Delimit My Life

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ~ Hellen Keller

Archive for the tag “health”

Water Fasting for 36 Hours

Plato Fasting

Since my first water fast, last week, I thought that it would even more challenging to increase the time to a full 36 hours. This would require me to go an entire day without eating and then go to sleep hungry. In particular, it was the idea of going to sleep on a starving stomach that made me a little nervous. Normally, I will just grab a snack at night, if I happen to be hungry, because I find the feeling rather uncomfortable. It’s also a strange thought to not eat anything for an entire day. However, this experience has made me realize that I have been eating food everyday for my entire life without ever stopping. Doesn’t that sound a little strange too? Read more…


Water Fasting for 24 Hours

Plato Fasting

Living in our modern age, we are so accustom to constant consumption that we fail to realize just how much we consume. We keep on eating and snacking, unconsciously putting food into our mouth, that it’s only natural for people to be overweight. If we let our body rule our mind, then we become victim to our every urge. Urges that evolved because food was scarce, not plentiful, and thus our modern age continuously feeds our every whim.

Other than the many health reasons, water fasting can help us take control back and become conscious about our eating habits. I eat constantly and consistently with a meal almost every four hours along with snacks. Therefore, the idea of water fasting sounded rather uncomfortable and painful. I don’t enjoy feeling hungry which drives me to eat when do. It’s just seems natural for me. Also given that when I don’t eat, I get the shakes, possible headaches, feeling lethargic, and overall cranky. I’ve been known to go hulk mode when I don’t get feed. Thus, fasting was a way for me to push my mind and body and see how they react to the situation.  As idiotic as forgoing food may sound, there are plenty of reasons to do it. For one, the challenge of pushing past my comfort zone and understanding my body better.

I started my water fast the night before at 6:15 pm right after dinner with my roommate. It’s easy for him, so he gets the ego boost of not finding it challenging, superior to my ruthless craving for anything other than water. I don’t understand how he finds it so easy but it simple doesn’t bother him. Around 9 pm, I started feeling hungry for some snacks but I ignored those urges easily. The next morning, I wasn’t hungry but I missed having my routine breakfast. Even so, breakfast and lunch were pretty easy to skip with little discomfort, but around 2pm I started getting hungry. I kept drinking water to fill up my stomach, it worked for a little while, but as awhile it was only temporary.

At around 3pm, I got a headache which I knew was bound to happen since I didn’t have my black tea in the morning. It’s surprising how long the caffeine lasted in my body, but it definitely ran out. Afterwards, I started feeling completely lethargic and found it difficult to do anything. I still did my handstands throughout the day, they help suppress the hungry feeling, but, for the most part, I was useless. Time real started to slow down as I approached 6pm with every hours taking exponential longer.  Eventually, I finally got to enjoy my white rice and chicken for dinner. I was still starving afterwards so I had green grapes on peanut butter toast (may sound weird but it tastes amazing, just like jelly and it’s healthier).

In the end, water fasting was not a terrible experience and I discovered that I can survive without eating for 24 hours. I know it a huge shocker, but humans were meant to survive without constantly eating. 

A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors. ~ Mark Twain

Day 8 A Cold Shower Story

I thought it would be fun and a little challenging to write about one of my cold showers in the fashion of a story. This would be a first so I hope you enjoy.

Buzz, buzz, buzz…! Agh morning already, I reach over to turn off the phone. I lay in my warm and oh so cozy bed not wanting to move or get up. Whatever, I am awake now got to start the day sometime. I grab my towel, shampoo, and body wash and head over to the guest bathroom. The bathroom has fake wood panel flooring with a Native American theme for the decor. I place my towel on a bathroom counter and put my shampoo and body wash into the shower. It’s a long shower one of those bath tubs and showers combined with two glass sliding doors.

I turn the shower knob slightly to the left just enough to let cold water start rushing out. Then I pull up on a lever forcing the water to shoot out of the shower head. The water feels pretty cold as I stick my hand in stream to test it out. It reminds me of how I felt jumping over a sprinkler on a hot summer day. When that water first hit me as a child and I would let out a little scream of terror and enjoyment, mixed emotions that only seem like fun and excitement back then. But to a tired mind, the water only sends signals ice, pain, and panic. I ignore these thoughts and move on.

I like walking into the shower from the back, habit I guess, so I slide the glass door closed and open the back one. I undress and extend one leg into the shower. The feeling of the water sends a shiver crawling up my back. The worst part though is yet to come, and I even consider this feeling easy. Not stopping or freezing, I keep moving forward. I start moving towards the front of the shower and my thoughts tell that the “best” part is about to happen. When that cold water first hits my chest, it’s like someone pouring hundreds of ice cubes down my shirt. Except, I have to keep them there for a whole five minutes.

As the cold water hits my stomach, I immediately take a deep breath in. Otherwise, the shock will force a painful gasp. My entire body goes on alert and every little hair feels likes its standing awake, goose bumps ripping down my body. My skin tightens and my muscles quiver. I remind myself to breath normally and in controlled paces. This calms the initial panic and steadies my mind. Although this all happens in what could be seconds, it feels quite long. The skin remains tight but the panic fades. I turn around, grab the shampoo, and start cleaning my hair. Then I grab my luffa and body wash and start scrubbing clean. This actually hurts my skin a little, now that that the cold water has made it so inflexible.

