21 December 2016
Cleaning Myself Out
Good morning! It is winter solstice today and the first lunar eclipse in 500 years. I feel great. I got up and fixed my tea, drank my 0.33 liters of Donat mineral water and a few swigs of San Pellegrino mineral water, and started chatting with my wife on WeChat. I did break down and bring the heater into my bedroom. It is -2°C outside, so I suppose it is best.
I’m anxious about tomorrow. The last fast my wife and I did, day one and day two were relatively easy. However, we both felt miserable on the third day. Today, holding my head up while sitting in bed and typing is causing me a very slight headache, nothing serious. When I lie all the way down and rest my head, it goes away. Nothing much more to report, yet. I’m not even looking at food and recipes on the Internet, a pastime that occupied many an hour when I first started IF and long-term fasting. I see this as a hurdle cleared. Food is no longer the most important thing in my life. It is still important, don’t get me wrong…I eat on my eating days. However, food has been lowered on my priority list. It is no longer an obsession. It is no longer an addiction. Wine and coffee are another story. Perhaps my headache is due to no coffee for the last two days. Other than that possibility, no withdrawal pains. I know that by next Saturday I will be able to enjoy coffee and wine. No problem. The headache is also relieved when I correct for better posture. Go figure. How bad can I feel when all I’m doing is resting in bed watching Christmas movies?
The pollution went down to 161, so I decided to go pay my electricity bill. Then I went to the store to look around. I found dates for €2.05, which is a bit cheaper than the store I usually frequent. I left my apartment at about 11:00am and got back at around 1:00pm, so I was gone for about two hours. I kept my nose and mouth covered with a scarf for the whole trip, except when indoors, so it was a pretty stressful walk. I made tea, shaved, and showered when I got back. While I was waiting for the tea to boil, I noticed that I was very tired. Still not hungry, but empty and knowing intellectually that food would give me energy. After my shower, I headed straight to bed to rest. I didn’t even feel like doing laundry or any other chores for that matter. The fatigue says something.
Your Body Eats Itself?
During a 3-day fast my body cleans itself out. It consumes, due to the lack of food, dead and dying cells. This is called autophagy, a very important process that is stopped by eating constantly. The immune system rids the body of all the weak white blood cells, so that could explain the weariness. Upon refeeding our immune system replenishes the lost white blood cells with brand new white blood cells (I wonder if they are whiter) for at least a partial reboot of the immune system. Autophagy happens all over the body during a fast. Also, the digestive system takes up a lot of the energy that our food provides us. While the digestive track is resting from the lack of food to process, that energy goes toward healing and cleaning and renewal. Many people are afraid that the body eats itself, like its muscles and organs, and they are correct. We have evolved to consume ourselves in times of starvation; however, we would not have been a very successful species if our bodies responded to a little food deprivation by going right for the prime cuts of meat or the organs. We evolved to first go for the dead, dying, and weak cells, those that if they build up over time, because we are eating constantly, cause us to be ill. This debris build up causes inflammation and disease. So my lethargy after my walk is a good thing. It means that my body is ridding itself of toxins and debris. I have plenty of energy to sit in bed and watch Christmas movies.
Passing the Time
I chatted with my wife on WeChat until she slept. The rest in bed did me well. I felt pretty good through “Elf,” but I must say when Buddy the Elf was eating the spaghetti with meat sauce and maple syrup, my mouth was watering. When he made his breakfast with spaghetti, syrup, marshmallows, M&M’s, and chocolate Pop Tarts, again I was salivating and licking my lips. Other than that, I felt great right up through “Frosty the Snowman.” After “Frosty” my temples ached a little. Could this be because my brain is processing ketones? I don’t know. Or maybe I was just thinking too hard while talking to my wife? Or maybe it is caffeine withdrawal. Definitely not dehydration, I’ve been peeing a lot. I did watch “ET” (not a Christmas movie) and I still feel a little pressure on my temples. I made one last carafe of tea in my French Press. If I feel no worse than this through tomorrow, I will have bettered my performance during the last fast. As I said before, I felt good on day one and day two of the last 3-day fast, but I felt crappy the third day. We shall see. This would be a vast improvement.
Still no sign of the fruit that I ate on Monday. I think the next time I do a three or longer day fast, my last meal before the fast will be prunes. Maybe I’ll stew them or just soak them real good and eat the prunes and drink the stew or the soak water also.
Tonight, I will either watch Jim Carrey in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” or I will go to sleep. Either will suit me well.
Until next time stay fast and fit!