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?”
Also, New York is a weird town.
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.
I have roasacea, which causes my skin to break out in little red bumps all over my nose and cheeks. It looks more or less like this:
Normally I treat this by applying a cream called Finacea twice a day. However, the first night of the water fast I forgot. Normally, if I forget I wake up with my cheeks a little dry and red – but this morning, nothing! My skin feels normal for the first time in ages. I’d always heard that you could make dietary changes that would clear up rosaea, but I did not expect those dietary changes to be “eating nothing, drinking only water.” It has me wondering a lot about what I normally eat that triggers it – refined sugar? Alcohol? Caffeine? I mean, probably all of those things. Probably I should cut out all of those things.
Not going to.
However, in spite of that, my skin is itchy in ways you would not believe. Itchy in every single part. Supposedly this is because skin is the largest detox organ, and some discomfort is to be expected when your body is dispelling built up toxins. Lots of people also get a little rash.
Not me! I’m glowing!
So – my skin looks great and feels awful. Also, I smell like cocoa butter. Tons of cocoa butter. Because I smeared it everywhere.
I was also pretty interested in whether or not this fast would mean that I would be laid up on a fainting couch, basically just swooning for hours on end. That doesn’t happen!
That doesn’t happen at all actually. I’m not sure why – maybe it has to do with the fact that you really are just consuming water as opposed to anything like Diet Coke or coffee with sweetener that triggers a lot of hunger pangs. So the hunger is more of a dull ache than any acute pang.
I went out in the evening with some friends, and the weirdest thing I noticed was that a bunch of guys asked for my number, which does not usually happen. I think – this is weird – but I think it might have been because I looked sleepier and more susceptible than usual. Normally I’m fairly alert, and talkative, but – while drinking only water for two days will not mean you cannot go out – it does mean that you will spend a lot of time nodding and smiling at people and probably making less jokes than usual.
I mean, it certainly was not because I looked more attractive than usual what with my bloated belly and the fact that I was constantly scratching myself. Although I suppose a study has not yet been done on how attractive men find frantic itching, and perhaps we can do a real talk on that this week.
No. Probably not.
It might have been all the cocoa butter.
So, in essence, if you’re thinking of trying a fast: you’re not going to lose weight from this, you’re also not going to be laid up in bed for the entire day, but, wow, if you have a weird skin condition it seems like this can definitely help with that.