Are you willing to do the hard things?
July 3, 2017

I fasted twenty-four hours once a week for most of last year. By Thanksgiving, my hair was showing the stress. It was a bit thinner. So I quit. By Christmas my hair was thicker than ever, and by Valentine’s Day (or so) when I got a trim the stylist had the standard report: “Wow. You have a lot of hair.”

There was just one problem. I still wanted fasting to be part of my regime. The potential health benefits are impressive, as my friend Alex Lickerman recently detailed on his blog. I was inspired to fast for sixteen hours a day -- every day -- after seeing an exchange about that in the comments, and that’s been my routine for months now.

So far, so good.

No, wait. So far, unbelievable. I can’t report on the cardiovascular or neurological changes in progress, but fasting’s solved other problems I didn’t realize I had. Here’s one example. I do weights after I make the bed and our coffee -- but there was always a tendency to put them off. Why? Breakfast and Twitter and whatever Seth Godin and Steven Pressfield and Scott Adams posted overnight. I log hundreds of sets of weights every year. Almost anything sounds better than hauling my behind downstairs to start another one.

It’s different now. I don’t have breakfast until after I finish weights. I’m not tempted to delay that workout because I don’t eat until it’s over. Considering how hungry I am after sixteen hours without a morsel, that’s one heck of a motivator.

I’m fasting because of some unproven health benefits, and I give myself a lot of credit for doing something difficult on my own initiative. As usual the heavens sweep in with a hug, in the form of -- for example -- what I just told you. Life’s really quite wonderful, isn’t it?