I’ve entered day 2 of a couple day fast. The decision of whether it’ll be 3, 4, or 5 day hasn’t been made yet, but I really, really, really miss eating. Like – a lot.
It’s not missed because of the calories (liar), the satiating feeling you get when you’re done (full of shit), or even the taste (BULLSHIT). What I miss is the actually sitting down and eating a meal. The action of deciding of what you’re going to make, all the food going together on a plate or bowl after being cooked, The suspense of it all before it lands in front of you…then sitting down and indulging in all the flavors, smells, and textures.
Not to mention, the action of breaking bread. Sitting down with a significant other, a friend, or family and bonding over a hot meal. That’s something I look forward to all day long. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always looked forward to dinner. It never really mattered what it was, but the break in the day to day bullshit and devouring whatever was put in front of me… it’s a time when we’re all equals (minus the food allergies, vegans, etc.)
People celebrate over meals. We have some of our most meaningful moments and conversations while the fork is going in and out of our mouths. Eating is such an important part of our lives and for more than just the survival aspect of it, but because it’s one thing that we can all do together – and we have been since the dawn of time. The feasts, buffets, cookouts – it’s all about coming together with one another and celebrating… even if it’s just surviving another day.
Now, after returning back from a weeklong trip to Mexico with some wonderful people, I decided it was time to let the body cleanse itself out. I’ve heard countless of more intelligent people than I talk about all the health benefits of fasting for elongated periods of time; cleansing the cells, cognitive function/clarity, growth hormone, ketone production/weight loss, general longevity of health, etc. It’s a quick google search away if you want to check on it. I am by no means an authority on this subject but I think I needed to give it a chance… especially after a week of unlimited food and alcohol (which I took full benefit of).
One thing that we notice when we take something away is how much we miss it. After 24 hours I could feel my animal instincts kick in. I was so full of hunger pangs at this time that all I could think about was food, no matter how much water I drank. The smell of anything that was relatively edible was a scent I could pick up like a shark smelling blood from miles away. Even now, about 45 hours in, I’m not exactly foaming at the mouth for food but I’ve had the occasional daydream of a juicy steak on my plate…
Sitting back and recalling the past 2 days, I’ve noticed that I’m a little more moody. There’s certainly other factors at play (lack of income, winter, daylight), but not eating for a couple days hasn’t helped. Again, one of my favorite things to do on this planet is eat. It doesn’t matter how shitty the day is going or how great it’s going – I’m always pumped to cook, order, or pick out my food and just enjoy it. These moments that are hardwired into our innate bodies and minds, when taken away from us, can rearrange our thoughts and our days. The excitement that I had for the evening meal has been self-removed and now I’m working hard to find other things to occupy my mind. I’m not doing a good job of that… In fact, I’ve caught myself browsing reddit and just staring at the pictures of food that people have been posting. First example of what NOT to do when you’re fasting.
Talking about a sense of mental clarity and physical strength that come to you when you fast for a certain period of time? Unfortunately, I haven’t hit that point just yet. I’ve been battling a sense of depression, existential dread, and general jitters. But hey, my deadlift went up today, so that’s a plus… right?
Is it worth it?
It’s too soon to tell. The message that has always been told to me is that for you to gain a reward, you’ve got to endure the suck. Right now, it sucks. It’ll pass, as all sucky things tend to do. But right now, I’m craving a big ass sirloin, a massive salad covered in balsamic, and a baked sweet potato. I miss having lunch while watching YouTube for 20 minutes. I miss sitting down and having a homemade meal with my lovely girlfriend. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll enter the zone where all the beauty comes forth, but for today… it shall suck.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder. It’s important that we take breaks from everything once in a while… food, people, television, etc. Not only can we step back and realize how we’re filling holes with something, we can start to grasp what we’re really missing in life. Hell, I love food, but in no way do I need to consume an entire pizza to feel “full.” There’s more to this life than eating, but it really is an integral part of our day to day lives and should never be taken granted for.
Like I said, still haven’t hit that point of mental clarity, but I really hope it comes soon… or I’m getting myself a big ass burger, with a side of pizza and ice cream.