Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fasting Journal, day 3

I didn't get around to writing yesterday. Probably because it was busy at work and because I didn't feel like withdrawing from my family in the evening.

One of the interesting things is that I'm not really missing food, it's more like breaking the habit of eating. I'm paying a lot more attention to the way things look and smell (the air this morning was delightful). Things appear sharper, clearer to all my senses. I feel high.

I think I have more energy. After downing some fruit juice, I enjoyed a half-hour run with Oldest Son yesterday. I've had no trouble focusing at work. In fact, it feels like I've been more productive, though that might just be a placebo or observer effect.

I feel calmer too. Last night at home things were very hectic and it was the kind of night that would normally have had me blow my stack, but I felt oddly even. I don't even feel like I need as much sleep: this morning I woke up after only about 6 hours and felt quite rested.

I'm wondering if caloric deprivation is something humans have evolved to manage: if we're geared toward cycles of feast and famine? If so that could explain the extra energy I feel. I don't think it's "natural" to eat the equivalent of a feast three times a day.

No startling insights, but I have been thinking about things. Yesterday on NPR they were talking about whether and when to withdraw troops from Iraq. I remarked that we should consider the state of that country, the old "we broke it, we bought it" notion before we just unconditionally start withdrawing forces. My wife asked me if I wasn't doing it to get the troops home, what was I fasting for? I thought for a few seconds, and said "for peace".

I think making peace is a lot trickier than walking away from fighting.

Tonight a group of us at church are meeting to break fast with the minister. In a way I'm starting to mourn my fasting self. I know I can't continue to not eat, but it feels a shame to have to start. I remember this feeling from the last time I did an extended fast, having to slowly make myself eat again. I think I can understand eating disorders a bit better, so much of eating is about habit and mental state.

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