If this is your first fast, I would recommend a very short fast to start with, especially if you rate high on the toxic list.
Even if you did not rate high on the toxic list, it is generally NOT A GOOD IDEA TO START ANY POTENTIALLY DIFFICULT UNDERTAKING AT AN EXTREME. If you decided to start jogging, you would not go out and run a 26.2 mile marathon as your first exercise would you?
You would start by running around the block. Then you would run one mile, then two, then three, until you gradually increased your endurance to the level that you desired. So it is with fasting.
You should not start with a 40 day fast. You may never want to attempt a 40 day fast, just as most joggers never attempt to run a 26 mile marathon. Most joggers run a few miles. That is sufficient to keep them in the physical condition that they desire. They do not wish to be in marathon condition.
You may have no desire (or need) for an extended fast. Fasting is a personal experience done for many different reasons. There is no reason why a healthy person could not jump straight into a long fast, if it is conducted correctly. Many of the health clinics that specialize in fasting cures would routinely put patients that had never fasted before on a 21 day water fast.
Remember, however, that those patients were monitored constantly by a professional. They were also usually secluded in a very peaceful and restful environment with an abundance of emotional support. It can be done without a doubt, but I do not recommend it.
Most who attempted a long fast (over 7 to 14 days) fail. The reason is not that they physically could not make it, but they psychologically fail.
Just as geese in formation can fly 75 percent farther than they can alone, the average person can fast better with someone else for support than they can alone.
Those in the Christian faith may say that Jesus was alone when he fasted for 40 days and nights in the wilderness. Well, he was not exactly alone, the devil was with him. (Luke 4:2). When you fast, temptation will walk side by side with you also.
Moses was alone when he fasted twice on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights with neither food nor water.
No! You can not fast without drinking water. Moses was in a mist or cloud in the presence of God. The mist watered Moses (Exodus 24:18). If you sat in a bathtub full of water, the water would saturate your skin. It may become wrinkled from water saturation or hydration. So it was with Moses in the midst of a mist.
Elijah was alone when he fasted for 40 days and nights during his journey through the desert (1 Kings 19:8).
However, most of us do not have the spiritual strength of the leaders of the Christian faith nor would any other followers of other faiths generally have the spiritual strength of the leaders of those faiths.
To fast alone is best from a spiritual view. During my longest fast, I went away alone. I left my wife and family. I explained that I needed to do as my spiritual leaders had done and go into the wilderness and to the mountains (to nature) and get away. They understood and gave me their blessings.
For the first half of my fast, I went to the ocean and for the second half I went to the mountains. Being alone allows you to reflect, pray, meditate, and deal with things within yourself that you can't accomplish in the constant company of others.
From a practical view it is more difficult to do anything alone versus having someone with you that is on the same accord. If you are new to fasting, it is always easier to have a partner to start with. As you become more experienced, the need for company will decrease.
When I mention partner, I always interject "on the same accord." It is critical that if you are going to tell people that you are going on a fast, they should be people that understand fasting.
Most Americans cringe at the thought of missing more than one day of eating. Many even cringe at not getting three full meals a day (not including snacks at night). Our entire society in inundated with messages of eating, eating and eating.
Watch television for an hour any day of the week. Notice how many commercials are devoted to food. If you tell someone that you will be fasting and they do not understand fasting, you are asking for trouble. They instantly assume that you will drop dead in a few days from starvation. Even if you are 50 pounds overweight, they will think that you will drop dead in a few days from starvation.
Most Americans know very little, if anything, about fasting. They view it as starvation and there are no positive benefits of starvation.
BE VERY CAREFUL
WHO YOU TELL ABOUT YOUR FAST
THEY MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND
If you fast with someone that is of the same understanding as you about fasting, both of you will strengthen the other. When one gets weak and wants to give up, the other encourages and vice a versa.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:17-18 NIV translation "But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
In this verse the Bible tells you many things about fasting. Some of those require deeper understanding but they coincide very well with what fasting experts say.
As I mentioned in the beginning, you may not be Christian, you may not be of any religion. The purpose of QUICK FASTING is not to preach to you about religion, but to educate you about how to fast. The Bible is the spiritual document that I believe in and know best. The references in other spiritual works do not contradict what the Bible says about fasting. It is not a coincidence that Ramadan (a mandatory fast each year for Islamics) is 40 days. The only specific number of days of fasts mentioned in the Bible is one day, seven days and 40 days.
I use a Christian scriptural reference because that is what I am. An Islamic would use references from the Quran and quotes from Mohammed. A Buddhist would use references from the words of Buddha, etc. Someone of no particular religion may simply rely on health data and results attained from others who have fasted.
Fasting works, whether you are an American Indian or from Zaire. Fasting works whether you are A.M.E., Baptist, C.O.G.I.C., or follow Zend-Avesta. Just as eating has certain benefits (or detriments depending on what you eat) that are independent of your religious beliefs, so does fasting.
Now that I've said that, maybe you will not be up in arms if I use a Biblical quote. Back to Matthew 6:17-18 "But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
There are several points here that correlate with what fasting experts tell you to do. You may have to stretch your mind and understanding to get the full impact and meaning of what is being said.
"Put oil on your head" or as The King James Version puts it, "But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head."
Jesus said to put oil on your head. This has a spiritual significance but I will discuss only the things that universally relate to fasting. Putting oil on during a fast has physical significance as well.
As I was preparing to fast for 40 days, I attended a function where perhaps one of the most famous of the modern day health gurus and, perhaps, the most recognized fasting expert appeared - Dick Gregory.
I was blessed to have a chance after the function for a long discussion with Dick Gregory. Gregory has one of the top selling diet formulas in health food stores (Dick Gregory's Bahamian Diet®). He also has some of the most amazing fasting stories that you will ever hear that include feats of endurance and walking hundreds of miles with NO FOOD. Many have read of his fasting exploits but it is still hard to believe.
Gregory was the one who gave me much of the insight about "asking a doctor." When people asked him if he consulted his doctor before the many fasts of his life, he replied, "Heck no." "My doctor has long been dead."
For most Americans, 40 days without food is almost impossible to believe. I was startled at some of the things he told me. Frankly I had a difficulty believing some of them, particularly concerning MY body. I began to research many of the things he shared, and found written references that verified virtually all he had elaborated upon.
One of the first things he told me was, "Get yourself some oil because a long fast will cause your skin to dry out."
Permit me, if you will, a digression here. I need to explain a little about myself and the way I think, my background and what qualifies me to tell you about fasting. There was no resume, or brief summary of the author at the beginning of QUICK FASTING. I think it is important for you to understand how I think. When you understand that, you can then understand my thinking process when Dick Gregory told me to get some oil.