I don’t know if you had pancakes yesterday – we did: a sort of mash-up of vegan mess and egg-based loveliness on which I had peanut butter and then maple syrup with lemon juice. For yesterday was Shrove Tuesday, shrove being the past participle of shrive which means to be cleansed of all sins. And so begins the period of Lent which is traditionally a fast. Not that people fasted from all food during that time, they mostly gave up meat and had thin, simple dishes like soup. When enforced such things lead to misery and resentment but when undertaken voluntarily and in a spirit of experiment they can produce real growth; so in that spirit I have decided to spend my forty days and nights building up to a full 24-hr fast.
I have always been very bad at fasting: I’m OK for an hour or two after hunger bites, but then I start to get scared. I watch myself for signs of faintness, afraid that I might collapse. This is not a rational fear as I have plenty of reserves and I’m probably good for at least 36 hours if I really need to be, but the fear is there nonetheless. So my Lent experiment is as follows:
Week 1: fast till 10/11 o’clock
Week 2: fast till 12/1 o’clock
Week 3: fast till 3/4
Week 4: fast till 5/6
Week 5: till 6
Week 6: till 7
Then the remaining four days will alternate between 24-hr fast and eating normally.
I will only be doing this on weekdays; at the weekend I will go back to eating normally. The aim is not to lose weight specifically, nor to eat less, but simply to extend the period wherein I am able to go without food.
Why? Why in god’s name am I putting myself through this? Am I panicking about a no-deal Brexit? Well, no, not really, though we are taking a few precautions; getting in some dried food, planning the veg for the garden, and so on. No, it’s more in the spirit of personal development. It bugs me that whenever I try to fast I hit a brick wall and have to stop. This is something I want to achieve in my life, for general health as well as personal development, so I’ve decided to work up to it and the period of Lent is an excellent opportunity to do so. And yes, I will probably get in a supply of chocolate for Easter Sunday!
So today I’m fasting till 10.30. It’s now 10.01 and I’m struggling a bit. I’ll keep you posted.