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Getting ready to fast this weekend.
May 16, 2002 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Getting ready to fast this weekend. We go on vacations from work to relax, recharge, and to gain new perspectives on our life; why not take occasional breaks from food? I do this about every two years and it always seems to "reset" my body and more importantly my mind. Anyone else have fasting experience?
posted by jeremias (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I read that as "Getting ready to go fast this weekend", and to me that means this.

I'm afraid skipping meals voluntarily doesn't fit in with my plans. Good luck to you, though.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:28 PM on May 16, 2002


I do it. It's fun. You feel powerful. The master of your domain. You look at other people shoving disgusting food into their mouths, and think to yourself "You weak pigs, you make me sick just to look at you." You see their filthy jaws working and masticating, and crumbs gathering at the corners of their mouths, and you feel like some superior being. Just don't stint on the water. Load up on that stuff and you can keep going forever.
posted by Faze at 12:30 PM on May 16, 2002


Fasting is a time-proven remedy. Its use goes back many thousands of years

So is takeing large doses of Mercury, bleeding and drilling holes in your head. Ive seen so many diets that claim authority based on tradition. For example Vegetarianism, fruitopianism, raw foods all have a central tenant that humans are not natural meat eaters which is actually wrong. Its modern day mysticism to say that because we did it for thousands of years (in selected cultural examples) that its better than modern diets. I dont mean to open a can of worms but when this article justifys periodic starvation using historical examples it strikes of bad or no science and more of politics.
posted by stbalbach at 12:31 PM on May 16, 2002


I started fasting in college ( about 4 years ago ) by accident. I was in a rather bad accident that left my jaw wired shut. Soon sick of beer and pureed soup, I stopped eating for about 6 days.

The weight loss factor wasn't what struck me the most ( I was never overweight, but I lost 34 pounds in the 3 weeks my jaw was wired ), it was the general feeling of being purified in some way ( my unfortunate roommate who also shared a bathroom can attest to this ). My skin felt smoother, and I was on a permanent 'buzz'. I repeated an abbreviated version every month and a half or so, until graduation.

Looking back, I was stupid. I was in bad enough shape already to be messing with my body's nutritional intake. I was rake thin by the end of it, and soon gained most of the weight back through a week of food that I missed ( i.e. Burger King chicken sammiches and Cluck U. wing dinners ).
posted by remlapm at 12:33 PM on May 16, 2002


I started fasting in college ( about 4 years ago ) by accident. I was in a rather bad accident that left my jaw wired shut. Soon sick of beer and pureed soup, I stopped eating for about 6 days.

The weight loss factor wasn't what struck me the most ( I was never overweight, but I lost 34 pounds in the 3 weeks my jaw was wired ), it was the general feeling of being purified in some way ( my unfortunate roommate who also shared a bathroom can attest to this ). My skin felt smoother, and I was on a permanent 'buzz'. I repeated an abbreviated version every month and a half or so, until graduation.

Looking back, I was stupid. I was in bad enough shape already to be messing with my body's nutritional intake. I was rake thin by the end of it, and soon gained most of the weight back through a week of food that I missed ( i.e. Burger King chicken sammiches and Cluck U. wing dinners ).
posted by remlapm at 12:33 PM on May 16, 2002


You look at other people shoving disgusting food into their mouths, and think to yourself "You weak pigs, you make me sick just to look at you."

Somebody's getting flirty! Want to go grab a cheeseburger, tiger?
posted by Skot at 12:34 PM on May 16, 2002


oops.
posted by remlapm at 12:34 PM on May 16, 2002


Faze, that sounds alot like an anorectic theory. As someone who struggles with weight loss, let me tell you that it's a more challenging task to eat just enough but not too much.

And messing with your metabolism like that would not be good for many people too. Mine's already way too efficient, hoarding up all the extra calories it can to prepare for the next famine (I'm descended from a long line of "healthy, fertile, Irish-Catholic" women.)
posted by Red58 at 12:45 PM on May 16, 2002


Orthodox Christians traditionally spend the first week of Lent (Monday thru Friday) doing an almost-complete fast (there are two very small, vegan-style meals prescribed during that time). I've never been able to make it the whole way though -- usually I'm sneaking in extra food by Tuesday.