With every movement the ice cold water hits another body part, and I feel the heat strip away from me. It’s funny how quickly one part of my body will get used to the feeling and another will forget. It seems like a never ending dance with the ice princess. Now and again, I have to let out a little whooh, and practically beat my chest to keep the motivation going. It’s primal, I know, but it really helps when you are freezing your ass off! The shower head is about a foot shorter than I am so I have to squat down and lean back to wash out my hair. It makes me laugh aloud at the awkwardness of my position, or it could be I’m being hysterical due the freezing cold water striking again my scalp and turning what’s left of my brain into an ice cube. Either way, it seems hilarious in my mind which only makes me feel a little insane.

I turn around and force my face into the stream of cold water. The feeling reinvigorate my entire body, and I start to wonder what a hot shower felt like. I remember warmth and relaxation but these only seem like words now. Why would I want to give up this feeling of being alive to something that relaxes and dulls my mind? Why wouldn’t someone want start the day feeling energize and powerful? Similar questions race inside my frozen head.  Buzz, buzz, buzz…! Wow has it been five minutes already? I turn the knob and step out of the shower. It still surprises my body when I feel warmer outside of the shower than inside.

I reach over and turn off the alarm. As I quickly dry off, one thought slowly creeps into my head, what the heck am I going to write about today?

The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. ~ Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

Day 4 Cold Shower Challenge

Yesterday, I wrote about the nightmares of cold showers, and I was proud of the fact that I don’t see them that way. It felt like I was conquering a fear and pushing past my limits. However, as we head towards discomfort we find the fears that truly haunt us. When I woke up this morning, I was stress out and panicking over some detail in a post that I had submitted. I slowly realized that it had all been a dream and that none of it was real. In my dream, I was reviewing a post and found that I had written “it” rather than “its”. A small error yet I was thrown into turmoil over the mistake. I feared that I would be criticized, judged, and that everyone would see my mistake. When I became this challenge, I always knew it was double sided, fearing a cold shower and public writing. I knew that writing was a deep-seated fear for me. While I can stand the discomfort of an icy shower, I don’t have as much control over my fear of writing. It is not just a five minute ordeal or something I can just accomplish. It is a constant; it follows my thoughts through night and day.

Consequently, the cold shower was always masking my fear of writing, but deep down I wanted to face this fear. I wanted to start improving my writing and myself. So as I am continuously asked the same question, why, my answer is that your fears become layers like tinted glass in front of your eyes. As you slowly remove a layer of tint your vision becomes clearer and you see the fears that were being hidden. So by learning how to remove one layer, even as simple as a cold shower, you learn how to stand up and face your deeper fears.

Interesting enough I found a solution for a cold shower, sunburns. I would not suggest it, for health reasons, but it does increase your skin temperature. The trouble with sunburns is that the water doesn’t feel cold on the skin, but when it hits another part it can feel ten times colder. In the past, a warm shower would normally make me fall into a trance or daydream. I would practically fall asleep, standing up. This is the relaxing state everyone so abundantly enjoys. On the other hand, a cold shower keeps me focused and snaps me out of that dreamy state.

Resistance is fear. But resistance is too cunning to show itself naked in this form. Why? Because if Resistance lets us see clearly that our own fear is preventing us from doing our work, we may feel shame at this. And shame may drive us to act in the face of fear. ~ Steven Pressfield

Day 3 Cold Shower Challenge

Visiting family always makes for some interesting times. They are never boring that is for sure. The catch-up period, as I call it, occurs when I have to compress my life into short blurbs which never really tell the whole story. Then after a few hours everyone is usually caught up with nothing left to say. So gradually, I brought up the topic of my cold shower challenge which went pretty much as I expected. Shock and horror! Okay it probably wasn’t that bad, but just like my friends, they thought I was crazy. Who knew that cold showers were the nightmares of men and women? It seems like most people have had an encounter with the dreaded cold shower and they see fit to never have to repeat such a torture. So for them, my challenge almost constitutes self-torture, an extreme view, but no one enjoys nightmares.

Last night, I finally got some decent sleep, wasn’t even thinking about the icy shower, so it looks like the nightmare is fading. The next morning, I turned on the cold water, jumped right in, and tried not to think about it. Of course, the water was cold initially but after about a minute it didn’t feel cold at all. I mean it was cold, but I actually started questioning how cold it actually was. I kept feeling the water with my hands and thinking well it feels cold. However, my body felt neural, even warm at times. I had to keep moving around to let the cold water freeze different areas of my body. I don’t know if the water wasn’t as cold or that some good old-fashion sleep helped me out, but I definitely didn’t find the cold shower painfully hard. Quite the opposite it felt good and refreshing.

Beforehand, while I was debating with a family member over my challenge, one quote kept popping up in my head. This quote has been plastered up on my white board for most of last year. Every time I started faltering or making excuses at college, I would repeat the quote to myself. To me, it has a powerful meaning on what truly defines every individual.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

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