Now, let me make a distinction. There's two types of suffering. We're not talking about the suffering where you just stay stuck in your problem and accept it for what it is and never move forward. You accept your lot in life that you are an anxious person, a depressed person, a fat person, a skinny person, a happy person, a sad person, and that's it. And there's nothing you can do about it and this is your life. No, we're not talking about that kind of suffering ritual. Destructive suffering we'll come into later.
We're talking about the kind of suffering which is illustrated a lot in stoicism, the kind of suffering where you face the things that you're scared of, whether that be going without food, going without water, and going without air for a period of time. You face those kind of things and you face them to realize that, actually, there's a kind of beauty in that suffering, the kind of suffering you'll get from fasting, be that food, the kind of suffering you'll get by actually facing your problems, turning off all distractions, and just allowing it to come for you without having to use some magical tools like hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming, or some kind of other change. But actually, feeling it, accepting it because these emotions, these things come to go. They do not come to stay. That's different.
So that's what today's podcast is going to be about. But first of all, a big thank you to everybody who has been downloading and subscribing to these podcasts on iTunes or whatever format that you've been using, leaving your five stars and your written reviews. Thank you so very much. What inspires me to put out this free content, put out these free podcasts, that I know that you've enjoyed them because they've been downloaded well over 1,000 times now, is to know that they are being downloaded, to know that you are enjoying them. And how I know that is when you leave five-star reviews, when you leave a couple of sentences to say what you like about the shows, that motivates me, that inspires me to want to put out more content, to communicate with you guys more regularly. So that's how I win here. That's how it becomes win-win. It becomes a win for you because I put out all this great content that I know you're enjoying. The win for me is to know that you're actually enjoying it.
So iTunes or whatever format that you're using [inaudible 00:02:54] and we can get more people listening to this and spread the good word. So please keep doing that. Also, I offer a Power Session. What a Power Session is, is 30 minutes via Skype with me no matter where you are in the world, where we get to talk about something that you're stuck with and ideally help you to become unstuck with it, much like the show title says. And what you need to do to claim your free Power Session with me, which is very, very powerful and can change your life, is simply when you've left your five-star review on iTunes or whatever format that you've used and you've left a couple of sentences, shoot me an email at mail@lukenosis, firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know. Send me a snapshot of it. And then from there, we actually book in your Skype session.
But back on with the show -- suffering. Now, I'll give you an example of this. Recently, I've done a three-day water fast where all I drank was water. I had no calories for 72 hours. Now, I did this for a couple of reasons. Over the Christmas and so forth, as most people do, I overindulge and I'm absolutely okay with doing that for a few days. And I know that weight comes, and that weight goes just almost as quickly as it comes. So that wasn't the main reason for me to do it as part of a weight loss program, although it can be very powerful. One of my reasons for fasting with no food for three days was to see if I could do it. Because it was something that, yes, of course, I know that people have been able to do it and survive, and be absolutely okay with it. Logically, I knew that. But I didn't know that I could do it.
See, my record for fasting was many years ago. In fact, about 16 years ago, I fasted for about 61 hours and it was absolutely brutal. And the reason I stopped is because I started to get very lightheaded and hallucinate on the subway, or the tube system in England, which is not too healthy. But I decided to do this after doing research about fasting, and how it works and how, in fact, the World Record for fasting is approximately 386 days without any ill effect whatsoever. That's documented out there. And my fear also was, with fasting, that I would lose muscle mass. And in reality, when you look at the science behind it, you can go at least four weeks for most of us, the average person, and not lose any muscle at all as long as you're continuing to work out, if indeed you do work out, to preserve that lean muscle. So you wouldn't even lose muscle even if you fasted for four weeks, which is an extreme.
But the purpose of it, I [inaudible 00:05:34] wanted to see that I could do it, and I wanted to see that it was something that I was running from that I wasn't aware that I could do it, and I wanted that experience of doing it. So I did it. I limited the stresses of my life for a period of three days and I just drank water, and it was quite something. And I've got to be honest, over that period of three days, I probably only legitimately got tummy-hungry three times in 72 hours. And the hunger lasted, really, a couple of minutes and then it just bypassed from there. So it was quite something.
Once I got through that first day and when I got through that second day, which was the biggest challenge for me, and I got to that third day, I realized I could do this. It was possible. And I could live my life. I didn't have to necessarily be a hermit, I still trained, I still went out, I still worked, and I could do this. And it was a level of suffering that I was giving up something that we all do and we all take for granted, eating and eating too much, and thinking we need to eat way, way more food and way more regularly than we actually need. But when I took all that time away and didn't eat for 72 hours, for three days, I realized, "Wow. Yes, I am suffering in this moment. But there's a kind of beauty in this suffering."
There's a kind of spirituality, even if you believe in such a thing, in doing this that I… This thing that I'd feared, this thing that I was led to believe that I needed every day, multiple times a day, being a personal trainer in the past, eating six times a day, "You need to do that to speed up your metabolism," I realized it was all bullshit. And at the end of the three days, I'd lost 13 pounds, most of it being water weight. But my strength hadn't gone down. My muscles hadn't reduced. But I'd just overcome this temporary suffering in order to have this breakthrough in my life, and that's the kind of suffering I'm talking about.
An interesting thing that I did in the fasting when it was getting a little challenging for me in around about the 34 to 38-hour period, I thought, "Well, this is getting a little tough for me now." But it was only a thought inside my head. "But I know that I can go days without eating." So what I did then was I had a bath, and I held my head under the water and realized that although I could go days, weeks, potentially a year without eating, I could only go minutes without breath. And suddenly, as I held my breath, again, not to do any form of self-harm but to have a moment of suffering to put my life in [prospectus], when I held my breath for approximately a minute or so, I realized that's all that I could do. And in that minute, I forgot all about food. I forgot all about eating, and all I wanted was a breath. All I wanted was air.
And it really started to put my life into [prospectus], all these things that we take for granted. And it goes back to a story that, a couple of years ago, I'd had many problems with food throughout my whole life, being overweight, underweight, being in okay shape, and doing this yo-yo [over] many times. And before I go into this story, please bear in mind, this is not a podcast about weight loss, this is not a podcast about eating. It just so happens that some of these stories that have happened to me, as far as kind of suffering, are illustrated in restricting food or not eating and fasting. But this is not solely about weight loss. Please, please, bear that in mind.
And I remember, a few years ago, I had lost weight and gained weight my whole life, and I decided I just didn't want this problem anymore. I didn't want the problem of overeating anymore, being addicted to sugar. I just, "Give me a new set of problems, but I'm sick of this problem." So I determined that I just was… Whatever this thing was that was causing me to overeat, to eat too much sugar, to feel shitty, this thing that I was telling myself that when I ate too much sugar, I felt good, it was only there to really suppress my emotions and prevent me from feeling something, something that I was scared of. So it was a way to avoid this suffering, this suffering of facing whatever it was that I needed to face inside my head.
Stay tuned next week for part 2.