We celebrated Easter on May 5, so I'm currently in feasting mode.
posted by Fley Mingmasc at 12:48 PM on May 16, 2002


Well, lots of cultures follow this practise too, Id, comes to mind right away, also in India, there was this old thing about a woman fasting one day a week, for her husband or something (correct that if it is wrong). I considered it fairly commonplace back home, but I wonder if it started for any of the reasons you mentioned.
posted by bittennails at 12:51 PM on May 16, 2002


$f = "feasting";
$f =~ s/e//;
posted by muppetboy at 1:05 PM on May 16, 2002


Well, I'll stop drinking beer for a couple of hours, if that makes you happy. Frickin hippies.
posted by luriete at 1:10 PM on May 16, 2002


I fast frequently, though not in a ritualized way. I normally only eat one meal a day, in any case. Twice I've fasted for the better part of a week, losing 18 pounds each time (am not overweight normally). Having control over your hunger can be a very empowering thing.
posted by rushmc at 1:27 PM on May 16, 2002


would never skip breakfast, the most important meal you can have before lunch.
posted by Postroad at 1:29 PM on May 16, 2002


Just look at people sometime when they're eating. Their eyes glaze over as they stare stupidly into the middle distance. Sweat forms on their brows. Inside, their stomachs and intestines boil with burning juices and foul gasses. Soon, the gas breaks out in foul eructations from their mouths and anuses. Do you want to be one of them? Or do want to be a clean, light, fresh, happy person, with nothing but bright, clear water in your stomach? The choice is yours. It's a great feeling.
posted by Faze at 1:38 PM on May 16, 2002


Maybe if you weren't such a total tool people might occasionally heed a word you said, Faze.

Just an idea.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:43 PM on May 16, 2002


Fasting is easy...I do it several times a day.

(Yeah, I know, minor variation on an old joke.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:47 PM on May 16, 2002


To kind of balance out the fasting, I think I'll smoke a pork loin in the smoker this weekend and make some horseradish and garlic mashed potatoes, heavy on the cream.

Also, pie would be good. As it always is.

Can you tell I don't miss a meal?
posted by ebarker at 1:49 PM on May 16, 2002


I haven't fasted for more than a few hours ;) but my wife has done a few days of just liquids and organic vegetables, and she is now starting a 10 day "cleanse" for health reasons. So much of what we eat and put in our bodies nowadays is just toxic. It's probably a good idea to get it all out every now and then...
posted by raster at 1:51 PM on May 16, 2002


For a few years, I fasted the first 3 days of every month. Not to loose weight (though I've always been heavy). Not for any silly mystical magical crap, either. Just to ensure that I wasn't stuck in any bad food habits. For 3 days, you'll suffer no nutritional harm, no bodily harm at all. And it is purifying and clarifying. I should do it again, but it's harder now that I'm no longer living alone.
posted by yesster at 1:54 PM on May 16, 2002


Ooh, smoked pork loin.....
posted by briank at 1:55 PM on May 16, 2002


I like pie, even more than I like waffles or pancakes!
posted by Lynsey at 2:08 PM on May 16, 2002


"Eat. But if you eat, you know what will happen? You'll have to go back in that bathroom again, or some bathroom, and relieve yourself of all that digested food. The thought almost made me gag."

"Lord God, I had to piss! Was there no end to these revolting physical necessities? What in the hell was mortality? Shitting, pissing, eating, and then the same cycle all over again? Is this worth the vision of the sunshine?"

--Anne Rice, The Tale of the Body Thief
posted by Opus Dark at 2:21 PM on May 16, 2002


Faze, whether you're serious or not, your post got me laughing.

I don't regard fasting as a form of a diet (nor do I think the author does). To me the benefit is more mental than physical- there is a "high" associated with fasting- enough of one that it can become dangerous with anorexics.

It's become a cliché but you do become more aware of your body and when you go back to normal meals you become more conscious of what you're ingesting.

No more Vanilla Coke, for instance.
posted by jeremias at 2:29 PM on May 16, 2002


There is no reason for me to purposefully fast since I am also an accidental faster. Typically, I only eat one meal a day and sometimes I "forget" to eat that one meal. It is not uncommon for me to go, say, two days without eating a thing. I've done it several times in the past month.
(Right now, 3pm PDT, I havent eaten anything all day)
posted by vacapinta at 2:43 PM on May 16, 2002


Surprised nobody has mentioned Ramadan. So long as you don't pig out (pardon the pun) in the evening hours, you finish the month feeling quite cleansed. It's a great way to break yourself out of food dependency.
posted by laz-e-boy at 2:51 PM on May 16, 2002


