This is Part III of the series FasterSelf, 3 Fast (ing) 5 Furious. If you haven’t read part II, do so here:
If any of you out there are cleverer than me (or at least bigger Fast and Furious fans, which isn’t setting the bar very high,) you may have noticed that in my attempt at titling this series, I skipped 2 Fast 2 Furious last week. I know, this is a stoning offense- but you can’t catch me, damn it, so good luck with that. As such, this week is named after both the second movie and a fairly obscure meme reference, because why not, I have to salvage this somehow.
With that out of the way, let’s get down to business. As I write this, I have been fasting for exactly two weeks. Last week I wasn’t off to the greatest of starts- I had some pretty significant abdominal cramping and an upset stomach, but it turned out that that was easily fixed by switching to room temperature distilled water.
As I’m over 10 days into the fast, I’ve started to regain my fasting superpowers, the first of which is the ability to taste the difference between different kinds of water. This is actually more of a handicap than a superpower, to be honest, because it pretty much only makes most water taste like crap. Even distilled, which tastes the best out of everything (and I tried everything during my last fast,) still is only okay. Oh well.
One of the actually cool superpowers, however, is my sense of smell. Now, I don’t know about you, but I normally have a fairly weak sense of smell in my day-to-day, non-fasting life. On top of that, my roommates have cats (which I am mildly allergic to,) so that doesn’t improve things at all. However, now that I’m into the fast, I can actually smell stuff from across the room. I actually smelled the candy someone had in their mouth from the other side of a hallway at work, which is actually more weird than cool, but it’s a good example. Much like all superpowers, however, I have my own kryptonite. In this case, it’s the unwashed bastard that sat near me at the movies the other day. Needless to say, that sucked.
I’ve slowly been getting the fasting cognitive boost, as I’ve been continuing to have vivid, interesting dreams (fortunately no more food nightmares) and a steady stream of novel ideas throughout the day. My energy levels are also increasing, which has given me the motivation to start deep-cleaning the house. Though only a recent convert, I am a firm believer that the better one keeps their living quarters, the better everything else in one’s life will go. Try it sometime, you won’t regret it.
I got a great question this week from Michael that I wanted to share with you guys.
“Garrett, do you find hunger the worst the first 24-48 hours? Can you talk about your experience of hunger (if any) after 48 hours? Thanks!”
“Great question, Michael. If you have never fasted or haven’t fasted in a while, you’re going to find that the hunger is the worst when you are doing a length you haven’t done before. What I mean by this is that the first time you skip a lunch, it will be the hardest. The first time you do a day, it will be the hardest, up until the third day.
That’s why my method gets you up to two day fasts before the full length one- because there’s no point in subjecting yourself to multiple three day fasts, it just rips the band-aid off once you’re comfortable ripping off smaller band-aids. After the third day, hunger diminishes until about day five, by which time it should be gone. However, there is a difference between hunger pangs, which last 5-15 minutes, and the cravings, which you will have to beat into submission.
One thing I do, and I don’t know whether I’d recommend it (I’m something of a masochist here) is actively seek out things that cause cravings- I’ll go to restaurants with friends, smell food, cook, etc. This is not pleasant at first but if you do it enough, you’ll completely eliminate all potential food temptations and distractions, allowing you to enjoy the fast.”
What I’ve been doing in the past week is surrounding myself with food. I watch the Food Network (I really like Alton Brown’s Good Eats,) and Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain. (Fun fact: when I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a combination of Anthony Bourdain and Dr. Gregory House- not sure why.) On top of watching food shows, I like to smell people’s food (if they let me, of course,) because doing this is the fastest way to burn out the “I need food” feeling. I don’t know if I would recommend it, because it may cause some people to break, but by making it harder for yourself in the short-term, you’ll make the rest of the fast painless.
That’s all I have for you this week. Until next time!