Giving up food – day 14

I’ve done it, I’m coming towards the end of the last day and I will start eating again tomorrow, although the diet will be sparse for a few days while I get the body used to food again.

As for the rest of the day, it has been a hard day again. My energy levels have been at zero. Every movement seems to take such a lot of effort. I think I am well and truly detoxed. I think if I were to do longer than two weeks I would need to be on a tropical island spending the day dozing on a hammock looking out over the sea. Life is too busy for me to do more than two weeks.

Water is getting increasing hard to drink as I am starting to taste the chemicals in it. When you start eating again after a fast the taste of food is incredible. Fruit and vegetables are so sweet, and you realise why sweet corn is called sweet corn! Although the water I am drinking is filtered it is limited to what it can filter out. We used to have a reverse osmosis system which was fantastic; it would even take the fluoride out the water. Unfortunately we are unable to plumb that into to our current house so we have had to go back to our old ceramic filter. Anyway I can now taste the chemicals and I don’t really want to drink it. I have even started having a few problems with my clothes! I am now reacting to the soap powder that we use. As you fill your body with rubbish you desensitise to the bad things, your body learns to cope with it, which is not necessarily a good thing. The same thing goes for anything that goes on your skin. How much poison can you take for things to be ok? Fluoride is quite a nasty poison, but it is added to our water, we do not have a choice in that. The build-up over the years of these poison does have an effect on our health.

After my first fast, a few weeks after I had started to eat again I had my first beer, it was quite disgusting, put I persevered, I thought it was worth it. Over time I started drifting back into my old ways, and this Christmas I realised I was back to square one, hence the fast.

Well this is the last fasting blog, the eating blog starts tomorrow and I am so looking forward to it.

Weight today 95.4Kg, water drank today is 4.5 litres. Resting Heart Rate is 81 BPM

Giving up food – day 13

Today has been the worst day of my fast, so bad I almost packed it in. I just felt awful this morning, (overdoing things yesterday with the wood cutting), so bad I stayed in bed until midday. I think my wife wanted me to start eating again as she was worried, and I came so close. I opted for a hot bath instead; life is always better after a long soak. I did feel a bit better afterwards better, but I felt so incredibly weak, almost no energy. If I feel like that tomorrow I may finish a day early, but we will see.

By 3:30pm I felt well enough to go shopping. My wife and daughter went to do the 100 shops they normally do and opted to go and do the food shopping. It was physically hard, I suspect this is how you feel when you get old and frail, quite scary actually. The incentive for doing the shopping was that I was shopping for the food I will be eating next week, it was quite exciting. More on the food on Monday’s blog, or even tomorrow, although at the time of writing this I do feel much better.

Weight today 95.9Kg, water drank today is 3.5 litres. Resting Heart Rate is 80 BPM

Giving up food – day 12

Energy levels are still high, considering I have had no food for 12 days. I took my youngest to the hospital for an appointment for a dodgy elbow this morning. We saw the consultant then had to walk up to the x-ray department, which involved a big flight of stairs, I did find that quite hard, well trying to keep up with my daughters pace anyway. The consultant gave us the options after the x-ray, which his preferred treatment was put some ibuprofen gel on it and go away, this is on an injury that has been going on 15 months. Anyway I challenged him on that and on inquiring a bit more about the other options he was not keen on, it transpires he does not actually know what is wrong, so we are still searching on a diagnosis. A referral to another consultant and a wait of about six months, that’s the good old NHS. At every level we have seen someone at the hospital over the last few months they have been keen to get rid of us with the minimal of work or commitment of resources, I must say I am disgusted. Rant over.

Back to the fasting, I cut up a load of logs after the hospital visit, which felt like a hard workout, then I had to go and soak my hands. At the hospital you clean your hands with a squirt of that gel stuff, before you go in to the consulting rooms and x-ray. It looks like I have reacted to it. On the way back my hands were really itchy, and by the time I had cut the wood, they were all bright red and puffed up. It did clear up, but it took a couple of hours.

This brings me to another point of fasting. The point of the fast is to detox, so not only do you refrain from food, but chemicals too. Our biggest organ is our skin, putting chemicals on it means that some of those chemicals will pass through into your body. It may only be tiny amounts, but if it is happening multiple times every single day it becomes significant. Common products include, soap, shower gel, bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and not relevant to me makeup. Alternatives need to be found. I have used the same alternatives since my first fast, I use either soapnut soap or olive oil soap, (I use the soap on my hair as well), fluoride free toothpaste and a natural stick deodorant, sprays should be avoided at all costs.

