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Living… on fresh water

I have just started a 4 day fast… 4 days without ingesting anything else than water, herbal teas, tea and eventually coffee.

Basically, I will live on fresh water… without love!

Why? Because it is supposed to have virtues on the digestive and immune system. Also to rethink the diet, take a break. And then for the challenge clearly… Oh come on, it will save money too….

Will I make it? Not sure…

I tried last month, a few days before the half-marathon (I know, bad idea…), and I lasted 48h, 2 days…

My last meal was a mix of soup and hangover from the day before, and my first post-fasting meal was a pint, French fries, a pina colada and nems… In short, for those who know a little about fasting: a disaster, a mess.

Ready to do things right

This time, I try to do things by the book, a few days before, I try to eat only vegetables, and to avoid drinking alcohol . Small failure, the evenings of Tuesday and Thursday are clear exits…

After all, the most important is the after… So much for the preparation.

My last meal will be at 1:30 am on Friday and will be made of bulgur patties and zucchini seeds. (I know, it sounds like a dream!).

Very bad idea to start a fast at this hour… I have the choice between breaking it before the 4 days (but my challenge spirit refuses this hypothesis) or waiting another 7 hours and drinking a soup at 8am on Tuesday…

Soup for breakfast it is!

Day 1

I wake up, the evening of the day before was not too drunk, a little bit anyway. My mouth is a bit pasty, but it’s ok. My body will be happy to ingest water.

I feel hungry already, but never mind. Skipping breakfast, I’m used to it, so is my body. Yet, as I walk past the bakeries, I have a huge craving for a good buttery croissant. I could go for that croissant every day, but not today…

The morning of work is slow, and the fatigue of the day before prevents me from being efficient. When everyone goes to eat, I take the opportunity to write. I still feel that the day is going to be long…

At 3pm, I feel hungry. Until now, it was more against my mind that I was fighting, my body finally shows its discontent too.

I was cold all day, I don’t know if it’s the fatigue, the lack of food or simply this wet cold, but it’s rare enough to be remarkable.

Work day over, the cold rain makes me shiver, but I decide to walk back anyway. No way to go straight home, the temptation would be too strong.

Direction the cinema.

There too I am cold, the movie is nice, and yet, I catch myself thinking about food. Hummm what will I eat when the fast is over? My brain lists all the pleasant foods that will satisfy me.

Movie over, not bad. Time to go home.

An herbal tea, two glasses of water and I go to bed with a movie.

I fall asleep quickly, as always, thank you little body to which I put up with 1001 challenges.

Day 2

I wake up around 10am, I feel pretty good. I’m not hungry.

I go to the hairdresser at 11am. I said to myself, “if I don’t have the pleasure of eating, at least I have the pleasure of making myself beautiful”.

Wrong! The hairdresser is a bully! He speaks bad French, hardly asks me what I want, then starts to untangle my hair.

I feel like I’m 5 years old, and I’m undergoing the same torture as under the aggressive brush strokes of a hurried parent.

Almost two hours of torture later, I come out with some kind of blonde wig in a blow-dry. I hope that my waves will allow me to find a normal head!

It’s already 1pm, I go to Emmaüs. Nothing convincing. Reading in front of my window, 3 races (herbal tea, tea, herbal tea… ah and soup for Tuesday morning). I almost feel pity in the cashier’s eyes.

The hunger pangs come from time to time. Even more so when I start looking at recipes for my upcoming weeks. Am I not being cruel to myself?

In the end, except when I walk up the stairs and feel my body struggling a bit, the hardest part is the mind.

I feel like I’m in love with food. It’s all I can think about all day. I long for the pleasure it brings. I dream of the next bite. And to think that my first meal will be a poor soup…

To avoid torturing myself with my thoughts, I go to the movies. Good movie, my dreams of fresh baguette, heart of beef tomatoes and mozzarella will still make a place in the two hours of film…

Back to the house. Don’t give up…

Herbal tea, movie, and off we go for the night.

I dream that night that I am cheating. I see myself biting into a funny chocolate cake, guilty, and then in another dream into a breadstick forgotten in a closet.

Day 3

Waking up this morning is a little less pleasant, my head hurts and I clearly feel weaker.

My heart beats faster than usual when I start to move. The hunger is gone, I feel that my body is looking for a new balance.

Day three is supposed to be about change. Tonight my body will be sort of reset to 0. We’ll see how it goes.

Day four will fortify all of that, shrink the stomach a little bit more.

So do I see a change? Not much. A few ribs are starting to appear. And some dizziness too.

Oh yeah, and I can feel my breath stink too. Bad breath is part of the experience! Great! Anyway, I don’t plan to roll any shovels until Tuesday!

