26 day water fast

Discussion in 'Survival of the Fittest' started by melbo, Nov 13, 2010.


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  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I broke this fast exactly 1 year ago.

    I kept a very vague journal during this (water only) fast and thought about posting it someday. When I re-read it now, I wish I would have been more descriptive on my day by day notes but for the majority of the fast, things were pretty much business as usual. I didn't check into some exotic fasting resort to lay in a hammock while given lava-rock filtered water, I went to work like normal and carried out my home chores pretty much the same as I do now.

    I want to stress that this is not for everyone. I'm not advising anyone do this without through research and proper medical supervision. I simply wanted to see if I could go a month without anything but water. The books attached at the end of this post were the two main bodies for my research and I highly recommend anyone considering this to read both and also keep them handy during the fast.

    I think the next time I do this, and I will, I'll try to coordinate the last two weeks on a solo backcountry trip to allow my mind to freely roam without the stress of work/life interfering.

    A couple of things to keep in mind. Drinking juice as a fast is not a fast, it's a juice diet. Your body has stores of fat and in those stores of fat are nutrients and vitamins that keep you going in the absence of food. Once you get over the hump of hunger, it's bearable. The list in Shelton's book of diseases cured during Therapeutic fasts is pretty amazing and he personally supervised them keeping notes as he went.


    ***************************************************
    Water Fast - melbo
    I have always wanted to see how long I could make it without food and to gauge the impact on my body and its ability to function. I believe some harder times are coming and unknown factors can cause fear and panic unless those unknowns can be explored before the SHTF. I’m also interested in the detoxifying benefits that an extended water fast can bring. The overall restoration and rejuvenation of the body should be a goal that we all strive for even though our modern culture seems to be repugnant to the idea of a fast. “You’ll die if you do that”, “What, are you on some kind of a starvation diet?”, “Your body will eat its stomach and you from the inside out”, “You need nutrients to stay alive”, and so on.


    Day 1 Wednesday 10/14/2009
    Today is my first day and I haven’t eaten since 6:00 last night. I really don’t think that I’ll feel anything out of the ordinary today. I have often skipped a day of food without any consequences.


    Day 2 Thursday
    Woke up fine. Had heavy hunger feelings during the day with I suppressed with water. I have a splitting headache throughout my entire head. I’m inclined to think that this is withdrawal from sugars/coffee and other junk I ingest.


    Day 3 Friday
    Headache and hunger from the moment I got out of bed. Still no outward signs of detoxing although the my face is very red. These first few days are pretty much just filled with on and off hunger and constant headaches and I can see why many discontinue the fast at day 3-5. Soon this will pass.


    Day 4 Saturday
    I feel like I have the flu. Body aches all over and still have the headache. I made bacon and eggs for -Wife- and -Daughter- and that was pretty tough. I’m no longer hungry per se but the food looked awesome and a few times I had to stop myself from grabbing a piece of bacon like I normally do while cooking. I stepped on a scale and was 179. I weighed in at 185 a week before I began this fast but didn’t think to weigh myself at the start because this fast isn’t about losing weight.

    Went out to run some errands and ended up at -Local- Pizza for lunch. I played with -Daughter- and then joined -Wife- when the food got there. Buffalo wings, salad and French fries. Yumm. Still wasn’t hungry but I really wanted a bite.

    Went home and rested and read fasting stories online for awhile. Been going to bed around 9:00PM these days as I feel tired and am also still experiencing body aches.


    Day 5 Sunday
    Woke up and made coffee and oatmeal for the girls. Quite tired this morning and the body ache is worse. When I say tired, I mean body tired as my mind has gotten into a state of heightened awareness. My dreams have been very vivid as well. We went to church and I was very uncomfortable sitting in the pew. My legs felt very sore the entire time and I had to keep shifting them to other positions.

    This was a tough one: We went to an excellent Mexican restaurant after church, -Local-. -Wife- told me to order her what I usually get. I had to sit there and watch her eat the Steak Ranchero with the chipotle sauce… torture. I wanted a bite so badly.

    Came home and I went to the sofa and channel surfed and dozed on and off for the rest of the day. I could never get comfortable and kept trying to reposition my weight. I went to bed at 9:15 feeling like I couldn’t walk up the stairs. I can’t possibly see how I can keep this up for 3 or 4 weeks if this weakness and soreness keeps up.


    Day 6 Monday
    Back at work and I feel alright. My water drinking has slowed a little as I’m no longer trying to suppress my hunger with the water. I can’t truly say that I am not hungry because there is a dull desire for food within my stomach at all times. Will this stop as well? I hear that Day 1 to Day 11 are the most miserable. I’ve had day dreams about an Olive Garden commercial I saw yesterday although I have never really cared for that restaurant. I think one way to describe my hunger right now is that it’s a similar feeling to when I’ve been back country hiking. That’s a time that my food intake is always limited and I don’t ever eat to fullness. Walking the trails can really get you thinking about food.

