While everyone's feasting with family, I'll be out in Shelby Forest forbearing food for a week. As a man of large appetites, it won't be easy but I've done it before. Back in 2011 after I lost my dog, Murphy, to cancer I fasted in Memphis for 18 days during a scorching heatwave with temperatures stuck in triple digits for most of the entirety.
This time the experience will be inverted. As of this morning, it's 22 in Tennessee and with the wind chill factor feels like 16 degrees. This represents a unique risk as the primary purpose of sustenance in cold weather is providing heat to your body. Exercising, too, can't used for warmth since muscle mass is broken down during the fasting process.
My Pyrenees won't be with me since after a few days I won't have the strength to tend to their needs. Nope it'll just be me and El Guapo out in the woods, alone in a tent, and, wait a tic, this is starting to sound a little like Brokeback Mountain...
My communication will be limited as well since I'll only have my phone for emergency use. No computer, no iPod, Kindle, or any other electronic device which, to be honest, I'm looking forward to. Sometimes the noise in life can just be deafening and you've gotta unplug.
But mostly I made the decision to fast this week for physical reasons. Now that my other dog, Hudson, was recently diagnosed with cancer, I know that the road ahead will be hard and my body and spirit under constant assault from the uncertainty of outcome. 2014 will be a definitive year and I must strengthen myself in preparation and fasting is the first step. .
I shall miss breaking bread with family and friends but I fast so that I may feast again with them one day soon.
Chef Big Dog