The Fast and the Curious

The last time I had three days all to myself, I decided I just wouldn’t eat.

I know it sounds so drastic when I say it like that, but to tell you I attempted a 72 hour fast is like, yawn.

Anyway. I do intermittent fasting frequently. I think I do it often enough to consider it a part of my lifestyle. And I always love the results I get from it. It makes my brain run better, it gets rid of bloating and it dries up my chronic sinusitis. So I was excited to have a block of time to experiment with and some limits to push.

My first day started out strong. I had eaten a large dinner the night before, comprised of three or four different veggies, some dark meat chicken and a sweet potato. So I knew I could coast a little.

I had some unsweetened caffeinated tea on my way to work and I hustled for about nine hours, drinking more water than I would have usually, and maybe six cups of ginger, turmeric and licorice tea whenever I felt like it.

I had very high energy when I was being active and I fell asleep easily that night, staying asleep until my alarm went off. I got out of bed easily the next morning but I did notice, I had a lot of very sharp joint pain.

Which I mean, I have rheumatoid arthritis so pain is normal but the sharpness was new.

I had another cup of caffeinated tea on my way to work and had another great, high energy, good functioning morning for brain and body.

I called it quits a little earlier than I had the day before. I kept my liquid intake high. There was a little brain fog setting in as I approached the 40th hour.

Now I know some people might already be yelling at me for not drinking more nourishing teas while I was fasting, but I feel like I deserved to know what my body’s baseline capability was. So the ginger and turmeric were good controls.

Once I was home I sat down and realized I was very dizzy. I broke my fast with about three servings of vegetable soup, which I diluted with so much water that it took me about an hour it eat it.

It was literally the best thing I’d ever tasted in my life.

I would have killed for a date.

The next morning I had caffeinated unsweetened tea for breakfast, which isn’t a part of my fasting routine, that’s just my usual breakfast. I was hungry and my fast had already been broken the night before, but I just rarely eat before noon. So I maintained my normal pattern and went to work.

I felt good at work that day. A little hungry but fine and well hydrated. I was unsure about whether or not I would eat that day. I know you can’t unbreak a fast, but i was torn.

I hate licorice tea now btw.

I don’t remember when exactly I ran out of steam but by 2pm it must have shown on my face because my boss put food in front of me and gave me a weird look.

So I was like, okay fine. I can’t hack the 72 hour thing. But the 40 hour fast was fine.

That night when I got home I ate a larger than usual meal. I wasn’t picky either. High protein, and pretty high fat. I wouldn’t fast to loose weight so I was aware that I would need to make up that calorie deficit during the rest of my week. And I was starting immediately.

I had zero negative side effects from the fast, except that dizzy spell at the 40 hour mark and the inevitable crash.

But I also didn’t really have more positive side effects than plain old intermittent fasting can give me.

Later in the month, I wasn’t thinking too much about my experience. It was something I wanted to blog about at some point and it was something I’d like to repeat as well. But there wasn’t a lot of urgency.

But then, something happened.

I don’t know if what I’m dealing with here is coincidence or causation. But two weeks later I got my period on the train. Through my jeans. A real high school nightmare. I was caught unprepared and largely unawares because usually, I have cramps for 12 hours before I start bleeding. But leading into this cycle, nothing.

And then during this cycle, nothing.

I really have no way of knowing if fasting decreased my uterine inflammation, or affected my cycle in some wacky way, although my diet and my lady times have proven to be connected before.

I don’t know if it maybe just knocked something loose or gave my body the time to make a repair. All I know is I’m eagerly awaiting next month to see what’s up.

I’m also planning future smaller weekly fasts because if I could fix that, maybe, it’s worth experimenting further.

I guess the intelligent thing to do would be to only fast for 36 hours next time but I think 30 hours with 12 additional hours of very light minimal food to sort of wake my digestive system back up is important.

Basically the plan for future fasts would be to eat dinner Sunday night, consume only unsweetened teas on Monday and then break with either broth or light soup on Tuesday at about 2pm. And then eat very light for the remainder of Tuesday, making up my caloric deficit during the rest of the week.

I’m also changing the teas I drink to get a little bit more out of the experience.

I’ll have another post about that plan and whatever results I get soon.

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