Updated: Feb 16, 2022
I finally have found the time and the motivation to do another long fast. I have very little problem keeping my one day a week dry fast or monthly 3 days fast. However, fasting for longer periods of time requires more planning somehow, at least if I still want to enjoy life with friends and family (which I do). Longer fasts also require a fair amount of willpower and drive, and sometimes (at least in the early days) motivation can be the hardest thing to come by.
Day 1 / Tuesday 08.02.2022 9am
So, here I am, 4 months after my last long fast (which had to be cut short, I was going for 15 days, and did 6) and 7 months after the longest fast I have ever done, back for more :). I did not keep to my "fasting with the change of seasons" very strictly last year; hopefully, this year it will be easier to fit in more than two long fasts. I am looking forward to fast for more than three days, and I decided to start this longer fast with three days of dry fasting; straight up like that, I ain't messing around :D. In all seriousness, I felt like having three days of deep healing, which I truly believe, and feel, that dry fasting achieves for my body and my mind.
End of day one. It is usually the most challenging day for me, but today has been pretty smooth sailing: no hunger pains. I also took it very easy today. I stayed at home, it was exactly what I needed. I feel a little tired; I practised yoga at home and did some weight training this afternoon.
Day 2 / Wednesday 09.02.2022 10.15am
I woke up really late this morning, I felt extremely low in energy. To be fair, I am about to have my period, which is usually the time when I have the least energy, so it is not something I am too surprised about. I purposely decided to coincide this fast with my period this time around. I mentioned in another post that I had looked into fasting around my menstrual cycle, and it is believed that fasting for women is more beneficial if it is done during the follicular phase. The worst time, this will come as no surprise to most women, is the time right before the menstruation. I tend to feel sluggish, bloated and uneasy in my physical body, emotionally sensitive and craving just about everything the week leading to my menstruation :) Once I hit the menstrual phase, it is instant: I feel level-headed again, I lose 5 kilos in water that seemed to have taken permanent stay in my body, and I regain the mostly positive outlook l usually have on life (I say mostly because I am also quite cynical at times).
I felt more energised in the afternoon, I did some yoga and some weight training. I still don't feel hungry. I have been watching and reading more about fasting from different sources while I fast. I love to learn about subjects I find fascinating, and it helps me understand the process (and deepen my experience) of fasting and everything I feel on a physical level in scientific and intellectual terms.
I find dry fasting easier than water fasts sometimes, an observation which has been echoed by other fasting practitioners and in some of the research I have done. It actually makes sense; I think water or other liquids stimulate enzymes, which in turn can generate a sensation of hunger. With dry fasting the taste buds are never stimulated, which would explain why hunger pains are less common (at least for me). I'm not a scientist, and I don't claim to know this for sure, but this is what I have been experiencing.
Day 3 / Thursday 10.02.2022 8.28am
This is the longest time I have done dry fasting, I feel really good physically, very light. I can feel myself being fully in autophagy mode. I had a couple of bad pimples before starting the fast and now they are almost gone. The weather has also been really warm and sunny, so I have gotten quite a bit of sun, something which is ALWAYS healing for me. As mentioned MANY times before :), I cannot stand winter time or cold weather. I even got a little tan, which is amazing, and extremely beneficial for my skin (said pimples) and my mood. Also, my period started today. This combined with fasting means that I am slowly heading towards the phase where I am at my optimum emotionally, physically and more balanced hormonally (the follicular phase, a few days after the start of my period for me).
It was a really good day in terms of energy levels: I went for a walk and I practised The Rocket II. Three days fasts are just so good to reset everything, one day fasts are amazing too, but something really amazing, healing and magical happens after 72 hours.
Day 4 / Friday 11.02.2022 8.22am:
This time is my favourite part of fasting: when the mind becomes very sharp and clear. It started a little bit yesterday, but in this morning pranayama and meditation I completely bathed in the clarity of mind which is often associated with fasting. Of course I still had thoughts racing in my mind, but staying focused on my breath and third chakra demanded less effort.
I also feel inspired and motivated. I have quite a few ideas , all of which seem to be the fruits of my morning meditations. It is a great feeling; I feel Springy :D. The weather has been lovely, mild temperatures and clear skies; a great mix all around. Winter just doesn't gel well with my personality. I understand, and love, the beauty of seasons changing, new cycles, the need to retreat and chill in winter times (I LOVE chilling) to come back rejuvenated in Spring and Summer times. I have no problem honoring those cycles, but let them be warm please :D
I broke the dry fast this morning and 100% savoured that first drink after 80 hours of dry fasting. I had a warm lemon water when I woke up to get some vitamin C; I immediately felt its effects: my body was rejuvenated at a cellular level. I could feel it in my entire being.
Day 5 / Saturday 12.02.2022 7.45am:
I feel a little off today, I don't really know how to describe what I am feeling; It is the first time I experience this sensation while fasting. I am not hungry, and my body doesn't feel weak, but I sense that something is not quite right. I am still drinking teas and infusions today. I am giving a bikram class this morning; we'll see how that goes. I have the energy to do it, it's not about lacking energy or being on the verge of collapse :). There is something inside me, a little voice in need of my attention.
The class went very well, it was busy (it usually is at the weekends). I drank very little water during the class, but I had gone in very hydrated. I went to see my mum for the weekend. I made her some healthy and nutritious food for the next few days. I do not mind cooking while I am fasting, I actually find it quite nice to cook and make nice dishes for others while not eating myself; it's like a selfless act of sorts.
I still feel a little off, I think my body might be ready to break this fast. I must admit I thought about going longer than five or six days, even though I didn't have an exact number in mind. Having said that, six days is every bit of what I would call a long fast :D
Day 6 / Sunday 13.02.2022 8.15am:
That little voice inside is telling me that this fast must come to an end; I feel ok but I do feel tired today. I made a bone broth for my mum, and I think I am going to have some myself. I maintain a mostly vegan diet, but I like to have bone broth once in a while; the ones I make are very delicious - if I may say so myself :). I had a very peaceful pranayama and meditation session this morning, the silence around me and within me was extremely soothing.
Wow, the bone broth felt amazing; I needed that. I think I was lacking electrolytes and minerals this time around. I never really know how a fast is going to go. I usually fast without supplementing, it is not an issue for me. However, this time around my body was asking me to do something different.
I think it is also important that I mention this for the peeps who happen to read this blog: even though I believe in the benefits of fasting, and I do it regularly, I always listen to my body FIRST AND FOREMOST. It is not about seeing how many days I can go without food or water. if I feel that everything in me is giving me an opportunity to explore a little more and go for longer periods of time, then I will do it. And vice versa, if something feels off, then I will cut my fast short (always allowing enough time to ease back into eating slowly). There are so many factors involved in this pratice. Sometimes i have felt super motivated from the get go, and just went into the fast with 100% determination. Other times I have started a fast in the morning only to end it by the afternoon because I just felt like it :). Like any practice, it takes time and some trials and errors, figuring out what works best at any given time.
So, here I am, thoroughly enjoying this bone broth, having decided that this long fast will be six days this time around.
Day 7 / Monday 14.02.2022 8.47am:
I feel very good this morning: hydrated, clear-headed and energised. I am looking forward to the week ahead. I will take today to ease back into eating; I probably will have some yogurt and start eating more solid foods tomorrow.
I learned so much from this long fast. I always do, but the material I listened to, watched and read provided me with new perspectives and new understanding as to why fasting is so good for me and why I intuitively knew that from the get go. Our bodies are so intelligent. I have been fasting for over a decade now, and I keep learning so much about this beautiful practice.