Thursday, July 8, 2010

The fast: Day 3

Time: 10:30 pm (Hour 50 of 72)
Hunger Level: 2

Some minor side effects to report: an ever-so-slight headache, tightness in my chest, significantly-reduced physical energy, my muscles are a little tingly, and I’m experiencing some minor cognitive defects. Otherwise, I’m A-OK.

Some atypical experiences: When walking to the mailbox (a good quarter mile jaunt) I made myself take slow, careful steps, wary of over-exerting myself in the 100 degree heat. When I went to go water the rhododendron (that’s been shriveling in this ungodly weather), I was startled to see a 50-foot long black snake coiled in the grass, but relaxed upon realizing that it was just the hose that I was looking for.

Meanwhile I had a great idea: I thought it would be highly entertaining for readers if my blog updates became more and more incoherent. More deranged. I’d begin messing with my punctuation and spacing; my “hunger levels” would begin shooting through the roof. Hhahaaaha. (# 43 ^^sdf sd.,, !!. I’d start to share my darkest fantasies. I’d tell you that David’s calves were making my mouth water. You’d become worried, disgusted, sickened, but you wouldn’t be able to look away. What’s he going to do next, you’d wonder? Maybe he’s been crazy all along? And of course the hoax would culminate with pictures of me eating a ketchup-smattered David with a side of fava beans and a nice Chianti.

When I told David my idea he looked at me concernedly and told me that I looked “glucose deprived.”

I asked him what he planned on making for dinner tomorrow (after my fast) and he laughed maniacally and said, “chopped celery and cucumbers.”

When he turned around I sent him an icy glare, then looked at Lily’s belly as if it were a Christmas ham.

At worst, I thought the fast would be an interesting biological experiment and would, at best, give me the sort of heightened state of consciousness that I experienced in the canoe with Christian (described in fast entry #2).

But the truth is that the past two days have proceeded ordinarily. I got some good reading done this morning, watered the plants, and David and I watched No Impact Man this evening (which I enthusiastically give two thumbs up to).

My hunger has actually been quite tolerable. And while I can’t wait until I can eat tomorrow night, something tells me I could continue fasting for a lot longer before I begin suffering from serious health issues.

I think if my next meal was in two hours, I’d feel like I was starving. Yet, if it was a week away, I wouldn’t be hungry at all. The human mind is so delusive. Your mind lies to you and we lie to it. It says, “You’re hungry” and I say (even though I feel hungry), “Actually, no I’m not.” It says, “You’re tired of running” and I say, “I'm just fine.” It has good reason to lie. Better to stop me early, it thinks, before I go ahead and push too hard. But how can we ever know our true limits until we test ourselves? What talents and capacities in us have gone unused and undiscovered because we failed to intrepidly explore the fringe of our faculties?

We oftentimes feel that we “absolutely must have something” whether it be food, clothes, things. But when you don’t get that “something” and you’re still alive and well (and oftentimes better off without it), you begin to bring your whole world into question. If my mind is lying to me, who and what else is?

I think it’s good to be skeptical and critical about everything; to never believe anything until you’ve confirmed it through you own experience. So many times in the past have I felt like I was starving in between meals when, really, I should have known that I could have gone two full days without food and been no worse off.

Time: 3 am (hour 55 of 72)
Hunger Level: 3

Okay--trouble sleeping and starting to get hungry. I'm craving eggs and biscuits with butter. Either that, or a pizza. Mmmm. Apple Pie. We had a power outage from a thunderstorm, leaving me with no computer so I had nothing to distract my mind away from food.

Time: 12:30 pm (hour 64 of 72)
Hunger Level: 3

I had a slight headache after waking up and was a little woozy at the farmer's market this afternoon. When David asked me how I felt this morning I said "awful," while rubbing my head. "You're not feeling spiritual?" he asked, mockingly using the term. "Fuck spiritual," I said. But in all honesty, the fast has been remarkably easy, far easier than I anticipated. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the human body can be an impressive thing sometimes.

Time: 5 pm (hour 68 if 72)
Hunger Level: 3

My hunger isn't overwhelming, though I can't seem to make myself do anything worthwhile. I can read, but I don't want to. I can write, but I don't want to do that either. For a while I just sat in a chair and watched the minutes pass. Currently, I have no ambition to do anything. Except eat, of course. David's making a mushroom pizza and an apple pie for a late dinner tonight. My fast officially ends at 8:33 pm this evening. I am going to enjoy this meal.


Anonymous said...

Weird, man. I checked "no Impact Man" out this morning to watch tonight. We must have a extra-sensory connection! Or at least we did until you died of hunger this morning...

Ken said...

FreeWil--ha, I'm still ticking. The film got a strong critical reaction so I'm not sure how you'll take it. Some call the protagonist narcissistic, but I think he was passionate about what he was doing, even if he boosted his "profile" in the process.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been reading your fasting posts and love them. I completely agree that your mind can lie to your body. And that we really don't need all the food that we eat. I have fasted for "religious" reasons (not my religion, but my mom's), for the reasons of grief (5 days with only tea, water and broth after a very special and close friend died), and health reasons (I decided to skip dinners and large meals and just eat small ones all day long until 4pm in order to lose a bit of weight). The fasting for Yom Kippur was the worst one. I knew I needed food or I would "die". The grief fast was an unintentional side effect and went completely unnoticed until someone noticed and made me aware that I wasn't eating. At which time I just started eating again without really noticing any difference. I just wasn't hungry, nor did I have the energy to make or think about food. The no food in the evenings diet was hard at first and now I just don't get hungry. If I do feel peckish I have a cup of hot mint tea (sans sweetener) and feel full. I eat very healthy and fully throughout the day and don't eat anything especially diet-like. I eat local, fresh foods, including desserts. Stay away from processed or fast foods, but otherwise eat anything I like. I've lost about 10-15 lbs that way and can keep it off. It's amazing what you can get used to with just a tiny bit of effort!