for 21 days. When I set the bar high, I usually tend to perform better. I did have to end my fast much earlier than I expected, on my 5th day, due to personal reasons. I have tried my best to describe how I was feeling, emotionally and physically during this time, including logging all of the symptoms of detox I was going through.
Day 1: July 7, 2014
Today was a piece of cake. Probably due to the overeating I did last night during iftar and suhoor time. I didn’t feel hungry whatsoever, and was pretty energized for the most part. I spent most of the day sleeping and laying down, mostly out of boredom, plus the heat outside was unbearable making it impossible to want to leave the house. Just developed a minor headache around midnight, probably due to caffeine withdrawals. Hope I can continue with this fast for as long as I’d like, while drinking water only at nighttime after iftar time.
Day 2: July 8, 2014
Woke up today feeling light and surprisingly even more energized than I was yesterday. My headache evolved into a more severe one and it made it a little hard to fall asleep last night. My tongue started turning white and my mouth felt a little dry. I am still not feeling hungry at all. Over all feeling good and just waiting till iftar so I can finally drink my water. I didn’t take a before photo or weigh myself which I need to do tonight so I can compare results after I complete this fast iA.
Weigh in- 127
(Seriously had a heart attack when I saw these numbers. This is 10lbs more than I thought I was, only confirming that I needed to get through this fast.)
Day 3: July 9, 2014
Woke up today feeling good again, but I noticed pain in my joints, mostly in my legs around my ankles. Last night was hell getting to sleep. I even woke up at 1am, as if in some sort of panic attack, ran upstairs to the fridge and took out a cold banana, ready to break my fast. I needed to seriously take a deep breath and just remind myself why I’m doing this, and that this will get easier over the next few days and reached for water instead. I started developing hunger pangs after midnight. When I drink water it would temporarily go away, but come back an hour or so later. I know that these feelings of hunger will go away over the next 20 days, and that the sign of true hunger is felt in the back of the throat. When this feeling occurs, then that is my sign that I must break my fast as soon as possible.
I find it so much easier to get through the days than nights. I wake up several times throughout my sleep, and fall asleep at later and later times, but waking up earlier, getting less sleep overall. My stomach feels empty, too empty. Not used to this feeling, as I normally reach for a fruit or something the moment my stomach growls. My headache has subsided and almost gone. I read that the body normally goes into Ketosis usually around day 4, so I’m expecting my body to enter that phase tomorrow, and finally start attacking my fat cells and eliminating its toxins. Right now my body is attacking my muscles for it’s energy unfortunately, but it only does this for about 2 days before it switches to stored fat.
I started thinking about food, all of the cold, sweet fruits I can’t wait to eat as soon as this is over. I miss my raw banana ice cream.
My face looks less puffy today, finally starting to drop that water weight! For now, the worst part is almost over.
Just woke up from a long nap. I have flu like symptoms, I feel so dizzy and lightheaded, especially when I get up suddenly. Also feeling very hot and sweaty, then freezing the next moment. I’m experiencing weird energy surges throughout the day, followed by energy crashes.
(7 pounds in a day? Screw the gym, I’ll just starve myself from now on! Kidding. This is mostly water weight due to the sodium that it being eliminated from my body, and I will most likely gain it back as soon as I start eating again.)
Day 4: July 10, 2014
I have no energy whatsoever. I feel like a walking zombie, seriously. Still not feeling hungry, but it’s the water I can’t have in the daytime that kills me. I am not feeling any pain today, but still having a hard time falling asleep and feeling restless. I even had a dream last night that I broke my fast eating spinach pies and ended up in severe pain…don’t know what that was about. One thing is obvious though, I think about food so much, it’s even creeping into my dreams. I feel thinner already, and my stomach is flatter than it has been in months. I’m proud I lasted this long to be honest. It’s just that I’m always thinking about food now, especially when I go on social networks and see all the photos of food people are posting up. No headache today at all, thank god. Going to get a mani and pedi in a bit for a little more relaxation. Today I should be entering in Ketosis, so it’s not time to give up now. This is the moment that makes all this worth it. My body will finally start attacking the fat cells, eliminating toxins and beginning its master cleanse. It’s already 5:30pm and I’m still in bed. Don’t want to get out. Ugh.
I just got back from a friend’s house and didn’t realize how tired I was until I got behind the wheel. I found myself literally struggling to turn my steering wheel while driving, and even opening and closing my car door felt like weight lifting. I went into the mall quickly to get my eyebrows done and my walking pace could compare to a that of a tortoise. The smallest task exhausts me.
Weigh in: 118lbs
July 11, 2014
I broke my fast today on a chunk of watermelon. I could have gone on for longer, but there was a major factor that did not allow me continue. I needed to stay hydrated ALL day during this type of fast. It wasn’t working out so well, because I was only able to consume water after iftar time, since it is the month of ramadan. I was not getting in my gallon or two of water a day, so my symptoms were a lot more severe than I expected. I did a watermelon fast all day today and will continue for another few days as to ease my stomach back into digestion. I feel much more energized after breaking my fast. I feel back to normal, able to go back to my normal daily routine.
Overall, I definitely recommend this cleanse. It is the purest I have felt in years. My digestion feels much better, and I could only imagine how great I would feel if I had completed the full 21 days. The biggest physical difference is probably in my face, it is less puffy because all of the water weight I dropped during these few days. I haven’t weighed myself after eating again… I didn’t do this for weight loss, but for the benefits of detox and gaining a healthier relationship with food. I do plan on completing a 21 day water fast in the near future, but I think I need to do it at a different time where I am able to consume water all day to make sure I am well hydrated, and maybe even under the supervision of someone who will be able to guide me and assure me that everything is okay.