    Another odd observation: I think my sense of smell is heightened because it seems like everyone that gets in my face and breathes has that fruity diabetic breath smell. I’ve heard that my breath is supposed to get horrendous once my body switches over to Ketosis mode and starts living off of its fat reserves but I haven’t noticed anything yet. Oh yeah, my tongue is coated in white today.

    Took -Daughter 2- to -Airport- to catch a plane back to -City- and was fine except for a soreness in my legs. It’s strange because it doesn’t seem like its in the muscle or bone but actually the skin. Bed at 9:15. I’ve found that I absolutely need 8+ hours of sleep each night to make that soreness/ache go away for the next day.


    Day 7 Tuesday
    Vivid dreams last night- almost like they are in HD! Was driving a rented car, I’m sure escaping from someone/something/some situation, and this little Mexican dwarf ran into the street at an intersection in front of me, trying to get into a manhole or other hole in the road. I stopped my car and ran over to pull him out. After dragging him to the grass and speaking to the police and other bystanders, I noticed my car had been stolen. We looked around and never found it but I knew that I had lost my wallet and phone in that car.

    Stopped by the Safeway store to buy some Fiji water for my day. I know that I’m supposed to be drinking only pure water but it’s pretty tough to find pure water these days so I opted for Fiji because it has a naturally high alkalinity.

    Stepped on the scale this morning and weighed in at 171 which is an 8 lb drop since Day 4, or 2 lbs a day. I also had the first feelings of a bowel movement since this began. I’ll spare you the details but it was the most unpleasant thing I’ve experienced in quite awhile. Work was fine and my energy levels have seemed to come back to more or less normal. I think the acidosis stage is now passed.

    Went to bed at 8:00 because I had to get up at 4:45 to hit the bakery for -Wife's- birthday cake.


    Day 8 Wednesday
    Wow, the dreams just keep coming. I woke up at 10:47, 1:20, 3:29 and finally at 4:45. I wasn’t restless but rather I think that I was rested. I’ve heard that a whole body might not need the 8 hours of sleep we’re taught we need, dunno.

    I feel great today. No hunger, no headaches and no body aches. My energy levels are at what they were before the fast and this really puts the belief that you need a constant stream of ‘nutrition’ to stay alive and alert. I’ve not had any spells of lightheadness when I get out of my chair too quickly either. Methinks that the whole anti-fast waves that seem to get forced on us from birth are just part of the Kingdom of Fear’s propaganda to keep us from finding true health!! Not really much else to report yet today.

    I booked a flight to the UP to spend a week with -Friend- in November and I think I’ll still be fasting when I depart. From my inner guesstimation, I bet I’m going to be breaking my fast while on this trip and will make sure to have the necessary juices to do so. I’ll need to spend a few days on juice alone to coax my GI back into life. I’ve heard of many problems with breaking a fast improperly during that refeeding period; hopefully I’ll be able to take it easy and let my body adjust to me filling it with stuff again.

    It’s amazing how I can cook for my family at night and then sit down to watch them eat after not having any food for over a week and not picture them as hotdogs like in cartoons… more propaganda?

    Made the girls some omelets and read for awhile, calling it a night at 9:15 – upper back gets a little sore by the end of the day.


    Day 9 Thursday
    Woke up refreshed and feeling good. My senses are heightened and I’m seeing and hearing things I couldn’t before. My sense of smell is a curse as most people I talk to have breath that indicates some health problems. Lots of folks walking around with hyperglycemia and they may not know it… I can now smell it from across the room!

    Other than that I’m feeling better than I did before I began this journey.


    Day 10, 11 & 12 Friday, Saturday & Sunday
    Not a whole lot to report. I wake up rested and alert, no hunger feelings to speak of except the occasional craving for something I see. I spent this weekend cooking for -Wife- as it was her birthday; Filet Mingon, Lobster tail, etc… Quite a test.

    I also worked around the house a bit and the only thing I feel is a soreness in my upper back between my shoulder blades towards the end of the day or after bending over for awhile. Couple more small bowel movements here and there and my tongue is pretty well coated white.

    I weighed 164 Sunday morning.


    Day 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 Monday-Saturday
    Sorry for the abridged versions of some of these blocks of time but things have been pretty much business as usual except that I’m not eating anything! I feel fine with just a little back soreness from time to time especially after bending over the butcher block preparing food for my family. I’m still having emotional hunger for food because it all looks really good to me and I have cravings for things that I’m watching others eat. I truly think that most overeating and bad dietary habits come from this emotional or mental hunger and not from any true need.


