What is Ramadan?
Glad you asked.
The short version is, Ramadan is about fasting and spiritual growth. And it occurs in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
What’s more, it lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on when the new crescent moon is visible. You can learn more about Ramadan at this link.
The #RamadanFast Team
Two Christian members of the GV Wire team, video producer Jamie Ouverson and social marketing strategist Charles Adkins, decided to join the fast. For them, it’s an experiment. But for GV Wire Publisher Darius Assemi, Ramadan is one of the five pillars of his Islam faith.
We encourage you to follow their #RamadanFast experiences. And if you’re thinking of shedding pounds, why not join them?
They’ll be posting their thoughts and experiences in this space throughout Ramadan. In addition, Darius, Jamie and Charles would love to hear from you, too.
Click on the video above to hear from the #RamadanFast team members.
#Ramadan Fast Begins
Day 5 — 7:53 a.m.: The changing of my sleep pattern is really starting to wear on my energy levels. I’m a person that generally eats dinner around 5:30 p.m. and is in bed by 9 p.m., then back up in the morning at 5 a.m. Now that I am having to wait until 8:05 p.m. to eat dinner. That keeps me awake until 1 a.m 2 a.m. and then I need to wake up again before 5 a.m. to be sure to eat before the sun rises.
This weekend was extremely difficult. I decided it best that I just stay inside my house all weekend and rest instead of trying to go out and be tempted by the world around me. I haven’t seen a huge amount of weight loss, about 2 pounds. I can assume from what I know about the human body that a lack of sleep makes it harder to shed weight. So so that could be a culprit as to why I am not losing as much as I assumed I would.
My sense of smell is definitely increasing and it seems as though I can smell food or freshly brewed coffee a full city block away at all times, which feels a bit like a superpower. On the downside, if I had to go on a flight right now I would be charged extra to check these bags under my eyes in as luggage.
If I could get to some kind of a regular sleep schedule I think it would make things quite a bit easier.
Day 1 – 7:30 a.m: I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. just to get up and grab a quick breakfast. I figured I would go with oatmeal with some bananas to see if that will sustain me through the day. While eating I started searching for an app, because there’s an app for everything, that tracks the correct fasting times based on my location, and of course, I found one. It looks like today I won’t be eating again until 8:01 p.m. On the upside, I realized I woke up way too early to make the cutoff for morning time; the app said I had until 5:44 a.m.
As I’m writing this it is a little strange not to have my customary Trenta black iced coffee sitting on my desk and the magical powers it possesses to bring me to life in the morning. I think this Ramadan fast may work as a great springboard to help me kick the caffeine habit, which is something I have been wanting to do for a while now. If I can handle 30 days without it, I don’t see a reason to go back.
Will There Be Weight Loss?
On a side note, I did weigh myself this morning, and although I don’t plan on announcing that atrocious number to the world, I will let everyone know if there is any significant weight loss that comes from this experiment. My fear on that front is that I am going to be sitting in front of a restaurant waiting for the clock to hit 8:01 p.m. and immediately ruining my good works of the day. So again, this will be a test of my overall discipline, and I’m going to try my best not to make it about gaming the system and canceling out the health benefits that should be expected.
I already know this is going to be 90% mental for me, maybe closer to 99% mental. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I ate because I was actually hungry. It always seems to come from boredom or to have “something to do” while I work, or just because I will see the time on the clock and think to myself, “well, I guess it’s an appropriate time to eat.” To assuage the annoyance of my brain based cravings, I plan on reading some books when I take a lunch break or when I find myself getting fidgety about food. Maybe this way I can knock out some of my “to read” list as a side effect of keeping myself occupied.
Until my next check-in, happy fasting!
Day 1 — 4:56 p.m.:
I wake up with a dry throat, that has that itch in the back of it that you can’t get to go away even when you try to hack up a lung… I think “a glass of water could really help my problem” but decide against it because I would be breaking my #ramadanfast within the first 5 minutes it started. Weird thoughts go through your mind when you’re thirsty. Thoughts like “When I’m taking a shower, if some water slips into my mouth does that mean I broke my fast?”
Probably only if I did it intentionally. How do you unintentionally get water into your mouth without premeditating the strategy and outcome? I figured out the answer, it would have to be a natural occurrence like rain, and as I ran to my car from my office’s front door, my mouth would open to breathe and then a drop of water would accidentally fly into my mouth and cure all my water deprivation problems. But I live in Fresno and the chances of rain during MAY is basically 1 in a million. I will have to settle with being thirsty all day. I hate settling.
Big Day and I’m Low on Fuel
The first day of my #RamadanFast happened to be a field shoot day meaning I had to lug 2 tons of equipment to another location other than my studio (my job is video productions). As I was preparing for my shoot at the CHSU College of Pharmacy to interview students of the first graduating class EVER, 30 boxes of pizza were delivered and the smell of crispy pepperoni, greasy cheese, and Italian spices filled the entire building.
The aroma was so strong that it was able to seep through the walls of my secluded space. My stomach started to growl. This is when the unspeakable happened (hence why I’m writing it). I was focused on pizza and trying to go over the interview questions with one of the CHSU staff members, my video camera sitting on a perfectly stable tripod behind us, toppled over like a ghost had pushed it and slammed to the ground. My heart stopped and I turned to see my camera laying their like roadkill. In that moment, I forgot entirely about my hunger because adrenaline kicked in. Adrenaline can do wonders for one’s waistline. When I picked up my camera, it was broken along with my heart. Can’t a girl get a break on her first day of FASTING!!
There are still 29 days left. We will see how the days will follow.