Smyth: 40 days of Water Fasting

  • Smyth Karate, 33 years old Female, weighing 75 kg / 165 lbs, 64 in /162.56 cm tall, not religious, interested in Buddhism . From Los Angeles, United States

  • Doing 40 days of Water Fasting. Starting September 10, 2010

  • Reasons for Fasting:
    I'm fasting because I've had a vicious relationship with food on and off for the entirety of my adult life. I'd like to move beyond a food obsession, rid my body of excess weight from binging, see my life with more clarity and have the stamina and the desire to accomplish my dreams. I've been in a rut with food, weight, my life, my self-image and my dreams of a meaningful career. I've found myself in a funk and I want to snap myself out of it. In the past I've found I enjoy eating a primarily raw food/mostly vegan diet however it's something that has evaded me recently as I'm very tempted by the junk food brought home by my room-mate/ex. I'm currently on unemployment, so this seems a good time to start a fast, as I have no particular obligations. I'm very hopeful that this is something I can do and that I will make some breakthroughs, both life and food-wise. My goal weight has always been 125 pounds, but the closest I've ever gotten in my adult life was 136, and that was not without extreme bulimia and deprivation for around a year. I just want to be free of my dependence on food and the excuses it gives me to put my life on the back burner.

  • Past Fasting Experience:
    None, per se, although as a chronic dieter I've certainly been experienced in hunger, in all forms. You might call me a hunger enthusiast.

  • Present Diet:
    It has fluctuated recently. I was on a fairly strict raw diet for 3 weeks about two months ago, which followed 7 months of being bulimia-free, and gradually incorporating a steady, healthy and predominantly vegan and raw diet into my life. On the strict raw regimen I lost some weight rapidly in 3 weeks, but after a particularly stressful family reunion I found myself ravenous and began to gorge myself on a daily basis. This degenerated into a binge-purge cycle, so as not to gain too much weight, which then became habitual, and for the last month or so I have found myself binging and purging out of boredom, essentially. My own perception of my body keeps me from pursuing activities and striving for normalcy. I tend to binge on sweet things, lately it's been alot of icecream and cereal, because I truly haven't been particularly hungry, and these are things I find it easy to mindlessly eat, even if I am fairly satiated. I've been binging on alot of bread and jelly lately too, as bread is something I have deprived myself of over the last year and it's something I love to eat. Yesterday I ate a great raw salad with nuts and some peccorino cheese on it, but I also had hot milk with ovaltine, some brownies and some instant oats with milk and ovaltine on them. Confused, I know. At least I didn't binge and purge, which I had been doing consistently without respite for the last two weeks.

  • Relevant Medical History:
    I'm hypothyroid, and I recently switched myself over from Levoxyl, a synthetic thyroid supplement, to Thiroyd, a natural porcine thyroid supplement. I feel much better, and it is one of the reasons I feel capable of attempting this fast, which is something I never would have had the stamina to do prior. I've dealt with depression since I was around 13 or so, the apathetic, gray type, although I have a sneaking suspicion that it was directly related to my thyroid issues, which weren't diagnosed until last year. My TSH was at 11.09, and who knows how long I had been barely subsisting at that level. I believe most of my life--I misdiagnosed it as simple depression, and tried various things, Prozac, etc., to not much avail. As I mentioned, I've been a compulsive binger and over-eater most of my life, and I became bulimic at the age of 19 to compensate. I've never been able to completely rid myself of the bulimia, although I've gone for four years without. Other than that, I'm healthy as an ox. Some gum recession, some spider veins, some melasma, but nothing particularly life-threatening. My grandfather died of a heart attack and my other three grandparents died of various cancers, and cancer has afflicted a few relatives of mine, so I would more than ever like to strengthen my immune system.

  • Present Medical Problems:
    Bulimia, melasma, spider veins and apathy related to years of living with depression and being unsure how to adjust to a life without depression. Additionally, I frequently lose my hair, not fully, but I shed much of it at least a few times a year. This has been happening for the last four years now, and I believe it is primarily related to fluctuations in my thyroid, but also diet and bulimia.

  • State of Mind:
    Right now I am somewhat lightheaded, as I have not eaten today, and I've been up for four hours. I am also hopeful and happy to find this forum!

  • Limitations:
    My only limitation, I believe, is my absolute, unwavering reliance and faith in food to get me through my loneliness and darkness.

  • Questions:
    I'd be interested in chatting with anyone who has done a fairly lengthy water fast...specifically, did you have any life-altering/affirming revelations after the first few weeks? Thanks!

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