I recently completed a 7-day water fast. For one week I ate nothing and only drank water.
I decided to fast for three reasons:
- It would be a fantastic challenge.
- There are health benefits to putting your body into a state of deprivation that long.
- It was an opportunity to dig deeper spiritually.
While doing the fast I kept a video journal. Check it out!
PreparationI am not a doctor or nutrition expert, but here's my understanding of how our bodies work:
On a standard American diet (lots of carbs & sugar - synthetic & natural), our bodies burn glucose to provide our bodies with energy. Our bodies don't naturally store glucose, we store fat, and so if we don't eat regularly, it hurts. This is the "hunger pains" we all know and hate.
However, after a few days of not eating, our bodies switch to burning fat for energy. Once that happens, the hunger pains go away because there's an abundant source of stored fat. This is called reaching a state of Ketosis.
The trick, as anyone who's tried a Keto diet will tell you, is to get your body into a state of Ketosis before you start fasting. That way you don't have to suffer through the hunger pains. You do this by eating food with lots of fat and protein. You can read more about Ketosis, listen to a great Tim Ferriss podcast about it, and check out an excellent Reddit community.
So, the day before I ate a Ketosis diet. I should have started 3 days before, but my schedule didn't really allow for it. I think it helped cut down the hunger pains some.
I did NOT talk to my doctor before doing this. To be honest, I didn't even think about doing it. It turned out to be OK, but I probably should have.
Physical ObservationsThe video explains pretty well what I experienced: headaches, stomach aches, temporary blackouts, and constant low energy.
I also lost 10lbs, which is pretty normal (and gained it all back pretty quick).
Read more about the benefits and preparation.
God is a God of "And"I spent time purposely praying, reading, and thinking while fasting. I didn't expect a lightening bolt to go off, but I did want some sort of revelation. Here's what I determined:
God is a God of "And". Somehow, He is able to achieve two seemingly opposite properties at the same time. Here are some examples:
- Jesus is 100% God AND 100% man.
- God ordains everything AND we have free will.
- God loves everyone AND has a chosen people.
- Entrance into heaven only requires faith AND faith without works is dead.
So many times we want to think of God in human terms and define him as one way, but not the other. After all, that's how it works as a human. However, God clearly is able to go beyond our human capabilities.
That's my understanding. As such, we are called to live a life of "And":
- We are to study the Bible AND serve others.
- We are to enjoy what God gives us AND give generously.
- We are to serve locally AND globally.
It's not easy, but we were never promised that.
Will I Fast Again?Not anytime soon. It's not that it was that miserable, but I don't see the need again. I'd consider it again with a different emphasis and perhaps with somebody else.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.