Mary Joy's (3 consecutive ) 21 day Water Fasts

I am happy to have found this website. I am a bit over 60 years old and did my first water-only fast in 1996, which was 5 days. I had done, previously, one 7 day juice fast, in 1976, while working in a restaurant, as a prep-cook. That was nutty. I also did a 42 day, mostly water fast, in 2003, to support my husband, who was also doing this fast, in order to heal his 4th-Stage, male breast cancer. We used the fasting protocol from an Austrian naturopath, Rudolf Breuss. My husband’s grandfather had great success with doing the Breuss Fast, to cure his esophogeal cancer. This Breuss Fast includes special teas, and 500 ml. of special veggie juice. Indeed, my husband’s tumor did shrink, in fact, it was almost gone! But my husband had a very hard time with the fast, his B/P was so low, he kept fainting. I, on the other hand, thrived. I dropped from 185 pounds to 138 lbs. in the 42 days, and my husband went from 210 lbs., down to 150 lbs. But, my husband did not follow the protocol for reintroducing food back into his diet, like I did. He sneaked in candy and crap food. At the end of the fast, my husband told me he would NEVER fast again. He went back to eating crap food. Long story short, my husband died of cancer, on 10/10/10. He had just turned 54 years old, 3 days before he died. In 2011, I did a 40 day water fast, to help heal some health conditions I had. I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, in 2006. I had some arthritis pain in my back, ankles and knees. The Hashimoto’s was not healed from fasting, but the arthritis symptoms were completely gone. With the 40 day water fast, I dropped from 187 lbs, to 135 lbs. My mistake after doing this fast, was NOT to have changed my bad eating habits. The weight crept back. I have, since 2017, tried to do intermittent fasting, but I have, up until now, have not been consistent. So why am I doing this now? My short-term goals are to release the extra weight that I have piled on. I weigh 93 kg., which is over 200 lbs. My goal is to be 123 lbs. I am 5´4" tall. In addition, I have an addictive kind of personality. I love all foods salty. I love wheat products, and for someone who is challenged with an auto-immune dis-ease, like Hashimoto’s, gluten can hinder healing. That is one of my long-term goals, is to heal from Hashimoto’s. I am an emotional eater. If I am freaked about something, or stressed, I want to pig out on something like bread, or popcorn. I almost never crave sweets. Another short-term goal is to reduce inflammation. I have developed symptoms again of arthritis, this time in my right knee. The orthopedic doc wants me to go under the knife, ASAP. I do not want to this. That is why the fast is 21 day long. I hope to drop at least 10 kg., which is 22 lbs. Try picking up a 25 lb. sack of something and shlepp it around. It is not good to have this extra weight on, for the health of my knees. I am hopeful that at the end of 21 days, the pain in my knees will be reduced. That is my hope. I have tried, since the beginning of the lock-down, in March, to do consistent intermittent fasting and yeah, I did do some, but it was never consistent, as in a “fasting-focused” life-style. I have been suffering from depression, apathy and prolonged symptoms of grief. A year before my husband died, my mother died, and a year after my husband died, my granddaughter, who was 2 years old, suddenly died. I have received counselling, but the pain of loss is still there. And as a mother, having to witness the horrible, protracted pain of my daughter, who had to bury her baby, well that is almost too much…Another long-term goal is to be free of apathy and depression. I want this 21 day water fast to kick-start new eating habits, and stop the addiction to emotional eating. My goal afterwards is to do consistent 48 hour water fasts, with just one refeed between the fasts, until I reach my goal of 123 lbs. I am no beginner at fasting, yet the depression/apathy feels like I am moving in hip-deep mud. I have the motivation to do this NOW, because my knee is hurting and if I do not get the extra weight off me, now, then I will have to get an operation. I do not want that at all. Lastly, my affirmation for today is, “I am willing, disciplined and strong enough to complete this 21 day fast!” Thank you for reading this, and I wish us all so much success.


@schmidtsmia Hi!

I hear you on the turmoil! Sorry for all your losses.

Back in 2014 I came down to Florida to visit my father who was dying. I missed him by 3 days.

Lived on Nantucket at the time, and had been in a relationship for 13 or so years.

My mom had dementia, and made plans to visit back down to Florida to clear out her home. Came back down summer 2015, and made the break from that long relationship with the ex fiance.

Stayed with my sister, and then at my folks place for a while.

Early 2016 mom passed away.

Had 2 siblings to settle things with. We got it all done in about a year, and the next year my brother passed away at 59.

It was just me and my sister left, and she decided to exit this past Christmas time. She was only 57.

