Tuesday, July 05, 2011

40 Day Fast: Day One!

The first day of a fast, whether it's a long one or a short one, can be the worst. It is for me. I mean, an hour into the fast I was regretting not eating more grapes earlier in the day, because I had just bought them the day before and they were sweet and good. I wasn't hungry as such... my stomach wasn't growling, I just wanted more grapes.

In fact, despite the mental desire for food, I didn't get hungry (i.e. my stomach didn't growl) for a full sixteen hours after I stopped eating. Which was last night at 6, so that means the first time my stomach got around to complaining was ten in the morning. Not bad, actually.

I do notice, of course, that I have this habit of reaching for food. And yes, I was traveling today, so when the flight attendant asks if I want a little bag of awful soy crackers and stale pretzels, of course I say yes. I paid a lot for my plane ticket and I'm going to eat the "free" soy nuts and croutons even if I would never, ever touch them anywhere but on a plane. So I ended up with a couple of packs of those despite the fact that I'm fasting.

And food, of course, is everywhere. It's on billboards as we drive by, there are commercials on the radio and television and internet, and you could throw a rock from any corner in America and hit a restaurant. It's ubiquitous, it's omnipresent, and it's confident that you need it. 

By the end of the day, my body is exhausted. There was this moment where I literally thought about laying my head down on a stranger's shoulder. It seemed that it would be relaxing and I felt certain that the stranger wouldn't mind. My teeth felt fuzzy. My head hurt, my muscles were sore, and talking made my jaw feel like I'd been chewing rocks. I got an arm cramp from lifting my backpack. It's like every muscle in my body was telling me to lay down and/or eat something. 

I bet this cat would taste good, too.
And when I brushed my teeth I realized how great toothpaste tastes. Mmmmmmm, toothpaste. I would gladly eat ANYTHING and it made me realize that my pickiness about food is simply a symptom of living in a culture where I have tons of food and a gigantic amount of choices. 

My overwhelming thought of the day, when I think about the 39 days ahead of me is, "What have I done?" Especially because this week I will be in California... and there is excellent Mexican food everywhere! Sigh. But it must be done. 39 days to go.