Liquid diet for two and two-thirds days.
It should have been beer. Instead, it was: Coffee. Water. Coffee with whole milk. More coffee.
I am getting desperate. This try-something-new-every-week thing is hard.
Earlier this week, I went swing dancing, which I’ve done before. I researched foot massage, asked a co-worker if I could help him make soap, and looked into hypnosis.
H-Y-P-No-Sis. Hip-Knowwwwww-sisssssss. Hip……feeling sleepy……
The hypnotist appeals to me because I read Scott Adams’s book, Win Bigly, which is about how Donald Trump—“the greatest persuader in my lifetime,” Adams says—won the 2016 election. Despite everything against him, from the good economy to running against a woman candidate (Britain elected Margaret Thatcher in 1979) to, well, Donald Trump’s shocking mouth.
I am looking forward to hypnosis. I really want to know about the human mind…what makes us tick…what makes you tick…what makes women tick…what makes me tick. I am a teacher. I’d like to know what makes my students tick so that I can profoundly benefit them.
And I’d like trouble with my stumbling blocks in life. Especially the ones that I am not going to mention here. (Hint: Wanting to be more creative. And: Relationships.)
But because I couldn’t make an appointment to have someone who appears trustworthy—on Facebook, we share six friends, and we share the same religion, and everything about her radiates honest, ethical, and kind—until Monday, I needed something for this week. You’d think with a list of 252 items (https://52things52weeks.com/the-to-do-list/), I could simply go kayaking or tickle an alligator.
So, by Thursday, I was desperate. And I realized, I hadn’t eaten for 12 hours, and wasn’t hungry. And from reading at least a dozen books, viewing 24 documentaries, and listening to at least 200 podcasts on nutrition, I knew that fasting had medical benefits. You kill your weak mitochondria. You wipe out the bad cells in your body. It’s anti-cancer; cancer is cell mutation. So, why not keep going?
At nine p.m., I’ve been in the bad habit of eating raw nuts. Delicious, and high fat. Even if you’re on a ketogenic diet, you still have to burn more calories than you take in. Eating late at night is weight suicide.
So, at nine—habit formed—I was hungry.
I drank water.
Did I feel filled? Maybe. I drank a little more and watched a show. (I sleep at 10:20 and get up at 5:40 to write a novel. That’s where I hope my very best writing exists. When I die, I hope every blog disappears, and all that is left is the fiction I’ve left behind.)
Night came and morning followed. Day two.
5:40 a.m. Prayers, coffee, writing. Weight lifting.
Shockingly, I’ve been making gains! A better bench press. More chin ups. Without food. Without protein within the 30-hour window (which is more controversial than you might think). Then I walked for an hour while reading.
No hunger. Night came. Morning followed. The third day.
A repeat of day two because my life is boring. That’s why I’m hoping to do 52 Things in 52 Weeks like my heroine of this blog: https://52things52weeks.com/. Prayers, lifting, running.
At 3:30 p.m, I thought, “I could eat.”
So I shattered my fast. I’d love to make it five, six, or seven days. Maybe eight.
You say it’s unhealthy. But if you do your research, you’ll find that Gandhi went two months without eating. How?! Because he was in ketosis.
He had to be. There are only three macronutrients—protein, fat, and carbs—and when you are burning carbs, you burn through them all within about three hours and that’s why you’re hungry again. 99.5% of all Americans are probably carb-burners.
To lose weight, you have to burn fat. But that means first you have to burn every carb, not be hungry, and start burning fat. That’s feels basically impossible to most people. That’s why people can’t lose those last ten pounds. (Or get started on those first twenty pounds.) Because most people’s bodies don’t know how to burn fat.
It’s a long story. I recommend you read The Primal Blueprint or The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson. Or 1,000 other books that are out there. In short, our ancestors didn’t have ready access to food, so as a result, they might not eat for three days. That meant that their bodies fueled themselves from their own fat cells.
And how many fat cells do we have?
Gandhi had enough to not eat for over two months.
Marathoners are using their fat storage to set new records. It’s because they have so many fat cells—if you’re a man with 4% body fat, you might have 21,000 calories you can access—that they never get hungry, which means they never “hit the wall.” As a man who ran 51 marathons and 500 half marathons, I wish I had known this, because I always faded by about thirty seconds per mile around Mile 21.
Weight lifters are using it to make incredible gains.
All across the world, people are doing what their ancestors did: using keto to lose weight and get super-fit.
So, I knew I could do it. And it was great.
And yet—I felt that on Week 2, like Week 1 where I was “Determined to Have Fun in the Toxic Waste Part of Town,” I had blown it. This really wasn’t too exciting. (https://experimentswithmichael.com/2018/01/07/determined-to-have-fun-in-the-toxic-waste-part-of-town/)
I wasn’t deeply pushing my boundaries.
I wasn’t learning more about myself, or human nature.
I wasn’t connecting more with other people.
And in the end, that’s what 52 Things in 52 Weeks should be all about: not me. Other people. It should be about what I can give to the world.
Wish me better luck this upcoming week.
January 14, 2018.