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Gender: Female
Hometown: South East Michigan
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Jul 27, 2004, 01:19 PM
Number of posts: 10,559

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Ramadan: Day 10 - Tired and Hungry, But Thirsty is the Worst

A third of the way through, and decided to post an update for those curious.

It's been good. Turned out I had the wrong calendar for sunrise/sunset (zip code typo maybe?), so it was only the first day I was up in the 3:30 am range - now I am staying in bed until 4:10 am! Woo hoo? Lol! Since the days are getting shorter, fast is getting shorter, too: today is from 4:51 am to 8:57 pm.

I have lost maybe one pound. I am noticing (same as the last three years) my "automatic moves" toward some of my bad eating habits: grabbing "junk" when I am bored, a fondness for chips, and the extra calories in my unnecessary but oh so beloved caffeinated frappe drinks. Fortunately, I had the wisdom to detox my caffeine addiction the week before, so the misery of that wasn't added to the challenge of "first week of fasting."

I am having to actually plan and pay attention to what I am eating (I go through phases of this during non-Ramadan times, too) to make sure I am eating a balanced diet during my limited eating time - protein, fruits and vegetables make me happiest, while breads give me a "full" feeling that is temporary/makes me hungrier sooner. This all seems pretty obviously explained when I type it, but knowing it logically is different than experiencing it, if you get what I mean.

The first couple of days my brain just felt "fuzzy" - maybe the sleep deprivation had a lot to do with it, but my thinking just didn't feel clear. I found myself thinking of homeless people - hungry and rousted out of sleep - and have been thinking of how challenging it must be to "problem solve out of the situation" under these circumstances. My memory, usually quite good, seemed impacted - I was "forgetting" things. I have lived with long term sleep deprivation (mom to premature twins -lol!), but this felt "different" - maybe hormones and adrenaline make it "easier"?

By afternoon my energy feels "low"; the first few days I also felt nearly faint, and weak. I know I am in no danger of actual starvation (thanks to my extra personal padding!), but the change in my sugar levels while my body adjusts/adjusted to the new schedule is/has been miserable at times. Again, I think of the proverbial "grumpy" homeless person....

I am striving to "be nice" especially because my good habit is "not snapping" which can be quite challenging because I seem to be getting less tolerant of STUPID while having more incidences of it myself!

Thirsty is the worst. Dry lips. Dry throat. Not wanting to talk (!). The taste of clean, cool water when fast ends is bliss.

One of the oddest things is that, as soon as the sun sets, I am suddenly NOT STARVED. I have noticed this in previous years, also. I wonder if this is some ancient survival instinct so hungry humans don't wander around in the dangerous night looking for food.

I eat anyway, of course. I just end up eating not as much as I thought I was going to while I fantasized about food all day.

Today will be a challenge, as I am going to be working on an hour long videotape lecture for a project that is very important to me. I was trying to get it done before Ramadan started, because not taking even a sip of water while doing such a long lecture has me wincing in anticipatory dread, but life didn't work out that way, and I need to get this done. I hope I don't screw it up. Sigh.

I am somewhat proud of myself, but in a "wow, I am actually doing this!" way. I feel inspired to try to keep the good habits (especially breakfast!) and add a few more when it finishes (back to regular exercise!). I feel like I am getting the point: I have much to be grateful for.

And I am resolving to carry a case of bottled water for sharing with the homeless men I see on the way to work for the next couple of weeks at least.

Original Thread at Beginning of Ramadan: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002973625

My INALIENABLE Rights TRUMP Your SECOND Amendment Rights.

My rights to LIFE, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness trump your right to own machine guns, assault weapons, and anything that looks like something that could kill half a dozen people from a distance.

I don't know the names or technical specifications or whatever the heck else matters when it comes to the different types of stuff out there, but I. Am. Done. Arguing.

If you want to keep YOUR TOYS, then YOU had better figure out how to make sure the next crackpot off his meds isn't going to shoot up my kid's school, a movie theater, a local fast food restaurant, the street outside his drug buddy's house where my kid is playing jump rope - you name it.