Amongst all that 2 friends also passed away.

I’m an orphaned lone spinster now at 52.

I was so looking forward to 2020🤣

It really changes your perspective when everyone seems to have checked out.

On the flip side, any negative judgements from those close to you are no more.

I agree with you about avoiding the knife! Your body can heal itself. And you will feel better getting some weight out of the way.

You can do this!


Welcome to our fasting community!

Its nice to see a new member also be a member of the 40-day plus club! I completed a 40-day last year. Only 2 other members in this forum accomplished the feat and I’m the only member still active.

I’m can relate to the arthritis situation as I resolved my gout and I have 2 bad knees from sports-related injuries. No longer experiencing symptoms except for the occasional stiffness or twinge during a daily walk.

Its a good time to get back into fasting due to its growing popularity. Just read a review of all the current Intermittent Fasting research in a an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine last December. Good stuff.

Also I’ve journaled all of my fasts, refeeds and workouts if you’re looking for more information.


@schmidtsmia Welcome!

Surgeons generally seem to always want you to go under the knife. It’s the only tool in their toolbox.

Wheat is addictive, literally. Dr. William Davis has written extensively about it (See Wheat Belly) and promotes a wheat-free lifestyle.

Sugar and grains are also highly addictive. They trigger the opioid receptors in the brain.

Dr. Robert Cywes is a bariatric surgeon who is a self-proclaimed carb addict and has a YouTube channel (#CarbAddictionDoc) on overcoming it.

Another YouTube resource that may help is Jordan Peterson and his daughter Mikhaila who have found emotional/mental health through dietary change, specifically carnivore.

Hope that helps! :grinning:


I am so sorry for all your losses. Wow, you have really had to deal with a lot of death!
I am NOT going to go under the knife, if I can help it.
I hope fasting helps.
Day 2 of my extended fast is almost done. Soooo tired.
Thank you for your kind words.


I would just be very glad if I can go 21 days, and then switch to 48 hour fasts. I hope the 21 days is enough to break the cycle of emotional eating.
The orthopedic doc, who I saw today, was not very friendly or helpful. He said I have arthritis, and there ain’t a thing I can do about it, except the injections of hyaluronic acid injections. And he said stem cell treatment only works on young people, not someone in my age bracket (62 yrs. old). Sigh…I won’t give up. There has to be a way to heal it.
Thank you for your warm welcome, and kind reply. I am glad to be here.


Thank you for your nice welcome and all the great suggestions. I will check out the YT channels you suggested.
And yes, I read Dr. Davis’s book, back in 2012. I think I will read it again. Again, many thanks!!! I am glad to be here.

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Day 2 of my 21 day water fast is almost done!!! Hurray.
I am soooo tired. I drank 3 liters of water, and just am missing food so much.
I tell myself, you can eat food, any and all that you want…just NOT right now. I was almost about to cave in at the 48 hour mark, but reminded myself it was about getting the excess weight off, ASAP, for the health of my unhappy, right knee. The moment passed, and I was sooo grateful. Now I am off to my bathtub to soak in a warm, epsom salt bath. (I live in Germany, and it is rainy and chilly tonight.) G’Night, all and thank you for all your kind words and suggestions.


What type of arthritis do you have?

I have osteoarthritis in additon to a Gonarthritis of the knee as a result of injury to the right knee.

Are you taking any medication right now?

I was off Allopurinol for awhile as uric acid dropped to normal while losing subcutaneous fat. But when I started breaking down decades-old visceral fat it released preinflammatory cytokines that raised my Uric acid level. The second I had foods rich in purines during ReFeed, boom! Gout attack.

Found out you can get arthritic attacks during a fast. Who knew?

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Yes, I had heard that about flare-ups of gout, during a fast. Yikes, how painful! And no, I do not take any meds for the symptoms. I was taking, before the fast, MSM powder, 1 tsp, twice a day, but only started that about a week ago. But stopped this with the fast. I am not a big meat eater…so I hope this does not happen to me, but I am sooo on the early end of my journey, and if this happens, I will carry on, but may whine a bit to you all, if you do not mind…

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Well as one of original forum members here, you could say my nickname is “The Whining Wall”. LOL


Be your biggest advocate and keep pushing for resolve! We are all here for you, Much Love!

