Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Bread and Water, Hold the Bread

This morning I woke up, pulled on some clothes, walked half a mile to the convenience store, bought a lottery ticket, came home, took my blood pressure, and weighed myself. Then I had yogurt (and THEN a Dr. Pepper) for breakfast.

It was the first food I had had in 81 hours.

The last (and only previous) time I had gone three days without food was the Vanguard School Solo, when I was 18, and THEN I had done nothing during those three days but lie on the rocky Lake Superior beach, read the New Testament, and sleep.

Why? Mainly, I wanted to clean out my digestive system and give it a rest. I wanted to know if any heretofore unsuspected health problems would surface. I wanted to know what it felt like. I wanted to be able to say I had done it. And if I lost a little weight along the way, that would be good, too.

In contrast to the previous experience, I did NOT take it easy this time. I walked more than 10,000 steps each day, and Day Three was actually the most strenuous day all year, with three hours of walking up and down hills on a less than ideal trail (more on that later). I lost ten pounds along the way, three of which can be accounted for by actual calorie burn. I am not sure about the rest; I find it hard to believe there was that much material lurking in my digestive tract, though I suppose it is possible. It was NOT water weight; I have been chugging ice water to quell the hunger pangs. There have been no unexpected side effects. Hunger, of course, and fatigue, and some lethargy, but no noticeable cognitive impairment or motor control issues. Which is to say, no trace of lurking metabolic disorder; go me.

The have been the predictable cheap hunger jokes:

Hyena: Wow, that's a great hamburger poster.
Comic Book Guy: Huh? It's a girl in a bikini.
Hyena: Yeah, but she's HOLDING a hamburger.
Comic Book Guy: You need help, man.

While driving up to Geneva Lake on Day Three, I found myself listening to a recorded book about a vampire going through blood withdrawal, told in first person in excruciating detail. I was sympathetic; that drive also marked the worst of my own hunger pangs.

The walk on the Geneva Lake shore path on Day Three turned out to be much more strenuous than I had planned on; I didn't expect all of the hills. I mean, I KNOW Black Point is a pretty high hill, but the path is at lake level there. But I have spent more time ON the lake than on the shoreline, and I just think of it as being level by default. Dumb. My turnaround point was in sight when my body informed me that it was out of gas, and really just wanted to curl up in the shade and die. I trudged to the turnaround at Shadow Lane anyway, and then trudged (the slow, weary tread of one who has no choice but to continue) back to Linn Pier. What I remembered as being the last hill before Linn Pier turned out to be the second to last, and the sight of the LAST hill was just heartbreaking, but I made it; I didn't have a choice. There was a family of five pulling a boat out at Linn Pier, and we exchanged greetings; I commented that I had pushed a BIT too far for the third day of a three day fast, and they started to ask me if I was OK to drive home. I smiled. "It's just fatigue," I said. "I'll be fine." And of course I was.

So. Done. Not in a big hurry to do it again, but really glad I did it.

Uncle Hyena
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