Fed up with being warned off interesting-sounding activities like online dating, race car driving and the Peace Corps, millions of Americans identifying as “faint of heart” have finally found a new hobby: water fasting, which involves abstaining from all food and drink other than water for extended periods of time, allowing the body to detoxify and heal.
“It’s very important to get a lot of sleep when you water fast,” explained faint-of-heart Oklahoma resident Ashley Cahill. “You need to rest and avoid stressful activities and just take it really, really easy. Right up my alley!”
Another faint-of-heart American, Ken Gillies of New York City, was drawn to water fasting because the crowds and overwhelming number of beverage options at his local coffee shop had made him so anxious and panicky that, at times, after waiting on a line of 20 people on a busy weekday morning, he would get performance anxiety when it finally came time to place his order and find himself unable to make an appropriate request.
"It used to be easy – one small black coffee, please," said Ken. "But now there are so many options that I just lose my shit. Water fasting helps me avoid the café scene altogether and just keep it really basic.” Ken added that at the conclusion of his current ten-day water fast, he visualizes himself walking into his neighborhood independent coffee shop, waiting in line unfazed by the hustle and bustle, and ordering a green tea with confidence.
Middle-aged Barney Miller of Austin, Texas, has a somewhat ulterior agenda for his new faint-of-heart water fasting hobby: to lose weight and reset his palate in order to improve his diet when he’s not fasting, so as to reverse his heart disease. “And after that,” said Barney, “I’m thinking of climbing a tree.”