142 on the scales. Just as I predicted.

I am so glad of yesterday. It was an easy fast day, no struggle and today I feel all that lightness and clarity again. It’s really hard to explain but I suspect it’s this feeling of light and clarity that is the purpose behind a lot of the religious fasting out there. It makes you feel very different. Having fasted for religious reasons in the past I know that that adds an extra dimension to it. You feel extremely God-conscious and fasting helps to make you feel pure, somehow. Fasting not for religious reason (as I am now) it still makes you feel pure and clear in the head somehow. That’s got nothing to do with the self-denial, I don’t mean you feel pure in a psychological or spiritual sense I mean in a physiological, physical sense.It’s like the opposite of a hangover. It’s definitely a sense of well-being.  It must be just hormonal changes but it’s quite amazing.

Anyway, today is a food day so no self-denial and I need to get necessary nutrition in to tide me over fasting tomorrow. I didn’t wake up ragingly hungry this morning so a small breakfast looking out into the dappled sunlight in the garden was a real treat.  I’ve definitely got that mood-enhancing kick again. It’s not quite euphoria (maybe next week I’ll get that) but it’s certainly better already. I feel good again.

I have a hunch that what anorexics are really doing (at an unconscious level, before they interpret their behaviour as being about getting skinny) is fasting in order to get that euphoric boost. Of course it doesn’t feel like euphoria because you are so far down low that it just about brings you up to normal. It’s using fasting as an anti-depressant. Anorexia has been around a lot longer than size zero has been fashionable. Men get it, people in fat-admiring cultures get it, I got it without wanting to be skinny – i think it’s a pavlov-style learned response to feeling terribly depressed and fasting makes that feeling go away. Of course what anorexics DON’T know is that you can have that without starving yourself every day until your body consumes itself.  Anorexics don’t know when (or how) to stop.

I’m not saying it’s just that alone (there are many other things playing along it) or that this is the complete explanation but I think it’s a big part of the drive to not eat –  an addiction to the euphoric  (or in their case normalising) effects of fasting.  Since I’m not depressed, the fasting just makes me feel extra groovy.

Also, when I woke up this morning, I was daydreaming a bit and noticed that my heartrate was rather slow. Checking against my watch, my heart rate this morning was 54 beats per minute.

According to the table below, that would make me an athlete for my age

AGE 18 -25 26 -35 36 -45 46 – 55 56 -65 65+
ATHLETE 54-60 54-59 54-59 54-60 54-59 54-59
EXCEL’T 61-65 60-64 60-64 61-65 60-64 60-64
GOOD 66-69 65-68 65-69 66-69 65-68 65-68
ABOVE AV 70-73 69-72 70-73 70-73 69-73 69-72
AVERAGE 74-78 73-76 74-78 74-77 74-77 73-76
BELOW AV 79-84 77-82 79-84 78-83 78-83 77-84
POOR 85+ 83+ 85+ 84+ 84+ 84+

I know that redued heartrate is a symptom of fasting and reduced heartrate is also a sign of fitness. The two are not necessarily the same thing. It’s not clear whether fasting makes the heart strong or if it just slows the heart rate. I don’t feel any different (I’m not woozy or tired or anything) but I also very much doubt I’m as fit as an athlete.

Eats: tea | hm muesli roll w/cherry jam | banana | salad w/houmous | strawberry & apple juice | fizzy sweets | hm lamb curry | hm naan bread | hm pilau rice | poppadums | hm sag aloo

Exercise: cycle into town and back (40 minutes) | amble around town (1 hour)