    Day 19 Sunday
    Felt pretty week today and had to watch how fast I got up after sitting or laying down. I’m having some intermittent ‘hunger’ feelings and am not sure if it’s the smell of the food I’m cooking Sharon or the beginnings of the signal to break this fast. Quiet, lazy day overall.


    Day 20 Monday
    Slept on couch as the baby was sick with the flu and up and down a lot. I think I’m going to start feeling pretty weak from here on out. I feel fine now but have noticed that I’m tiring a little quicker and I actually am starting to look forward to the end. One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that I’ve been cold for the past 2 weeks. Could be the loss of fat?

    I head to the UP on 11/10 and will more than likely be breaking this fast while there for 8 days. I already have some juice and fruit pre-positioned and waiting for me if the time comes to begin refeeding. I plan a juice (organic fresh grapefruit juice) diet for 2 to 3 days and then will add in some orange and grapefruit meat for the next 3 to 4 days. I need to convince my lower GI to wake up and start processing again.

    156 lbs this morning.


    Day 21 Tuesday
    Felt better today than yesterday. Not so weak with bursts of energy at times. My tongue is still coated white and my wife is complaining about my appearance. It’s cold in the house. Maybe I should do this during the spring/summer? Vivid dreams again last night.


    Day 22 Wednesday
    Had to level with my Manager because today was the third time I declined any food at lunch with him.. He had some homemade lasagna and nice salads brought in for a meeting with 7 others. Back is still sore and it’s mostly from bending over while cooking.

    152 this morning.


    Day 23 Thursday
    Same as the other days lately; tired, cold and letting work stress get to me. Wife is ready for this to be over although she wants to join me next time. My dreams are vived, my sense of smell is still high and my emotions are strong.


    Day 24: Friday
    I’m still feeling good overall but am running out of steam while doing things I normally could. I don’t know if I’ll break before my trip or during my trip. Being my first fast, I’m not sure what it will feel like when it’s time to break and I’m second guessing myself. My breath is horrible but the tongue looks like it’s clearing or is that just me? I have to mention that I have had sex during this fast. Many books I’ve read talk about the inability to do so but so long as I don’t kiss my wife (breath), we’ve been fine.


    Day 26 Saturday
    148 this morning.

    It’s time. I feel the pangs of real hunger coming back and I’m about as weak as I’d like to be. Fasting turns to starving once the body runs out of fuel and has to start to eat its own protein. Starvation is the march to death and although I think I could go longer, I’m going to break tonight with some organic broth.

    Oh man, a cup of beef broth tasted like a medium rare grilled ribeye. I may have to go for another cup in a bit.

    *************************************

    The books I read are below

    Therapeutic Fasting by Arnold Devries 48 pages and draws heavily on Shelton's work

    Fasting and Sunbathing by Herbert M. Shelton 302 pages and is the comprehensive guide. Shelton personally supervised over 50,000 water only fasts and kept notes on the diseases cured during the process.

    I'm not really looking for the 'Dude, you shouldn't do this' type comments in the thread. It's not for everyone but I can now say I've done it and have given it a year after I broke the fast to see if I suffered any injury from it. I haven't and will do another one this spring. Too darn cold in the winter!
     

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    Bigfoot1986 and Motomom34 like this.
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    How did you feel in the weeks after the fast? Do you think there were any positive results? For the past 25 yrs I have only eaten once a day but drink lots of water
     
    pearlselby likes this.
  3. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I actually started my re-feeding in a more aggressive way than I should have and that's the part I need to more properly plan next time. I did go a few days on small things and broths but ended up eating a big mexican dinner on my trip to the UP.

    My weight rose back up to normal levels within 2 months and I felt great. I don't know if I had any 'positive' effects because I didn't really have anything wrong with me at the start. Those books talk about a rejuvenation of organs and systems after the body has had to scavenge for dead weight during the fast. Basically getting rid of diseased or damaged tissues. They are great reads even if you don't plan to try this.

    I felt better than ever after I broke it and began to eat again. It would make a great start to an entirely new way of eating although I didn't take the opportunity to completely change my food lifestyle.
     
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Well that explains a few things.....
     
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Shane think I had aids when he saw me last year?? LOL
     
  6. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Actually he was extremely worried about you and stress getting you. Not knowing you were huffing water...[drooling]
    I am curious though.
    In your journal there isn't no mention of mistake made along the way due to impared judgement, did you experence any of that?
     
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I actually started this experiment after feeling overwhelmed by work stress. I was looking for something to clear my head so i could think of some alternatives. During my fast, my thoughts were more clear than I can ever remember them being and it was during this time that I created a spreadsheet matrix of all of my job options so I could compare hard numbers for each option.

