Trial run and my boss’ support

Basically, this project would be impossible without the blessing of my boss.

Not only did Jon jump on board immediately, having a solid understanding of my motives, interests and character, but he also fell into line when I suggested that, in the interest of team-building, we take a day to fast on beer as a trial run.

Last week while at a conference in Des Moines, we stopped by Beer Crazy and picked up a sixer of Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout. Our plan was to split it at work this week and go our own ways for an extra pint in the evening. He had slated himself for a Chimay Blue, while I arranged to meet my brother-in-law Kyle for a little billiards and Millstream’s 25th Anniversary Doppelbock.

And so:

6:45 a.m.: Started my day with a big glass of water

7 a.m.: I discover lots of doughnut money in my pants pocket and cringe that I can’t use if for its rightful purpose today

9:19 a.m.: Breakfast at the office with Jon–I’m feeling a little morning hunger, so I waste no time in drinking it

11:16 a.m.: I can feel hunger, but not the jittery feeling of too much coffee on an empty stomach, which happens from time to time for me

12:15 p.m.: “lunch” with Jon

2:07 p.m.: Our first moment of food discussion. We’re both hungry. Jon passed up on a sandwich earlier and I just can’t help but think that about three glazed doughnuts would set me right. Water to fill the tank and make me think I’m full…

3:01 p.m.: Beer #3, and the last of our shared workday experience. I have a little bit of a headache sneaking in.

Me: Are you sorry that you went along with this bright idea?

Jon: No. I’m just hungry.

5:15 p.m.: At Jake’s wrestling meet, Tom eats a bag of popcorn and moans that it’s not filling. “I’m hungry,” he says. Shut your gob hole, crosses my mind, but I don’t say it out loud.

6 p.m.: My final beer of the day with Kyle

7:22 p.m.: The boys’ beef and barley soup for dinner smells incredible–this is gonna be tough. The rest of my night is staying hydrated with water. Slight headache persists.

7:29: p.m.: I text Jon–

Me: How you holding up?

Jon: I gave in once I smelt fried chicken…I’m weak.

Out of boredom and avoidance of my normal routine of pacing for a snack–ice cream or chocolate chips–I stoke the fire and drift off to sleep a little early.


Forty-six days of this will be tough. Food is a central piece of my life. My friends, family, Facebook, Twitter and blog-ish buddies all toss out food bits. I dream about food; I read about food all the day long. At the end of the day, I’m hungry, but no worse than my normal coffee-for-breakfast-oops-I skipped-lunch brand of hunger. In fact, it was better, because I didn’t drink any coffee. But string 46 of these days together, with beer not being soaked up by food and it could add up. Four beers was fine; I look forward to weekends when I plan to drink five per day. That’ll fill me up!

This trial run went for 36 hours and the next morning I woke up less hungry than I had been the night before. It was a whopping fifteen minutes before I got around to making a PB & J. I felt a little weaker than normal and could feel my heart beating, sorta like when one’s a little nervous.

It went as well as I could have hoped, and I’m just ready to get this show on the road…


About Wilson

J. Wilson is an award-winning homebrewer, BJCP judge and pretty good dad. View all posts by Wilson

6 responses to “Trial run and my boss’ support

  • Adam

    Strong man. Even though the stout I’m drinking as I type this is filling….it can’t fill me up like real food. I’m a wuss, still haven’t done a simple 24 hour fast yet. Good luck jay…you may inspire me yet to at least attempt 365ths of a year fast.

  • Andy

    24 hours…easy. 48 hours…good luck. 72 hours…I’m sure you’ll let us know.

    What’s the IBU’s and SG on the Illuminator?

    ~Try not to let the voices win.

  • Wilson

    Sorry for the delay to your question, Andy. Life got in the way and I nearly forgot I was tracking down numbers for you. Most of that you can find here:

    I don’t think that post mentions IBUs. I think that was about 24.

  • Vickie

    Concern for your well being and success of your project compels me to tell you that the monks most likely did not fast at all on Sundays. The Lords day is never, and has never been a fast day, even during the penitential season of Lent. Even during Lent Sunday is a feast. I fear that with out eating solid food on that one day a week, in effect fasting even more than the monks, you will compromise your health.

  • Wilson

    Vickie-thanks for your concern. I understand your point, but in doing a lot of research on extended sasting, I’ve decided to stick with it the entire time, as each time your body breaks the fast, it has to readjust and it’s actually harder on you. Others have done fasts on juice or water for 40, 80 and over 90 days, so in that reguard I think I’ll be fine. By fasting through the Sundays, my experience might actually feel physically easier than what the monks might have experienced, near as I can tell.The first three days are supposed to be the hardest, and I guess I’d rather do that part only once.

  • Mike O'Brien

    Wow! Good luck in your endeavor!
    I will bet that each beer tastes better than the last – as each beer is slightly more mature than the last – and as it become more of the ‘nourishment for your soul’.

    That would be the hardest part for me – always drinking the same beer 🙂

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