10-day water fast with mindfulness
What is fasting? First response on the term "fasting" to many people usually would be, "I would die from starving even if I skipped one meal".
Fasting is different from starvation. It is feeding ourselves with nutrient reserves of the body which normally could support us from 40 days. Our brain, muscle tissues and our heart start fuelling themselves by ketones instead of glucose. This moment they would also receive a more adequate blood supply and oxygenation. Short-term fasting can help reset biological processes, reduced inflammation and reinvigorate your health.
Why do I fast?
According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman in the book ‘Fasting and Eating for Health’, “Therapeutic fasting accelerates the healing process and allows the body to recover from serious disease in a dramatically short period of time.”
These recovery includes eliminating arthritis, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, chronic skin issue like eczema. It helps detoxifying our liver, kidney, other organs, bloodstream and lymphatic tissues effectively and let our body to undo the damage done to itself without drugs and surgery.
I have done lemon water fasting and juice fasting before and I have been on intermittent fasting for over a year. Throughout these years, I experienced different benefits on health, skin, energy and brain function from them. I believe my body is in a much better condition than I used to be and I feel more ready physically and emotionally to start my first water fast to experience a deeper mind body awakening.
Water fast, means consume nothing but pure quality water during the fast. I want to make it very clear here, water fasting is not for everybody. It requires lots of research on how to do it before, during and after the fast. If you are interested in it, be reminded to seek for professional advice.
I always know it is the most challenging fasting. My intention on this is simply surrender and see how far I can go with the help of mindfulness.
My 10-day water fast experience
Day 1- 2
Once our body cut off the intake of toxins from refined sugar and grains, processed oil, MSG, alcohol and more chemical additives, it is common to have different kind of withdrawal symptoms. I am lucky my main on is feeling very tired. I start prioritising meditation and sleep to recharge myself. I cannot believe I can sleep more than 13 hours per day. To be honest, it is quite easy for me on these 2 days because I am a big fan of sleep. Until a thought came to me, "I want more".
This is the most challenging day for me. I do not only want more sleep, but food. My hunger pain kicked in. I got a little bit heart burn and experienced gas pain inside me. The most painful part is the intensive battle with my ego all day long, I am happy I saved myself with conscious breathing at the end.
I breathe into those areas of pain in my body. Inhale, I focus on the purify air. Exhale, I bring these air to release all the hurt and sufferings consciously. I breathe into my thoughts, "I can't do it", "I want more", "you're pathetic", "this is so boring" and "I want more and I want it now!!!". I breathe into all the complex emotions layer by layer. I allow myself to feel all the anxious, discomfort, struggle, threatening, fear and anger inside me. These emotions brought me back to see and experience lots of past memories and traumas I forgot. They are such a great teacher here to help me love and accept myself even more to find peace in it.
Day 4- 5
Nothing in life better than saying this, "I feel so good". All the hunger pain, tiredness and other symptoms had been gone. Physically, I went into ketosis mode which my body started working off fat instead of sugar. I woke up with great amount of energy, clearer brain function, better eye sight, fresher breath plus start having the ability to remove stubborn stool. Emotionally, I felt constantly steady, calm and relax. My breath in every minute is naturally longer and deeper. I continue meditate in my experience.
I found different level of joy inside me. They are playful, full of surprise, stable and unlimited. I enjoy breathing in these innate contentment, bliss and peacefulness. There was some beautiful thoughts came through me, "I don't need the food, I only want them before", "I can wait", "I'm so happy with what I have now", "I love living". Tears ran into my eyes again and again, they are ecstatic, delightful and tasty.
I continued waking up with alertness due to the increase in adrenalin and orexin in my body to provide me artificial energy when I fast. At the same time, this put my body into fight-or-flight response. I found fasting very interesting that I let my body rest and heal itself, and it creates stress as by product at the same time.
I am very used to this stress and I know meditation is the key to deal with it. I start breathing into another sleepless night, a voice came to me "jen, we're good enough".