Quick Fast

Excuse me while I daydream

I’ve started fasting on Fridays. I’ve been at it for about a month now: I started on Good Friday because it seemed like an appropriate thing to do for a high holy day- whether or not I planned to do any of the other holiday related churching. I didn’t tell anybody at the time- I considered it a private kind of devotion and I wanted my accountability to come from myself alone. I was hungry, sure, and a bit foggy, but really the hardest part was just reminding myself that I was fasting and that I couldn’t automatically deposit snacks into my mouth hole whenever I got bored. Which, at an office job involving a high level of tedium, is pretty often. So it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t that hard either, and when it was over, food tasted amazing and I felt great.

And then I thought, “I wonder if I could do it again”. So the next Friday I did it again. I skipped breakfast. I didn’t pack a lunch. I had some emergency snacks hidden out of sight in my drawer in case I got woozy or too hangry to function, but I didn’t end up being them. I made it through the day in a bit of a muddle, but otherwise perfectly fine. All I had to do was follow my routine and avoid thinking about food as much as possible.

So I did it the next Friday. And the next. And now I’ve been doing it for a month.

Before anyone starts to worry: these aren’t extreme fasts. They only last about twenty three hours- dinner to dinner. I’m not trying to starve myself or anything- I just think it’s good to feel a little bit hungry now and then. It’s a good reminder of how lucky I am to have as much food as I could possibly eat any time that I want it.

I’ve heard that intermittent fasting I’d supposed to be pretty good for you, health wise. Some people use it for weight loss or for training, but that’s not really my intention. I haven’t lost any measurable weight. If I’m in any better shape than I was it is probably from doing the plank challenge rather than the fasting. I can’t even really say that I feel any better- physically or mentally- as a result, but I do feel proud of myself. There is an appeal to monk-like self denial such as fasting. In fact, I recall reading about the monks of Iona and their routine fasting on Fridays and Wednesdays as a ritual of their devotion. Maybe I was a monk in a past life.

It remains to be seen whether I decide to keep this up. Today is the first time that I’ve fasted and felt clear-headed, but I also spent a lot of the day fighting off extremely specific, detailed, and intense (but brief) cravings. Miso soup. Chocolate. Dumplings. Lemon-chili peanuts. Pineapple.

Anyway, if there’s another thing I’ve learned, it’s that I look forward to Friday dinner A LOT MORE now. I’m headed there now. Don’t know what we’re having yet. Doesn’t matter. ‘S gonna be amazing.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 27, 2018.

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