Have you ever done a fast? If so, what kind of fast? Fasts can be very beneficial when done properly and for the correct reasons. I do not promote fasts solely for weight loss. You may lose weight, but you gain most of it back as soon as you start eating again and fasts are not the solution to long term weight loss. There are a variety of reasons people fast, including to raise spiritual awareness, overcome addictions, and to improve health conditions. Fasts promote detoxification and allow your digestive organs to rest. This allows your body to focus on healing itself from injuries or diseases. I decided to fast because I hadn’t been eating healthy and was feeling weighed down physically and spiritually. I’ve had some unexpected changes in my personal life that didn’t have me in the best mental state and I wanted to reset myself.
I’ve done juice fasts in the past, but I wanted to challenge myself to try something different. I decided to do a water fast for two weeks. I drank a liter of distilled water every day. I read that the first three days are the hardest and after three days your body adjusts to not eating. I didn’t have any problems the first 3 days. My first 5 days I felt pretty good. I didn’t have a ton of energy but I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out. I also attribute meditation and prayer for the success of being able to fast for so long. Every morning I made sure to meditate and say my prayers afterwards. It’s very important that you’re in a positive state of mind while fasting. If your mind is right, your body will follow. I also made sure that I was around positive people that support me. Granted, this isn’t always possible but use your best judgement on who you’re around. You can excuse yourself and have some alone time or just avoid situations all together if you don’t feel up to being around certain individuals. I did not tell anyone besides my husband that I was fasting. It’s your private journey and fasting isn’t well understood or supported in the Western world. I didn’t want anyone judging me or telling me I was doing something wrong so I decided to keep it to myself.
After the first 5 days, things got interesting. This may be too much information for some of you, so you may want to skip this paragraph. My tongue had a thick white film all over it for the duration of the fast. This may sound weird, but I was excited by this because I knew that the fast was doing its job. I was not eating any food and my body was able to focus on healing itself because it has a break from digesting. The white film was toxins that my body was detoxing and getting rid of. Your body will detox in many different forms, including through the tongue.
Besides detoxing physically, I was purging in other ways as well. I had an overwhelming desire to go through my house and get rid of old items that I don’t need and should have probably thrown out years ago. It felt so gratifying to clean out my closets. I felt like I was closing one chapter and opening myself up for new adventures.
The last 3 or 4 days was difficult for me. I kept thinking about being done and eating food. I wasn’t as strong mentally as when I first started. I was really proud of how long I had fasted but I think I was just ready for it to be over. When you break your fast, you have to be careful what you eat. Remember, your stomach has shrunken from not eating and you can’t eat whatever you want. I had smoothies and soup for the first couple of days and slowly incorporated regular food into my diet. I’ve been off the fast for about 5 weeks and I make sure that I eat healthy. I know that my body is no longer used to anything processed and I’ll get sick if I eat it. I also feel better overall. I’ve been much happier and in a positive state of mind.
My takeaways: I will definitely fast again. I feel better. My skin is glowing from drinking all that water. I have more energy and feel more spiritually attuned. Overall, I feel more calm and at peace. I plan on doing a water fast for 7-10 days twice a year. I recommend preparing a few days prior to the fast. Increase your water intake and eat a plant based diet so your body can gradually adjust to the fast. I’m impulsive and like to do things spur of the moment so I didn’t prepare properly, but I do not recommend this. Another good idea is to work your way up to a long term fast. Try doing fasting for a day, then 3 days and so on. Please consult your physician before doing a fast. Some of you have medical conditions that may prevent you from fasting. Make sure to speak with your doctor. I found the book “The Miracle of Fasting: Proven Throughout History for Physical, Mental, & Spiritual Rejuvenation: by Paul and Patricia Bragg to be very insightful on fasting.