My blog was down for a couple months again, so I posted this on my Tumblr on March 9, 2015. Transferring it here for posterity. :)
I am nearly 24 hours into a 3-day fast. The seed was planted during an episode of House of Cards, where a gay man imprisoned in Russia for speaking about homosexuality mentioned that he had gone on a food strike, but only lasted 6 days before the hunger was too strong, and I wondered, “Could I go 6 days without eating?” I Googled it, and the seed grew into a sprout. There are health benefits to fasting. Being raised a Christian, I am familiar with religious fasting. Even Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist” crossed my mind while I was researching fasting.
So I am fasting for 3 reasons: emotional/spiritual, health, and pure curiosity.
I’ve long thought I had a weird relationship with food. Whether because of my habits or some physiological reason, I am ALWAYS hungry. It doesn’t seem to matter if I eat 6 small meals throughout the day, 3 meals, more natural/less processed foods, or all processed foods, I am always thinking about food. I have even tried banishing thirst as a cause by making sure that I am drinking enough water throughout the day—for the month of February, I drank 128 ounces of water almost every single day. No dice; still hungry all the time.
Even right after I eat, I still usually feel hunger pangs, and this has always baffled me. Something is wrong between my stomach and my brain.
So I am hoping that regular, purposeful fasting can reset that connection or retrain me.
There are some possible health benefits to fasting, but if you are interested in those, just Google “health benefits of fasting.” There is no need for me to write about them here.
Finally, because of my aforementioned constant hunger, I am curious to see what it is like to avoid eating for an extended period of time. I decided to start with three days because I think I would like to ease into a longer fast by transitioning in and out of it, something I read about on one of the “health benefits of fasting” Google result pages. I’d like to cut out processed foods for several days before and after the longer fast, but I wanted to try fasting right away.
So far, it is going well. I am noticing some of the triggers of eating (not necessarily “hunger”) that exist in my life. I am focusing on filling the time I would be eating with thoughtful consideration of what I am hankering for, with thinking about what else can fill me up spiritually. And I think I have kept my hangry under control, too. (Hangry is a state that I know is caused by low blood sugar, but I also believe is connected to my relationship with food.)
It might sound like it, but the post title is not a promise to write every day of this fast. I might, but I also might need to let the lessons I learn ripen before I’m ready to write about it again.