Ahh, sometimes I miss the wisdom of Marsha Warfield:
Skinny people piss me off. Especially when they say things like, "You know, sometimes I forget to eat." Now, I've forgotten my address, my mother's maiden name, and my keys. But I've never forgotten to eat. You have to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat. In that case, you don't deserve to eat.
And laz-e-boy, death is the only way to "break yourself out of food dependency."
posted by NortonDC at 3:34 PM on May 16, 2002


Just look at people sometime when they're breathing. Their eyes glaze over as they stare stupidly into the middle distance. Sweat forms on their brows. Inside, their lungs swell with foul gasses. Soon, the gas breaks out in foul eructations from their mouths and noses. Do you want to be one of them? Or do want to be a clean, light, fresh, happy person, with nothing but bright, clear vacuum in your lungs? The choice is yours. It's a great feeling.
posted by dissent at 4:05 PM on May 16, 2002


It fascinates me how defensive some people become (even in this thread) about their (over)eating. No one appreciates GOOD food more than I do, and one certainly cannot get by WITHOUT food, but c'mon, people...it's just FOOD. Don't be ruled by it. What is the fascination with great glops of greasy, fatty, heavy, salty, chemically-treated, non-nutritious FOOD, ingested three times daily (plus snacks!) whether you want it or not just because the clock (or your peers) tell you it's time again?

In my experience (and this relates back to the fasting topic), good food tastes so much better after going without all food for a while, and bad food tastes so much worse.
posted by rushmc at 4:13 PM on May 16, 2002


If you fast occasionally, consider donating the food you'd normally eat (or money you'd normally use to buy food) to those who have less than you. Most of us eat more than we need, all while surrounded by a world of hunger. Fasting, and eating, become something more than fasting, and eating.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:17 PM on May 16, 2002


BTW, Have you read about the wonders of the Breatharianism? Now that's some crazy stuff:


Breatharianism is physical perfection. Man came into physical existence a perfect Breatharian. The breath of life supplied all the requirements of animation. God breathed into his nostrils the Breath of Life, and man became a living entity (Gen 2:7). Nothing was lacking, and nothing more was needed. The Breatharian needs air and Sunlight only, and nothing more to sustain his body.

The world is flooded with books on food and eating. No one seems to realize that eating is not natural, but an acquired habit, like smoking and drinking, and that FRESH CLEAN AIR is the Cosmic Reservoir of all things, including the substance that builds and sustains the human body.

[...]

More proof that eating is only a very bad habit, appears in the fact that a sick person often begins at once to recover their health when given no food, and even shows signs of GROWING YOUNGER. This could not be, and it would be dangerous for one to fast, if eating were natural and food were needed to sustain the body.


posted by papalotl at 4:18 PM on May 16, 2002


I did a juice/water fast for 15 days followed by a water only fast for another 15 days to break a very compulsive sugar habit. It did the trick and I haven't had sugar in over a year.

The hardest part of a fast will be the first three days. If you can get past the third day the euphoria takes over and keeps you going. But you won't have the energy to do any real exercise. You will feel sleepy. If you want to fast over 48 hours do it when you know you can lay in the bed with a gallon jug of water and a straw. Fasting can become addictive and you may even have to force yourself to start eating again. Add a nonfat/nonsugar protein shake mixed with water if you fast over a week.

Fasting makes you feel great, your skin gets incredibly beautiful, and your tastebuds become so sharp that even the most mundane food will taste like heaven when you start eating again.

Best fasting advice: WATER WATER WATER WATER WATER
posted by oh posey at 5:19 PM on May 16, 2002


I see fasting in the same light as I see trying to hold your breath when you're a kid. Both deprive you of something you need for life. Food is not an enemy. It's *not good for your health not to eat*. It may be interesting to see how much control you have over your body, but what health gains one can get from fasting I fail to see.

Additionally, if everyone is truly concerned about your health, you guys should be active enough (sports, running, whatever floats your boat) that you literally have to eat. I know my endurance would be killed by fasting for one day, let alone many.
posted by Kevs at 6:24 PM on May 16, 2002


From the article: "Voluntary abstinence from food..."

Homer-like shriek - (((shudder in horror)))

FOOD KEEPS US ALIVE. 'Nuff said.

BTW, what are all of these supposed "toxins" that the article kept referring to?
posted by davidmsc at 6:33 PM on May 16, 2002


Silliness. If you're eating good food, why would you ever need to fast? I mean, sure, if you're eating shit day in and day out, you're probably better off starving, but for those of us with a high-quality diet, fasting would be pointless.

