“I spent much of the day watching the clock and being acutely aware of the absence of food and water.”

 

Completely new experiences today. Got up at 4:20am to throw together a bowl of porridge and chug  as much water as possible before sunrise. Woke up again at 9, and my first thought was to grab the glass of water next to my bed (as I do every morning). I had to remind myself I was fasting, and lay there miserably, dreading of the hours of sunlight ahead of me. I tried to cheat a little by sleeping off another hour. Spent much of the day watching the clock and being acutely aware of the absence of food and water.

I had a lot of trouble focusing on multiple things at once, which actually helped me to hone in on one task at a time at work – something I’m particularly rubbish at as an unbridled multi-tasker. This shift in focus also made it harder to engage in group conversation.

At about 4pm, I noticed a significant dip in my energy levels and I started to slur my words a little. Speaking, writing, walking – banal everyday activities became laborious.

At the same time, I felt an overwhelming sense of tranquillity; I felt like I was in a bubble, but relaxed, like nothing could possibly ever phase me again. Considering I was expecting anger, frustration, impatience – this tranquility was a welcome surprise.

I expected painful hunger pangs and uncomfortable thirst. Though this happened a couple of times over the course of the day, it was amazing how in the times I was distracted, it felt like any other day. It was the autopilot routines that I do every day that I wasn’t allowed to commit to that made it tough, like taking a sip of water when I had a dry mouth. I really missed the physical motions of eating and snacking too.

This first day was probably one of the longest, drawn out days of my life. I was very aware of the time and very aware of how many hours I had left before I could eat.

The last hour at home was the hardest. I was very fidgety. I filled the time cooking and preparing food; anyone who knows me knows I hate cooking, so wanting to fill my time doing this was bizarre.

The last five minutes felt comically slow. When it finally hit 21:34pm, I gulped down a bottle of chilled lemon water. Within minutes it I could feel my stomach waking up – something I’ve never experienced before. I focused on making sure I was well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating water-dense foods like watermelon, cucumber, leafy greens and strawberries along with my dinner.

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