    I don't think I had an impaired mental state or judgement at that time. If anything, it was crystal clear and I knew I had to make a change and began to act on it.
     
  8. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    That is interesting, thanks for sharing it M
     
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Now you've got me worried... Off to go check all my 10 and 11/09 V emails.
     
  10. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Very cool Melbo. I have thought about doing similar. There are examples from about every religion of fasting. I think some of these "new age" scientific reasons help to support the religious aspect.

    Fasts aren't just from food either. A lot of people are taking "digital fasts" these days. A couple weeks without a TV will bring a family closer. For those of you with young kids, imagine having to actually go out and play after work
    [peep]
     
  11. kalbo

    kalbo Monkey+

    Actually melbo, I'd like to hear some of the gory details. I'm considering a fast of my own and want to know what I'm in for. If it's OK, I'll contact you through the site.
     
  12. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    LOL ... I kinda did the same thing (water fast) accidentally. Some medication I was taking for migraine headaches had listed anorxeia as a possible side effect. While I didn't think a whole lot about it at the time my husband said he noticed that I had stopped eating. But, because I had done that before with migraines (nothing like trying to eat only to lose it 20 minutes later over and over again) he didn't worry.

    A month into these meds he finally realized that I wasn't eating AT ALL. He thought I had been eating while he was at work. Actually what was happening was this little voice in my head kept telling me "No, you can't eat that."

    My decision making was affected and I was extremely weak and lethargic the whole time (about 2 months). I slept all the time.

    Now to say that it was the water fast that did it is impossible because the meds had so many other strange effects on me that it is very likely that the other problems I had were caused by the meds.

    You post has me curious now as to just how well I would do as I am not on any of those meds any longer. I think I may give this a try to see ...
     
  13. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Sure. Send me a PM or ask here.
     
  14. Will-IB-Ready

    Will-IB-Ready Monkey+

    Really great post.
    I have done quite a few 3 to 5 day fasts over the years, but your journal has me really interested in an 11+ day fast.

    You say that you plan to do it again. What things would you do differently this time?

    Also, by UP do you mean the upper peninsula of Michigan?
     
  15. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Sorry, should have said da yoop. A friend (on this site) has some property just over the bridge.

    I've had quite a few questions about this thread and am working on a follow up post.
     
  16. Will-IB-Ready

    Will-IB-Ready Monkey+

    LOL. Just checking. I live in Big Rapids, which is about an hour north of Grand Rapids. Nice to meet fellow Michiganians.

    Great. I'll look forward to reading it.
     
  17. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I lived in kzoo at one point. Stay tuned
     
  18. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Does this fix liver or brain damage?
     
  19. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Melbo,
    That is very interesting. I have a few questions about it if you don't mind.

    Did you notice a lot of muscle loss at the end of the fast and when you started eating normally did you gain back fat or are you leaner now than when you started? I'm sure at 170ish starting you were pretty lean.

    I'm curious because I've always heard that if you don't eat your body goes into starvation mode and then you burn muscle and you can only lose 2 lbs of fat a week, but after reading your post I wonder if that is more the case if you don't have fat reserves to burn up first.
    Another thing that makes me wonder is some of the health shows like biggest loser, I don't watch it but have seen a few episodes, they always lose a lot more weight upfront because they are heavier to start with and I have wondered if they were losing muscle mass or it was just because they had a lot more fat to lose, it doesn't seem like they could lose that much muscle mass so it seems like it has to be fat.
     
  20. kalbo

    kalbo Monkey+

    @Ajax - I've done a lot of research on this subject as well but will defer to melbo for actuals. During the fast your body is supposed to burn off excess fat and other dead and diseased tissue. The fast is actually a reversal of the process used to augment liver and kidney function. When those primary organs of elimination are unable to filter toxins from your system effectively, the body will store them in a place that causes the least threat to its survival. This is the cause of illness such as sinusitis (stored in sinuses), gallbladder disease, arthritis, and some believe even cancer. During a fast your body breaks down these diseased tissues and releases the toxin back into the bloodstream for another process attempt by the liver and kidneys. It is said that you will briefly experience symptoms of previous conditions before the toxins are passed. Some cancer patients have reported that after a medical evaluation, that cancerous tumors have either shrank considerably or vanished completely, having been metabolized by the body. During the fast you will experience what is called a "second hunger" after several weeks. It is only at this point where you need to break the fast as your body has completely drawn its reserves and will begin to consume essential fats and muscle.

    @melbo - I've read through Moser's "How and When to be Your Own Doctor" on this subject and am happy to share with a little instruction. Tried to download your copy of Shelton "On Fasting and Sunbathing" but it was unopenable. Do you mind reposting?
     
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