Day One: Lunchtime

I got through the morning tea that was put on for us at work.

I’m surprised nobody noticed I wasn’t eating. If someone did, they didn’t comment. I just sipped at my herbal tea and joined the conversation. It was nice actually.

Now it’s lunchtime. I went for a nice long walk, and now I’m sitting at Queen’s Gardens near work. I feel quite hungry, but not so much that I’m desperate to eat.

If the fasts I’ve done before are anything to go by, it’ll get harder as I approach mid afternoon, then the hunger will fade away. And tomorrow lunch I’ll be really hungry.

But for now I’m fine.

The cenotaph at Queen’s Gardens

I’m helped by it being a beautiful autumn day. I couldn’t ask for better weather to be walking, sitting outside and meditating.

I feel good 😊

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Day One: Why a long fast instead of intermittent fasting?

A lot of people find success with intermittent fasting, but it hasn’t worked very well for me in the past.

I generally find long fasts easier than intermittent fasting.

I think alternate day fasting is probably the most difficult fasting method of all. You never really get used to it (or I didn’t), so it always feels like deprivation. You’re always just about to fast, or fasting, or just coming out of a fast. You never get a break.

I suppose you get used to it after a time, but I never did when I tried it in the past.

By comparison, long fasts get fairly straightforward after Day 2, or they have in the past for me anyway. The hunger spikes around meal times get less severe, and it really just becomes a head game dealing with the question of what do I do when I don’t eat.

I know today will be tricky, and I know tomorrow will be tough. But I’ve dealt with this before. I’m on familiar ground for the next few days as an experienced faster. I know what to expect – or I think I do.

So I’m going to keep busy, focus on prayer and meditation and all that introspection stuff, and I’m going to get through it.

DAY ONE: I begin my 40 days

I’ve fasted many times before, but never for anything longer than a week.

In the past, I’ve usually found Day 1 to be fine, and Day 2 to be difficult, then things get a little bit easier for a couple of days.

It’s been certain times of the day that get tough. I was always pretty much fine for the morning, but lunchtimes – from about 1 to 3 in the afternoon – I felt quite hungry.

Of course, when I’ve fasted before, I never had a 12 Step program or a Sponsor or meetings to help me out.

Today could be tricky. We’ve got a morning tea for the last day of work before the Easter break, and a friend of mine is bringing home made hot cross buns. I don’t want to offend her, but I won’t be having any.

In the past, I’d have probably lied about why, but today I’m going to try saying the truth – that I’m fasting. I don’t have to tell anyone how long I’m fasting for. I don’t have to tell anyone anything really. But I don’t want to lie about it.

Lunchtime should be straightforward. I’ll just go for my usual walk, and extend it a little across the time that I would normally be eating. That should make today quite manageable.

I’ve decided not to look into the future too much, and to instead just take each day as it comes. So my job today isn’t to worry over next week, or the week after that. My job today is to get through today as best I can.

I’m also not going to beat myself up if I make a mistake along the way. I’ll just own it, then move on. This isn’t about guilt. It’s about me trying to connect with and understand my Higher Power and my own self. It’s about me trying to become healthier and less toxic.

So yes, my fast has begun. If all goes well, and I have the resolve I need, I won’t be eating for quite a while.

Day zero: last meal

I just ate dinner for what I hope will be the last time in a while.

It feels weird.

I had a piece of salmon, couscous and some veggies. It felt good to eat, but I’m aware that I’m still cramming it in (for want of a better expression) instead of eating slowly and tasting every mouthful. Which is what I need to learn to do.

Why I am doing this? I don’t even really know. I want to get a handle on my eating behaviours, and 40 days without any food seems like a pretty kickass way to do that. I figure my habits should be pretty much killed off at the end of 40 days.

If I make it that far…

I guess that’s also what I’m afraid of. Failure. Getting to day 3 or 4 (which are the hardest days) then just calling it quits, and not really having a good reason why.

So here I am, the night before, feeling like I’m about to run the marathon.

I’m not under any illusions that this won’t be tough. I’ll learn about myself – hopefully a lot. I’ll learn more about my Higher Power too. I know I won’t get very far unless I put my trust in him.

So yes, I’m nervous, scared, afraid of failure. Yet here I am, willing to give this a go.

Because, well…why not?

Day zero – Abstaining

While I fast, I will abstain from all solid foods.

I will drink only the following: water, soda water, unsweetened teas.

I will abstain from: all news, all social media (excluding this blog). This should be easy, as I’ve been off social media now for the best part of the year. I’ve been off Facebook and Twitter even longer – I think it’s been three years for both, and I don’t miss them.

I will abstain from all unnecessary shopping.

I’ll try to walk at least an hour daily.

I’m scared of fasting for this long, but I’m also looking forward to it.

Now I’ve decided to fast, I want to just get on with it! and start.

I’ll wait. I start tomorrow.

DAY ZERO

I’ve decided I’m going to do a long fast.

I’ve done several shorter fasts before (five days or less) and I think I’m ready to tackle something bigger.

So tonight will be my last meal for a while – a piece of salmon, and some vegetables. Then I’ll start proper fasting tomorrow.

I’ve decided to document how I feel as I progress through the fast. I’m aiming for 40 days, but will see how I go. I’m a bit scared, to be honest – it’s a huge undertaking, and I think I’ll be stretched to my limits.

Whether I make it for that long or not, I intend that the next 40 days will be days of reflection, prayer and meditation, and light exercise to help me focus on my spirituality and on caring for my body properly.