I hadn’t planned on participating in a water fast until my husband decided one morning he was not going to eat for three days! I thought, “Why not? Me, too!” It was an adventure I wanted to take even though I knew very little about the benefits (or the risks). The plan? We were going to drink a gallon of spring water every day, along with herbal supplements and herbal teas. That was the plan. I DID plan on being very hungry, however I did NOT plan on discovering such amazing things during this 72-hour period.
#1 ~ I now know what true hunger feels like and it is NOT when my stomach growls.
It turns out that when your body needs fuel, you get a really strange taste in your mouth and your throat becomes dry, too. The noise your stomach makes when you think you are hungry is actually your bowels detoxing from all the toxins we intake on a normal basis. The same applies to other hunger symptoms like headaches or irritability. When I woke up on Day 2 without food, I noticed that strange taste in my mouth and so did my husband so we looked it up to find that this was indeed a true sign that we were hungry, for real. The stomach growling would come and go, but the mouth/throat thing stayed with us until we finally ate on the fourth day. An even bigger takeaway is that I realized that I never allow my stomach to feel empty. Ever. I don’t wait to feel hungry before I am eating again. I won’t stop eating until I am completely full and my over-filled plate is empty. I eat within hours of waking and within hours of going to bed. This was my first fast and my very first introduction to hunger. Woah.
#2 ~ My relationship with food is completely jacked up.
The morning we woke up after 72 hours without food, I seriously think I could have continued the fast. Both Fresh and I woke up feeling amazing and literally 10 pounds lighter. We slept like bricks every night and our sinus issues were gone. That is just a few of the great results we experienced during the water fast. The decision to break the fast was easy because we were just too excited to eat those fresh mangoes we had purchased for just this occasion the night before. I could probably write an entire blog post on how incredible those mangoes tasted. We ate them so slowly and so deliberately – just mindful of the whole process and how much we gained from the entire experience.
After eating those mangoes, we had zero desire to eat again for most of the day! That surprised me because I had imagined we would be craving to eat way more. I realized during that week that eating three meals a day just might be complete bullshit. Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? What about dairy and meat and gluten and all of the media campaigns about what is good for us? I think our bodies know exactly what they need naturally and I think we have have been served a lot of mixed signals about what to eat and how much of it to eat. I think most of what we buy “out there” is just not good for us and probably way more than we actually need to be healthy.
#3 ~ Fasting is way more about spirituality than it is about dieting.
I had no idea that the decision to drink only water for a few days would end up feeling like I had attended a weekend meditation retreat. IT WAS SO SPIRITUAL, PEOPLE! Seriously! As the days progressed, my body was unable to “do” very much so I had to remain in a state or relaxation. That lead to so much quiet time, reading and thinking. I spent time outside. I had a number of deep discussions with my husband and family about what we were all learning throughout this process of water fasting. I wanted to do better for my body. I wanted to learn more about this body-suit that encases my soul and is such a part of me. We decided to eat only fruit for a day, followed by fruits and vegetables for a day, then added some grains and seeds to our diet. What a great experience as we discovered all kinds of new things about ourselves and about the food we consume.
Fresh and I decided to eat clean for a few months following the fast. We ate “Dr. Sebi clean” which I describe as extreme vegan and continued to learn more about what we consumed and how it affected us. It has been a continuous process that we are still trying to figure out along the way. Our daily routine still includes plenty of water and I am pretty sure we plan to do this fasting thing every year with intermittent fasting in between. I would highly recommend that you look into it for yourself! Just be sure to check with your doctor first and be sure you are aware of the fasting do’s and don’ts. This experience changed me for the better. I am so happy that I decided to join my husband and starve for three days! I would have never guessed what it would teach me. (Now I want a mango.)