A few weeks ago, a reader emailed me and called me out on the "fasting is just a trend" remark I made within a previous blog. I admit he's right; I criticised a practice in which I had no experience. So I've designed my own fasting plan and committed to it, starting today.
I love food, and I'm in disbelief as I'm writing this … but I have committed to a daily menu that consists of two components: one apple and water.
The decision to fast didn't come easy. It all started as I was scouring the internet for food, health, and fitness news, and I was taken aback when I read this:
1. Dubai has kicked off a "Your Weight in Gold" program, which offers gold as incentive to lose weight; and,
2. Queues for cronuts (a cross between a croissant and a donut) have thinned in the US in favour of the "ramen burger". It's a burger between two ramen noodle patties that soak up burger juice.
Gold to incentivise weight loss, and hundreds of people queuing for a noodle burger … all while worldhunger.org estimates that 925 million people are hungry worldwide. Peter DeVries' quote is never more appropriate: "Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us."
Let's bring the subject a little closer to home. If you missed the Rudd v Abbott debate because you were watching the reality shows on the two big networks or the family sitcom on the third, don't worry, because you didn't miss anything about health and fitness. Debated were important topics such as budgets, the boats, health care, and infrastructure … but how is it that the $120 billion annual cost of obesity is never on the table for discussion?
What would Charles Darwin think, when we take one of the basic needs of man (food) and turn it into a suicidal sword that puts a gargantuan financial burden on our economy? He would defer to Mr DeVries: something is definitely eating us.
Too much food in some countries, and we create disease with it. Too little food in others, and they starve because of it. Dinosaurs became extinct due to nature; we humans are supposed to be smarter, yet we're dying because of food. The whole thing was spinning in my mind all weekend. I was chatting with my girlfriend and a mate who's crashing at my place from India who knows a lot about "less", and we chatted at length that the problem is "more".
More gadgets, more new phones, and more tablets that we sleep outside to be the first to obtain. We need a bigger and better TV with more channels. Bigger, faster car. More sports with more beers. More fizzy drink. More burger with more fries. More sauce. More macaroons. More ice cream.
It all adds up to more weight, more obesity and more diabetes. What about "less"?
So, I'm going to eat less. A lot less. I'm not dieting, and I'm not promoting any fasting ritual. One apple per day and water. That's it. To see what happens.
The apple stays because that's how I wake most days; with the chomp of an apple. I won't give it up, but I'll make it my first and last meal every day of this fasting period.
Scientific periodicals state that the body can go 40 days without food. When overweight and obesity stats in Australia are heading towards 75 per cent, not many of us know what hungry is – me included. So, I'll have a primary goal to spend three days with "less", because I want to see what it feels like to go without. If I make it, I'll extend it to five days … then one week.
Is this a good idea? Bad idea? Probably a bit of both. But I know it will be a huge learning experience for me, and hopefully some readers. Nutrients. Energy. Toilet time. Sleep. Sex with my girlfriend. Exercise. Personal training sessions with clients. Conversation with friends. I have no idea how a lack of food will impact my life. But I already know how too much food is impacting the globe as obesity grows. With "more", our future is looking unhealthy.
My last meal? It was a scallop, prawn, and Alaskan king crab pasta with a garlic, chilli and olive oil sauce served on a bed of gluten free pasta with cherry tomatoes and a spinach salad with a glass of red. I'm a terrible chef, but this last meal seemed extra tasty.
Tomorrrow's eating plan: One apple and a lot of water.
Have you fasted before? Could you do it? Check this space next week for an update.