What I learned from my first 5 day Fast

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I wrote this article on another blog back in 2013. It’s about why I chose to do a 5 day fast and what happened. I have fasted numerous times since and highly recommend, just make sure to do your research first.

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Planned FastThe most common question I have heard over the last few days is “why are you doing it?” and for me it’s an easy question to answer.

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When I was in Sweden a month ago on the FIT course (Firewalking Instructor Training) one of the participants, Martins, had just completed a fast.  We were chatting about it and I distinctly remember thinking “there is no way I could do that”.  The very thought of not eating for one day never mind 3, 5 or whatever amount of days seemed so alien to me, that doing it seemed impossible.

\r\nWith that thought I knew I had to fast.  I knew it wasn’t impossible – if other people have done it why couldn’t I?  I knew it would probably be pretty tough and with tough comes reward.\r\n\r\nThat was enough motivation for me to do some research when I got home.  I knew I was going to do it and for some reason I seemed to settle on the idea of fasting for 5 days.  That said, I did read that you should take it each day as it comes as opposed to setting a certain number of days.  Well, I don’t always listen to what I hear or read and was still set on 5 days with the concession that I would decide each morning if I was going to do another day.\r\n\r\nNext thing was to choose a 5 day period when work would not be so taxing.  I couldn’t imagine doing 2 or 3 Coasteering sessions a day while fasting would be that good for me.\r\n\r\nSo, Sunday night saw me finish my last meal just before 9.00pm.  I went to bed feeling positive and confident in my endeavours and probably with a bit more water in my system than I would usually have.\r\n\r\nMonday morning came and it wasn’t too long before my stomach shouted, “time for breakfast”.  I easily pushed this to the side and got stuck in to writing an article I needed to hand in that morning.  Plenty of water to sip on when thoughts of food came to mind.\r\n\r\nFirst real challenge came around midday when I went to the kitchen to get more water and spied a banana.  Any other day of the week I would have had that banana eaten on sight.  Yep, I was definitely hungry now.\r\n\r\nBy this stage I am sure I had drank 3-4 pints of water but I was feeling a sore head coming on.  That sore head came and it never really shifted until this morning.  It was more like a dull ache at the front of my head above my left eye.  No matter how much water I drank it wouldn’t shift.\r\n\r\nThe afternoon was interesting.  As you would expect I was fine when I was busy but when the mind wandered it wandered to pictures of food.  Spotting a few pictures of food on Facebook didn’t really help either – thanks Birdcage!\r\n\r\nI got a call from a close friend late afternoon and we chatted about my fast – for the next 40 minutes there was absolutely no discomfort.\r\n\r\nThe thoughts of eating and not eating stayed with me for the rest of the day and night.  A chat on Facebook with Martins (my inspiration for this challenge) was really helpful.\r\n\r\nI could go on and on about the feelings and thoughts I had.  I could chat about watching two friends eating dinner and chocolate mouse last night or the smell of coffee but that would make a mighty long blog post.\r\n\r\nI wanted to be extremely conscious to the voices in my head.  The one that keeps me in a box and the one that wants me to be better than I am.  The latter is often the one that takes the harder path and is not heard.  Bit like having the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other.\r\n\r\nI have learned a lot about me from the experience and I have no shame in saying I fasted for 60 hours and 30 minutes before I had two slices of toast, water and a black coffee.  I found the whole experience to be tough but not impossible.  I found my thought processes very interesting and valuable for my own personal development.\r\n\r\nIt was interesting too, how other people reacted to what I was doing.  Some people thought I was dieting, some understood exactly what I was doing without me even saying and others thought I was “mad” but most, no matter what they thought, were 100% supportive and that’s something that I cherish, so thank you all.\r\n\r\nSo what did I learn…?\r\n

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  • Don’t be quick to say something is impossible
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  • Keep an open mind to your thoughts and really listen to them, untangle the thoughts and make decisons based on what you want
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  • Appreciate yourself at all times
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  • Appreciate your friends and family even when they don’t understand you
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\r\nSo, if you want to challenge yourself, why not try fasting for a day and really get to listen to yourself!\r\n\r\nRespect to Martins, keep going with your 10 day fast #respect\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

Stephen Brown is passionate about developing people and teams using a variety of activities as opportunities for learning. Stephen is dedicated to helping people overcome fears, challenge their comfort zones and grow as individuals. He has years of experience and skills delivering personal and social development courses for individuals and teams and is committed to helping people realise that they can live a happy life.

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