Twelve Days Of Fasting
Updated: Feb 16, 2022
My purpose for fasting for 12 days is to be kind and loving towards myself, grateful, patient and gentle so that I can listen to, observe and meditate on my body, mind and spirit, towards harmony, clarity of mind, a healthy physical body, magical days and infinite possibilities.
Here we go, twelve days. In the grand scheme of things, 12 days is nothing. Of course, time has a tendency to warp itself depending on what is happening in the mind; at least it does for me. Twelve days is nothing, until I take away some things that usually make living a little more comfortable :)
The longest fast with no food I ever did was 10 days, back in 2010 - back then I had experimented with fasting for about one or two years I think - and I thought I would never contemplate doing another one again. I also did a 21 days juice fast in January 2013 which left me feeling absolutely amazing. So, here I am, planning a 12 days fast. Why? Because it is calling. Since January 2021, I went back to fasting one day a week (every Friday); I find it to be a great practice. Lately, however, I have been feeling a little off, physically and mentally, and I just feel like I need a reset, from everything. The last eight months have been strenuous, mentally and physically; this fast is part of a process of being attentive to my body and my mind and figuring out my wants and needs in this period of transition. I thought it would be helpful to record the experience and write down my thoughts while I spend 12 intense and magical days with myself. It's not the first time I write about fasting, but I have never written about it while I am going through the process.
Day 1 / Friday 11.06.2021 9am
I woke up at 7am to breathe and meditate on the twelve days ahead. While in meditation, it came that I should write down and eight keys process for this adventure and clearly write the intention behind it (see above). I feel good about this purpose, I think it sums up very well what I want to create.
The first two days I will be doing a juice fast; I have broken up the twelve days into two-days fasts of different kinds. I am juicing first to ease up into this long fasting period, and give my body some nutrients before I move on to more restrictive fasts.
I started the day with what I usually drink every day in the morning: lemon water with a few drops of oregano oil. I prepared carrot/cucumber/ginger juice to drink throughout the day.
So far, so good. Friday is my weekly fasting day, so my body is used to the fact that this is what usually happens at this point in time. Also, I am juicing, so it is actually getting more than what it usually does.
End of day one. Technically it has already been 24 hours, but I always count my fasting days from the morning rather than the evening before. Either way, it is the end of day one, and I feel tired; more tired than I usually do on my regular fasting day. I did have a busy day, I was quite physically active, and I definitely feel it now. I am going to sleep well. Now that I think of it, I am also tired because I didn't sleep very much last night - a mere four hours. I am going to meditate and go to bed. I can barely write this :).
Day 2 / Saturday 12.06.2021 9.37am
I slept like a log. I went to bed at 10pm, and I woke up at 6.30am. I very rarely get 8 hours of sleep, clearly I needed to rest. I don't intend to be physically active for the duration of the fast, but I also have things to do; I'm not doing this in a retreat centre where I am shut off from the rest of the world, so I will be somewhat active. Having said that, part of being gentle with myself during this process is to minimize my physical activity as much as I can. I won't practise any dynamic types of yoga, I will keep to yin yoga if it calls.
This morning I feel rested and calm. I did some pranayama and meditated after waking up, I also meditated last night before going to sleep. One of my goals for this fast is to practise pranayama and meditation morning and evening (and maybe in the afternoon); I am still finding it challenging to set aside some time for meditation in the evening. I have no problem in the morning, it's almost a necessity at this point, but in the evening I just want to chill out and do nothing - that includes meditation, even though I sleep and feel better when I meditate before bed. Maybe these 12 days will help create a new habit, or I'll just stick to morning meditation and call it a day :D.
Today's juice is apple/grapefruit/cucumber/carrot/ginger. I'm not feeling hungry just yet; no doubt that this will change :). However, now the first day is behind me, and it is usually the hardest day. After the 24 hours mark, there is a sense of physical commitment already because I can feel my body going through some changes from the inside out. The article below talks about what happens in the body during different stages of fasting.
I feel tired once again, but it was to be expected; the first couple of days of fasting are often quite taxing energetically. I thought I would feel hungry today, I didn't. End of the juice fast, tomorrow I move on to teas and infusions (just as well because I don't feel like drinking any more juice :D).
I had a lovely afternoon; I went to Les Journées Découvertes of a wellness centre in a town not far from where I am currently staying. They are offering some talks in the course of three Saturdays, and I decided to attend