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Fasting is endlessly slow

In this week's Everything King, Wendy suffers through a 24-hour fast
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There is nothing fast about it.

Do you have any idea how long 24 hours is with no food?

It is approximately 422 hours, give or take.

The longest day of the year is not the first day of summer. No, it is a day devoid of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

I recently lived through one of these torturous days and nights in advance of a medical procedure. I will let you guess which one that might be.

For some reason the thought of not being allowed to eat anything sent me into a tailspin.

It's not like I could not sustain myself from the fat of the land, so to speak.

There is absolutely no reason why I should be so paranoid about it and yet I am.

I come from a long line of moms and grandmas who encouraged eating.

“You have to eat!”

“You better take a snack with you in case you have a weak spell.”

“You better have something to tide you over until dinner.”

“Always have food with you in case you get stuck on the highway.”

So, I come by it naturally.

Do you know what you see everywhere when you are fasting? Food commercials.  

I was trying to distract myself with television, but every commercial break was filled with juicy steaks and hamburgers. Even that new service that will bring me the food, but wants me to cook it myself, was looking inviting.

I switched to Facebook. Well, that was a ridiculous move. There they all were. All those gorgeous photos of your dinners. Gosh, they looked yummy. Food seen from all angles. Even the blurry ones looked tasty.

When you are restricted to literally three food groups (and none of those are actually food) clear broth, Jell-O and Popsicles (but not red) you start to try to figure out ways to cheat. 

What if I crunched on a couple of crickets? There are people who swear by bug snacks. (OK, I may be losing it.)

And why is everything I like red?

Jell-O, I only like red. On my best day, I can’t stomach green.

Popsicles, it's hard to find a clear one. All the yummy ones are red and purple.

Liquids. I like tomato juice, preferably served up as a Caesar. 

But, no. The medical community insists on colourless, tasteless choices. 

Being hungry makes me a most unpleasant person. Ask anyone who knows me.

'Hangry' is an actual impediment.

It makes a person want to lash out at people (especially if they happen to be holding a hot dog).

Hunger makes me weak and sad and weepy.

I can’t count the number of times friends have offered me a treat just to shut me up.

Do you know what kept me sane for those empty hours?

Thinking of what I would eat post fast and post haste!

I’m not proud of this. I know it’s a weakness.

Food, of course, is way more than nourishment. It is such a big part of our social life. Everything is based on where we will go to eat or drink. Its what we turn to in times of great joy (cake for special occasions) and great sorrow (casseroles for funerals).

Food keeps us alive and will likely be the death of me, too.

If I have to go, though, let me go on a full stomach. You can’t be sure if in the afterlife there will be angel food cake or a lot of barbecue. 

I better put a cookie in my pocket for the trip.


About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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