Saturday, May 12, 2018

4-Day Coconut Water Fast

Listened to a podcast on The Art of Manliness network titled "Micronutrients, Genetics, and Preventing Age-Related Diseases" that featured a real medical doctor that went into detail about how stressing yourself with fasting can boost your health. In this episode one Dr. Rhonda Patrick goes over various hormetic stressors and details what happens in the body during a fast. It was pretty convincing although she did you use the word "toxins" a little much for my taste. But I was in... And a month later I did it. Yay!

For four days I consumed nothing but Nature's Nectar 100% Pure Coconut Water. It is unlikely I will ever consume this beverage again. It was supposed to be a 5-day fast but my body could take no more. "Where is the Cinnamon Toast Crunch?" asked my stomach. "How about some of that Silk Yogurt?" suggested my small intestine. "I will scream until I get my Quorn Vegan Spicy Chck'n Patties," demanded my large intestine. So forth. And that was that. Didn't quite make but got myself some quality autophagy/ketosis.

These are my notes on said experience.

Biographical info: I'm a 6'1", physically fit 36-year old man. The day before I started the fast I weighed 233 lbs with a BMI of 30.7 which is considered obese though I am not really worried about this because I'm a solid 233. My diet is already pretty much on point. I have cheese once a week (almost exclusively in the form of pizza or as a hunk with wine) and an egg (from the chickens that I raise, lovingly) once every few days. Other than that my diet is completely vegan. My caloric intake consists of 60% raw, organic fruits and vegetables (apples, avocado, naners, rainbow carrots, so forth) and
pea protein

My three big lifts as of a month ago were 335 lb bench, 415 lb squat, and 435 lb dead lift (my grip sucks) for a total of 1185 lbs. So haven't quite hit the 1200 lb club. This puts at about the strongest dude at the YMCA but serious lifters in my town go to another gym. I also did 27 traditional pull ups at one point during the winter. Last year I ran a 5K in 24:17, a lifetime best. That was before I cycled from running to lifting, which I do every fall. I usually go from 235 lbs at my heaviest while lifting to around 223 as a runner. This was at the end of that running cycle. I begin this fast a month into running thus coming in with garbage times. My all out mile time is around eight minutes. My 5K is likely around 28 minutes at present. Not going to lift after this as it isn't going to show shit since I haven't lifted in a month or so anyway and haven't lifted heavy in two months. The goal here isn't to lose weight although I am sure I will. Going in, this is how I looked shirtless.

Too sexy

Day 1 

Weight: 233 lbs

Noon Check-In: Today I began my journey without food. Never had a full day when I haven't eaten. I came close a couple of times. The first time I played basketball all day and never thought to eat. When I finally did it was too late and I got a migraine. This was seventh grade, I think. I ended up throwing up. The next time wasn't until I was in my 20s, the year after college when I had moved to New Hampshire on $100 in 2005. I moved there to teach and spent all of my money on travelling for interviews in the weeks before moving. I was told that they would have a check to reimburse me once I got there after I got the job. This was a fucking lie and I was broke as shit. I had like $3 and nothing to cook with or anything like that. After telling the Assistant Head Master, who was the one who told me that I was to get the moneys, of my situation, I was then told I would be given my due. I was not. I spent my $3 on garbage food the night before so I went to gas station with the change I had scrounged together and bought a loaf of bread and pillaged a bunch of condiments. It was fucking terrible but I ate. Now this. And it's by choice. We'll see if I make it. I feel fine-ish right now even though I've skipped two meals by this point. Work has been a bitch, super busy, so I haven't thought much about my lack of caloric intake.

Evening Check-In: Ran four miles. Time was fucking shit, 39:37. Definitely lagging as last week I ran four miles in 35:53. Did fine at trivia, which I do on Tuesday nights. Shout out to Player's Pub Trivia here in Bloomington. I came up with the answers that were rattling around in there but was slower to pluck them out than usual. My team fucking won by the way. Not as chatty as I usually am, so I am told. That is because I am feeling hangry AF and have to spend all of my mental energy thinking about not eating. This isn't easy but I keep telling myself, "hey, maybe you won't get cancer." Supposedly all mortality is decreased by 40-80% according to some studies, though the jury is still out on that shit, so I guess I'll have a 40-80% greater chance of living forever. So I've got that going for me.

Day 2

Weight: 223 lbs

Noon Check-In: Last night I had a lot of trouble sleeping. I was too hungry to turn it off mentally and then when I finally did get to sleep I woke up every hour or so dreaming about food. It sucked and I came pretty close to breaking the fast. As far as work goes, I've had trouble getting my shit together though I did finish a blog entry on Avengers: Infinity War.

Evening Check-In: Working out was a real mistake. I feel sickly and I hurt. I biked for a little over an hour. For the first 45-minutes I was rocking and rolling. Zipping from here to there at a solid 16 MPH average. I always turn it on at that point but tonight it was a chore just finishing the last leg at a slow as shit pace. When I got home I did a bit more research and apparently it is not okay to workout without food. Shan't be doing that shit again. For the rest of the night I just sort of rolled around clutching my gut.

Day 3

Weight: 220 lbs

Noon Check-In: I'm dying. Not feeling so good. I was promised that Day 3 is when things get easier. Not so. So hungry. Super crampy. All I can do is chill here and do nothing. Can't focus. Like at all. Can't move. I have no interest in being alive anymore. Everything hurts. Beyond torturous. Work has been a blur. My productivity has been shit. I am worthless and want to die.

Evening Check-In: Watering the garden was pretty difficult. Basically everything is hard as fuck. I just sort of lay around. It sucks. Tonight I tried to book a room with Airbnb. I tried four times and it kept erring out. The final time I switched browsers and then sort of raged. Not exactly sure when that surge in energy is supposed to kick in but it aint Day 3. I'm sure as shit not going through this another fucking day. If this is what tomorrow brings, I'm breaking tomorrow night.

I reached out to a buddy of mine who has experience with fasting like this who advised me to try drinking a bit of salt water. This instantly took the edge off and I was able to make it through the night although it was pretty rough.

Day 4

Weight: 219 lbs

Noon Check-In: I feel better than I have but still not feeling amazing like I've been promised. Also not feeling super productive either. Basically feeling equally productive as a normal day. More than yesterday, for sure, but no more than usual. Getting light headed a lot. Not very stable on my feet.

Epilogue: I survived... So success! Sort of. I did quit a day early at Day 4 instead of Day 5. So, year, eating is overrated. Need it to survive and all but still.

This is how I look shirtless now.

Still Captain America
Basically exactly the same. Maybe slightly leaner but more less the same. Still, though, I'll probably do it again. Fun times! But without food!

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