The Liquid Fast, Prep Day (REQ Day 0)

Sometimes, to break a pattern of unhealthy eating, I stop eating for two to three days. I’m not starving myself when I do this. I want to be very clear about that. I’m having as many calories as I normally would, actually, but it’s all in liquid form.

Protein shakes, smoothies, fruit juice, soup, and so on and so forth. I’ve wondered why this works for me, and my current theory is that it’s something to do with stomach size and digestion. That when I’ve been overeating for a while, my belly is swollen or … something. That I crave the junky, harder to digest food that I’ve been having. But by switching to liquids, I’m giving my body food that’s very easy to digest and that’s easy to move through the stomach, letting it reset to its normal size.

I have no idea if any of that’s true. What I know is, this has proven to work for me in the past. It doesn’t feel unhealthy (with, again, the caveat that this is never to be an excuse to starve myself). I switch to liquids, my mood gets boosted, and my appetite re-adjusts.

For a while, back when I was younger, I did this once a month. Over the last few months, I’ve done it every time my eating veers off course, so … a number of times. Before that, I’d been resisting it, trying to use something less drastic, something I could rationally understand and process more easily.

As it stands, I’ve done what research I feel is necessary: Verifying that occasional liquid fasts, as long as they don’t calorie deprive, won’t do harm. And if my subjective experience is that they do some good for me, I’ll let that be enough.

Today is where I do my shopping. On my way back from work, if I remember and am not dead tired, I’ll pick up some favorites. Bolthouse Vanilla Chai and Chocolate Protein. POM pomegranate juice. Maybe a couple cans of soup, if anything looks good. And tomorrow, I’ll dig in, see if my wife (ermergersh, I have a wife!) is willing to whip up some of her delicious fruit smoothies for me.

My wife has mentioned that I seem friendlier, happier, on the first and second days of the liquid fast. So that’s interesting. Again, kind of clueless on the “why.”

I’m going to be trying this thing, I think, where I share pictures of everything I eat, along with brief notes of why I’m eating it. Like, if I’m eating just out of hunger, I’ll say. Or if I’m eating because I’m stressed or sad, I’ll say that too. And when it’s muddled, I’ll use that upload moment as a chance to make sense of it, if I can manage. So expect to see lots of pictures of mah dranks over the next two or three days.

And hopefully, I can transition smoothly from that liquid fast into more fruit-and-vegg-centric eating. But I’ll leave that, and all the other back-on-track tasks, for later.