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From feasting to fasting

January 08, 2008|By FEDORA COPLEY / Pulse Correspondent

Christmas is a totally indulgent holiday - we get tons of presents, lots of time off from school, and rich, fattening food. And I, being only mortal, love every minute of it.

But this Christmas, I decided that after pumping my body full of delicacies, I should give it a rest. So when I came back from Christmas break, I began fasting.

Day One

Wake up, take a shower - that was all the same. But it was really weird not to eat breakfast or pack lunch. I made some tea instead, and looked ahead at the day with anticipation. Would I have hunger pangs? Would I get dizzy and fall over? It was all terribly exciting in a risk-taking kind of way.

During lunch, I again felt odd not eating when most of my friends were. Luckily, the food was not so amazing as to tempt me to eat it. And I found to my surprise that I wasn't all that hungry. I had a container of lukewarm mint tea I had made at home that morning, and I felt very clean and unsaturated just drinking that. I did feel a little pang of sadness when I refused a goldfish offered by a friend.

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When I came home that day, I had to deny myself my usual snack (generally consisting of whatever is within arm's reach). But I was all right watching other people eat. I felt a little above them, actually, as if I was a noble monk, denying myself earthly pleasures.

Day Two

By this time, I wasn't so satisfied with tea. But by this time, I was fairly used to telling myself "no" to food. Also, today I had support from my sister and mom. They, too, had started fasting.

I got through the day easily, but around 4 p.m., hunger overwhelmed me. My sister had made a coffee cake (which was peculiar, I thought, because she was fasting), and its beauty and moistness beckoned to me.

I was very close to saying, "@#!!$ this," and stuffing my face, but I eventually regained control. Just one more day, I thought.

Day Three

I drank juice and thought about dinner that night, when I would finally break my fast. My family had decided to make vegetarian sushi - something light, but still amazingly delicious. So pretty much all day, I thought about dinner.

My sister and I started preparing the meal - steaming rice, slicing carrots, avocados and cucumbers. And before I knew it, I was taste-testing the rice, to see if it was fully cooked. I was eating for the first time in three days, and I had done it unconsciously! I felt a little disappointed. I had wanted it to be a monumental, ceremonial act. Oh well.

After that, I went crazy, and starting sampling all the veggies and much, much more rice. It felt good to not have to restrain myself.

Fasting was a really good experience, though. I realized how much I tend to eat whatever is in front of me, without really thinking about it. And now, I'm starting to do it again. Argh, guess it's time to tell myself "no."

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