A FEW MONTHS AGO, I went on a three day
fast. I consumed nothing but water for three full days. Afterward,
I didn't eat as much as I did before the fast, and yet, within
a week, I was putting on fat on my belly. I was gaining weight
while eating less.
I once heard somewhere that fasting is
bad because it lowers your metabolism. After the fast you would
resume your old eating habits, it was presumed, and with a lowered
metabolism, you would get fat.
I've encountered thinking like this in
the exercise literature too. Raise your metabolism. That's
how you can become trim and fit. It is as if the "given"
is that we are going to gorge ourselves at every meal (and given
how many carbohydrates most people eat and how ravenous carbs
make you, maybe it seems inevitable), but the solution they offer
is: Exercise hard enough to try to keep ahead of your mouth.
That seems ridiculous.
One of the things I most enjoyed about
fasting was the great calm I felt. And after the fast was over,
I felt calmer than I did before the fast. Not sluggish or dim-witted.
Just calm. Less ruffled. Less fidgety. Less nervous. I liked
Maybe a lower metabolism (if that's what
I'm feeling as "calm") is a good thing. Maybe it would
be better to eat smaller meals and keep the calm than it would
be to try to keep myself revved enough to keep up with my mouth.
Here's to a lowered metabolism. Couldn't
this world use fewer people who are revved up all the time and
more people who feel a deep calm? I think so. This compulsion
to eat eat eat and then workout like mad to keep it all burned
off is going about it the wrong way. It is another form of insatiable
consumerism. Let's ease off. Let's relax and make this world
a little calmer and a little saner and a little less frantic.
Let's raise a (small) glass and toast to a low metabolism.
Make or read comments on fasting
here. Share your experiences with
fasting, ask questions about it, and read about others' experiences.
I've read a lot of books on fasting. I
didn't think many of them were very good. But I found two I really
liked, and I recommend them if you're interested in trying a
Fasting: An Exceptional Human
Principles of Fasting