Encouragement for fasters
I consider myself a fasting success story and would like to serve as inspiration for those considering fasting or just starting out. Keep in mind that my experience wont be exactly like yours since each person is very different, but I hope I can provide hope and encouragement none-the-less.
I was a fat kid my whole life. My entire family is fat and unfortunately I learned some bad habits from them. My parents would buy junk food and pretty much force me to get seconds at dinner, etc. I'm not going to blame it on "genetics". If you fast, you will lose weight; if you over-eat, you will be fat. That's all there is to it. If there are people out there that are "naturally skinny", that ends shortly after High School. Those thin people you see either work out constantly or eat like birds. Once you give up the delusion that your always going to be fat due to factors that you can't control, you will start to lose weight.
At 13 I started dieting and exercising. I probably tried every diet in the book and became obsessed with it. I lost some weight, but I was still fat. I was 5'2" and weighed 165. I am also small boned. When you are that short, 165 lbs looks absolutely horrible, but it was the best I could achieve using the popular fad diets. I was still made fun of and rejected due to my weight and was quite depressed.
The summer before my senior year of High School I was determined to lose a ton of weight and be skinny for the prom. I was working a strenuous full time job but was able to do a water fast. Yes, the weight comes right off. I went from 165 to 105 over the course of a month. No one recognized me when I went back to school. I was amazingly transformed from school reject to popular girl. Random strangers would just approach me and want to be my friend. It was the best year of my life.
I am 29 now and still thin. People who don't know me from when I was a kid (I've moved a few times since then) assume that I'm just one of those "naturally skinny" girls who's "sooooo lucky to be able to eat whatever she wants". That's a complete and total myth. All my skinny friends do the same things I do. The Victoria's Secrets models have admitted to doing two week juice fasts in preparation for their photo shoots and fashion shows. You better believe the celebrities do it too.
So here's my experiences with fasting:
The first day of the water fast, you will drop 2 or 4 pounds on the scale. Obviously this is just water weight because it's impossible to use up four pounds of fat in one day, but your stomach will look flatter and your pants will fit better all the same. This is an encouraging feeling even though you know logically that it's just water weight. For me, the hardest day is the first. Between 3pm and 6pm, it becomes almost unbearable with hunger. If you can just fight through it, the next day I feel fine.
I experience very little hunger after that and feel like I could go on forever. I believe that the whole hunger thing is psychological. If you feel hungry, remind yourself that it's a good feeling because it means that your body is going to be eating up the stored fat. Remind yourself that there is plenty of "food" on your waist and thighs. Imagine yourself in a bikini in Jamaica and how cute your body is going to look. Nothing tastes better than the feeling of looking hot in a bikini.
As the fast progresses, you're going to realize just how much of what ails us is caused by eating bad foods. Gas pains, bloating, and the heavy feeling in your stomach is the first to disappear. Then you'll notice other changes like having your acne clear up, having better posture, and a more positive outlook. Ordinarily I will have crippling period cramps that prevent me from doing anything. But strangely if I fast during my period, I will not experience menstrual cramps and my bleeding will be lighter.
That alone makes it worth it.
As I mentioned earlier, the weight will just come right off. There is nothing else on Earth that will cause weight-lose this quickly or effectively. I am living proof that "starvation mode" and "you'll gain it all back immediately" is absolute crap. If you're like me, you'll lose a pound or two a day. The more overweight you are, the more quickly you'll lose it. I've noticed that men seem to lose the weight quicker than women. It gets exciting once people start to notice the weight-lose and you get comments like "Holy crap! Look how much weight you've lost!" Be ready to have to buy new clothes all the time. If you're clothes are really tight currently, you'll get to experience the pleasure of having clothes than fit comfortably and then become too loose. This is a great feeling! One of the first things I noticed was that my pants were falling down on me. Then I noticed my bra straps were always sliding down as well. I went from a size 38C to a size 32B. So that's 6inches in just back fat that I lost. My boobs shrunk a little, but it was mostly back fat. It will be an expensive month of buying new clothes, but I loved the experience of buying all those new clothes as well.
As far as detox symptoms go... The first 2 or 3 days I notice that I will poop a lot, which is strange considering you're not eating anything. I find I also have to cough and blow my nose more than usual. Over all, my detox symptoms aren't that bad. I wonder how much of the nausea and dizziness that other people report is just psychological. One thing you will definitely notice is that you have to pee a lot. This can be kind of embarrassing if you're at work all day, but again, it'll be worth it once your coworkers start commenting on how much weight you have lost.
I have no advise on how to break a fast. Just do what feels right for you. I have noticed that once it is over, I lose the desire for unhealthy foods. In fact, I will feel repulsed by the thought of eating them. I'll also feel urges to exercise. This lasts for about two years, and then it's time to fast again. Recognize that you will have to count calories for the rest of your life in order to stay skinny. ALL skinny people have to do this! Weight yourself daily and if you notice that the pounds are creeping up again, do another fast. How long do I fast? Until the scale says I am at my target weight.
WARNINGS: You might want to not tell other people about your fast. The only person I tell is my husband because he is very supportive of anything I want to do and also enjoys having a skinny wife. Other fat people in particular will do whatever they can to discourage and sabotage your weight lose. I don't know exactly why this is, but I have a feeling it is because it makes them feel bad that someone else is losing weight and they can't hang on to that comfortable belief about "fat genes". Your whole outlook is going to change and you'll experience great self esteem at both your new body and your amazing will control. Resist the urge to be judgmental towards fat people. Remember that they are hurting just like you used to and need your compassion. Resist the urge to feel better than other people and rub it in their faces that you are a size 2. One final warning: Losing weight feels AMAZING and can be quite addictive. I think this is how eating disorders develop. Just stick to your target goal. It's always going to feel like their are skinnier girls out there but just chill. There's no reason why you need to be smaller than a size 2 and you never want to strive to be underweight.
I just want to say "good luck!" to everyone and remember your goals. It really is worth it and will change your life in ways you never expected. Your only regrets will be that you didn't try it sooner.