If you haven’t read the fifth chapter of this series, do so here:
Today is Day 35 of the fast. For those of you who have made it this far, I appreciate your commitment. However, I have some sad news. You may remember from the first article that I linked to Dr. Jason Fung’s Golden Rule of Fasting. Well, unfortunately, it has come into play. Over the last week, I have begun to feel more and more unlike what I should be feeling like whilst fasting. I’ve been tired, I’m losing motivation, and I’ve started to notice my mood decreasing below pre-fast levels. In other words, not great.
Now, I try to be as scientific as I can in regards to my emotions and mental state. More often than not, mood and motivation are things that can be influenced by changing routines and habits. This is the biggest reason I have to stop the fast- I have to control for the variable that is my not eating. Strangely enough, I didn’t experience this last time, which leads me to believe that the fast is not the issue. However, because the other factors in my life that could be contributing it are not so easy to change, I have to test this variable first.
One upside to stopping here is that I will be able to start incorporating some degree of intermittent fasting (IF) into my normal routines. I’m planning on doing two days of IF on the first two workdays of my week (Sunday and Monday.) This may be adjusted as time goes on, but it is certainly something I would not have the willpower to do if I had completed the fast as intended.
A takeaway that I will be using in the future is that I will never attempt any fast longer than 30 days again. Something about hitting the month mark really puts how long the fast is in perspective, and it’s not exactly a pleasant realization. I’m fairly bummed out about all of this, but I have a duty to both myself and to anyone who has (or will) read this series to do this fast in a healthy, sustainable way. It would be foolish and unethical for me to go against my own advice and push through despite the Golden Rule of Fasting. When I first decided I was going to stop early, I was originally going to continue to 45 days. Then I realized that’s just another two(ish) weeks of not feeling great, and what would the point of that be?
As soon as I get done writing this, I’m going to go pick up a watermelon from the store, drive home, pour myself a nice tall glass of apple juice, and eat the very small amount of that that I will be able to eat. Then, about fifteen minutes after that, I’m going to do it again, and that’s going to likely be me for the rest of the day. I may even go all out and get some sort of broth? Who knows.
I guess I should expand more on how one is meant to break a fast. First rule- nothing solid, just broths, juices, or watery fruits. There is some kind of rule that says “take as long as you fasted to break the fast,” but there is no way I’m going to do that. I screwed up last time, however, by returning to solid food much too quickly, so this time I will be incorporating my 10 Day Challenge system into the break. I will be doing only liquids, non-chunky soups, and watery fruits for the next 10 days, then I’ll figure out another step for the 10 after that. I haven’t really gotten that far, to be perfectly honest.
All in all, it has been a good run- and this will not be the last time I do a fast- just the last time I do anything this long. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this, and thank you to everyone who has read these articles! I will write a follow-up next weekend to let you know how the fast breaking goes.
Until next time!