Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fast Times

This is an experimental piece, I'm fasting for 24 hours (except for clear liquids) before a routine medical procedure and I'm curious enough to reflect on how I feel about not eating.

So, it's 8:45 am, I skipped breakfast, now on my second cup of tea and I honestly don't feel hungry. I'm conscious of the fact that I didn't eat my usual bowl of zone-balanced cereal, fruit, cottage cheese, almonds, protein powder and 1% milk. But that's it. That's all. Not hungry, I'm at my desk, working on condo business and plans for an alumni relations roundtable event. I'm also conscious of the fact that hundreds of millions of people woke up this morning and didn't eat breakfast because they don't have anything to eat….and they're not blogging about it.

10:45 am, oops, first hunger pang. I had sort of forgotten what a hunger pang feels like…rather weak, I expect, compared to the average hunger pang…ever wondered what a "pang" is? My old favorite Random House dictionary says: "a sudden feeling of mental distress; a sudden, brief, sharp pain, or a spasm or severe twinge of pain." I'm not really sure I believe that a hunger thingy qualifies as a pang, I am pretty sure it's more mental than physical at this point. Anyway, what does "severe twinge" mean? C'mon already.

12:15 pm, yup, I'm thinking about lunch, I have been thinking about eating off and on for the last hour, but really this isn't bad. I'm doing a steady input of clear fluids. No, Virginia, gin does not qualify here as a "clear fluid" for some reason….

4:30 pm, OK, now I'm sporadically thinking about particular food items instead of just plain old generic "eating," in particular I'd love to go downstairs and eat a date as I do most every afternoon, just one, at my age the old alimentary canal is very completely satisfied with just one…and only one..

7:20 pm, I went to a faculty development meeting around dinner time, so I didn't do any conscious countdown to not eating the evening meal, my stomach knows that I haven't eaten today, but it's pretty much just a dull awareness, haven't had a "hunger pang" for hours, obviously the body fat I'm carrying is taking care of my metabolic needs today without much problem whatsoever….

This whole business of fasting has been greatly less troubling and greatly less interesting than I imagined at the outset. I've been distracted from time to time, but honestly I haven't felt "hungry" with a capital H or anything…

I'm very strongly aware that not eating for one day isn't much of an achievement in a global context. I think I've been trying to feel low key about this, it hasn't required much effort to do so…

8:45 pm, very little sensation of hunger, it's not top of mind….it may be a different story in a few hours, not sure if I will wake up hungry during the night…how important is it, really, to eat three meals a day?

Conclusions right now:

This was too easy. I'm overweight. I need to do this again, soon.

Images of Hunger from Bing:
Hunger in America, think about it......

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