My 72-Hour Fasting Experience, Part 4

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During the day yesterday, I did really well. I was busy with work, and I was taking my water, S. Pellegrino mineral water, plain tea and salt. I got a little tired around 11:00 am (40 hours into my fast), and I figured it was because I hadn’t had my second cup of tea. I perked up in the afternoon, but work created some brain drain (intensive clinical work), so I was looking forward to going home and just resting on the couch in front of the TV.

 

My husband Cupp made some sausages and reheated some other food for himself for supper. The food odours were driving me crazy! I was very hungry. The site, smell or talk of food was very tempting and made me want to end my fast.

 

I managed to get through the evening unscathed, but I noticed when I got to bed, my heart was pounding and racing. I’ve had some heart issues since chemo-radiation in 2017 (checked out as “normal”) so I was thinking it’s just a little “blip” as I’ve had this before.

 

I had a restless sleep, mainly due to the racing heart. When I woke up, I felt like I had got enough sleep, in order to carry on for the remainder of my fast (another 12 hours or so) and the rest of the day. My heart was still pounding when I got up. So, I drank some water, and headed for the shower. I weighed myself, I was 158 pounds. I lost two pounds in one day. The total was now five pounds in 2.5 days of fasting.

 

In the bathroom, I started to feel a bit woozy, but I decided to get into the shower to help start my day. As I got into the shower and started running the water, I started feeling a bit weird. I was a bit shaky and weak. I looked down at my toenails and they looked a bit bluish. My heart starting pounding harder. I thought to myself, “This isn’t right.” The doctor had said if I feel faint or lightheaded, to stop my fast and eat something.

 

I cut my shower short, and went to check my heart rate. The effort it took to take a shower pushed my heart rate to 112 beats per minute (BPM). I knew I needed to eat something. But – I had come so far in my fast. I was disappointed. How far had I come? Maybe checking my Life app would help me decide what to to.

I opened up the app and it said I was 60 hours into my fast. “Wow!” I thought. I was actually satisfied with that number (I am sure I would have been satisfied with anything at this point!) I couldn’t see myself functioning the rest of the day without eating — waiting another 12 hours? I think my heart would have conked out!

I ended my fast at 7:15 am, 60 hours into my fast. I HAD to eat. The quickest thing I could think of was my favourite cereal with milk. It went down pretty good. I also made tea with milk. After I finished my cereal, I was still hungry. I figured I should have some protein, so I made an egg. I still wasn’t satiated, so I had some more cereal. My heart was still pounding. I was hoping my heart would settle down. I was eating more than my usual breakfast, that’s for sure!

 

At 8:15 am, I was feeling stronger. I wasn’t hungry, just thirsty. Drank some more water. I checked my heart rate, still at 112 BPM, but not as distressing. No more pounding. I drove to work for a staff meeting.

 

At 10:30 am, I was on break. During our staff meeting, we were celebrating a co-worker’s birthday. There was chocolate cake and other treats. I had some. I was feeling stronger as time went on. I walked down to the cafeteria to buy a tea. With the walking, my heart started working really hard! 122 BPM. I was hoping it wouldn’t get any worse!

 

At 12:00 noon our meeting had ended and I was driving back to the office. I was feeling good still. Had a chicken bacon ranch wrap with extra veggies.

 

At 12:45 pm I checked my heart rate again. Now it was at 97 BPM. Starting to slow down. Whew! Thank God!

 

So, although I didn’t make it to 72 hours, I am pleased with my results. 60 hours is no small feat! I hope that anyone who tries this does it with a doctor’s approval. I will be going back to my intermittent fasting routine of 17:7 on Friday. If I were to do another prolonged fast, I think I would keep it to 36 hours. Next steps is to go get my blood work done to see if it has helped rejuvenate my white blood cell count. I will post the results when I get them. I will also share my elevated heart rate experience with my doctor at the next visit.

 

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW
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