my 25-day water fast: follow-up

Day 24 with my tall, delicious glass of H2O at St. Luke’s hospital to get my blood tested (I kept track of my vitals throughout my fasting journey).

6 March 2016 was the day I broke my 25-day water-only fast. 1 year, 7 months & 16 days ago at approximately 9am to be more exact.

That was just over a year and a half ago, and I still very often think back on my first extended fast experience. They are 25 days I am very grateful for, 25 days that challenged me physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, and ultimately shaped my being today.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. All in good time.

But before I begin to even think of when my next extended feat will be, I want to talk about my post-fast experience, as many have asked me about, my suggestions to successfully breaking your fast and achieving long-term post-fasting success. Besides, what self-experiment would be complete without the long-term results?

A glimpse of my transformation over the months:

Before the fast (Top left) | After the fast (Top right) | 5 months post-fast (Bottom left) | Today (Bottom right)

Allow me to first clarify that my main motivation to fast for such an extended period of time was not for weight loss, but for health/healing, spiritual awareness and growth.

As I talked about in my previous post (← read for background), I was able to successfully break my fast by re-introducing solid foods slowly and gradually. I applied this principle for the next few days and weeks, allowing my body to gain a healthy amount of weight back. Once my energy returned (which was pretty immediate) I went back into my workout routines. I started with light weights, to re-gain my strength, and running.

Enjoying the sunshine with mum on my first after my fast!

It’s amazing how quickly the body restores itself.

In the same month that I broke my fast, I sang on stage (top left, actually the day after breaking the fast), went scuba diving (top right, a few days after breaking the fast), went for a hike (bottom left, 2 weeks after), ran through hills (bottom right). I had a new skip in my step.

I got on a weight training program and witnessed my strength increase in a very short amount of time.

7/8 months after my water fast. Photos are taken 1 month apart. These are the results from a consistent weight training and sports performance program. All on a plant-based diet. pc: @marcotizer

I maintained my plant-based lifestyle and with frequent performance training, my appetite naturally increased.  As a result, I gained more weight, mostly muscle mass. It may be news to some, but it is possible to build muscle on a diet that consists of only plants!

From working at a gym and having access to heavy weights and equipment, which I made use of pretty much daily, my routine underwent a change when I started to travel for a living. I adopted body-weight exercises and circuit training that I could do just about anywhere – no gym membership required. All I travel with now is a SKLZ band to add resistance to my workouts. I enjoy being able to keep my health & fitness up while traveling and keeping things cost-effective, time-effective, effective (in general) and fun.

Ab-check 2 weeks ago

Before my fast, I was very active and definitely enjoyed my plant-based foods, maybe a little too much. After the fast, I learned to have more of a balance between rest (getting enough, as possible), working out (not over-exerting myself), eating (not overeating) and having peace of mind.

Sometimes we must unlearn to re-learn. Starting with the basics. Re-set.

Today, I keep a  b a l a n c e  with daily movement, eating whole-food, plant-based and by having a positive outlook (a must).

Simplicity is key.

Albeit an abridged version of my last year and 7 months after the fast, I hope this sheds some light on the subject. And for anyone who is planning to undergo any type of fast / is fasting, my top pieces of advice would be this:

  1. Always come into a fast with the right motivation. This allows the fast to be more meaningful and sustainable.
  2. Use the process of the fast to de-clutter, minimalise and simplify your life. Take the time to reflect on how you’ve gotten to where you are today and the direction you want to go. Intention.
  3. Be gentle with your body coming out of a fast; eat slowly, be patient, remain intuitive. Appreciate the little things and focus on what matter most in life. Perspective.

❀❀❀

Helpful resources^:

New to water fasting and intermittent fasting? Here are a couple of resources to get you started.

The Myriad Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/health-benefits-of-intermit…/

Fasting – A History (part of a whole series on fasting by Dr. Jason Fung): https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/fasting-a-history-p…/

The Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting: https://www.nerdfitness.com/…/a-beginners-guide-to-intermi…/

Further reading: books on fasting (both water and intermittent):
The Complete Guide to Fasting (Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore – covers both Intermittent Fasting and Water Fasting – Probably the best book to start out with): http://amzn.to/2rxFMmQ

The Scientific Approach to Intermittent Fasting http://amzn.to/2r7cesT

The Warrior Diet (one of the first books ever on Intermittent Fasting): http://amzn.to/2rxxLOF

Periodic Fasting (great resource if you like to get really technical on how our bodies work when fasting): http://amzn.to/2qNdBfj

Fasting and Eating for Health (Dr Joel Fuhrman offers a vegan perspective on water fasting): http://amzn.to/2qH1ZeJ

 

^(c/o James Alexander Jack, Water & Intermittent Fasting)

up & up

I’m back in the Philippines after traveling a bit of the States for 3 weeks. It was so great rediscovering San Francisco after my last visit, which was over 10 years ago, then exploring Wisconsin and Chicago, and getting the chance to see snow for the very first time from my airplane window seat as we flew over Colorado. A beautiful time spent reconnecting with family abroad; I will surely return much sooner than later next time ’round. Especially for the vegan donuts with four barrel coffee ice cream. Nom nom ❤

Now back to the glorious Manila heat and back to new and exciting adventures. Keeping my eyes toward the sky, I’m ready to take on what’s yet to come. More blogging ahead too. ☁ Up&Up

threshers of malapascua

A compilation of thresher shark sightings at 30 m on an early morning dive during my visit to Malapascua, Cebu last week.

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