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Essay

My first fast

By Kip A. Cates

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When I was a college student, I got interested in nutrition and fasting. It was the 1970s and people were worried about the negative effects of processed food. Some experts claimed that fasting was good for your health because it cleaned the body of chemicals. Others noted the role that fasting played in world religions such as Christianity and Islam.

To understand fasting, I knew I couldn't just read about it. I'd have to try it for myself! But first, I had some decisions to make. What kind of fast should I do? Easy or extreme? How long should I fast? One day? Two days? A week?

I finally decided to fast for four days. I would take no food and drink nothing but water.

When I announced my plan to my friends, they were supportive but skeptical. Most thought that I'd give up after a day. They knew how much I liked to eat!

My first day of fasting was hard. At each meal, I just sat and sipped a glass of water. It was difficult to concentrate during the day because I was so hungry. By dinnertime, I was starving. It was torture to watch as my friends devoured a full-course meal!

The second day, my stomach growled at breakfast, at lunchtime and at dinnertime. "That's interesting!" I thought. My stomach expects to eat at 7:30 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m. When it doesn't get any food, it starts complaining!

The third day was easier than the first two days. My stomach realized it wasn't going to get any food and no longer growled at mealtimes. Even though I wasn't eating, I was able to study and work normally.

The fourth day was a bit surreal. I felt light, clearheaded and focused. I watched my friends gobble down mounds of food. Yet, I felt no hunger and had no interest in eating. Strange!

I ended my experiment at dinner on my fourth day. My friends gathered round to witness the big event. To break my fast, I'd chosen a bowl of soup. I lifted the spoon to my lips. It was a dramatic moment — my first food in four days!

That first spoonful exploded in my mouth. It was SO delicious! I savored the taste for a full two minutes. It was the same soup I'd been eating all year. Yet, I'd never stopped to really taste it before. I vowed then and there to value all food in the future and to appreciate every bite I took.

I've fasted several times since then, but I still remember that first spoonful of soup. Sometimes it's good to go without food so you can appreciate it more afterward!

初めての断食

筆者は大学生の頃、断食に興味を持ち、自ら実践してみた。4日間、食べ物は口にせず、水だけを飲んで過ごす中で気付いた体と心の変化とは? 

The Japan Times ST: March 30, 2018

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート

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2018年4月27日号    試読・購読   デジタル版
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