The morning is quiet, it passes. The food dances in my mind.

A little before 2pm, I decide to go vote, it will keep me busy, 1h30 of queue in the sun, two different polling stations, two “To vote”. I accept to count the votes in the evening, that will keep me busy.

Finally, I see my first human being of the weekend. The mistake was to think that combining isolation and fasting was a good idea. Not at all… I would have been better off to plan a program of outings without drinks and restaurants. Note for the next fast (not sure if there will be one though…).

Seeing Gigi makes me feel good, I forget for a moment that I’m fasting and it feels good. We go shopping together, I stock up on little gourmet things for my return to life. Because clearly, I am not living, I am surviving!

I feel strangely more and more in shape. A short call, and I leave to strip. It occupies my evening, it allows me to discuss, to laugh, and to forget.

23h10 back, a big glass of water and I get ready to sleep. Strangely, sleep does not come so easily anymore. My heart beats fast, I feel that my body is in great shape, the fatigue is gone.

Morpheus will have to be a little patient before welcoming me.

Day 4: Monday morning.

Only one day left. I’ve never been so eager. I wake up with a crazy thirst and my headache is back. Yet, drinking is all I do.

I take my time, I enjoy the hot shower. I try to find pleasure in everything I can, if not enjoy a good breakfast.

The walk to work is slower than usual. I feel that each step I take is heavier, that each stride is a small effort for my energy-starved body.

Seeing people at the office makes me feel better. They are cheering me on for my last day.

I flee the lunchroom at noon.

In the morning, I feel energized. But in the afternoon, exhaustion sets in. I feel like I’m drunk. My thoughts are racing, my voice is slurred and my movements are disorganized and uncertain.

I don’t do well in the office, I dream of sitting in an armchair and doing nothing.
Yet I decide, as a final challenge, to go to the gym.

The way back has never seemed so long. I feel like I am out of my body, floating above the asphalt. My bag feels like it weighs a ton on my shoulder, I’m hot and shivering at the same time. My vision seems altered too, I feel like everything is taking on a sepia yellow filter.

I really think it’s time to eat.

First, I head to the gym. I get on the elliptical, limited power, I don’t challenge myself too much anyway. Here we go for half an hour. Finally my body knows the movement, if the first “pedal” strokes are a bit laborious, I end up finding my rhythm.

It feels good to sweat a little. At the end of the half hour, I go down, I am taken of a strong dizziness. I am obliged to catch the machine next to me to stay straight on my legs. Everything is fine…

A few exercises for my arms, and I give up, I am exhausted and then the room is full of people, there is not a free place for stretching.

Mes quatre étages finissent de m’achever. Les muscles de mes cuisses me brûlent, le souffle me manque.

Arrivée dans mon appart,  je m’affale dans mon canapé. Moi qui avais prévu de me faire un masque, de me poupouiller pour cette dernière soirée de torture… En aurais-je seulement la foi ?

Oui. Gommage, masque, hydratation. Je me couche toute neuve un délicieux parfum de fleurs de vigne qui chatouille mes narines. Comme la veille, après un film, le sommeil peine à venir. Mon coeur bat trop vite, j’ai soif encore. 

L’épuisement aura tout de même raison de mon corps récalcitrant. 

Libération !! 

Mardi matin, la délivrance est là devant moi. Je verse doucement la soupe Courgette Parmesan dans la casserole. L’odeur n’est pas dingue, mais à ce stade là, tout me paraît un met 5 étoiles. 

Première cuillère, je me brûle la langue. Tant pis. Le liquide chaud descend, à son contact mon corps commence à faire de drôle de bruit. Oui petit corps adoré, enfin j’arrête de te martyriser. 

Finalement, cette soupe est très bonne et après une tasse, je me sens déjà pleine.

Le repas du midi sera sensiblement le même, avec une tranche de cake au citron. J’ai presque l’impression d’avoir trop mangé. Si cette sensation pouvait durer, ce serait formidable.

Le soir, je craque, premier verre de vin blanc avec mes copains de l’impro. Je le bois à toutes petites gorgées. Finalement, c’est agréable de prendre son temps pour boire. Tiens si j’avais su ^^. Aller, quelques petites frites savourées doucement ne feront pas de mal non plus… On repart sur de bonnes habitudes… 

Bon et puis la vie reprend, et tous mes efforts ont sans doute été vains, vue la cuitasse que je me prends le mercredi.

Alors est-ce que le jeûne changera ma vie. Non. Mon rapport à la nourriture, oui, sans doute. Est-ce que je le referais ? Peut être.
C’est surtout un bon kick off pour essayer de reprendre de bonnes habitudes… Enfin, d’essayer…