If we had to identify the chief attribute that separates The Exceptionally Bright from The Sporadically Astute — and, need we add, The Invincibly Ignorant —it would have to be that they truly get the futility of rushing into anything as life-changing as Fasting half-assed. They know that understanding and arguing out all the pros and cons – appreciating the sacrifices as well as the benefits –is work that must be done before coming up with a plan, setting a goal and setting dates to accomplish that goal. If that strikes you as brutally simplistic, here’s what they also know: what questions they need to ask to find out what questions they need to ask. Or, as former US Secretary Of State Donald Rumsfeld so elegantly put it: “ …there are known knowns, there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns, that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns –the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” Here’s where to begin with Fasting:
Thing # 1 Buy A Conscience (Cheap)
Clive James was an Exceptionally Bright literary critic –despite the handicap of being born Australian—who felt it was his job to alert the world to the finest art of his time so that nothing got lost. And yet, he believed that no one consciously got fat: “You roll out of bed one day and you are fat. Period. ” No warning. Total surprise. How could a man so aware of the big picture not know that the many-chinned fatty in the tight suit he heard people whispering about in the halls was in fact –eek !—he, himself? If he’d simply taken time out from criticizing to purchase a Big Chief tablet and got into the habit of writing down his daily weight, his measurements , his intake of food/liquids , how he felt before and after exercise — a 10 minutes a day habit , at most–…well, the unfortunate truth is he still would have fallen out of bed one day weighed down with belly ballast and an extra chin because at some point he would get busy, start overindulging and stop entries into his Big Chief. But at the very least it wouldn’t come as a surprise, simply because it’s also true that during the inevitable stretch of choosing too liberally from Satan’s family-sized menu of depraved excesses, rarely –make that not ever –would a grim morning-after arrive when he wouldn’t think of his Big Chief, sulking alone in a drawer. And if not then, then most certainly in that terrifying moment while shaving the latest chin the gaze wanders and takes in the hideous truth writ large. Once you ingrain the habit of keeping a daily journal of your physical and mental states and statistics, it will forever serve as your conscience. Unconvinced? Read on :
Thing # 2: Confessing To Big Chief The Bitter Truth
Buy a reliable digital scale and put it where you cannot avoid seeing it –in the bathroom, next to the bed, in the refrigerator or, if need be, on the dining room table. Buy a good full length, distortion-free mirror –50 bucks on Amazon. Finally, a 60-inch soft vinyl tailor’s measuring tape. For a week or ten days before beginning a fast –when you are eating normally and perhaps occasionally bingeing on the very stuff you know you need to avoid forever – weigh yourself when you first get up, after exercise, and in the late afternoon or just before bed. Write It Down In Your Big Chief! Get in the habit of standing naked before the mirror each day. The initial shock or nausea wears off as the habit becomes familiar. However, as the too true truism tells us: familiarity breeds contempt. Despite what our PC culture preaches, negative motivators are often the best motivators. If you are among the very few who are quite pleased with what you see, see an Ophthalmologist MD rather than an Optometrist OD –you may have diabetes which can distort images. Also, check your Paxil or Zoloft dosages. If you are still rating yourself in the OK to the fabulous range, see above about familiarity. In any case, make sure to write down what is least and most objectionable in the reflection, what you’d like to see change, how an objective observer might rate your form. Even if you believe your reflection could potentially rid the world of peeping toms –write down your impressions. Here’s why– Fasting will definitely alter your shape –for the much better if you exercise –that’s a guarantee. However, the process of writing down your impressions creates a mental image that will stay with you when temptation strikes or when you find yourself making excuses for not exercising. If that sounds a bit abstract, here’s how to keep it real : Regularly—at the beginning and end of a fast and especially after any weight fluctuation–stand in front of the mirror and measure yourself top to bottom: neck, chest, ribs, stomach, waist, buttocks, thighs, calves, ankles, right arm, left arm, right wrist, left wrist. Measure everything that changes shape when you breathe — fully inhaled and fully exhaled. Everything else flexed and unflexed. And, of course, write it all down –date and hour–in your Big Chief! Figure and write down your BMI (google it –it’s easy to calculate ) Measuring yourself with calipers is also a no-brainer. Extraordinary measurements like submerging yourself in water to get an absolutely accurate measurement seems a waste of effort, but if it floats your behind –do it. For the best and worst ways to measure yourself read this short piece in Health http://bit.ly/2JdVbO9 Measuring yourself is a discipline which really makes sense when you lose substantial weight and discover measurements that don’t change. These are obviously the areas to target when exercising. If after fasting you are dismayed to discover your bullfrog grade double chin has turned into a pendulous turkey neck and marked it down as genetic bad luck of the draw—think again! The correct exercises can change anything. Many diet and fitness programs suggest taking nude selfies. Good idea, we suppose, if the camera is not connected to any other electronic device. And you own a safe only you can open and a stretch of secluded land where you can bury the safe. There are no statistics –at least public—how many have had to give up hopes of elected office or jobs involving contact with other humans because their “Before” selfies were floating around in cyberspace, or stolen by vengeful “ex”. Also, no matter how remote or implausible the possibility seems, some people apparently get the urge to “share” their selfies –in some instances after a single shot of gin. (Google: Anthony Weiner—The Selfie Years) Going through the mental exercise of finding the words to describe your naked self objectively is best, simply because those words will return to haunt or inspire whenever you get off track. Promise.
