Monday, April 28, 2008

Final Update

Although those of you who have been reading this may have hoped for a post on Saturday, the last day of my 14 day hiatus from food, I refrained for two reasons. One, I forgot. Two, I thought that if I waited a few days I could also - in one fell swoop - cover the after effects of my return to food.

So, after much drum rolling....
(Please, drum roll, for your sake)

Final Weight: 155 lbs.
Total Loss: 25 lbs.

(just a quick note on this one: I haven't weighed 155 since middle school and due to my extreme loss in body mass I've received three comments in reference to "Cast Away" and Tom Hanks.)

First Meal: Tomato Soup and soft bread

(note: I was still full on Sunday at lunch and only had a light salad and green beans for lunch. Dinner I ate a few slices of frozen pizza that our sisters made for us but that's it.)

Final Analysis?

This is one of the hardest things I've done, but at the same time I know that two weeks is only a series of moments in which I repeatedly denied myself and made conscious decisions towards my goal. This has fostered within me a new love for discipline and a renewed love for food. I've lost a lot of fat, which I plan to keep off, and I've learned what it means to be truly hungry. I think that aside from the discipline, this lesson of hunger is the best thing I've learned in a long, long, long time.

Whenever a preacher talks about poverty it seems inevitable that he'll mention that we westerners don't know hunger. That we don't know what it truly means to feel the agony of an empty stomach. Now I do. O, I know that for those in poverty there is a psychological aspect too. They're not choosing hunger and in all reality they probably don't know when it is they'll eat again. While there was an abundance of food around me that chose not to eat there is absolutely nothing around them to refuse. But at lease physically now, I have seen a little clearer into that kind of pain and suffering.

Energy. Let me just say quickly that it is a joy to have energy. A friend warned me at the outset of this endeavor that food is a mood stabilizing substance that I won't understand the effect of till I don't have it and he was right. But I don't think he could have guessed how I changed. Knowing myself, I too would have guessed that without food I would have become irritable, ornery, and grumpy. But instead I became (at the testimony of others) more calm, reserved, and gentle. I credit that to the lack of energy and think I just shut down. But for whatever reason, I was more and more warm spirited and I thank the Lord for that.

Regardless, having energy is phenomenal and I thank the Lord for the way that he made us, the fact that we're dependent on his creation, on him, to be sustained, and that he is such an amazing provider giving us so much to eat and drink and enjoy!

Lastly, I never would've guessed how inspiring it is for other people. I've had five friends talk to me seriously about what it takes to do this diet/fast and seriously contemplate it. One friend started a 10 day fast this morning and as soon as I give some other friends the details I think they're going to consider it too. How sweet is that.

Well, now that I'm clean on the inside and energetic on the outside, I thank you all for reading and enjoying this fascinating time with me.

Jon Carr.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Day 13

With less than 24 hours left to go I look back on the last two weeks astonished that the goal has actually been accomplished. I know that people have fasted for much longer periods of time (and to them I tip my hat) but for myself I know that I have never gone for more than a day without food and for me this is almost worthy of Man Scouts badge or something (I was never a boy scout or cub scout but I am a woodsman and so I think Man Scouts is legitimate).

Anyways, besides the self-glorification of that first paragraph, if anyone reading this is inspired to do this cleansing/fast/diet, please, please, please give it consideration first. If you have an active lifestyle this may not be for you. Fortunately, as a student I have a mostly sedentary life and could do this without taxing my body terribly. But if your life demands much of your body, carefully consider the risks of adding additional stress.

Also, these last few days the mental struggle has become bothersome. I have gotten more forgetful and often lose my train of thought in the middle of a sentence. So, that's interesting.

One last post tomorrow. Only 18 hours to go.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 10

The website that gave me all the "insider info" about this fast/diet/cleansing was a joke. The person claimed that by day eight people were saying that she had a "glow" about her. My day eight was the exact opposite. Exhaustion, soreness, and angry stomach.

It doesn't help that on Saturday (Day 7) I played a brutal hour and a half game of Ultimate Frisbee followed by a six hour work shift. Regardless, week one was child's play compared to week two.

As of this very moment it has been two-hundred and forty-six hours since my last meal and besides sleeping more than usual I'm doing well. I didn't get to a scale today or yesterday, but as of Saturday afternoon I have lost 10.5 pounds and continuing to lose weight daily. Lately there has been speculation by my room mate that after I start eating again I will gain it all back, but I'm not so skeptical.

If I can discipline myself to not eat for two weeks, I can discipline myself to eat responsibly.

The mental and physical fortitude that this is forging within me has inspired me to not be lazy about my food choices, my portion sizes, and my caloric intake. I can control my diet. Not in some nuts-and-lentils-only diet way, but a healthy, eating right, taking care of your heart way.

