• Mon, Jun 18 2012

Water Fast: Day 2

jesus dinosaur

So, I’m into the second day of my religiously motivated water fast, given that my religion is “being curious about how things work.”

You can view our religious symbol above.

Supposedly, the way a water fast works is that, for the first 24 hours, your body eats muscle and the excess sugars stored in your liver. By the second day, it moves on to eating fatty tissue in a process called protein sparing. Accordingly, I think the first thing people ask the minute I mention that I am only drinking water is “how much weight have you lost!?” or “are you losing so much weight?”

No.

Also, New York is a weird town.

And no.

No, I haven’t. However my belly does look bloated, like a tiny African orphan’s. Do you know why bellies bloat from starvation? It’s symptomatic of protein malnutrition. I’m fairy sure that is not why my stomach began sticking out (just as fasting for two days is not comparable to an ongoing disease like anorexia, it’s not comparable to the plight of someone who is legitimately starving) but I’m sure that was a fun learning experience for all of us.

I’M GOING TO REITERATE THAT I THINK THIS IS AN INTERESTING THING TO TRY, BUT NOT A GREAT WEIGHT LOSS TECHNIQUE. THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT.

However, my skin looks awesome. And not just awesome – awesome for the first time since I was about 12.

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  • Maggie

    After your fast you should consider switching to a diet of mostly raw fruits & vegetables and whole foods, would probably help your skin, plus wouldn’t have to worry about gaining weight

    • Jennifer Wright

      I mean, yes, but it would also deprive me of a good 70% of the pleasure I get out of life. (I was recently asked what made me happiest and I replied “buying a chocolate truffle from the Lindt store and eating it as I walk home from the gym.” Turns out the right answer was “friends and family.”)

  • Tania

    “Probably I should cut out all of those things.

    Not going to.”

    That make me choke on the coffee I was drinking that you aren’t allowed to drink.

  • kjon

    I have to say that I’m glad you stuck it out despite it all. I still have to implore you to not go a third day if you haven’t already.

    I guess I was a little surprised at the hate in the first post because fasting is something that truly feels natural to me. I don’t want to get into what I feel exactly, because I fear that would be triggering, but let’s just say that I’m definitely not binging on crap – I crave protein – the day after my fast. I eat when I’m hungry and I stop when I’m full. I eat food that is filling and satisfying. I cook, I go out to eat and I occasionally indulge in french fries like a normal fucking person.

    This was never a weight loss technique for me… mostly because I’m naturally thin but within the healthy range for my height so I’ve really never even thought of losing weight in a serious sense. It just kind of happened. I guess that’s why I was surprised (but boy do I get it now and I’ll try to be more sensitive promise!).

  • Miss C

    I’m all about the personal experiments, however can I just check that you and anyone thinking of doing this are au fait with the “Minnesota Starvation Study” – which, long story short showed that the symptoms of restrictive eating disorders such as concern with body image, neurosis, self-harm, and obsession with food (including binges followed by severe guilt) are all simply symptoms of starvation – this is a good primer: http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2009/12/the-minnesota-starvation-experiment/

    Obviously you’re not doing anything LIKE that duration, nonetheless this study is not that well known in relation to extreme caloric restriction – previously many of these things were considered some weird offshoot of anorexia mentally, not starvation physically, and treatment centres would attempt to address them in isolation.

    Oh, and the participants in that study were all male, and carefully evaluated as psychologically healthy, yet they ended up going absolutely bloody loopy by the end: I imagine the dangers to a woman in our society who’s been virtually weaned onto ideas of dieting and food = sin / “naughty but nice” might be rather more severe.

    Probably not you, and almost certainly not on so short a period… but y’know, just sayin’ – I read a lot about this stuff and I’m not sure most people have any idea how closely food intake and mental state are linked, both in fasts and in excess amounts, which can create addiction-like habit pathways.

    • Miss C

      PS just looking at comments on #1, I’m not a hater here, I used to fast for 24 hours solid every week myself, although I did drink juice, and kept that up for about 8 years – it increased my self control around food enormously too – just clarifying that though.

    • Geraldine

      That is such an interesting link! Thanks :)

  • LaLa

    What a coincidence. I’m actually an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Raptors.

    • Anne

      Latter Day Raptors… That made me LOL.