Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 3 Water-Only Fast

Oh man, I broke. I cracked. This morning I woke up with such strong hunger pangs that it was almost unbearable. I tried tricking myself with pint after pint of water. I sipped a few herbal teas, and paced around the house. I thought about going for a walk around the lake, but worried I'd get to the other end and run out of energy and become stuck. And it's cold today, and rainy (finally!) so that seemed like a bad idea.

Overnight, my stomach collapsed, and appeared inverted, concave. At least that's how it felt to me. It was very uncomfortable, kinda painful even. I still made it several hours, but finally relented. I grabbed the most gentle option, my trusty new favorite fruit, the papaya.

I only ate half, and discarded the seeds. Figured they would be too hard on the stomach. You can eat those gorgeous blackish green seeds. They taste like a combo of cracked black pepper and mustard. They're a fabulous anti-parasite food. You can toss them into salads (yum!) or add them to smoothies to clean your system, it's pretty neat. I love using unique foods for health. I figure there's so much that we don't know about the benefits of various food parts, but I'll bet there's a lot of healthy synergistic properties.

So, technically, I failed. I missed my goal by 10 hours. I ended up on my water-only fast for 62 hours. It's definitely the longest I have ever fasted, so I still feel accomplished. My plan is to remain on the fast to the duration, having only broken with that (delicious) half of a papaya. And man, I do feel better after having eaten a little. I imagine that the shorter than anticipated fast was still cleaning out some of my damaged cells, and probably stimulated my immune system to some degree.

From all of my reading around the interwebs, so many people said that when they broke their fasts they had no desire for junky food. That's how I felt yesterday, but man, I sent Dan a text a little bit ago and told him I could eat everything at PCC and then finish it off with a case of movie theater boxes of candy. Even if it was Good n Plenty which are categorically disgusting. So much for this changing my tastebuds, or squelching cravings. Oh well. Guess I still have to rely on self control. Less fun.

A couple of friends, during this experience, voiced concerns about the fast. A couple (remind me to send them Christmas gifts) worried that I'm too thin for a water-only fast (might be the first time I've ever heard such a thing about my body). Anyhoo, I am definitely not too thin. And to prove it I will share my stats.

Age: 33
Height: 5'7 (technically 5'6 3/4)
Weight: 140
BMI: 22
Body Fat: 28% [I still think the guy at the gym over-pinched with the calipers...:)]

So, according to the charts, I am literally dead center in the normal range. Healthy. I think that, perhaps, with the expanding waistbands of our culture - and the world - we have a skewed perspective of normal. I take it as a huge complement that some of my friends think I look "skinny" but ultimately, the optimum stat that I need to achieve is a body fat of 22%. A 6% drop. That's what I'm working toward. Body fat not only holds energy for cancer growth/tumor growth, but also toxins are stored in your body fat. Clearly, you don't want to waste away, you don't want to drop into an unhealthy range, but according to theorists, there is an optimal range for fighting cancer and they purport the 22%.

If you don't have much excess, it allows your body to focus on keeping your immune system strong. Your body can then clean out damaged cells, and keep things running smoothly. There's even research out there that people who live slightly underweight, have a lower incidence of cancer (lucky dogs). So, I'm trying to be healthy, to turn my body into a cancer fighting machine, to give her the most optimum chance to clean out tumor cells, to remove her tumor snacks. A side effect may be looking better, but that's just a byproduct. This is not driven by looks. I already feel good in my skin. More so than ever in my life I am confident. Probably since I have a different view on life since diagnosis. But I do acknowledge that I probably have a good ten pounds of pure fat that's visible on my body. I could lose that and still look really normal. I just need to curb my enjoyment of gorging on delectables. I don't know how I will ever kick my inner monologue that if one cookie is delicious, 10 is better. I feel like I was born that way.

I tried going raw vegan for two weeks and it made me feel awful. So I know that RV is not the lifestyle for me. I have a pretty good idea about what to do, and how I will be successful. It has to do with lots of veggies, and an egg here or there, and some nuts from time to time, and bits of fruit, but mostly it's about a caloric cutback. There will days that I don't restrict calories, perhaps for a hard workout day, or for someone's birthday celebration (like my own in August). It has taken me so long to figure out this whole diet thing, and laughably, I'm still living fluid with my beliefs. But it seems to be getting a little easier with the mantra of cutting calories, cutting portions, and eating clean, whole natural foods. It's all common sense stuff. You'd think I would have figured it all out a lot sooner, but I had to try several various cancer fad diets, hoping for a cure. Now I'm a little more reasonable. Hopefully this one works.


  1. Personally, I think it's a good thing you listened to your body in this situation. I'm no expert on fasting, but I've read that prolonged water-only fasts can be hard on the body and that other types of fasts which allow some nutrient intake (minus the calories, eg vegetable broths) can have the same benefits but are far easier on the body.
    I certainly wouldn't consider your experiment a failure.

    I also agree that the norms are skewed in our society of affluence. I have a BMI probably right on the boderline between underweight and low-normal (in the neighborhood of 18.5) and I survived my 3 day fast (which wasn't water-only) without collapsing. The worst thing I experienced was hunger-pangs.

    1. I wish I would have listened sooner, I ended up having a seizure. I don't know how I'll end up succeeding on a calorie restricteded diet. With these stress and hypoglycemic induced seizures, I have to dance a tight rope.


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