Recently I tried not to eat for a week. In my attempt the rules were simple. I could only drink water, tea, and sparkling water.
Why did i try to fast for a week?
We were sitting with one of my friend planning our 30 days challenges of the year when he told me about water fasting. He told me about the benefit for the body allowing it to recover and giving it enough time to get rid or the toxins. He shook some of my belief about food and the way we consider our food. I also had heard about Ghandi fasting for what he believed and my mom had a lot of no food days back in her days. All I needed was someone to push me trying it for myself.
How it goes?
First day (Thursday) was interesting at around 10 o’clock i was super hungry. I think my mind knew he was going to starve so I was hungrier than usual. After a power nap instead of usual meal I was fine. Bed time and going to sleep made me realize not eating for a day was actually much more easier than I thought.
Second day (Friday) I had an epiphany… Not having to think about what I’m going to eat is such a freedom. You don’t start wondering what your meal is going to be ! It’s impressive how much my mind is thinking about food on a regular day.
Third day (Saturday) was easy despite not being as busy as I am at work. I even get to go to my martial art class at Parc de la Villette with no impact on me. (Maybe my teacher was going easy on me because he knew i was fasting). At night I realized food was also a social connector. Most of the time I hang out in restaurants, bars, or whatever. It’s just a good reason to meet with my friends.
Fourth (Sunday) day was terrible i’ve done nothing but laying on my bed all day and skipped classical dance class (lot of classy here !). It was also the day that I gave up on the fast, at night I couldn’t sleep and when I walked to my restroom my balance was so messed up that I felt on to the ground. I texted my friend who inspired me to do the fast and told me it was all right (I felt guilty leaving him alone). But before eating that pineapple in the fridge I made a quick video to remember how I felt. (It wasn’t supposed to go public so don’t be shy and enjoy seeing me half naked)
Now come the time to reflect.
I really get a chance to think back on food. Might sound obvious but I’m grateful to have food in my plate whenever I want. This line doesn’t make justice to the way this experience made me have a new look at food. Think it’s kind of like love, faith, being angry those are things someone need to experiment in order to know it.
Food is everywhere and I did spend a lot of time thinking about it on 3 main fields:
Time, I waste so much time thinking about food. What I’m I going to eat today? Question start at 11am. Then the same at night. All this time spending making decision is time and energy not available to think about what really matter.
Health, Is this good for my health? I feel guilty eating too much. Eating junk too much. As my friend said:
We are what we eat.
- Money, Well this one don’t bother me. I don’t care paying a lot to eat good stuff. It’s not about the money itself but the way industry appeal me to buy always more food. The more you buy the less you spend for the amount I have. Then I end up eating more food of usually bad food. It’s just not working in the right direction. Now I know I don’t need to eat that much to live.
So now that I know all that what I’m I going to do?
- Stop eating when i’m bored and do 5 minutes relaxation instead (Replace with something you find pleasure in)
- During eat time. Stop when I feel 80% full (Pareto law).
- Deny free food if I’m not hungry.
- Stop taking the food that has the most quantity and think in terms of quality.
- Avoid plain sugar
Food on a less conscious state is also a lot of other things. An entertainment, an object of pleasure, I got food when I’m bored, when I’m depressed, when I socialize, when I spend money (a lot of money), when I have sex (sometimes), as a gift, as an addiction, as a huge part of economy, as a diet, as a reward… During the fast I had progressively all those field getting back at me. At first I wanted to eat food to distract me, then because my friend were going to eat, then at the end because I was hungry. Back to the basic, the fundamental. Food is my body essence.
Thanks to Ali for his help writing this and inspiring me to make this wonderful experience.
Picture has been taken on a improvised hitchhiking trip week end at Etretat.