Junk food sucks.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:54 PM on May 16, 2002


This is a very, very entertaining article about going on a 'cleanse'.

Quote: "When photographer Anthony Cullen heard the clank of glass on porcelain, he didn't need to examine the contents of the toilet bowl between his legs. He instinctively knew he had just passed the marble he had swallowed as a five-year-old; the small coloured sphere - "I think it was a bluey" - had lodged in his colon for 22 years."

I may have posted this before, but since this isn't a FPP, I'm not going to search :)
posted by GriffX at 7:05 PM on May 16, 2002


Hmm...they never did find the marble i swallowed as a child - they told me that I had either passed it, or it was hiding behind some gas (which I thought was funny). Maybe I should try fasting and find out.

But seriously though, I've read about doing it, and it intrigues me, but I don't think I'm ready to try it yet.
posted by melissa at 7:44 PM on May 16, 2002


Maybe if you weren't such a total tool people might occasionally heed a word you said, Faze.

Kaf, my Power Drill demands that you apologize for that statement....on behalf of all tools everywhere.
posted by jonmc at 7:55 PM on May 16, 2002


Orthodox Christians traditionally spend the first week of Lent (Monday thru Friday) doing an almost-complete fast
Oops, someone doesn't know the difference between Christianity and catholicism.

Catholics fast, same time every year. They skip meat, or whatever. They make a big deal about it. Then they go down to louisiana and show their tits for beads.

Christians may fast, but as a spiritual event, it is to be kept secret from other people. (Jesus taught this during his sermon on the mount of olives)

I've never fasted from food, because of hypoglycemia.
posted by schlaager at 8:40 PM on May 16, 2002


i'm not sure why people get so defensive about eating - i don't think the goal of fasting is to kill yourself - just some time for your body to switch focus from constant digestion mode to other things. i'm sure the average american eats more food than is necessary to live and perform their daily tasks and should probably cut back at least for a short while.

i did a grape fast once - i only ate grapes for about 2.5 days before i let my mind get the best of me and stuffed some fast food in my face. it wasn't bad at all and i've thought about doing it again just to see how long i could stick with it and to see how many marbles come out.
posted by ggggarret at 11:39 PM on May 16, 2002


kevs- there is quite alot of literature that supports the idea that health gains can be made from fasting given certain conditions. To some people, food IS the enemy. A 'reset' stage in beginning a new lifestyle and eating plan is beneficial to many people.

I exercise quite heavily- lifting weights 4 times a week and biking over 200 miles a week. Unfortunately, my family has a high incidence of heart disease. It is probably half hereditary, half family eating habits. For me, the only option was to break these lifelong unhealthy eating habits. Fasting was a great doorway for that. It was short (4 days), but that 4 days allowed me to break a 25 year habit of eating for fulfillment, not nutritional value.
posted by ttrendel at 11:52 PM on May 16, 2002


Mormons are supposed to go without food and water for 24 hours, once a month, and donate the proceeds to the poor.
posted by mecran01 at 8:05 AM on May 17, 2002


"i bought myself a juice tiger. i'm on the garth brooks weekly world news juice diet. i juice everything now!"
-may mackenzie, so i married an axe murderer

perhaps some people didn't read the article? what he is recommending is not a total fasting, but avoiding solid foods and just drinking juice, water, & tea, which i believe can be both physically and mentally beneficial. obviously fasting taken to an extreme (like most things) is not a good idea. i think it's an interesting that he talks about it in terms of a "vacation" from your food habits.

of course, having grown up mormon (!), the word "fast" now strikes terror into my black little agnostic heart.
posted by witchstone at 9:56 AM on May 17, 2002


Up early, went to the gym, then went to the co-op and got some beautiful fennel and a couple kinds of potatoes and dazzling strawberries and other keen stuff. The produce, she sings to me. Then to the butcher.

Our group plans to have some bright, clear pork loin and such in our stomachs around 8 tonight.
posted by ebarker at 10:05 AM on May 17, 2002


Never mind the closet overeaters
There's some closet colonic irrigation types here ...betcha
posted by johnny7 at 10:58 AM on May 17, 2002


Colonic irrigation scares me. "If God had wanted us to shove hosepipes up our asses..."
posted by five fresh fish at 10:00 PM on May 19, 2002


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