The Long Fast as a Life Changer
I do not think anybody with a real job is going to be able to do a 3 to 4 week fast, let alone a 40 day fast while working. There are simply too many ups and downs. Sometimes you have energy and other times you can barely get out of the chair. Sometimes your mind is sharp as a tack and other times it is pure mush. Sometimes you just want to sleep. All this is perfectly normal and is, in and of itself, no reason to stop fasting.
BUT if at work you have a special meeting that just happens to come at a time you are walking like you are drunk and possibly slurring words …. Well it is obvious working and fasting is not mixing well.
I exercise and work very hard and get a lot accomplished while doing long fasts. In fact I use work to distract me from thinking about food. As I write this I am totally focused on what I am writing and I am not thinking about food. But I am self employed and if I need to work in my underwear, take three naps a day and never leave my chair in front of the computer; I can do that. I’m the boss.
I have even described mild visual hallucinations in the latter part of a long fast. This is powerful medicine. Most people would not try to work when undergoing chemo therapy or radiation therapy. The long fast is no different. It is not for the person with just a passing casual interest in fasting. It is perhaps one of the most intense experiences of one’s life.
But the benefits of a long term fast go very deep and I do believe cause fundamental changes at the cellular level of the body and perhaps even the brain. But the side effects of this powerful medicine can be brutal and are not for the feint of heart.
But these changes cannot be had with intermittent fasting. The long fast is much tougher stuff than IF. I would say to the IF enthusiast that if it seems comfy, warm and feels good it probably is not working. That is not to say that IF is a waste of time or that there are no benefits, but IF is not an engine overhaul at the cellular level.
A long fast by contrast is a life changer. An individual who finishes a 40 day fast emerges from this journey as a different person. I am not a religious person, but I have got to say that Jesus knew what he was doing and understood the power of the 40 day fast. He went into the desert by himself and he meditated and did not try to work. He came out of the desert after 40 days a much stronger person.
I am always amazed by the people with no fasting experience that come onto fasting forums and announce that tomorrow they are starting a 30 to 50 day water fast. They usually do not make it through the first day. I certainly understand the frailties of human beings as well as the shortcomings of Internet warriors, but these people have not a clue as to what they are proposing.
A long fast of 40 days is an incredible journey and I do not think that it can really be understood by someone who has never done it. Both the mind and the body of the 40 day faster are changed forever.
I think this is something that many should aspire to. But those people who might aspire to doing such a long fast should understand that it is probably going to take a lot of starting and stopping before they realize their goal. It is the equivalent at least of winning an Olympic gold medal.
Never give up; keep trying until you succeed.
A person who aspires to such a goal must plan this life changing event carefully. If you cannot walk out into the desert like Jesus you must at least attempt to isolate yourself from distractions. Work can be a big distraction and so maybe a medical leave of absence is in order. Families can be a huge distraction and so maybe a vacation from the family might be considered.
The casual faster is not going to do any of this. But I would argue again that this is a life changer and if the person were suffering from cancer nobody would think twice about such drastic steps to attain incredible health.
I am passionate about this long fasting thing. It has given me a second life and there is simply no sacrifice that I would not be willing to make if I had to do it again.
And because of my experience I will continue to urge others to reach beyond the pale and to make incredible changes in their physical and emotional lives with long term fasting and the 40 day fast in particular.