Lifestyle, Opinions

I fasted for 21 days straight

Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece and is not intended for educational or medical purposes. For more resources related to this issue, we encourage you to contact the Student Health Services on campus.

For the longest time, I’ve been uncomfortable with my weight.

No matter what I’d do, I could never stop myself from craving so much food, so when I discovered long-term fasting, I knew it was time for me to make a change.

Last year, the longest I fasted was an entire week. This year I decided to up the ante and undergo a three-week fast from March 6 to March 27.

I am not a doctor. This was something I went through in blind faith and wanted to do as a test of strength and willpower.

It is best to be supervised by a doctor if you’re ever going through a fast like this, but I can say that it was worth it for me.

On the first day of my fast, I weighed in at 259 lbs and not much happened at the start.

On day three, I weighed in at 246 lbs. I was able to keep myself disciplined, sticking to the routine of water and sparkling water to combat the hunger pangs, black coffee to give me the needed potassium and even a little bit of pink Himalayan salt for sodium to include in my electrolytes.

During the first three days of my fast, the temptation of food almost got to me, but I stayed strong and told myself two things: I’m not hungry, the hunger is just in my mind.

I also reached a state of ketosis and autophagy throughout the process. While ketosis burns body fat for energy, autophagy is when the bad cells in your body are repurposed and recycled to become new healthy cells.

On day six, I weighed in at 243 lbs. It’s important to note that my weight can get stubborn since my body is in survival mode.

During some parts of my fast, I would feel a bit dazed and tired, but that would subside once I had rested up from moving around so much.

During my ninth day of fasting, things hit me hard. My family, most specifically my mother, began to worry about my well-being. She was nervous that I wasn’t getting the necessary nutrients to keep going.

Even my father was worried for me, going as far as to say that I could collapse or have a stroke if I kept up with this behavior.

According to a 2019 study by the National Institute of Health, 1,422 subjects that underwent a 21-day fast reported to have improvements in health and mood. They’d even go as far as to say that they had rare cases of health issues.

Going into my ninth day and weighing in at 235 lbs., I tried my best to block out the criticisms I was receiving. Everyone was saying that what I was doing was putting me at risk, but so far, this fast was putting me in a good mood.

It wasn’t until day 12 of my fast that I realized that my family had every right to be worried, as they have never experienced something like this. Slowly, but surely enough, in terms of health and discipline, I was able to help them understand.

Fast-forward to day 18, I was 223 lbs and feeling good.

My mood had improved, my fat was trimming off and my skin was getting softer. It seemed as if the autophagy in my body had done a great job of finding all my bad cells and improving them.

Whenever I go to the gym and work out, I get the feeling that the weights I lift or curl have gotten heavier. But no matter how heavy the weights are, I power through and listen to my body whenever things get intense and need to take a break from working out.

Finally, I was able to reach the 21st and final day of my fast, weighing in at 220 lbs. I felt liberated and free from the cravings for food.

This fast taught me many things. Most importantly that you know your boundaries and are always mindful of the types of food going into your body.

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