I can’t believe how smoothly things are going. On my first couple of water fasts, the 2nd and 3rd days were by far the toughest. I just wanted to crawl up in a corner and collapse. In contrast, today it’s been a full day, and I still feel good, full of energy. It’s amazing the way the body can adapt with a little practice in fasting. It totally changes the experience. Here’s what happened today:
Got up. That’s right: nice and late :-). I slept well, just as if I weren’t on a fast. In the past, the lack of regular meals confused my biorhythm, and I’d wake up every two hours or so the whole way through the night. Now I just feel my kidneys a little, like they’re working. Nothing uncomfortable, though. After not drinking anything for about 9 hours, I’d better have at least half a litre now to rehydrate and flush out the kidneys. I do feel a little slow, though – but nothing like on my first few fasts when I hardly had the energy to get out of bed, and it would take a whole hour or more to feel human! All my muscles used to ache as well, but now there’s no sign of that at all.
A hot bath plus drinking a whole litre of water has fixed the feeling in my kidneys – I don’t feel them at all any more. The bath didn’t knock me out like yesterday. Now for some gruesome details… Interestingly, the smell of my sweat is different from 24 hours ago. Less obnoxious, it’s now a kind of bitter, herb-like smell. And even more interestingly, it’s only my left armpit which stinks! It’s strange: on every water fast, one armpit always smells stronger than the other. On my last fast it was the right, the time before that the left… I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I trust the body. It always knows best when it comes to detox.
I cooked the kids some porridge (their favourite for breakfast) and the sight of food doesn’t bother me. Last night I made curried rice for everyone. All those spicy smells did make my stomach rumble – it was the first time I’ve been a little hungry since yesterday at lunchtime. Can’t complain. Physically, this fast is going really smoothly.
It was a busy afternoon – or at least busy for a water fast. First, I took the girls to a rehearsal for their school Christmas concert, then went to drop off my son at a friend’s and stayed for an hour or so talking with the parents. Just like yesterday, my mind was clearer while talking than when I’m eating normally. Then I went back to the school for the concert, collected the girls afterwards and drove them home. I didn’t drink enough while out of the house, and began to feel my kidneys by the time we got home. So it was time for another litre of water and – given the holiday spirit with school officially finished now – a miniature glass of mulled wine.
Now I know what some of you are thinking: thoughts of horror at what I did. Water fast? Alcohol? What a taboo! Surely I’m headed straight to faster’s hell! For me, though, the important thing is not to disrupt family life too much. Doing a water fast is provocative for anyone around you, just like it is to be a vegetarian in a meat-eating world. I don’t want to make a big deal of doing what I’m doing, and want life around me to continue as normally as possible. So that means doing my share of the family cooking – as well as joining in on some good cheer (even it was rather a small dose). I wouldn’t have drunk if it endangered the biology of the fast. But that tiny quarter decilitre glass contained only 20-30 calories: not enough to switch on digestion or slow down the ketosis. I wouldn’t have drunk it if I felt a craving for the taste of the mulled wine. But I didn’t. I was happy to drink it, but there were no extra emotions attached.
I wonder how I’ll feel tomorrow? On previous water fasts, I’d pay the price for a relatively active day like today. But my feeling is that I’m going to feel fine tomorrow too. Hopefully there’ll be some kind of drama at some point – otherwise this blog is going to get pretty monotonous!