I. Am. Done.

You want to keep them because they really aren't that big of a deal, and you promise you will take care of them, and you will clean up after any mess they make, and because you just LOVE THEM EVER SO MUCH?

Then YOU figure out a way to make sure everyone else stays SAFE.

If YOU, the person who wants this crap sold to "anyone who wants to join your hobby group" can't find a way to STOP YOUR FELLOW HOBBYISTS FROM KILLING PEOPLE, so help me I will do it for you.

And you won't like my solution. I promise.

Are we clear?

I asked, ARE WE CLEAR?

With great power comes great responsibility; you've been lying down with killer dogs and now you and all of your fellow hobbyist are under suspicion of fleas.

It is not MY responsibility to clean up after YOUR mess; if you want to keep playing, you'd better take care of the problem and I mean NOW.

Now go to your room and think about what you've done. And don't come out until you have some better answers than "because I want to" and "daddy said I could back in the olden days!"

Mommy's putting her foot down.

I. Am. Done.

Ramadan Begins Tonight/Tomorrow. I will be fasting.

No, I am not Moslem. This will be my fourth year. No one is making me do it, and if I "cheat", no one will care except me.

I find it ... empowering.

You see, Ramadan is a month long exercise in having an "Attitude of Gratitude."

The concept is simple: get up before the sun rises, and eat a healthy breakfast. Skip lunch. Eat a late supper.

From sunrise to sunset = No Food. No Water. No Drink.

It is the "in between" that changes everything.

You see, you aren't supposed to "ignore" being hungry, or thirsty.

= When you are hungry, you are supposed to remember there are people who do not have a choice about breaking their fast at the end of the day, and they will go to bed hungry.

= When you are thirsty, you are supposed to remember there are people who do not have clean water, and they will go to bed thirsty.

= When you break your fast at the close of the day with family and friends, you are supposed to remember there are people who do not have family and friends.

For one solid month, you are supposed to pay attention to how good you've got it, and remember those who don't. It is a visceral thing instead of a purely intellectual exercise, and for me, it is powerful.

Charitable giving from Moslems goes up substantially during Ramadan, and I *totally* understand why. There is something about "being hungry" that makes me very aware of the restaurants and grocery stores that are on practically every corner of my area. Food is everywhere, for those who can afford it. And clean water comes out of the tap without any effort on my part.

When you are hungry, you notice. When you are thirsty, you see. It changes things, at least it does for me.

The first year I fasted was the most challenging; there was one Sunday in particular where I was outside in the hot sun, and man! It was freaking AWFUL! I was so thirsty!

And I got it. My lunch money was donated to the Somalia Water Efforts.

The second year hit me the hardest, though. I had taken my twins (age 3 at the time) to the park, and we were having a small heat wave. Being the good mom, I was making sure they stayed hydrated (children, pregnant women, travelers, and anyone whose health would be compromised are NOT supposed to fast), while I was ready to about fall over every time I left the shaded areas. I was so thirsty...

And that was when it hit me: How would I feel if I couldn't give *my children* clean water??? If MY CHILDREN were THIS THIRSTY - and there was NOTHING I could do about it?

I got it again. Still think about it regularly two years later. Go Somalia Water Effort!!!

This year is going to be tough, not because of the "skipping lunch" part (altho psychologically, I swear that first week is quite challenging starting at 10:00 a.m.!), but because "sunrise" means 4:10 a.m. where I am at, while "sunset" is around 9:00 p.m. Mainly I don't want to get out of bed that early , but I've learned the importance of "breakfast" on those occasions when I hit the snooze alarm instead.

Its going to be some long days, but at the end, I will have Food, Water, and Fellowship.

I am very lucky. I am grateful. And I will remember those who don't.

I will practice my "Attitude of Gratitude" because I have much to be grateful FOR.

Happy Ramadan Everyone!

P.S. You are also supposed to pick "one bad habit" to get rid of, and "one good one" to take on. Mine are going to be "not sniping at family and friends" and "reading scripture daily"; also the above post is my understanding as shared by friends of the faith mentioned, and is not intended to be offensive to anyone.
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