The more you start cutting the chemicals you use on your body and rubbish food from your diet, you will start noticing more and more when you do come in contact with them. My eating habits were starting to go back to the old days, increased sugar and rubbish, (Christmas did not help) so the detox is a way of resetting things.

Weight today 96.1Kg, water drank today is 4.0 litres. Resting Heart Rate is 79 BPM

Giving up food – day 11

Today has been the easiest day so far. Still no hunger and I seemed to have a surge of energy today, although I was very inactive during the day. However I made up for that with my judo coaching in the evening.

One big difference I have noticed with this fast compared with the other two I have done is that I’m not stinky! The first couple of fasts that I did I was having to have numerous  showers each day. It is how the body gets rid of the toxins, well one of the ways. This means that that there is nowhere near the same amount of toxins in my body compared to three years ago. The big difference between then and now is my diet, it is much more healthy, and for the last two and a half years I have followed a vegetarian diet. In addition as much as possible I try to use organic food. With greatly reduced body odour for me this is proof that it is worthwhile, following my current diet.

Weight today 97.3Kg, water drank today is 4.5 litres. Resting Heart Rate is 79 BPM

Giving up food – day 10

Once again I’ve had quite an active day, fasting does not stop me doing the day to day stuff. If I had a physical job, fasting would be impossible, but as I don’t that is not a problem. I’ve walked about three and a half miles today in total. Again I found it hard drinking water but I made sure it was going in.

Last night when I went to bed my feet and hands were freezing. I had to put sock on in bed as they were just not warming up. This is another consequence of fasting, but this is a good sign as fat is being broken down at a higher rate. I found this on the internet which explains it nicely.

Fasting increases the blood flow to your body fat (the process is called adipose tissue blood flow). So when you are fasting more blood is travelling to your body fat, presumably to help move it to your muscles where it can be burned as a fuel. Due to this increased travel to your body fat, micro-vasodilation occurs in your fingertips and sometimes toes to compensate. So in some cases it’s a ‘necessary evil’ in the fat loss process.

Quite interestingly whilst researching this, I also found research which shows that when you eat a particularly fatty meal, the same thing can happen.

Once again I did the cooking for the family, it was mostly heating up leftovers from the freezer, but I did make an apple crumble.

Weight today 97.5Kg, water drank today is 4.5 litres. Resting Heart Rate is 79 BPM

Giving up food – day 9

I’ve felt fine for most of the day. It’s been a busy day, I went to Costco to do some food shopping, then nipped into Wing Yip the Chinese supermarket on the way back. Loads of food in the house and I can’t eat any, but it’s not too much of a problem. I then did some housework, I then had to have a sit down as I felt drained. I really did not feel hungry at all today, in fact it was a bit of a struggle drinking water, I just felt I did not want any. I have found this on previous fasts that getting enough water in me in the second week is a problem, as I just don’t feel like it.

I cooked dinner for the family this evening, bangers and mash. It really helps cooking, I enjoy cooking anyway. After watching the family eat whilst I drank my water, I then went to do my Judo coaching, then a committee meeting. It was quite an active session of coaching and I had to step back a few times to avoid overdoing things.

I have decided today not do the third week, this is mostly for social reasons. With me fasting it is hard on the rest of the family, and I don’t want to put them through another week. In addition I do miss eating, but it will take over a week to get back to normal eating and I will continue to blog this process.

Weight today 98.2Kg, water drank today is 3.5 litres.

Giving up food – day 8

It has been a hard day today, I think all the walking I did yesterday has caught up with me. It was a similar feeling as when I used to have Chronic Fatigue, or ME as it’s also called. When I had Chronic Fatigue, if I did any exercise it used to wipe me out for a few day after. Here’s the science bit, when you exercise, a by-product from your muscles is lactic acid. Lactic acid becomes just another toxin that your body needs to get rid of. With Chronic fatigue, the route I went down was assuming the body was full of toxins, accumulated over a lifetime. When more toxins are added, such as alcohol, junk food, lactic acid, the body just can’t cope, it is working flat out to do other stuff, there is no resources left. Interestingly stress also adds to this. Stress stimulates the fight or flight response, as you have no one to fight or run away from, the adrenalin that is released is not used, the body then turns this into lactic acid, and adds to the toxin overload. With Chronic Fatigue as the symptoms hit home, you worry and get stressed about it and so continues the cycle. I suffered from Chronic Fatigue for over two years and I was getting desperate after trying all sorts of things. The only solutions offered through the NHS was incremental exercise, which quite frankly did not work. The NHS also spent an absolute fortune investigating all the separate symptoms, I estimate in the tens of thousands. Anyway in sheer desperation I read the book The Joy of Perfect health by Tom Chalko, who himself once diagnosed with cancer did this fast and his cancer went away. The desire to get better, and have a normal life again was my motivation that kept me going in the first few days. After the fast I was better, just like that, I really could not believe it, I seemed to have limitless energy. I took up judo again and the next year won a medal at the British Masters championships.