Also, if I can discipline myself to not eat for two weeks I can discipline myself to do anything. The skies the limit baby.

So. My apologies for the lack of blogging, but that is mostly due to the lack of a computer. Late last week my comp was accidentally destroyed at the hands of another and I am now blogging via my room mate (Joe's) comp. Yes, the same Joe who backed out on day one for brownies and ramen. But please, don't castigate him, I don't.

Cleaner, Stronger, and Lighter,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Day 6 - Where has the time gone?

Sorry about the lack of posting, especially because this blog was supposed to be a daily blog just for this event. well. too bad.

Friday morning marks the beginning of Day 6 and as of right now, when I post this, it has been 135 hours since I last ate. Here's the updates on every thing:

- Salt Water Flush: It's not my favorite part of the day, I'm not going to try and paint a pretty picture of what happens with this. I'm sure your imaginations can fill in the details. But, and I'll try to say this as nicely as possible, I'm not sure what it's doing for me anymore - I haven't passed any solids for five days! But the regimen says I have to do it every day so, do it I shall.

- Lemonade: I still like it! Who would've thought that after five days of only drinking lemonade and water I'd still like them both but I do. I finished my first bottle of syrup the other day and am quite proud knowing what the empty bottles of lemon juice and syrup represent - discipline, mental fortitude, and sugary goodness :) On a side note about the lemonade: it does terrible, irreversible damage to laptops. My roommate accidentally spilled a half a nalgene of it on my mac and I'm now writing this post from the library. Well. C'est la vie.

- Sleep: Day 2, 3, and 4 I definitely slept a little extra, getting a little nap in the mid-day. But overall I sleep well at night, I'm definitely tired by the time the day is over though. Not putting any real sustenance in your body does take it's toll on energy levels.

- Energy: I went for a run yesterday, played softball, and did my mini-workout in the dorm last night (pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups) and don't feel any more sore than usual today. I was surprised that I was able to do all of them with normal vitality and ease. But then again, it's only day 6...

and finally,

- Weight: This has been the most popular question as of late. A friend told me last night that he could see my ribs through my t-shirt while I was playing ball last night and so I'm planning to weigh myself on Monday to check in on the loss thus far. When I took my shirt off all of the guys said they could definitely tell I'd lost weight. This is all very surprising to me because I didn't really have much fat to begin with, but apparently what I had is disappearing fast.

Final comments? Over an over again I smell food everywhere and it smells fantastic. I stopped going to the SDR (Student Dining Room) with my friends and that helps. But I'd say that overall I don't have any pressing temptation to run out and get chinese or anything. But the desire for food is there and the struggle has given my plenty of opportunity to reflect, think, pray, read my Bible, and journal more seriously.

It really seems to be true that although this is very extreme, I have had to discipline my body in order to begin disciplining my mind.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Day 2

I expected today to be much rougher on mind and body, especially due to the lack of a partner in crime by my side. But besides some minor sluggishness that I can attribute to the late night/early morning combo, Day 2 of the Lemonade Fast has gone swell.

One weird thing is that if I'm not concentrating I sometimes stutter or mumble over my words. For those of you who know me, mumbling isn't exactly a new dilemma, though it is an old one that I thought I'd left in tenth grade. Apparently this is the first sign of my nutritional lack.

But hey, as long as the mind is still focused and the homework gets done though, I'll mumble till the cows come home and still be whistling dixie. As long as the lips continue to work that is.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Joe is a loser. Not really, he just gave up.

12 hours. That is how long i lasted in the much hyped Cleansing. When i woke up this morning, i was already having second thoughts about committing the next two weeks to cleaning my intestines via forsaking all food and only consuming salt water and homemade lemonade. However, this evening my will power was broken and I gave in and ate dinner. This experiment was a failure. Sorry facebook community, blogging community, and world community:( I am sincerely shamed. On the bright side, i will be able to eat in the next two weeks and enjoy God's gifts that he gave us through food.

Day 1 - The Vision

It's not often that I do something extreme and planned. It's even less often that I do those two things and drag someone else along with me. But a week ago I overheard a friend talking about a two week dietary fast and instantly my ears perked up.

With only four weeks of school left my mind is spinning with everything that needs to get done, preparation for the summer, thoughts of the future, and general life - seems like the worst time to do this, right? Normally I would agree. But this last week I heard a message in which the speaker said "Life only gets harder". If that's the case then I should do the most I can now before life gets really out of control, right?

So today my room mate Joe and I have begun our self-inflicted crucible of mental, physical, and spiritual torture. No food for two weeks. Every morning for fourteen days we will drink one quart of salt water to induce a "salt-water flush". We like to call it a colon blow. Throughout the day as we feel the pangs of hunger we will only drink water with lemon juice and maple syrup mixed in thoroughly. No food. Only saltwater and homemade lemonade.

Let it begin.