For the better part of 2018, I was struggling with some serious stomach problems. These issues have been on and off most of my life, but last year in particular, they sidelined me from my regular activities. I soon got tired of not feeling good and decided to do something about it. After doing my research, I decided that a 10 day water fast sounded the most promising for solving my issues.
Aside from the stomach issues, I was also sitting at 25% body fat, which, to me, is not ideal. So I wanted to use this fasting period to get down to 10% body fat. I know that sounds extreme, but I planned to monitor my blood pressure and pulse and I knew if I started to experience any negative side effects, I’d quit the fast, because I didn’t want to feel any worse than I already did.
This isn’t the first time I’ve done an all water fast. I’ve done this type of fasting for about 15 years now with seven days being the longest I’ve ever fasted. Most of the time I do intermittent fasting where I don’t eat breakfast one day a week. On a few occasions, I’ve done three and five day fasts. That being said, I’m used to doing this and I know what to expect and my body knows what to expect. Side note- if this is your first time attempting a fast, really do your research and listen to your body.
If you’ve never fasted before, you can read through my daily progress below. Just so we’re all clear, this is what I’ve experienced while fasting and you may experience something completely different or something similar.
For day one of my fast, I stuck to water and went for an hour long hike with my dog. Nothing extreme and nothing radically different from any other day during the last year, I just didn’t eat. I was hungry, but feeling good and staying positive. Staying in a good head space is crucial during your fast. In my experience, day one is by far the easiest. You might feel hungry. If you do, just remember that your body doesn’t need fuel on the first day, it just thinks it does because you normally eat several times a day.
This is when your body clock might start being more insistent about telling you it’s time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your body shifts from just reminding you it’s time to eat to a more insistent need for fuel. The reality is your body has already been fueled and has been storing that fuel for days just like this. All those extra carbohydrates you eat are taken in and converted to fat and then stored right around your midsection.
Day two is when your body starts to clue in to what’s happening and it will stop waiting to burn what you put in your stomach (just water at this point) and it will start using the stored up fuel. This switch over is called ketosis and usually it kicks in late in day two or sometimes into day three. When it happens, you’ll know, because you’ll start to feel better. For me, day two comes with headaches and lethargy, but I pushed through and did my yoga and meditation before heading into work.
Whenever I fast or start something new I’m reminded of Kanter’s Law. This basically states that any type of change is hardest in the middle.
I know that the first two days of the fast will be easy, the next few days will be the hardest, and the final two days will be easy because the end is in sight. You can see how this law applies to other things like training to become a better shooter or even getting through a divorce. At first, you take it day-by-day, adjust to the new normal, but then you get to the middle and you have to put in the work to start getting through the day and seeing improvements in your shooting or maybe just your mood and outlook on life.
It’s like when I’m out for a run and people make some type of comment about how I make it look so easy. Of course it looks easy! They just watched me run down the mountain. They missed the part where I was working hard, sweating, and struggling to get to the top. All they see is me basically falling down the other side of the mountain with what little bit of bodily control I have left. My point is, never forget the struggle that leads us to our outcomes. There’s always going to be a hard part you have to push through to see results.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my fasting journey. Until then, keep paving your path to perfection.