The fatigue symptoms I am feeling today I recon is a result from the walk, the burning of the legs whilst going up hills is sign lactic acid is being released. This would not normally be a problem, but as my body has very limited energy sources open to it at the moment, it has become a big problem. My resting heart rate has risen today to 80 beats per minute, which is understandable due to the increased toxins. I should be fine tomorrow.

Weight today 99Kg, water drank today is 4 litres.

Giving up food – day 7

Late night last night with our friends staying over so I slept in late, managed to get up after everyone else had eaten their breakfast so I avoided the irritation of the smell of toast. I felt quite full of energy this morning and we all went for a walk, almost five miles. With the uphill parts my legs were burning as if I was running up them and I was breathing heavily. Apart from that it was fine, I could have walked much further. Back home we started cooking Sunday lunch, again helping cook helps loads with the social aspects. Dinner served and everyone tucking in I nipped out and walked to the shop to get some custard which we needed for pudding. Once back I sat down and joined in the conversation at lunch with my glass of water.

I have a Fitbit, one of those things that measure how many steps you do and other stuff. The heart rate monitor has produced some interesting date. I have noticed over the last year that my resting heart rate is very dependent on diet. For example my normal rate is about 70 beats a minute (BPM), in September I gave up eating sugar, flour and alcohol. My resting rate dropped to 66 during this time. Over Christmas with the over indulgence it peaked as high as 78. Over the last week of my fast my resting heart rate has risen steadily, peaking at 81 BPM. Today it has dropped to 79. I never had this data to hand the last time I did a fast, so when I saw my heart rate rising over the week I started to get a little concerned. However, a little research and I found out that when fasting like this your heart rate rises in the first week, then reverses in the second week. For the first time during the fast my heart rate dropped today to 79 BPM. We will see if this trend continues in my second week.

Weight today 99.6Kg, water drank today is 4.5 litres.

Giving up food – day 6

Different issues today on the fast. We have friends staying for the weekend, and this is where the social aspects of fasting really hits home. We all went over to Bridgnorth today, we had a ride up and down on the cliff railway thingy, and had a wander round the shops. We ended up at a very pleasant tea rom. Three Earl Grey teas were ordered and I put the boat out and had a sparkling mineral water. Also on the order were tea cakes and cheesy crumpets. There is no longer any hunger issues, but sat there drinking my fizzy water while everyone tucked into their tea cakes and crumpets was hard because, human instinct makes you want to be part of the group and share that same experience. Anyway, after we got back home, it was coffee this time for everyone, and a nice glass of water for me. With a splendid array of food set out on the table for dinner, I opted to nip into the next room to write this blog, a bit anti-social, but I had to write this at some point so it may as well be when everyone is eating. The evening ahead will be social chit chat with lots of wine and a nice sparkling water for me.

On a physical front, I seemed to have much more energy today, I ran up the stairs a couple of times without getting light headed as I did the other day and I walked about four miles today.

Weight today 100.5Kg, water drank today is 5 litres.

Giving up food – day 5

This has been the easiest day so far, I felt fine this morning, no dehydration. All hunger feeling have gone, feeling quite good. It’s been a busy day as well which has helped take my mind of things, including a long rant at HSBC about a complaint they ignored, yielded £50. The HSBC saga is worth a separate article in itself if I can get round to writing it.

Again as with yesterday I cooked dinner for the family without any problems. Burgers were the order this evening, beef and chicken burgers, although my son Calum opted for Beef and Chicken burgers on the same bun with bacon, and so the farmyard burger was born! In a bizarre way the cooking helps. The real problems with fasting once the first few days are over, is the social aspects. When you don’t eat you realise how much of your time is occupied in buying food preparing food and eating it. By cooking I am keeping part of the social bit going and don’t feel so much of an outcast.

I walked over three miles today, again no problems, business as usual.

Weight today 101.3Kg, water drank today is 4 litres.