Day 03 – Enter The Potato

Daily Weight BP Systolic BP Diastolic
08/30/2016 173 133 83
08/29/2016 175 134 83

After making a last minute choice to do the water fast, I ended 24 hours earlier than I planned. I was feeling very unwell yesterday evening. I couldn’t stay awake, I had shakes, I felt cold. Standing up made my head spin. My BP and heart rate were normal, I took them a couple of times after I got home at 6:30 p.m. Everything else felt wrong. I knew I had to get up at 5 am the next day and lifegaurd. I worried that I might be unable to do so. At 9:00 p.m., exactly 48 hours from my start, I had my first potato.

Maybe I experienced the “feel lousy” phase talked about in Penn’s book. Maybe I just wimped out too fast. Maybe that phase is still coming, I don’t know. Still a 48 hour fast taught me a few things.

I trust that the stomach rumbles were not true hunger. I had pretty much concluded that long before now. That didn’t mean I didn’t do something about it. I usually ate. It was distracting. Who can work with those feelings? Turns out, that all of us can. We just don’t want to.

I had butterflies in my stomach during every swim meet as a youth. When I did stand-up comedy and magic, I always had them. I had them when I would teach classes the were somewhat new to me. I have them now when I am going to do consulting work for the first time for a new client. I have had them all the time. As I felt those rumbles, I remembered the butterflies. I remembered I always continued and they always left. You don’t feel those anxieties when you are in the activity itself, only when you are anticipating it. Fear is an anticipatory emotion.

Hunger pangs may not be anticipatory, but they are not starvation feeling either. I drank water whenever I felt them. This stopped helping as much by mid morning of day two. So I cheated. I cheated by using some of the essential oils I have. I took a drop of peppermint and put it in my water. It helped. I rubbed some on my temples to reduce the headache that showed up at the start of day two.  Maybe it’s voodoo but they helped mitigate my pangs when they were sustained and difficult to disregard. I don’t intend to use them during potato time, they may trick sense and I don’t want to interfere with my food brain reboot.

After I ate my first potatoes, a small russet and a large sweet, I went to bed. I watched Jim Gaffigan’s latest special on Netflix. He’s still terribly funny. Most of the routine was about food. I watched without feeling anything related to food cravings or hunger. The potatoes satisfied me. That alone is a good start for me. I think that when I hit the rare and appropriate days when I depart from the diet, I will use the Gaff rule: If it’s a food Gaffigan hates, I will eat it. He hates fish. I love fish. I love fish because that ocean or lake taste is unlike anything else. I love fresh tuna, trout, crab, shrimp, mackerel, scallops, and more. I am pretty certain at least half my R/A days will be Sushi. The rest will be my wife’s choice.

Downstairs, my wife bottled pears. Her parents have fruit trees as do we. The house is filled with apricots, peaches, pears, and plumbs at this time of year. She bottles with sugar. She says she has to do it that way so they stay preserved. I was sad. When it comes to eating, fruit is my go to. I love fruit. I will need to remember to keep my fruit use limited. If I lose weight, I could easily regain it on fruit alone. I will need to be strict on the Fuhrman pyramid.  There was also a nice vegetable roast and a separate sweet potato roast. The potatoes were skinned, diced and seasoned with paprika and cooked with oil. Sorry, I have to pass. I put my two potatoes in the oven and watched TV for 45 minutes.

By the time they were ready, I was moving like an arthritic person. I didn’t feel arthritic. I was just moving very slow. Every muscle seemed to take longer to move like they were moving through honey. It was I ended the fast after 48 hours. It was also good that I did the 48 hours.

I ate my potatoes In the midst of the smells of fruit and roasted veggies and didn’t feel like I lost anything not snacking on the food that others were eating and preserving. It’s not like the water fast destroyed my appetite for them; it didn’t. It was that I was being much more conscious of what I wanted out of my food. That was my motivation.

I don’t eat consciously. I eat while doing a host of other things. We all do at my home. The dining room table is a utility table. We eat in the living room while talking, debating, reading, or watching a show.

Tonight, I sat at the dining room eating my potatoes while the world went on around me. I thought about my feelings and my food. I need to be more mindful of my feelings.


I woke up this morning at 5:00 a.m. feeling better. I did my lifeguarding and went to my office. At 9:00 a.m. I cooked 3 small russets. I ate two. This was the first meal I had since my potatoes last night. My fed window was 12 hours. It’s seldom more than 7. I will try to get it to 16 hours as I continue.

The water fast resulted in a four pound drop in 48 hours. We will see if potatoes increase the weight from this or if I decrease.

Fasting is not new to me. I fast on a monthly basis. They are short fasts: no food, no water, 12 hours. I think doing more 24 hour water fasts may be in my future.