I did so, and immediately sat for pranayama and meditation after a cup of hot lemon water.
I had coffee with 2 spoonfuls of ghee and the decreased amount of 1/2 n 1/2: 1 Tbsp. Only 2 cups today; I started noticing the Meh feeling around 1.5 cups. I figured it was the ghee, because yesterday, with only 1 spoonful of ghee per cup, I had a bit of diarrhea once, but then felt fine throughout the day. The fatigue worsened even after 2 cups of coffee! I drank some more water and had my .5 tsp of morning salt. That made me feel worse! I started feeling somewhat queasy and my stomach hurt. I made some ginger tea to settle my tummy, but didn’t really want to put anything in my gullet at that , but had a few sips. I’m connecting all of this to the ghee and salt. The upside is drinking only 2 cups of java. I think I’ll reduce the individual intake of salt by .25 tsp and have it more frequently. Maybe my body will assimilate it better. I know drinking large quantities of water/fluids can tax kidney energy (TCM), and I wonder if taking so much salt at once is not a good idea for me. I’ll take 1/4 tsp. 8-10x per day and see how that feels.
Tomorrow, I’ll have one cup of joe with the same proportion of ghee and 1/2 n 1/3. I’ll wait a while before the second cup to observe how I feel physically. In Ayurveda, larger quantities of ghee are used as a cleanser and can have a laxative effect, so I’ll keep that in mind. If I had more willpower to stop at one cup of coffee with my normal amount of 1/2 n 1/2 or HWC (2-3 Tbsp), then switching over to tea after the single cup of java, I think then I wouldn’t have any issues. I guess that’s the work I need to do, but I’m tackling so much more right now I don’t want to overwhelm myself with one more goal or task. I’ll think about it. Ideally, I prefer to switch back to black tea and eschew the morning coffee. Pre-fasting, I drank weak black Hong cha (red tea) in the AM and only had a cup of java with soymilk and a few drops of stevia in the afternoon. This was post-lunch–kind of a dessert-y type drink to satisfy the sweet-tooth, and it wasn’t always a daily habit, many times I’d just have another tea. Until I ran out of my Chinese green jasmine tea, I’d drink that all day until about 3 or 4pm (can’t sleep with caffeine in my system). I’d like to return to that schedule: AM tea, and after-lunch coffee or Chinese tea through the day. I need to find a dependable Chinese tea source here in the US. Anybody know one? For authentic Chinese tea leaves from Yunnan, not that crappy dry stuff sold in packs of 20 here in the US.
I am obviously on the fence about dairy and coffee. I enjoy the dairy and don’t want to feel too deprived or restriced, as those two have been lifelong destructive behaviors and thought patterns. With coffee, it raises my cortisol and stress-level (I can feel the agitation) and yet it’s also good for health (re: The Longevity Solution, by Fung). I know MY solution is to moderate it; it’s just the HOW for me. How to moderate my intake in the middle–the middle way-- without succumbing to addictive behavior while eliminating the black-and-white, all-or-none thinking that I should just not have ANY creamy coffee FOREVER. You know what, I’m just going to sit back and let it unfold as I ramble along my fasting trail and this post!
My ribs and sternum are hurting as well, part of this pain is due to inactivity and sitting a lot. I have an old rib injury that has healed, but is tight and uncomfy when I sit in front of screens to much and don’t do my regular yoga practice. Also, according to Buhner’s book (1), old aches and pains can resurface while doing longer fasts of 7+ days. He claims that we lose the fat in the order that it was added, and so the emotions or traumas that were occurring while we gained that weight, can re-emerge as we lose it. Makes sense, since I am releasing weight, fat, and physical toxins, along with the emotional toxins that went along with it. It’s interesting to revisit the trauma or emotional issues and feelings I was going through as I gained this weight. For me, those time periods and subsequent weight gain are very memorable and discrete packets …particular episode in my life and weight gain was a direct result. Thus, I can look that the 15 pounds I gained in Australia and recall the exact emotional issue(s) I was having that led to overeating and sugar-addiction behavior (Hello Nutella. I hate you. I love you. I’m eating a jar of you every other day even though I am actively aware my behavior is killing me, literally.) Going further back in time, I can feel the intense emotions due to the traumatic environment I experienced in China that led to an up-and-down gain and loss of another 10-15 lbs. during the 1 1/2 years I worked there in 2018-2019. Continuing the time travel: trauma and ensuing major depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and ideation… severe stress from unemployment, working on my Master’s and teaching certification, cycling knee injury… That was 2015-2016 and brought my habitual 10 lb. up-and-down cycle to simply up 10 lbs. when I stopped cycling and decreased my running. Depression and PTSD continued into 2017 but I was getting therapy and doing better until I moved to China. Each 10 lb. weight gain was a progressive step and a result of specific life events that I could not manage emotionally; my emotional resilience diminished more and more over time until my hair was falling out and I had diarrhea on a daily basis for several months (thank you awful job in China), the last few months of teaching May, June, and July 2019. 10 lbs. 2015-16. Another 10-15 lbs. 2017-18. Another 15 by the Feb. 2020. To sum it up, I gained a net 40 lbs since 2015, and that doesn’t count the 10 pound gains and losses that happened almost every year!! Wow, that is just total effing insanity, and yep, I felt I was losing my mind, my life, and my coping skills for those 5 years, so my body was just following along as an innocent victim. Whoa. This turned into an extremely heavy --and helpful and healing-- post!
I am grateful I began the fasting journey around Christmastime in Australia, 2019 (2). Then was introduced to water fasting in mid-March 2020, back in the US and stranded due to coron-anity. By late March, (just two months ago!), I discovered TFM (3) and I have begun undoing all the food- and eating-related issues I’ve battled my entire adult life! I am feeling immense gratitude after the aforementioned retrospective! It’s a process. It’s back-and-forth and up-and-down, but moving ever forward and making progress daily and weekly and monthly! Since returning from abroad, I’ve lost about 5 lbs, then another 5, then gained back the second 5, and now lost that again these last 7 days. My weight is an insane rollercoaster, but who cares! I know I will lose the 10 pound increments I have gained. I’ve got about 30-35 lbs. to go, and my birthday present to myself will be to reach that goal in time for my Birthday, August 29! I can do it! I will do it! I AM DOING IT!
Thanks for reading. Hope it helps some. I know it helped me! Writing really helps me travel through the convoluted paths in my brain and heart: sorts it all out, frees it, allows a letting go and healing. Now I’m going to snuggle up under the covers to read in the hopes I will fall asleep and awaken feeling much better!
And NO. I feel no desire to break my fast or to eat. But if I do not feel better later today, I will re-assess. My fasting is for healing, not hurting my body. But i believe I feel poorly because of the coffee, ghee, and too much salt at one time.
P.S. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Do not encourage me to end my fast! I am very cognizant of what is going on in my body and mind. I need encouragement to continue, rather than be tempted to give up by well-meaning, but discouraging, commentary. I promise that I am listening to my body, and I am well-attuned to this feeling of unease. I am going to check in with my body throughout the day and listen to MY BODY’S messages. Even though I am very determined to complete 14 days, and I have no desire to eat, if the situation does not improve, I WILL break my fast. Thank you for honoring this request.
(1) - https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/books/
(2) - https://thefast800.com/