A couple of weeks ago, I shared something on Twitter that I had run across one morning that really intrigued me. It was before and after photos of someone who underwent a 72-hour water fast. Yeah, you read that right, some guy didn’t eat or drink anything but coffee and water for 72 hours. The pictures were pretty amazing and I knew I wanted to try it.
Not For The Vanity
Although I couldn’t help but be impressed by the transformation this gentleman underwent in just three days, my main motivation went deeper than wanting to look nicer. Sure, if I could drop some fat in the process, that would be great, but my biggest reason for wanting to try it was because I saw it as the ultimate test of discipline.
I have a good friend and mentor who has been to several of Tony Robbins live events and has, on multiple occasions, walked across burning coals barefoot. I’m still not interested in doing this, but what Steve said to me years ago about doing that has always stuck with me. He told me that after walking across the coals, he got the feeling that if he could do that, there was nothing that he couldn’t do. It destroyed every limiting belief he had. That’s what I’m hoping will come from my fast. It’s hard. It’s not something that I ever thought I could do, so if I can stick it out, there really isn’t anything else I can’t do either.
Making It Work
I’m pretty good at not eating. On most days I’m pretty comfortable going about 16 hours without eating. On certain days, It isn’t much for me to go up to 20. When I’m busy, I don’t really get hungry. From this experience, I knew that busy was going to be the key.
I planned to start my fast on a Sunday night. This meant that I could sleep through the first part and be at work on Monday, through the most difficult stretch. What also helped, was that I picked a couple of days when my kids would be away with their grandparents which took away the added pressure of eating a family meal with everyone. And then I got busy. I filled my calendar down the minute from 5 am until 10 pm. I drank two cups of coffee in the morning and a ton of water throughout the day and I never got hungry.
Later in the evening, before one of my meetings, I added a third cup of coffee, decaf this time and my mild appetite was blunted. I know this sounds strange but the only time that I got really hungry was driving home at the end of a pretty long night when an old habit of thinking about popcorn crept into my head. It didn’t last long though, and I was fine.
When I woke up the second day, I wasn’t hungry at all. I drank my usual saltwater and lime cocktail and went to the barn. I felt great all day and found that not eating is actually easier than not eating bad stuff. Once I fell into a pattern, it became easier and easier to maintain.
When I’m Done
As of right now, I’m 12 hours away from my first meal. I’m planning to go easy on food and choose the ones that will be easiest on my gut. From research, I’ve settled on watermelon, hard boiled eggs, and some ground beef in butter. I want to ease back into eating and make sure that I don’t undo all of the good that I just did. Because I’m not too hungry, I don’t think this will be too hard.
When I started, I really didn’t think I could pull it off. Now that I have, I wonder what else I might try. If you’re interested in developing your discipline muscles, I highly recommend trying it. Trust me, it’s much easier than it sounds