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Day 3 of my 21 day water fast is about done…I think ketosis has hit, cause it is nighttime and my stomach is not making complaining types of noices. With shorter fasts, like 48 hours, I have had a hard time, in the past, with insomnia, and total hungry, screaming tummy. It is exhausting. My energy was fine today. Yesterday, I had “the runs”, but today, all is okay, no cravings. I know when I get to a week, I will be entering the next phase, and my body will just be cruising. So I just gotta hang on, and if those pesky thoughts of food cravings come, to just let them be there, and focus on my goals. I am not out of the woods yet, but I am determined to stay strong. Now, before it gets dark outside, I gotta walk my dogs before bed. G’Night, my fellow fasters.


Day 4: 13:13 p.m. …I woke up at 04:00 a.m. and have been awake since then. And when I woke up my stomach was growling and felt this empty, empty feeling. Jeez, it is now beyond hunger. Maybe I am not in ketosis yet. Now the day is half done, and I have accomplished…NOTHING. I need to clean house, wash my windows, and iron my clothes and put the laundry away. Plus go pick up a knee brace for my effed up right knee. IF my knee is better in 8 weeks, then no surgery. I am hoping that fasting will cure it. I have been reading a lot from this site, and looking at before/after pics, to keep me motivated. The struggle is real right now But, I will not cave in. I will eat again, just not now. I thought I would be on cruise-control by now, but it looks like that is not yet happening…I feel nervous, uneasy, and like something is wrong but I do not know what. I, intellectually know, that I am coming down from my habitual emotional, comfort eating. I have never binged on foods, or caused myself to vomit, but I eat a lot. My crutch is gone…and the naked pain of my existence is starring me in the face. I am listening again to Dr. Fung’s book, about fasting. He said that intermittent fasting does not cause anorexia, and compared it to OCD: washing one’s hands does not lead to OCD. I had a bout of anorexia, when I was 15 years old. But, it was short-lived. I do have a distorted body image, though. At 15 yrs. old, I did extreme dieting, for 3 months, and got down to 110 lbs. (I was 5´5"), and thought I was fat, even though I was wearing XS size. In 2011, when I fasted for 40 days, I got down to 135 lbs., and still felt fat. I now look at photos of me, at that weight and can compare it to now,200 lbs. and see that I was slim! And another thing is, I just feel old and ugly. I have wrinkles, and bags, and look like so crappy. I am so not looking forward to a smaller face which means a hanging, turkey neck…I had a singing lesson two days ago, and the teacher forced me to look into the mirror, while singing, and I was soooo disliking how I looked. I would look at this teacher, with her smooth, young face, and slim built, and me, obese, lumpy body, and wrinkly face. I came home afterwards and looked at a video that this teacher took of me, back in 2014, when I weighed 140 lbs. and my teacher looked the same in that video, and I (watching it from 2020) thought my body looked fit, slim and NO wrinkles. At that time, I begged the teacher NOT to videotape me, singing and she ignored me. I remember my thoughts of self-loathing at that time, and felt so ugly and fat, unlovable. And now, I would give anything to look like the “me” of 2014 again. I am aging in dog-years. My 6 additional years looks like I have aged very rapidly, in comparison to my singing teacher, who is now 37 years old, and has not changed (except hair style, and glasses). From this, I realise, I have NO idea of what I look like. I have to “chew” on this false body-image concept. I am vicious, in my thoughts towards myself. Why? This is what I would call, “Food for thought”. I will now try to go smile at my face in the mirror, drink some water and go clean my window…and then the house. I am trying not to cry, while writing this. I feel so worthless. Bye for now. I will check in tonight before I go to bed.


Fasting is going to give you some autophagy. Autophagy can take years off you over time!

Sounds like you need some self centering. Do you meditate?

Don’t focus on what you don’t want. Focus on what you do want. I’d say first priority is avoiding that surgery. You can spend some time every day focused on that knee and visualize it healing. And “feel” it healing. It’s a heart/mind connection.


I suggest you read @Anna journal of her completed 30-day water fast from last December. She did the 30-day for mental health reasons. I learned a lot from her journey which was very different from mine that was focused on metabolic health.


Hang in there and give your beautiful self a break :purple_heart:

I just finished watching one of Yesmine’s Day 4 check-ins and it was about self-love. She was right on point with her video, please take a moment to watch.


Thank you for your suggestions. I am rather embarrassed to say this, but, I teach meditation, and love to do it. I am also a yoga teacher, lol. Thank you for reminding me about Autophagy. Washing windows, and cleaning house DID centered me, and then I taught a yoga class, and afterwards, I felt much, much better. I am no longer so low. AND I stayed strong and did not eat my pain away, which I usually would have done, in the past. Actually, I do not loathe myself quite so much when I weigh in the 130’s lbs. I can not do all the yoga asanas that I love, because I am too fat. Thank the gods, that this is a temporary problem and not as if it is a permanent one.

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