Starting An Extended Waterfast
I am flying 3,000 miles and spending some of my savings to eat no food and drink only water for up to 20 days. Why waterfasting and why me!!!! And, when I return home after 20 days of fasting with 10 days of refeeding, I am committed to eating a plant based diet with no meat or dairy and no salt, oil or sugar......as my local primary care professional said to me “Mike, why are you doing this?”
You are probably asking the same question. My friends in conversation with me refer to this weight loss program as an extreme action. “ Mike, rapid weight loss is bad for your health” I can hear being said. “Mike, most people who lose weight gain it all back especially quick loss programs. “ Other’s have said to me “oh I can’t go without salt, or oil or sugar, what are you going to eat?”
The facial expressions reflect bewilderment and a complete shock at how awful it must be to go without anything to eat a few hours. Impossible, terrible, no way.
So let’s talk about something most of not only tolerate but celebrate. The so-called “Western Diet”. Foods that are high in calories, high in fat, high in salt and sugar. Most of us know that this diet is killing us. Heart disease is the number 1 killer, and large numbers of us have high blood pressure. Cancer is a common occurrence. Where is the shock about these chronic diseases. The sad thing is most of just accept it as part of “living” and perhaps aging.
Fasting is a component of most major religions and has been with us for a very long time. I am learning that we are biologically programed to go for extended periods of time without eating as we have through the millennia. Our ancestors who were able to store energy as fat survived to reproduce, those that did not did not survive. We survived in an age of scarcity, as the Director of TrueNorth Dr. Goldhammer reports. He tells us that we are struggling with how to thrive in a period of abundance. Obesity is epidemic and growing as well as numerous chronic diseases. What is the end game?
Autophagy is a fancy term I have learned recently. We have recently come to understand that within ourselves cells can clean house and get rid of debris and rebuild new and healthy cells. Autophagy happens during fasting and effects cells thoughout the body in various ways but the outcome is positive.
As for me, I have watched aging parents, family, and friends succumb to disease of the age as described above. I have also experienced diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, gout and being overweight. For those who are paying attention you have to ask, why? How you answer this question will likely determine the quality of your life in the future.
Having worked for 38 years in the mental health industry has caused me to become intolerant of just dealing with the “symptoms” of problems before us. Symptoms can sometimes be easily treated with a pill, or a surgery. But I would argue they are mostly not curative and the underlying problem progresses.
I have been diagnosed with diabetes and got off medication by adopting a plant based diet, I am however “prediabetic” and my system could easily shift to diabetes. My cells are what is referred to as “insulin resistant” meaning that glucose is unable to adequately enter the cell walls where it is needed and it accumulates in the blood stream. For me, resetting this dynamic by fasting will reboot this dynamic and make my cell walls more sensitive to the job that insulin has and that is to help glucose provide energy to those cells.
Without getting into too much detail here, I am hoping that my high blood pressure will be significantly reduced and that my sleep apnea will improve if not go away completely. Weight loss is another outcome that occurs with waterfasting. Being overweight has contributed to a number or my health issues and a reductions of at least 10 % will have positive benefits.
This blog will follow my journey with the waterfast. If your health is important to you and you would like to find more about the health benefits of waterfast, please follow this blog. Comments and questions are encouraged. I do not claim to have all the answers and feel like an astronaut of sorts diving into this unknown world that I have yet to experience.
I will be at the TrueNorth Healthcare Center with up to 70 other people in various stages of fasting with direct medical observation and assessment through twice daily examinations and weekly blood tests. There are classes light yoga, meditation, and lectures, nutrition/cooking classes.
For those interested and have the time, check out the recent Rich Roll podcast with Dr. Alan Goldhammer, Director of TrueNorth
Monday is a travel day.....Tuesday it all starts or stops depending on your perspective.
Thanks for reading............