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I went without solid food for 72h and here’s what it was like

March 24, 2016
Hey lovelies,

After two 14-hour workdays and six days of being stuck in
bed with a cold and a massive headache, I’m finally going to tell you about how
I ACTUALLY COMPLETED the fasting challenge that I wrote about in my last post
(and I really need to work on blogging more consistently).
Being that the original idea of World Vision Austria was to
go without food and donate the saved money, I set myself two simple rules at
the beginning:
1.  No solid food.
2. No spending money.

Of course, contrary to all the recommendations to eat light
and avoid carbs and meat three or four days before a fast, I ate a big Sunday
brunch right before starting, because I am a rebel (and also because I live for
brunch). I had prosciutto and melon, cheese, hummus, croissants, Nutella, the
whole thing. So I was content and pretty stuffed when I started on my little
adventure. And this is how the following 72 hours went…
5h in: This is easy.
I’m not even hungry! I can totally do this. I am ready to rock!

6h in: I follow too
many food bloggers on Instagram. Wow. I think now is when I would normally have
dinner. But I can totally do this.

In between hours 6 and 8, I did some dishes, a bit of
general tidying up, and baked a loaf of banana bread for the office since my
bananas were looking dangerously spotty and I hate throwing away food. Of
course, this was an awful idea, because my apartment is pretty small and the
smell of banana-chocolate-chip yumminess spread EVERYWHERE rather quickly.
8h in: Starting to
feel hungry. Smell not helping. Tea. Tea is amazing.

On Sunday evening, I went to sleep pretty early (around 10)
and not feeling too hungry. This lasted for a while. Actually, maybe because of
the huge brunch I had had on Sunday, the first 24 hours really weren’t so bad
except for a few hunger pangs.
19h in: This is great.
I can totally do this. I am a winner. Yes!

Right around the time I hit 24 hours on Monday afternoon, I
started hallucinating all sorts of food smells. It didn’t help that my
colleagues were cooking a big team lunch for everyone. I may or may not have
had an oddly sexual daydream about a Big Mac and fries.
24h in: I miss
chewing.

25h in: Write some
syntax. Yes. I can do that. With the numbers. And the variables. And the
variables and the numbers. Yep. Why is my screen blurry? Someone should clean
my screen.

27h in: There is a
chocolate bunny in the drawer next to my desk. I am not allowed to eat the
chocolate bunny. Not today, not tomorrow. Life without chocolate is so sad and
empty.

On Monday evening, I was going to sort through the piles of
paper on my desk and maybe my closet. Unfortunately, I felt extremely drained
(and oddly, a little drunk – I assume this was lightheadedness), which got in
the way of my plans. Instead, I broke my second rule by spending €1.49 on a pot
of cream, and made some vegetable cream soup from a bag of carrots and some
frozen broccoli.
(Sometimes I find vegetables in my fridge. I am convinced
that somewhere in a parallel universe, there is a version of me that goes for
runs on weekday mornings and makes mason jar salads, and she sneaks them in)
I proceeded to eat three bowls in a row and it was the best
thing on the planet. I then went to bed at nine fifteen with a headache and a stabbing
pain in my stomach, but it took me an hour to fall asleep.
Tuesday was more or less a blur. I didn’t get out of bed until
8 (snow in March? Really?), I felt dizzy, lightheaded, and just awful overall,
with the exception of what I think were a few hunger highs. Work was a bit of a
nightmare since my cognitive functioning was noticeably impaired. I’m normally quick
on the uptake and generally a very fast-paced person, but I was suddenly having
trouble registering what people were even saying to me, forget about reacting
appropriately. Throughout the day, I had two glasses of mango juice, the
leftover vegetable soup, a diet coke and a huge mug of hot chocolate.
45h in: I’m tired.
Very tired. I slept for 10h. Why am I tired?

48h in: I think I’m
drunk. Oh my god this is funny. I’m drunk and I didn’t even drink. Ok SHHHH
Damita, no one can know you’re drunk at the office.

52h in: I am literally
so fucking hungry and I could just eat because no one reads my blog anyway.
Seriously, no one would know. But NO, because for once in my life I would just
like to finish something I started and reach a goal I set myself.

54h in: I LOVE HOT
CHOCOLATE IT IS THE NECTAR OF THE GODS

Wednesday morning seemed to go on forever. I had a hot
chocolate around 10 but honestly, the last two hours of the fast still seemed
like an absolute eternity.
I finally broke my fast at around 1:20 pm on Wednesday – did I have a light salad or some yoghurt as recommended to ease my stomach back in? Not so much. 
I had this amazing plate of nom instead. #notevensorry
In total, over the course of 72 hours and not counting water
and tea, I drank:

– about 1.5 liters of juice
– about 1.5 liters of vegetable cream soup
– a bottle of diet coke
– a few sips of yoghurt vanilla drink (some weird milky concoction I had a
bottle of in the fridge – as hungry as I was, I didn’t finish it, because yuck)
– 700mL of milk with cocoa powder

And I ate:

NOTHING!

I spent a total of €1.49 on food and drinks (we get free drinks
at the office, thank god).
And most importantly, I made the donation of €15 to World
Vision Austria.

Did it work? 
Well, I felt more grateful to have food around
and readily available – for a few hours. The day after, I got sucked right back
in to my daily life and my first world problems. Gratitude really is something
you need to practice actively. I also didn’t really get more done – I may have saved time, but I felt too sluggish and exhausted to move in that time.
But I did learn two things.
The first lesson I took from this is that if I try something
with the aim of then writing about it, I will actually follow through. People
find their motivation in very different things, and I don’t think I would’ve
finished the full 72 hours in a million years if I hadn’t known I wanted to blog
about it. But knowing this was going to be a blog post, I thought “I went
without food for 26.5 hours and then inhaled a burger” just wouldn’t make for as
catchy a title.
The second thing I learned is that my body is more resilient
than I think it is. Hunger is not an emergency and even though I felt dizzy,
and slow, and sick, and in pain (yet surprisingly alert and less tired after day 2), I made it through. It was nice to be reminded of my own strength.
Would I do it again?

The fast worked nicely to reset my eating habits, I feel
less hungry and have actually eaten an uncharacteristic amount of fruit and veg
since ending it. Not only would I want to do it again, but I would like to try
water & tea only (no other liquids) and see what would happen – probably an
even worse feeling of inebriation at the office. 

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6 Comments

  • Reply Sebastian March 25, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Beautiful story, beautifully written! Thank you Damita for sharing your experience with us. A colleague whom you know forwarded the blog posts to me. Today, they made my day! I only went 24 hours this time (years ago, I managed 8 days. Don't recommend it).

  • Reply Sebastian March 25, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Beautiful story, beautifully written! Thank you Damita for sharing your experience with us. A colleague whom you know forwarded the blog posts to me. Today, they made my day! I only went 24 hours this time (years ago, I managed 8 days. Don't recommend it).

    • Reply damita March 25, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Sebastian,
      You're the first person I don't personally know to comment on my blog!! I'm very excited about that so your comment made MY day as well 😀 thank you!!

  • Reply Sebastian March 25, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    My pleasure! And I'll forward your posts to someone else too, so your readership will increase!

    Sorry for the double-posting earlier, no idea how that happened!

  • Reply Unknown August 4, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Congratulations! I couldn't have done that!

  • Reply Stevebew September 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Find out what you need to improve in yourself to become more effective!

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