Water Fasting Journal Day One

Disclaimer: Do not fast if you have issues with a weak heart, medical conditions, or are on medications, and be sure you have supervision if you plan to go on a long fast. I am not a medical professional. This is my personal fasting journal. Please consult a medical professional before you fast.

First day of water fast: thoughts about why I am fasting

Fasting day one February 29, 2020

  • Age 60 and 4 months
  • Height 5 ft 3 in
  • Weight 168
  • Waking temp 195.6
  • Blood Pressure 130/80

I have been fasting since I was 14, starting with absolute fasting one day per week for a while though I didn’t even know dry fasting was known as “absolute fasting”. 

Today I am drinking water though I may do some days of dry fasting as well. I plan to go for at least a couple of weeks or longer if possible since my workload is light this month.

I first began fasting way back in 1973 because I met a cute boy who was a couple of years older than me. We were on a trip to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. Chaco Canyon is one of the most beautiful spiritual locations on the planet. If you haven’t been you should go!

Anyway, this guy was doing his weekly one day fast. He was drinking water this time. But said he usually didn’t have anything by mouth for 24 hours each week. 

Since we were in the desert he decided he was going to make adjustments. Adam did martial arts and had long blond hair.

He seemed to have this quiet, wise, meditative air just like the dude from the TV show Kung Fu that I had seen on TV. This was 1973 so that was all the exposure I’d had to spirituality so far. (I didn’t discover Herman Hesse for another few years.)

I decided right then and there I wanted to be just like Adam.

My first Absolute or dry fast at age 13

The next day on our trip I decided to fast. I didn’t drink any water or tell anyone what I was doing. In the morning I got up at sunrise and went up on the mesa all by myself.

To prepare for the water fast, I got up at dawn and hiked alone off onto a secluded mesa. I took off all my clothes and meditated on a rock for about ten minutes. It’s actually pretty cool that my first meditation was in Chaco Canyon!

Somehow I thought this was what spiritual people did. Don’t laugh! I was 13 and I didn’t know much about anything. Somehow even without the internet, I had gotten this idea of “meditation” even though I didn’t really know what it was. I that you were supposed to sit naked, cross-legged on a rock and close your eyes and meditate.

I went through the whole day without food or water in the desert and it was easy. No one noticed I hadn’t eaten anything all day which I thought was so cool. I felt powerful and clear-headed.

I went vegetarian after that fasting experience and found free karate classes at the local police academy. I began doing one day per week of dry fasting for a few months but eventually stopped.

I kept at my new lifestyle of exercising and a vegetarian diet even though my friends thought I was weird and didn’t join in.

And I have been like that ever since, just doing my own thing and not caring what anyone else thinks.

About Absolute Fasting

Absolute fasting is dry fasting without water. A “hard dry fast” is done without washing your hands or having any contact with water. A “soft dry fast” allows you to bathe.

Absolute fasting is practiced a lot in Russia where they have medical fasting centers where they study this.

The beneficial effects of dry fasting for one day are supposed to be equivalent to 3 days of water fasting, but I am not sure if any legitimate studies exist.

Even water fasting is seen as dangerous and crazy in our culture of overconsumption. But water fasting and absolute fasting have both been used for centuries around the world for healing and spiritual purposes.

People have done absolute fasts for 9 days or longer with medical supervision and on their own. the longest dry fast on record is 18 days.

I have personally only done three days of absolute fasting at one time. I found it a bit easier than water fasting. Not having any stimulus to the stomach made all hunger cease.  Water fasting tends to keep the body hungrier in my experience.

In any case, if you have never fasted before it is best to have a medical professional assisting you with any kind of long-term fasting and get your baseline blood work done.

Breaking Your fast is the hardest part

True North fasting center in Santa Rosa is a great place to learn more about assisted fasts. I would go there if I had the financial means. They have a great program for refeeding after the fast. They help people who want to fast for medical reasons or to lose weight and transition to a new diet. Their fasts go from a week up to a month.

Fasting itself isn’t the hardest part of the process. Breaking the fast correctly and maintaining a healthy diet afterward is the key.

A lot of fasting videos on YouTube show people breaking their fasts things like Chobani yogurt with all that sugar and cow puss or other unhealthy things afterward. Beware, and do your research because a lot of people who are fasting online are not educated about nutrition.

It is best to break a fast with green juice or light foods like melon, cucumber, and other mild fruits and then gradually add heavier foods. I personally like using solid foods like melon because the fiber is great for cleansing and getting the body ready to start digesting again.

And the whole point of fasting for me besides the spiritual aspect is to maintain a healthy diet free of processed foods.