Thing # 3 Don’t See ANY Doctor
In “Fast Diets For Dummies” it states: “Before you start any fasting protocol, consult your doctor. If you have any health issues [like Type 2-Diabetes, Cancer, Lupus, HIV/ AIDS, Pregnancy or Childhood Obesity] that you think may be aggravated by fasting, be sure to discuss them with your doctor as well. And feel free to bring this book to your next visit and discuss the various options with your doctor, so that he or she can help you decide if fasting is right for you, and if so, which fasting course is the best fit for you.” First of all, if you have any of the above “health issues” and haven’t been discussing your diet with your doctor, find another doctor. Second, on exactly what planet do the inhabitants bring in their “for Dummies” books to discuss with their doctors? Here on earth, doctors –at least the competent ones—are extremely busy people who, if nothing else, know how to tell you in the nicest way possible that they are there to assess your complaints/issues , state the current state of knowledge to alleviate said complaints/ issues, tell you what to do or take or who else to see and really don’t want to discuss what you heard on Oprah or what you saw on a subway ad and especially not what you read in a “Fast Diets for Dummies book.” This is not to single out the “Fast Diets For Dummies’ book, because virtually every diet and fitness pamphlet say the same thing – in the belief (mistaken) that everything must come with a warning label. Or dumber still, that this will provide cover for them if they are ever taken to court. But here are our thoughts : We specified our book on fasting was for the Exceptionally Bright and if you have Type 2 Diabetes and decided at any point in your life to try a lemon juice /maple syrup Master Cleanse diet, we wish you God Speed but also want to point out you are a moron and this book is not for you—that’s A. It should be pointed out, however, that Dr. Jason Fung, a leading kidney specialist, has been successfully treating thousands of Type 2 diabetics with fasting which we reference below. Next, if you are Exceptionally Bright you are aware that there is no such thing as a definitive DOCTOR. There are obese ones and skinny ones, dumb ones and smart ones, some who smoke and others who live to drink. For the right money, you can find a doctor who will supply you with industrial strength Opioids or will agree to give you another facelift even if your belly button is now above your tits. Worse still, it is estimated that in the 9 years of education it takes to become a medical specialist on average less than 5 hours total are devoted to nutrition. Our point is if you go to a morbidly obese MD, don’t expect him to tell you fasting is a great idea. On the other hand : If, for example, you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and your thyroid are low this is essential information that shows up in blood tests. Since we live in the most litigious society in history, the doctor is duty bound to prescribe the agreed upon pill to combat the condition or possibly never see the outside of a courtroom again. As you grow older, the pills multiply. The problem with all this pill taking is that no one can tell you how all these medications are interacting with each other and most particularly your individual and particular condition(s). At best, the medical/ pharmaceutical professions can give percentages—drug A is effective in 69% of the case and so forth –ergo in effect when you are taking pills you are entering into a lottery. That is not to suggest drugs haven’t performed life restoring miracles but, in truth, pill taking remains essentially a lottery. One of the chief benefits of fasting and cleansing the system according to a preponderance of evidence –which we reference below and throughout — is to strengthen the immune system and ideally eliminate as many pills as possible. If nothing else, when and if you contract a serious, life-threatening condition the medications they prescribe will have a higher probability of working simply because they won’t have to interact with all the other chemicals you might be ingesting. Therefore, the Exceptionally Bright person who wants to put off becoming a patient for as long as possible, should take great interest in the results of his blood tests, question whatever medications that are prescribed and look up the literature on those medications. Being Exceptionally Bright you no doubt know all of this. But now you know that all this information should be entered into your Big Chief!
