Fasting is not a foreign practice to me. I’ve completed 24-hour fasts several times before and have actually done a 3-day fast once before as well. To make sure my previous 3-day fast would be as easy as possible to complete, I went to bed really early, avoided working out, and was determined to not put myself into any situations that would tempt me to eat (hanging out with friends).
This time around, I wanted to challenge myself even further and push the limits of my self-control. For this fast, I was going to include workouts, I was going to be staying up as late as I normally would if I weren’t fasting, and I would make myself participate in situations that had temptations, just to prove to myself that I could do whatever it is I set my mind to. Here’s what happened:
I stopped eating & began my 72 hour fast at 8:00PM on Sunday, September 16th.
Day 1 : Monday, September 17th, 2018
8:00AM: I woke up bright & early for my full 8 hour day of work. I never really wake up feeling that hungry, and this day wasn’t any different. I finished a 16oz bottle of water to kick start my day.
8:30AM: The nice thing about working is that it keeps me busy so I actually don’t even really find myself thinking about food. I was pretty exhausted this morning from lack of sleep so I made a cup of black coffee when I arrived at work. My coworker brought in some delicious snacks (temptation!!), and let me tell you, it was harddd not to sneak in a little cookie or three.
3:00PM: I kind of found myself wanting to eat, not out of hunger but out of habit. I drank a glass of water, made another cup of black coffee, and continued with my work for the day.
6:00PM: I survived an intense 1.5 hour workout where I seriously pondered the idea that I might pass out from not eating all day. I played basketball, ran sprints, did a stair workout, and completed some bodyweight exercises. Remarkably, I didn’t feel dizzy or extra tired from not eating at all that day. As a matter of fact, I felt more energized? Is this possible? After the workout, I treated myself to a well-deserved, nice, long jacuzzi session.
8:00PM: I went over to my friend’s house to watch some anime (something I never in my life thought I would say). He had containers of m&ms (more temptation!!), and I didn’t even want to eat it. I think that once I seriously set my mind to something, which in this case was completing the fast, I don’t have too much of a problem with following through.
11:00PM: People told me that the first day of a 3-day fast would be the hardest, but I went to bed, still not feeling hungry. Hmm, not a bad first day!
1:00AM: I woke up tossing & turning in bed. I had a hard time falling back asleep, but didn’t have any desire to eat.
Day 2 : Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
7:00AM: My body woke up extra early today and felt remarkably refreshed despite the trouble sleeping I experienced the night before.
9:00AM: I started my day with a cup of black coffee, a large glass of water, and checking my emails. What an adult I am! ;)
3:00PM: What surprised me was that, for someone who gets easily distracted, my mental clarity was out of this world. I spent 3.5 uninterrupted hours at the library sipping on my cup of black coffee, working on my blog, and was focused the entire time. Woohoo!
6:30PM: I was feeling fantastic! I still had energy and didn’t find myself thinking about food. I headed over to my friend’s house to play some Pokémon Go & get my steps in for the day.
10:00PM: Usually when my friends eat, I will for the most part, join them as well. Again it’s usually not out of hunger, but it’s more because of the social aspect of it. However this time, when my friend was eating a late dinner, I didn’t even think about taking a bite. My self-control is gradually improving!!
1:30AM: Once again I woke up in the middle of the night tossing & turning. I wonder if it’s the two cups of coffee I’ve been drinking daily since starting the fast that’s causing these sleep interruptions? This night was particularly rough. My mind kept wandering back to the thought of food. I didn’t feel hunger but wanted to eat due to the fact that I couldn’t sleep. Eventually I ended up fast asleep without breaking my fast. Whew!
Day 3 : Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
8:00AM: I woke up this day feeling not too exhausted but not too refreshed either. This morning was sort of blehhh.
8:30AM: I got to work and my coworker brought more snacks. She brought in ramen noodles, wheat thins (my addiction), and chocolate chip granola bars (another one of addictions). However, I had to stick to my fast so I made a cup of black coffee instead. And a big glass of water!
12:00PM: This was the first time during my entire 3-day fast that I actually felt hunger. My stomach was growling and I began to think about eating food. I was so tempted to eat one our lifesaver mints we have at work, but made myself a cup of black coffee instead.
2:00PM: My mind was consumed with thoughts of food and my next meal. I felt really physically tired/sluggish and a bit lightheaded every time I stood up.
5:00PM: I decided to spend a few hours at the library to get some journaling done and to work on my blog. To my surprise, I’ve noticed that fasting had dramatically increased my productivity. Without the constant thought of food consuming my mind, I was instead able to use that attention towards getting my work done. Time just flew by and before I knew it, I’d spent another 3.5 hours at the library.
8:30PM: Time to feast!! I’m going to be completely honest, once I hit the 72 hour mark of my fast, I thought about all of the junk food I could possibly stuff myself with. However, I took a few minutes to be mindful about what I would be eating. I chose to go to Trader Joe’s and got myself a veggie hummus wrap, some creamy tomato soup seasoned crackers, and some dark chocolate to treat myself for completing this fast. :)
10:00PM: I went home and my roommate was craving some Taco Bell, so I ended my night with a power menu bowl. Yum.
I’ll be creating an entire separate post delving deeper into what I’ve learned from my experience of a 3-day fast but for now, here are a few quick thoughts:
- You have more self-control than you believe.
- You can learn/train your level of self-discipline.
- Fasting can dramatically improve your mental clarity/productivity.
- You can do anything you set your mind to!
A little bit of advice if you’re thinking in participating in a fast too:
- Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to fast.
- Start small. Try starting out with intermittent fasting, then moving your way to a 24-hour fast, then gradually increasing the length of your fast over time.
- Keep busy. I noticed that when I kept busy, it was easier for me to not think about wanting to eat.
- Drink a lot of water, and I mean a lot! I drank so much water that my coworker would tease me about it. But seriously friends, remember to stay hydrated!