By Cielestia Calbay
With graduation right around the corner, I have made it a habit
to make the most of my undergraduate years by trying new
A recent conversation about the Ramadan fast sparked my interest
and inspired me to try it out for one week.
I was immediately drawn to the idea of cleansing the inner soul
and heightening one’s sense of spiritual awareness.
Considering the kinds of foods I consume, as well as my
unhealthy lifestyle, I thought this would be a good experiment to
venture on during these last weeks as a student.
The Ramadan fast typically lasts for one month and involves no
eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset.
Those who know me know that food is my partner in crime, and I
can’t go one hour without it.
That said, venturing on this experiment would be a tremendous
feat ” and it was.
I knew the traditional method would be too much for me, so still
upholding my respect for the religion, I tweaked the fast, while
maintaining its traditional purpose of cleansing.
A dawn to dusk fast would be too challenging for me to handle
considering the days are longer than ever.
In place of that timeframe, I chose a 12-hour fast instead and
allowed myself to be able to drink water.
After the 12th hour on the first day, I felt more glutinous than
a party goer at Mardis Gras, as I had literally consumed everything
I could get my hands on ” I was that hungry.
The second day was a little easier, and I just had one regular
meal at the end of the night. But after the third day, I
Somebody at my internship was having a birthday, and brought in
a large shortbread cake ” my kryptonite.
Needless to say, I caved in and terminated the experiment from
there, failing miserably.
I have a high regard for those who can continue this fast for a
whole month, as it requires the utmost dedication and
To compensate for my guilt, I decided to do some research on how
much paper and plastic I possibly saved for those 36 hours.
It was a way to tell myself that despite my caving in, I had
contributed to some kind of greater good on the environment.
According to GenerationEarth.org, Americans consume about two
pounds of paper and about six pounds of plastic per day.
So as a consolation to myself, I was proud of that contribution,
to say the least.
Fasting is definitely not for the faint at heart, but is
something that I would recommend being done at least at one point
in your life.
After the first day, I felt rejuvenated and had a greater
appreciation of resources that are readily available to me, like
As an added health bonus, fasting rids our system of toxins,
tearing down and rebuilding damaged materials in our bodies.
It is definitely something that I’d want to venture on again,
even for just one day ” just as long as nobody is having a birthday
Reach Cielestia Calbay at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lessons learned from the red carpet
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