Thing # 4 Start NOW Drinking A LOT of Water
Eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day was the standard since the day Ol’ Doc Hippocrates hung out his shingle in the agora around 375 BC. Now the thinking is you really should drink half an ounce of water for every pound you weigh. And when you fast that doubles. That’s right! you really, really need to drink one ounce per pound. That not only takes discipline it takes scheduling –when to drink and where you are going to be after you drink.
In Pursuit of Civility; Manners and Civilization in Early Modern England by Oxford historian Keith Thomas (Yale Press 2018) the reader learns that in 1615 an English traveler in Turkey noticed with astonishment that Turks withdrew to urinate, rather than just piss against the nearest wall. As we know the custom eventually took hold in England and was retained by American Colonists (e.g. Freedom to Piss Against The Nearest Wall was not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence ) However, in 2017, Mayor De Blasio of New York City declared that restricting the citizenry to indoor facilities was a hardship on the poor, undocumented, homeless and sanitation people who had to clean the very few remaining public toilets. The point is if you are drinking an ounce of water for every pound you weigh you should either move to NYC, push to get the laws changed where you live or plan your daily travel carefully.
Purchase two 101.4 ounces, 3 liters, bottles of Poland Spring (or whatever) and plan how much an hour you will have to drink to finish them in one day. Simple. The good news is drinking that much water fills you up and promotes the cleansing process—much more so while fasting. Better yet, if you have a soda or fruit drink addiction –they’re soon gone. Among many other scientifically proven benefits the practice lowers the risk of hypertension, bladder disorders, and bowel cancer. It lowers the risk of heart attack by as much as 40 percent while increasing your metabolic rate by 24 percent. It retards the aging process and moistens and softens the skin so that you look visibly younger. All well and good, but if you’re not drinking anything close to that amount of water now, getting into the habit when you first begin to fast will only add to your initial feelings of hardship. Start today, actually this minute Next, we suggest while at home that you piss back into the bottles. What? Really? Yes, really! It’s not only a lot more convenient it ’s the best way to measure your drinking levels and most of all it also will show you how the cleansing process is progressing. When you completely de-toxify your system your urine will become completely clear. But it gets better, especially for anyone getting on in years. When you get up in the middle of the night to take a leak –and you will, often—you won’t have to travel any distance to relieve yourself. This is particularly a blessing for anyone prone to nightmares –especially those quitting smoking and on a cigarette patch. Stumbling down a long, dark hall is bad enough. Being chased by vampires or serenaded by the ghost of Jack Benny or Jimmy Durante can make getting back to sleep problematic. If this tip makes you squeamish –too bad. Bedside pissing should be a recognized right.
(Note: whether or not women can piss in a Poland Spring bottle is something our research team was unable to determine at press time—mainly because female respondents said if they were going to discuss the issue the last people they’d discuss it with would be members of our research staff. However, when informed that ornate chamber pots regularly retail for $2500 or more with antique collectibles going for auction for many times that amount, many seemed intrigued there was something expensive they could purchase they’d never heard about before )
Victorian Humor: Peeing On Napoleon $2500 @ Sotheby’s
Thing # 5 Watch Videos, Read Books
Recommended Videos FASTING –Valter Longo, Ph.D.- 2017 1 hour 41 minutes, Available Free on Amazon Prime or Disk THE SCIENCE Of FASTING – Sylvie Gilman, Thierry de Lestrade – 2016, 56 minutes, Available Free on Amazon Prime Or Disk Recommended Reading The Fasting Cure by Upton Sinclair, 1911, on Kindle. The great muckraker who Time Magazine called “a man with every gift except humor and silence” in 1911 wrote this fascinating testament to the curative powers of fasting in an age when obesity was considered simply a matter of willpower because so few were actually fat. Well researched, of course, and as relevant today as it was 100 + years ago. The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda, Ph.D. 2016, on Kindle. Professor Of Genomic Studies at the Salk Institute, San Diego California. A thoroughly researched and documented book on Fasting, Fasting Mimicking Diets, as well as, the best to maintain weight through time-restricted eating patterns. The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease and Optimize Weight by Valter Longo, Ph.D. 2018 on Kindle All you need to know and then some. The Complete Guide To Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung, Jimmy Moore 2016 on Kindle. Dr. Fung is a Toronto based nephrologist who has treated more than 1000 patients with alternate day, intermittent and extended fasting; his chief concerns are combatting Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity
Thing # 6 Get A Cat. Or Not.
