I woke up into the darkness, with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude: for the universe, for Réka and the opportunity to be here – as well as for the fast itself. I sat down to meditate, with the expanse of gratitude laid out as a back-drop to everything in my mind. It felt and continues to feel like an inner smile expanding from all directions in and around my heart. Everywhere, almost as if my body were breathing the mantra: ‘thank you, thank you, thank you…’
I’m just so grateful. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 21
I woke up this morning, my first thought slightly tinged with sadness at how close the end of the fast is… It really is close now. After today, just one more full day before Day 21, and I slowly begin to reintroduce food back into my life. Otherwise, I’ve been completely at peace. I’ve no abstract sense of time or need to look at the clock. The day just passes as it does. It makes me wonder how life must have been so many centuries ago, before we began to ‘cut the day into shreds’ (in the words of Peter Gabriel). Before the days of clocks and time-keeping, we would have been so much more at one with the world and its natural rhythms instead of trying to fit our lives into the abstract mathematical divisions of hours and minutes. Just being with the day instead of anticipating ‘X’ o’clock and ‘Y’ o’clock and stressed by how much time it takes to get from X to Y… Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 19
Last night I realised that I’m at the three-quarters point of the fast. But numbers mean nothing. They cut up the truth of unadulterated reality. The truth is, I often can’t even remember which day of the fast I’m on, let alone what day of the week it is.
I’ve had this dull ache in my left quad the whole day. At first, I couldn’t understand it. The feeling was and continues to be similar to what can happen during detox, or in the first couple days of a fast while the body is switching over to ketosis (and drawing from muscle tissue in the meantime). Obviously I’m firmly in ketosis now, but could it be detox? But if so, why is my right leg fine? Surely both should be aching if this were the case. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 16
Well, at this point I’m over the half-way point of the fast. I would’ve thought it should feel like an emotional milestone, but it just feels like another day. Physically, as well, there are no changes to speak of. So far, the detox process during this fast has been extremely smooth. Whereas in previous fasts there were periods of strong cleansing symptoms followed by rest periods – and the duration of these were seemingly random – there have been only minimal ups and downs throughout. I suspect this is because previous fasting has eliminated the most urgent issues. The only consistent symptom throughout has been a white, coated tongue, and the smell from my armpits. Otherwise, I haven’t felt the sensation of old running injuries for days now. I do think, though, that since yesterday morning I’ve entered a stronger period of detox, Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 11
Another smooth day. No resistance.
The day began at 3.30am. I woke up and lay in bed, unable to sleep. Then I became aware of a faint rumbling, which at first I thought must be from tractors working late in the fields to sow whatever they were sowing, before the rains predicted for tomorrow arrive. But it continued, gradually growing louder. I opened the window to discover it was actually a distant thunderstorm, gradually, ever so gradually approaching. I kept the window and curtain open. My kidney area was feeling a little stiff, so I did some stretching, and then lay back in bed, watching the ceiling light up with each flicker of lightning, listening to the still muffled thunder echo all around the landscape. I just lay there, as the storm slowly, slowly slid towards the village. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 6
Woke up after lots of sleep. Again I needed an extra blanket because by the end of yesterday evening I was feeling cold. I also woke in the middle of the night and felt my kidneys aching, but by morning the sensation had disappeared. Detox and healing have definitely started. As usual, I’m feeling this now on Day Four, which, for me, has always tended to be the hardest day of the fast physically. I know everyone is different in this respect, with most people finding the third day the hardest. But I tend to think that this is due to the fact that most people find kick-starting ketosis the problem. In such cases, the third day is difficult due to low energies and the beginnings of detox. Since I have years of experience in fasting, and since I also dip into ketosis on pretty much of a daily basis (because of long-distance running), it’s less the ketosis which is an issue for me than the way detox hits hardest on Day Four. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 4
Today has been one of extremes. The morning was again spent in a frenetic whirlwind of doing: tidying up and rearranging the house to make it liveable. I finished mid-afternoon and went outside to sit. Just sit and be. In that moment, it hit me again like a wave: the conflict inside me.
Sitting with the feeling, I don’t think the root of the emotion is in feeling somehow guilty for leaving the family behind. No. That’s just a cover for the truth. No, it’s safer to feel the conflict and be distracted by it, than to be confronted with the raw truth – the raw truth of being. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 2
And so the journey begins. In a way, it began last night with the end of dinner, the end of eating. A strange feeling: the idea of three weeks without food. It seems like such a long time that I can’t really grasp what it means, how it feels, and how I’ll feel. I don’t worry about not eating – it’s more that the idea of a 21-day water fast draws a complete blank in my mind. A blank so expansive and huge that the concept of time itself becomes lost in it. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 1
Why? Why 21 days? For everyday detox, cleansing and health a week-long fast would be perfectly sufficient. Well, I’ve done numerous 7-10 day water fasts over previous years, and I was thinking that a longer fast would be able to dig deeper into my body. I’d like to experience that. Also, it’s been a while since doing such a fast, because over the last couple of years I’ve been experimenting with dry fasting instead.
But maybe most concisely, it’s best summed up in the words of Edmund Hillary (the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest). Why climb Mount Everest? As he said: because it’s there. Of course a 21-day fast comes nowhere near to climbing the tallest peak in the world, but the motive has largely been the same. To see what’s at the top of the mountain, this mountain. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 0, or ‘the day before’