Insights After 28 (out of 30) Days of Fasting

I was wrong. I accepted a premise without any proof or experience that I can now see was holding me back and had become my excuse and justification for not doing better.

“I don’t need or want to lose any weight. I am healthy and comfortable with where I’m at.”

That statement or some variation of it was holding me back.

People frequently tell me they don’t want to fast or change their diet because they “don’t need to lose any weight,” despite being well outside the healthy weight standards.

I didn’t think that I was using the same excuse, but I was.

In today’s culture and the rapidly growing number of overweight and obese in our population, I believe the population, in general, has become sensitized or accustomed to people simply being heavier to the point that we can no longer correctly determine a healthy weight or what it looks like.

On day 27 of a 30-Day fast with 26 full days of water fasting, I have lost 28.4 lbs, and my waist is down 3.5” with changes in my body composition that I have never experienced with previous fasts or in my adult life.

During this fast, my weight dropped to the lowest I have seen as an adult, 205 lbs, a weight I have experienced once or twice. As of today, I dropped below 200 lbs, and this is entirely new territory with 2 days left in my fast still to go.

I am taking detailed notes, keeping a video log of my lessons in the 30-Day Fasting Challenge, and reflecting on the different experiences and processes this fast is unfolding. I am reevaluating my views, goals, and understanding of fasting and my values and standards.

When keeping up with my health and wellness program and efforts, I usually maintain a weight of around 220, keep in shape with a strong build, and wouldn’t appear overweight by most standards. But I was. 

I could hide extra weight at 6’4” and a more athletic build without trying intentionally. I have worked out all my life and have always been strong. I had a gym in my office, used CrossFit, coached and competed in powerlifting, and used my muscle and strength as an excuse to be heavier, hiding my overweight status even more.

I know for a fact, and there’s plenty of reliable evidence that someone can be overweight and still be metabolically healthy. I don’t follow or go by the standard weight-to-height charts alone by any means, but they do offer perspective if nothing else. 

Being healthy doesn’t equate to optimal health.

In health and medicine today, we do not have a “healthy” standard range for the vast majority, if not all, of the testing and evaluations that the medical system use.

We have highs and lows that fall outside the average calculation of the people who take that test or evaluation, a sick population with very low health standards. 

Medical testing will tell us if we are in the normal reference range or not, which can only then identify a problem while not telling us if our results are healthy.

Optimal health will be a different potential and expression for each individual. It will never be attained, making the pursuit and daily action moving towards it as best we can the ultimate goal.

In my world and holistic point of view, I was not sick, but I was not striving or working for optimal.

As this fast progresses and I am seeing and feeling the results of regular rotational fasting efforts over time, I can reestablish my health standards.

I can press on with the momentum I have created and hold onto and nurture the new relationship I now have with food, stress, and my physiology and decide how I want to live and continue my pursuit of optional health and function.

I used my ignorant assumption of what I thought being at a lighter would be without ever getting there to see or feel it as an excuse not to find out.

That excuse held me back, and if you have ever used the same excuse or have heard that story in your head, writing off losing weight because “I’m good,” I would encourage you to lose it or get in shape and experience it first. 

If you don’t like it, you can always back off and return to where you were before, knowing that your decision to be there isn’t just an excuse.

Sounds reasonable, so why didn’t I or other people just do that long ago?

Here’s the secret catch, if I did get to that lower weight and shape that I had never experienced before, I am afraid I can’t maintain it. 

I am afraid that I will revert quickly or, over time, right back to where I was before doing what I did before.

That’s real. But after this fasting experience and shift in my body and mind, I am different than before, and I like it. 

My new awareness and vision for myself expanded my thinking about my health, wellness, and weight, and my standards and actions will follow. 

I will be different because I am different and will move forward differently to better live my values because I know I can do better. And I am and will. 

We can do better!

Dr. Don