David's Fasting Journal
I haven't participated on the MDA forum in quite a long time. I've considered myself 'primal' for two or three years now, but my commitment is lacking. I realistically run 60-70%, rather than 80%, so I've never achieved a look to truly be proud of. After going primal, I managed to drop about 20 pounds, and then have gained back 5 of that and have managed to maintain that level for a couple of years. I don't think it looks bad on me, but am still not pleased when I see photos of myself.
Here are my stats:
5'5" - 5'4.5" in my typical slouch
160 pounds give or take - that was as of last Thursday morning, July 12
When I look around at people my age, I think I don't look too bad. But I miss that leaner look - especially in my face, when I look at photos of me before the age of 30. And anyway, who wants to use the sorry chubby-fat people in my age range as a gauge?
So...I'm on day 5 of a fast. Weight this morning was 151.8. I'm feeling worse today than I've felt the previous 4 days, so I'm not going to write much more right now. I do want to fill this journal in with how I decided to do this and my account of the last 4 days - later.
Started feeling better today by about 1pm - energy has risen. I've been battling hunger on days 2 - 5, but it seemed to subside this afternoon. Last Wed evening (the last supper), I indulged in too much wine and beer. At that point I was still undecided if I would start the fast the following day, and knew the alcohol would make the transition more difficult. However, I've done quite a few 18 hour IFs, several 36 hour IFs, and went 4 1/2 days back in April. Fasting gets easier the more often you do it. Also, my wife left for a week long trip on Thursday, so I knew there'd be no temptation from her cooking.
Besides reading Mark's recent 7 part series on fasting, as well as reading his promotions of IF the past couple of years, I was also inspired by a recent article in Harper's Magazine which detailed the early 20th century medical recommendations of fasting. I recommend that article if you can find it - was probably April or May this year and was titled something like 'Starve Your Way to Health'.
Some more stats - I should've taken measurements before starting:
Waist - 34.5"
Chest - 40"
Bicep Left - 13.5" Right - 13.25"
I'm showing bicep and chest measurements to gauge any muscle loss...
Another thought: I've read some other info online about fasting and most recommend easing back into food with either juice or raw vegetables, as the body supposedly won't be able to handle digesting animal products. What bullshit! Within a few days of fasting, your body is living off of animal fat, and somehow it'll do better introducing raw veggies?! I once ended a 36 hour fast with a simple salad, and had some rather extreme digestive results within two hours. When I end this, it'll be with some homemade pemmican and a Ribeye.
Weight this morning: 150.0
BP 117/76 pulse 62
This is the first morning since day two that I don't have that gnawing hunger - now I know I can go seven days, or longer...
Had a sneezing fit last night around 10:30 with lots of sniffling that lasted past bedtime. Still sniffling - weird. The one major thing the PBS has given me has been a major reduction in allergies and asthma. I had allergy problems daily for nearly all my life. Asthma problems from before the age of 2 that I largely outgrew by about 14. The asthma returned at 35 and at my peak weight of 175 (age 44) I was using asthma meds regularly. I've been off the meds since about 1 week after going primal.
Now I'm thinking, coffee or no coffee?
Here's my caffeine record on this fast:
Day 1 - 1 pot, about 8 cups as measured on the percolator
Day 2 - same
Day 3 - 1 large coffee (16 oz?) to go, from local restaurant
Day 4 - same
Day 5 yesterday - pot of black tea
Day 6 - TBD
Normally when my wife takes a trip, I would spend lots of free time at our local brewery... Now that I'm fasting I have to do something to keep me busy. Here's what I've done since day 1, keeping in mind that Mon through Fri I keep regular work hours:
Day 1 - Thursday - Took the dog fishing. We only fished about an hour and a half, as I wasn't dressed warmly enough.
Day 2 - Friday - Fished about 3 hours. Wasn't feeling very energetic.
Day 3 - Saturday - Morning walk with the dog, casual just around town. Ten hour shooting class which had just enough movement and physical activity for me to handle. Got home at 9:30 pm and took the dog for another short walk.
Day 4 - Sunday - Shooting at the local range for a couple of hours, then fished for about three hours in the afternoon.
Day 5 - Monday - Back to work, then fished for three hours in the evening.
Day 6 - Today - Feeling much more energetic today. Did some planking and 30 pushups during lunch hour, fished for three hours tonight.
I fly-fish, so it is not simply sitting in a chair holding a fishing rod. Not exactly a grueling workout, but it involves walking up and down river, moving and climbing over boulders and tonight even carrying my 45 pound dog across the river.
Meanwhile, I'm feeling a bit of hunger, but it's tolerable....
Up at 4:45 am for my weekly Wed morning meeting.
Weight - 147.8
I did another 30 pushups last night about 10 pm.
Saw your journal this morning, and found it interesting. I read that same article in Harpers, and really enjoyed Mark's series. Tried my first fasts this spring. Thanks for writing about your experiences with a longer fast. I will be following along to see how you are doing. Will you keep journalling after you stop, to let us know how the transition and rebound go?
Thanks Sabine - glad to hear someone's interested. And yes, I'll try to keep up the journal with my re-entry into solid food whenever that is?
Onto this evening's update:
Good lord, I'm wiped out! Maybe I overdid the exercise yesterday. Went out during lunchtime to mow the lawn and do some light hardworking - picking up apples, dogpoop, a little weeding. I have a very small yard so mowing takes less than half hour. By the time I was done, I was out of breath and basically non-functional the rest of the afternoon. There will be no fishing and o walking this evening, considering an early bedtime...
Beginning day 8
Weight - 146.6
BP - 110/74
Pulse - 69
Ended up taking the dog for a short walk last night. - more of a slow shuffle.
Beginning day 9
Weight - 145.6
BP - 104/71
Pulse - 59
The last two days were hell, as if I'd been drugged as all I wanted to do was sleep. At first I thought maybe I'd overdone it with the exercise on Tuesday, although that didn't seem quite right. Then I thought maybe I'd become dehydrated from the light yard work I did on Wednesday, and my chapped lips yesterday indicate that may be. So i've been drinking lots of water the last two days and I think that threw me out of balance. My wife returned from Hawaii last night and brought me some fancy Hawaiian sea salt mixed with ground shells or something and I thought I'd try a little sample - oh lord did that taste good! It kinda triggered this salt craving and I ended up having probably two teaspoons of salt and I feel so much better this morning. That drugged feeling is gone...
For my water needs, I alternate regular water with 'electrolyte water': 8C water + juice of one lemon + 1tsp salt + a little sweetener(I use stevia). I find I really like the taste now, and it seemed to give me a little mental boost when I was fasting.