Preparing for the fast

It is best to be well-nourished for several months before you fast. I prepared for the fast well with over a year of eating 90 percent whole-foods plant-based, reading and researching nutrition and fasting.

I ate really well for the most part but I began to cheat every week or two with processed vegan treats, unfortunately. Then the last two weeks I ate mostly fruit and raw greens with some heavier cooked foods once a day.

During my teens, I didn’t know anything about nutrition or fasting at the time and was eating a junk food vegetarian diet with dairy, eggs, and a lot of processed foods. Hey, it was 1974. What did I know?

Later I did some longer water fasts of 3 or 4 days with the longest being 10 days so far but this time I would like to go 20 to 30 days to reap the benefits of a longer water fast.

I also did a lot of intermittent fasting without knowing what it was by skipping breakfast and lunch during my early years as a dancer.

Why water fasting instead of juicing for a long fast?

Green Juicing with a minimal amount of sweet fruits can be beneficial for some people but it isn’t a fast, it’s a liquid diet. People who drink coffee and caffeinated tea and other beverages on a water fast are not getting the full benefits of resting the body and allowing it to do the job of healing.

My goal is to get the full benefits of fasting in the shortest amount of time. I want to heal inflammation and get over my processed food addiction for good. It is pretty normal to want high-calorie foods packed with concentrated fats and oils and sugar and salt.

Most people have been fed that stuff since before birth through the umbilical cord. But people do get over these addictions and I really want to get free. I don’t want to spend the last 20 or 30 years of my life being a slave.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting can be a great way to get some of the benefits of resting your digestion each day by eating fewer meals and snacks. Eating two meals per day within a 5-hour window would be one way to do this. Or skipping 2 meals once a week to give your body a rest is another way to do this.

You don’t get the benefits of ketosis with this type of fasting, but it is very beneficial for some people. We tend to snack all the time in this culture, so the body never gets to finish digesting. The stomach always has food in it so you do not go through the elimination stage properly each day.

Health benefits of fasting

Fasting is an age-old way to allow the body to rest and refocus on healing. When you take away the digestion process and rest as much as possible, the body goes into overdrive and starts eating old cells. This is called autophagy and lowering blood pressure.

When you take away food the body begins healing everything that needs healing starting with the most damaged parts first and working its way through the body. The body has the wisdom that medical treatments often cannot mimic.

The metabolism goes up a bit to motivate you to go out and find food no doubt. Stem cell production and other beneficial things start to happen in the body as it repairs itself.

With fasting, you get the power of ketosis without the damage of eating a ton of saturated fats and oils all day long.

Often the full switch to ketosis or fat burning doesn’t start within 48 hours for many people. It can take up to five days to get into full ketosis. So the first few days the body is using the most efficient fuel source which is muscle glycogen and liver glycogen. Once that is depleted the body still does not go to ketosis right away because burning pure fat is inefficient.

Before the body switches over to fat burning, it takes a tiny bit of muscle tissue and turns that into sugar first because it is easier. But after a few days of this, it naturally stops burning muscle and goes into muscle-sparing mode even though this is less efficient and takes more energy to make fuel for the brain and body from ketones.

The body figures out around day 4 or 5 that this may be a long-term situation so we had better switch fuel sources. It doesn’t want to use up the very muscle tissue we will need to go out and search for fuel.

This is one reason a ketogenic diet is not a good solution for most people. It is very hard to stay on it perfectly enough to get into ketosis and stay there. If you are not perfect and you cheat at all at it you are burning a lot of muscle tissue over the many months of struggling to stay in ketosis.

You get dramatic-looking weight loss at first because of losing water weight the first few weeks and then you get more muscle loss than you would on a whole foods plant-based diet rich in fiber and carbs.

With fasting, this muscle loss stops after the first few days so it is a lot safer than trying to eat while in ketosis because you really can’t mess it up until you start eating again.

The deeper why of fasting for me

I realized that although I want to be thin and healthy the biggest reason to do this is I do not want to be taking in the vibration of fear that is inherent in processed foods. So the bigger reason is spiritual and energetic. When you think about the motivation behind all the money and research that goes into making packaged foods taste so good it is a fear-based industry.

These huge companies think that they have to make us eat more of things by adding salt sugar and flavorings because they don’t know they can make money doing positive, non-harming things. So this is a huge momentum based on a mentality of lack. It is also not very creative. It is a waste of human energy.

I am sure most company owners who make things like vegan donuts, fake vegan meat, chocolate goodies, and cheeses and treats don’t think about it consciously. They are thinking: Let’s give people something they want to buy that is tasty. We are doing a service; we are doing this out of love.

But people who start companies to sell processed foods are not doing a service. Either they are addicted to the junk they are putting out or they think they have to make a living by doing something harmful.

