Sunday, August 07, 2011

Fasting Day Thirty-Four: Coming out of it...

Less than a week to go, and my mind is starting to turn toward re-entry. I don't feel like I've hit whatever the purpose is for this fast, but there have been a lot of good things throughout. 

When I taught high school once upon a time, a group of my students decided to do a "40 Hour Famine"... it's a fast that some organizations encourage to make people aware of world hunger and poverty. Sometimes kids will raise money for the fast, asking people to pledge money for the number of hours they fast, and often it's done in community, so that everyone is finishing about the same time.

The students asked me to be their supervisor for the fast, which included an overnight hang out at the school at the end. Watching high schoolers fast was interesting, as they not only need more food since they're pretty much always in the middle of a growth spurt, but they also tend to be more dramatic and emotional, so there was a lot of moaning and flinging of "starving" bodies across the tables in the room we were staying in. It was a Christian school, so it was no problem to have a lot of prayer times.

Overall, the students did well, except for their fasting re-entry. The guy who organized the fast knew that "everyone will be hungry" at the end of the fast, so he ordered lots of giant pizzas. I told him that this wasn't a good idea, that they should take it slow and easy when they re-entered the world of food but he didn't care. The kids ate about an entire large pizza each and then they fell onto their backs, holding their distended stomach and groaning... pretty much exactly what they did while they were fasting except that now they had smiles on their faces. 

Nurse Shasta says that I should take as long coming out of the fast as I spent fasting... in other words, that I should spend 40 days getting back up to speed with eating again. Honestly, the thought of that makes me cringe. I don't want to spend my first few weeks eating boiled vegetables or something. Then again, it's pretty clear that my body is going to need time to re-engage with food. Krista says that the last time I did a long fast I was back to eating my regular meals within a few days. I'm guessing it will be something a little slower than that, but a bit faster than 40 days. I guess we'll see! In less than a week!