Written last week but due to no internet I’ve unfortunately experienced a delay in publishing. Enjoy!
It’s officially been one week since I’ve begun fasting for eight hours throughout the day. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I became inspired to fast (for non religious reasons) after speaking to my Muslim friend Usman who was committing himself to Ramadan. Usman is originally from Pakistan, so whilst he is not at university, he would find himself to be fasting in much tougher, more testing conditions (just look at Pakistan’s weather forecast to understand exactly what I mean) – I found the whole idea to be incredible and Usman’s dedication to be amazing. Although Usman does not fast for dietary reasons, spirituality and an improved sense of character definitely comes into it for him and this is where I felt encouraged to try it out.
So I’m seven days in to the fast, which involves me fasting after breakfast for about eight hours a day. For four of these days I have been in full time work, so to reduce a significant depletion in energy or risk of endangering myself whilst I burnt calories walking around all day, I would allow myself one coffee during the daily fast and nothing more. This proved a lot easier whilst I was able to keep myself busy as I was unable to examine the contents of my fridge on a regular basis – I’m guilty of doing this often.
The results have already been amazing. Although in terms of weight I still feel reasonably similar to how I was before, my self discipline and relationship with food has become a lot healthier. Previous to fasting, i would find myself consuming entire tubs of ice cream after snacking on chocolate, biscuits and a various assortment of carbs (some healthy and others unsurprisingly not). This behaviour made me feel sensations of depression and despair, so I was aware that this had to change before I damaged my mental and physical health. After a long term break up I was unfortunate enough to experience ‘comfort eating’ at its best and as a result, I would often find an excuse to eat unhealthily – ‘I deserve it, I’ve had a hard week’ and so forth.
I found the first few days to be incredibly testing – as soon as your stomach begins to rumble you subconsciously tell yourself ‘I guess it’s time to eat again’. Pushing through this hunger was very difficult – revealing the first test of determination and control.
After a week of refusing free samples at coffee shops, as well as offers of ice cream during the biggest heatwave Britain has had for a long time and watching my friends eat lovely lunches whilst I continued fasting, I feel as though I have made significant progress and it’s very rewarding.
It suddenly occurred to me recently that I had not eaten sugary treats for the entire first week that I had begun fasting. This quickly allowed me to realise that the fasting process had already killed my detrimental sugar hunger pangs that had previously lead me to the kitchen cupboards at all hours of the day. Not only had my cravings calmed down, but my general hunger and capability to scoff down a big meal, had also begun to seize. On top of this, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt bloated or unattractively full. As someone who suffers with symptoms of food intolerances, this was a huge plus for me.
My second week of fasting has commenced and so far I have only managed to experience one mishap – one day I broke the fast after six hours. Another element of this process that has presented itself, is the idea that healthy meals enable this process to be much more beneficial. Not only do you feel better, but your body thanks you for it. I will be in the States this week, so fingers crossed my diet doesn’t completely fall off of the wagon!