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!

Posted on by Karate

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4 Responses to Smyth: 40 days of Water Fasting

  1. Tom Coghill says:
    Tom Coghill

    Hi Smyth
    I find juice fasting easier, safer and more theraputic than water fasting. At least get a juicer to break the fast. Water fasting over 14 days can increase hairloss while juice fasting reduces it. There are pages of life changing testimonies on this site including mine. Great to have you with us.

  2. Karate says:

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the information, especially pertaining to hair loss. I have no idea how long I will have the stamina to fast for, and I very well may not go 40 days, it is simply a goal to keep myself from bailing out too early. I’ve done some research, and I believe that due to my body weight I could probably fast for several weeks without doing any significant damage to my health. I will certainly break my fast with juice, though…for a period of a few days, at least!

    I’m currently on the third evening of my fast. My second day was somewhat difficult, as I found myself hungrier than on day one, but I just tried to keep myself occupied, to get through the first few days hump. Today I also felt hunger on and off, and somewhat fatigued, but I do find the feeling of fatigue is lifting. I have noticed that colors have seemed more vivid over the last few days, and that I have enjoyed music and reading more. Additionally, I have wanted to be outside on relaxed walks. I feel somewhat more present, and I have spent more time listening to friends and family. Being forced to slowly take in the current moment seems to be healthy for me. I’m just hoping that soon I will experience no more hunger and can glide through the rest of my fast with relative ease, but we’ll see….

    Thanks for the welcome, it’s great to be here. Nice to find a community for fasting–I’ve only spoken to one of my sisters and my best friend about it, as I feel that it’s something that people can have a strong negative reaction to.

  3. Karate says:

    And one more thing I forgot to mention: the other night I found myself very emotional and crying over a long term issue with my father…it felt wonderful to experience such strong emotion. I rarely cry at all.

  4. Karate says:

    Currently on the fifth evening of my fast. The fourth day I found myself still hungry, but also enjoying my heightened sensory perception. I’m enjoying music more intensely, and my sensory memories are very strong…this is unusual for me, as my memories are usually fairly sparse, or superficial…but lately I find my mind wandering into very rapt almost trance-like memories, for simple things, such as the way my comforter smelled as a teenager…strange, I know…Also, I’ve found myself very impatient with movies and TV, and reading has appealed to me much more…I’m able to concentrate on the concepts and words in a very fresh way for me…haven’t been able to do that since I was a child…My sense of smell is becoming very acute, and there is an immediate visual and sensual connection for me. I find myself wanting to be outside, resting in the warmth, and I am certainly slowing down to enjoy the present. I have no choice, I guess…with my body moving as slowly as it has been, I must relax in the present moment. I find myself walking incredibly slowly, but enjoying it…normally, I’d be self-conscious of that….Today, the fifth day, when I took a walk later in the day, I felt almost as if I had a confident, floating stride; slow, but present. I really enjoyed that walk!

    This morning however, I woke up early, and soon felt queasy and still tired, so I went back to bed. When I woke up I was horribly, horribly weak. I felt like someone who has been sick for a long time and is unable to do simple tasks without complete exhaustion. I was not able to stand up from a seated position without extreme difficulty–my head would go completely black for a few seconds…I managed to do a few tasks, and found myself shaking, and flopping down where-ever I was when I couldn’t stand any longer…I even found myself lying down in the bath-tub after taking a shower, instead of making it into the bedroom….My mouth was incredibly pasty, and my temperature was 97.3 degrees..I took it because I thought I might have a fever. Then it dawned on me that I actually must be dehydrated. I began to force myself to drink glass after glass of water, and lay down. I felt nauseous from the water and at one point I nearly vomited, but held it down. Within a few hours I felt wonderful…better than I have this entire time! My mouth was again moist, and I felt happy and not in the least bit hungry–I was really amazed, and now I truly realize how imperative water is to the human body! I felt like I was on death’s door, only to feel amazing two hours later, just from a few glasses of water! I didn’t feel hungry for the remainder of the day, up until about an hour ago–of course, that followed a lengthy discussion of food with my room-mate; mistake! It strikes me that I’ve found myself hungry every evening of the fast, and have turned to some mindless TV programming to try to distract myself. I think this may be something that is conditioned in me, to be hungry at night. I’ve always been a night eater! Anyways, still happy, still hopeful, and I believe this fast is allowing me to accomplish the goals I had for it! Here’s to fasting!