I realized on Friday that I was mentally geared toward breaking the water fast and starting on juices on the 21st day. I’m not sure why, probably because somewhere I had read that the body starts consuming healthy tissues somewhere between 21 and 40 days. I guess I was anticipating being at the short end of that spectrum. I also had blood tests scheduled for that day and fully expected my electrolytes would be low enough to trigger some concern.
But come Friday, my stomach was quite satisfied — no sense of hunger pangs or other physical symptoms that would suggest a change of diet was in order. The lab results came in early Saturday morning (thanks to online access to test results!) and the electrolytes were still right on the edges of normal ranges. I admit I was a little disappointed, since I was looking forward to a change of routine. But I resisted the temptation to say that 21 days was good enough and reaffirmed my original commitment to stay on water until I had physical reasons to switch.
Sunday morning, as Day 23 entered its final hours (my days start about 1PM), my stomach started to feel uncomfortable, similar to the discomforts that are typical on about the second day of a fast. I waited to see if this was a passing state or if it was going to keep growing. I prayed that God would once again confirm whether this was the time to break the water fast.
The physical symptoms continued to grow, so about 3PM I decided it was time for juices. I felt at peace spiritually with that decision. So for several days I’ve been juicing fruits and vegetables, alternating between about four ounces of fruit juices and four ounces of vegetable juices every few hours.
Four ounces is about all my stomach would take at first before feeling full, especially as I’ve tried to keep my water consumption up. Now I’m up to where I can take 8-12 ounces at a time, although I still need to spread that out over 30-60 minutes.
My energy level started rising within a few hours. While it’s still low, it’s significantly improved over what it was on water.
The weakness experienced during the water fast taught me a lot about the incredible value of self-denial, quietness, solitude, and a slower pace of life. We miss so much when running at breakneck speed — and we have no idea what we’re missing! More of that to come, I’m sure, in future posts. But for now the challenge is to hold on to these values as my life becomes more active again. I appreciate that my energy won’t be back to full strength for a while, since this period is providing sort of a “half-way house” for me to practice incorporating these values into my normal life.