And that means all that equipment and all the workers who pick the crops and work the assembly lines are there because someone thinks they have to do this big elaborate scheme that harms other people’s health in order to survive. I don’t want to be affirming that and supporting it and taking it in not even now and then for “fun”.

I want to be fully in alignment with my own values even if it means going against the cultural norms and the momentum that drives it.

I want to have the freedom to be at my normal weight and not be a slave or a robot just doing what we are expected to do. By buying processed foods we are feeding a machine that is so insensitive it doesn’t care if it is killing itself.  Freedom is my ultimate goal.

Food issues, body image issues, and dieting issues. Oh My!

I have had food and body issues since I was 18 or 19 and started a modern dance career. But I don’t know anyone in this culture who doesn’t have confusion around food.

 We have such a warped culture. We are disconnected from our food source by shipping packaged foods hundreds of miles. And there is so much processed junk. The diet industry is a major point of confusion. The diet industry is keeping people from getting healthy so they can profit from the confusion.

When I was younger I knew something was wrong with our culture, but I didn’t know a lot about nutrition or how to nourish my body properly.

 I would go on a calorie-restricted diet without eating enough nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods. I was extremely nutritionally depleted and would end up eating a lot of processed foods after dieting for a while without knowing why I couldn’t stop.

I have since adopted a whole foods plant-based diet. This has helped me improve my health and nourish my body over the past few years.

But I still have cravings and eat junk food a few times a week and I would like to break the spell for good and get back to my normal weight. I have been about 60 to 80 over-weight for over ten years starting at the age of 48, after a lifetime of being very active thin though tormented by junk food cravings.

Just be moderate and eat whatever you want or crave

Fasting is not recommended for people with my “mental-emotional makeup”. We are just supposed to use moderation and -not be so perfectionistic.

Sometimes moderation isn’t the way to go

According to the mainstream mentality, I am supposed to be happy to weigh 160 like everybody else who is 5 foot 3 because that is the average weight for American women who are my height right now. And it just keeps going up. In the 1980s 140 was the “normal” weight for my height.

Nutrition is a huge issue that is all tangled up in the media and the diet industry.

The mainstream rule is: don’t diet, don’t fast, don’t obsess with food, don’t cut out any foods.

Just eat whatever you like in moderation and be happy. Enjoy yourself and know you are great the way you are.

This is all good. But why not do both? Be happy the way you are and strive to eat a healthier diet and be even better without being weird and obsessive.

I tried Noom for a week out of curiosity recently. It’s a good app but it doesn’t encourage a whole foods plant-based diet. It is much more middle of the road.

Noom encourages you to keep eating some addictive processed food each and every day but eat less of it.

Noom says “Why would you want to stop eating ice cream forever? That’s crazy talk!”

Maybe the people at Noom are just addicted to processed foods too, so they are happy with being a bit chubby and complying with keeping the old system going and giving lots of support to the processed food industry.

But why would I want to have to eat frozen congealed cow puss with sugar once or twice a week just to be seen as “normal”? (Or the vegan version of congealed frozen oil and sugar).

I can be free to eat real foods and put healthy high-quality nutrients into my body and that is what I want.

To me the Noom-style approaches to health are like saying:

“Just have fewer cigarettes or fewer narcotics, just shoot up with heroin a little less often, or just drink wine instead of vodka every day”.

Ultra-processed food is a slow-acting poison

I’m going for the Joel Fuhrman Fast Food Genocide style of thinking.

I want to go for the best health I can get instead of settling for mediocre health because I am worth it and so are you.

But we shall see how I feel on day 7 or day ten of this fast. I might decide Noom was right after all. Feeling sort of ok all the time might be easier than fighting the system. “Don’t be extreme, don’t make waves”.

But why do I have to just comply and eat some processed food every day and keep the cravings alive?

Noom says: eat intuitively of processed junk along with some healthy stuff and just be happy you are not morbidly obese.

And it’s true, being chubby is fine.

I get it. If moderation works for you and keeps you from obsessing about your weight that is great.

The Noom message is: “Stop fat-shaming and stop trying to attain some impossible skinny twiggy ideal.”

It isn’t about being “rail-thin” for me. It is about staying on a whole foods plant-based diet and being as free and as healthy as I can be and my reaching full potential as a human.

I have always loved fasting. It clears my mind and gives my body a house cleaning and makes spiritual pursuits easier.

But that is just me. You do you!

Read More Fasting Journal Entries:

Disclaimer: Do not fast if you have issues with a weak heart, medical conditions, or are on medications, and be sure you have supervision if you plan to go on a long fast. I am not a medical professional. This is my personal fasting journal. Please consult a medical professional before you fast.

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