The Devil showed up as the spiritual benefit in the Mind-Body-Spirit reading I did right at the start of the 72- hour water fast I had planned for this weekend. I posted the reading to Instagram when I still felt convinced I would be able to go through with it. I mean, I knew it would be hard but I had been fasting intermittently for over a month and had been in ketosis for weeks, so I was convinced I could do it. Besides, I had witnessed plenty of people completing these types of relatively short extended fasts on the forums that I visit for learning about fasting and intermittent fasting. If they could do it, then so could I.
It turns out that the spiritual benefit of this first attempt would be meeting my edge and having the Devil laugh in my face when I had to fold around the 48-hour mark due to leg cramps, heart palpitations and plummeting blood sugar. I was so disappointed – especially since I had felt really well up until that point. But I had to humble myself and listen to the body. I had to accept what I absolutely did not want to accept. I was right at the edge of my growth zone and I pushed until it smacked me in the face, making me feel red-faced with shame.
While this experience felt as a failure at first, I soon realised that it was just another learning experience and it definitely won’t be the last of my extended fasts. I’m armed with better knowledge of my body’s need for salt (much more than I thought!) and electrolytes (I was working out, sweating and not replacing them).
I’m also amazed at the benefits of the 48-hour fast, both for mental clarity and physical stamina/endurance. My first run after the fast (yesterday) was much easier than any of my previous runs. I felt like I could have kept going for longer than I did… and today, I decided to up the mileage. I ran fasted and again, though I added a mile and a half to my normal route, I felt like I could have kept going for much longer.
Since I started intermittent fasting and cut out all sugar and wheat from my diet, I haven’t needed my inhaler on my runs. Overall, I’m over the moon with the results. I’m even starting to think about entering a race to have a goal to train toward.
Meeting my edge and having the devil wink at me in the wings has been a very beneficial experience indeed. It’s the sort of experience I need to have under my belt as a health coach, so that I can guide future clients through similar scenarios.