The Brain is our most important organ. Wait! Before reflexively nodding in mindless agreement, consider the organ that’s telling you that. Isn’t this the same absurd organ that has a long disreputable history of talking you into saying and doing things that later seem beyond belief? And then has had the temerity to excuse IT-self with a flippant: “You must’ve been out of your skull !”? The organ that has come up with excuses so flimsy only IT would believe them? How to humor and negotiate with this too often ridiculous and unreliable IT is something we’ll return to often –with any luck when IT is out of the room—but let’s begin here: People have been fasting since the beginning of recorded time to gain insights into their place in the cosmos, access their innermost thoughts, contemplate a new direction in life…Why? The simple answer is that when people don’t have to think about what they’re going to eat next they have a helluva lot of spare time think of other things. If your immediate response is: yay, movies! Or you think you’ll spend most of the time thinking of what you’re going to eat when you can eat again, quite a number of other things are going on which make the answer much more complicated and far more fascinating : Fasting vastly expands awareness of all your senses, vital organs, and bodily functions. You see things clearer, smells are more poignant, accustomed sounds can suddenly startle but as an added bonus music becomes a double pleasure. You are not just cleansing and detoxifying, you are in effect having a conversation with your entire being. Most people find that this state of heightened awareness is the ideal time to tackle a complicated problem, learn a new skill, read something challenging, complete a project for work. Or, perhaps, talk to God. Whatever you think of organized religion, or for that matter Alcoholics Anonymous, the practitioners of each have discovered that the most effective way to change one’s life is to speak to Higher Power. Whether this conversation is profitable or self-demeaning psycho-babble is not of utmost importance –it will at times be both. That it is effective is beyond dispute. Tennis and martial art coaches, music and advanced math teachers, writing and painting instructors –to name just a few—suggest imagining a conversation with a grandmaster or most admired example of the discipline. And if that isn’t working, an imaginary other who will coach you 24/7, tell you the truth, encourage you when you want to quit…you get the idea. In any case, long and short, after thinking about God, Higher Powers, Mythical Creatures Grand Masters, Imaginary Coaches, we decided to make a compromise, of sorts. We hired basically an intern who on paper seemed the ideal candidate. He was the son of Russian Immigrants who were huge, fierce, no-nonsense workaholics employed by tough waterfront bar owners to rid their premises of rats and bad drunks. We suspected a mouse problem — among many other problems at the time—and in the spirit of glasnost and perestroika named the cat Kilmouski In the space of a few weeks, it became apparent Kilmouski had no interest in mice at all, least of all pursuing and disposing of them. His favorite activities are sleeping and eating followed by a lot more sleeping and eating. He is today easily the most indolent, ungrateful creature in captivity, and to top it all off immensely vain despite a hard to ignore and quite serious weight problem. He calls us The Can Opener: K: Cheese? Can Opener: I needed a taste of protein, a bit of energy. K: You have got to be joking. That’s a veritable round, no that’s a firkin of hard cheese. We’ll have to seal off the bathroom, issue earplugs to the neighbors, alert the bomb squad that the detonations are friendly fire. C.O. : Shut Up! K: Open a can, fill my bowl and then you shut up CO: No, you shut up. K: I will not shut up until you shut up. One hour later : CO: Please, for God’s sake, shut up K: No, you shut up. Perhaps a contentious cat is not an ideal fasting coach. However, dogs agree with everything you say. Facebook friends can be mindlessly hurtful, moody, jealous, disloyal, full of bad advice –you name it. Forming a club or group adds a tedious dynamic Truth is, fasting is often an intensely personal journey. Taking out frustrations and failures on a cat is better than shouting at the all too familiar figure in the full-length mirror. Your call.