When I decided to start a 10 day water fast, my goal was to clear up some physical issues that had been impacting my daily life for a while. I also set a goal to drop from 25% body fat to 10% by the end of the 10 days.
Things are still going about how I expected them to and I’m feeling fine with the way things are progressing. Today I went to the sauna to try and expel the remaining toxins from my body. While I was sitting in the sauna, I spent some time contemplating one of my original goals for this fast: reducing my body fat to 10%. I’ve had several people express concern about this goal, citing their knowledge that 25% body fat is normal for the average American male. That’s great, but the average American male is overweight, so why would I want to be average? Most people in the United States are overweight or even obese, so the average body fat percentage of an American is going to be higher than the healthy range. That’s just the way statistics work.
I certainly wasn’t going to let this idea of the “average American male” stop me from pursuing my goal of 10% body fat, but this goes deeper than just body fat. Whatever you want to do, whatever your goals are, don’t be average. I don’t like benchmarks and standards and averages. I don’t use them when I shoot, and I don’t use them when I’m teaching others to shoot. In general, people don’t work hard enough and being average just isn’t good enough. I’m not trying to be cynical, but when it comes to hard work, most people won’t put in the effort.
Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. Benchmarks and standards serve a purpose when they are your own. Whatever you are attempting to do or change, find your personal baseline, set your goal, and work on hitting your targets on the way to your goal. My goal was 10% body fat and once I envisioned and set that goal, I began working on my targets. Targets are what I do every day to work toward that goal. Today’s targets were the sauna, drinking water, exercising, and meditating. If I can hit those targets every day, my goal will be achieved. If I spend each day just focusing on my goal, nothing is going to happen, but if I develop a plan filled with targets, I can reach my goal.
If you do the same with your training, you’re going to see results. Set your goal, make your plan, and hit your targets every single day, or week, or however often you need to accomplish your goal.
Honestly, today was rough. I had very little energy, but I knew it was coming. This was the hard part in the middle that I talked about in Part 1 of this series. I’ll push through the day and tomorrow will be easier. One day closer to my goal.
My energy had dipped in the last few days, but I was able to manage a short run today to get my heart rate up. When I started this fast, I was planning to go for 10 days on just water. If anything went wrong, or my vitals became unhealthy, I would stop. But so far, everything has gone well. That said, I decided to stop fasting after day 10 because of an unplanned event. It’s in a few weeks and I’ll need that time to break my fast. If you want to exit your fast correctly, it takes time. You can’t go without food for 10 days and then hit McDonalds and expect your body to be OK. Fortunately, I have a fasting coach to help me re-introduce food and exit my fast safely.
It’s important to have a coach. They are critical no matter what you want to learn. It’s really the best thing you can do for yourself. Not only do they have the experience to share, but they can be a shoulder to lean on when you’re struggling. That’s what I try to be for my members and I hope they feel my coaching is an investment in themselves. Now, my coach and I had planned for a couple more days and, while a plan is important to your success, the ability to modify the plan is just as important. Things come up and you have to adapt by adjusting your plan. Find a good coach, make a plan in consultation with your coach, and then adapt and adjust as needed and everything will work out for you.
Tomorrow is the last day of my fast. I wanted to continue the fast for much longer, but life had other plans. Even with the change in plans, this is the longest I’ve ever gone on a water fast, so I’m happy with it. When I started this fast, I had a hiatal hernia, which is now gone. I had borderline hypertension of 135/80 and this morning my blood pressure was 110/69, which is the lowest it’s been in a while. The best news, though, is that my colitis has cleared up in the last 10 days.
Fasting is a great way to reset your system and our bodies were built for it. They store the excess we consume as fat and, when we stop fueling our bodies, they live off the reserve we’ve accumulated. If you aren’t ready for a fast like the one I just did, I encourage you to just try intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast one day a week. Allow your body some time to adjust and calm down from the constant barrage of stuff you’re putting in it. Let it do what it’s supposed to do so you can become a warrior.
If, like me, you believe that you are the weapon and anything you put in your hands is just a tool, then you need to make sure that that weapon is functioning properly. Proper functioning is critical to being a good shooter, athlete, father or spouse. Before I started this fast, I didn’t have the energy to be good at any of those things; I was mentally and physically checked out. Then I started my fast and it helped me focus again. Yes, I was hungry and, yes, my energy levels were lower at times, but the results were well worth the headaches and hunger pangs. I know I’m better now than I was 10 days ago and I’m back on track to being the warrior I know I am. Until next time, keep paving your path to perfection.