I enjoyed my ‘last supper’ last night, but I have to admit, that as I went to bed, I was feeling daunted about what may lay ahead. Doubts, lots of doubts. Had the research really suggested this was the right way forward? Did I really want to go 24hrs without food? How would I feel? Dizzy? Sick? Irritable?
With the weight of those things on my mind it was probably little wonder that I awoke at 5.20am in quite literally a cold sweat! There was no way that I was going to get back to sleep, I had too much on my mind.
So much for a large chunk of the fast occurring while sleeping! My mind had sabotaged me and now it was going to force me into being awake for an extra 2 hours of fasting!
I spent the next 2 hours in bed, while I waited on the kids waking up, using up all the remaining battery on my phone, rewatching clips from the videos that had convinced me that this was the right way forward in the first place!!
By the time I got out of bed, the doubts had gone and I have to admit that it did feel a bit strange not making breakfast, but it wasn’t a difficult experience. I’ve been trying to eat healthily recently so I wasn’t used to the thrill of grilling bacon and sausages any more anyway, so didn’t have much to miss out on much except pouring cereal into a bowl! I made myself a super strong coffee instead and I savoured the flavour.
In the build up to lunchtime I noticed what Dr Michael Mosley had observed, when in his BBC Horizon documentary
, he noticed that hunger comes in waves. It is not a sensation that stays with you and gets progressively worse. It actually comes and it goes. Rather than seeing hunger as a massive mountain to overcome, it is in fact a series of hills. Admittedly they vary in terms of steepness, but they are hills nonetheless and the summit is never far from sight.
Perhaps the most surprising, and also the most enjoyable thing that has come from this first fast has been a real sense of freedom.
It’s practically spiritual. Liberating.
I am not having to devote brain time to thinking about food! What shall I eat next? When should I eat it? How much should I eat? How does that food fit into my whole days nutrition?! I didn’t have to think about those things once. Fasting gave me freedom, and I loved it. Overcoming the ‘hills of hunger’ was a small price to pay for that sense of liberation.
As I stand here now at 6pm (1 hour before I break my fast) preparing our dinner, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy cooking. Silly thing to say really, when as a chef, cooking has been my job. Even sillier for me to say, when you consider that I rediscovered a passion for cooking by not actually eating or cooking all day! But I am cooking this meal, the only one of the day, and i’m enjoying it again. I don’t feel the usual stresses, the fatigue that I normally feel by this time of the day. I actually feel alert, calm…. and as I am slicing and dicing these ingredients, I appreciate having them, I am not taking them for granted. Food is more than just fuel to me right now. It’s a gift, a real pleasure….