This section is from the book "The Hygienic System: Fasting And Sun Bathing", by Herbert M. Shelton. Also available from Amazon: The Hygienic System Vol III Fasting and Sun Bathing.
The man or woman who has never undergone a fast, or who has never had opportunity to watch the varied phenomena that are to be seen in cases of fasting, labors under the belief that a fast must be a very harrowing and severe ordeal. Such a person is likely to picture the faster as suffering the most intense agonies from starvation, his agonies increasing in intensity until, finally, the victim expires in the most excruciating pain. If this picture had any truth at all in it, it would certainly be impossible to induce any person to enter voluntarily upon a second, much less a third or fourth fast.
"Fasting is not always a pleasant experience, but, then, neither is it a pleasant experience to be sick." It is certainly not pleasant to go through a period of drug medication. But fasting may be a period of comfort and pleasure. The individual who suffers after each meal may find perfect comfort through a long fast.
In his "Diary of a Faster" (Physical Culture, Feb. 1914), Fred Busch describes his fast of 17 days, day by day. He tells us that he undertook a fast only after his condition had grown so bad that he was unable to eat even the simplest of foods without distress. He adds: "sound sleep is unheard of--work is a punishment--life in general a drudge." He records on the morning of the second day of his fast that he slept a full eight hours the night before and that he was feeling rather good. He slept well every night through his fast. Seventeen days of comfort, during which he carried on his regular work in his office, and did more work than while eating, reveals that fasting may be a very pleasant experience in many conditions of life.
When a man goes on a fast, every abnormal sensation, every "craving," every ache and pain that he may develop immediately thereafter, is credited to lack of food. They are, in reality, due to the absence of his accustomed stimulants--coffee, tobacco, condiments, alcohol, etc. That they all disappear as the fast progresses, proves that they are not due to lack of food.