Self-Portrait of the Author as a Hungry Man

At sixteen, Julian could eat a whole pizza in one sitting. He’d be stuffed before downing those last few slices but finish anyway, because he hungered for achievement long after satisfying his hunger for pizza.

Yesterday, twenty-five-year-old Julian stayed awake for twenty-six hours. As he puts it, “one should spend times of plenty preparing for times of famine.” He calls it a “sleep fast” and planned to reach a whole day-and-a-half, but ended it early when he realized sleep fasts should be undertaken on days that don’t require driving.

Julian is most familiar with this style of self-disciplined self-deprivation from his multi-day foodless fasts, the longest totaling one hundred thirty-six hours (five-and-a-half days). He has completed a total of fifteen foodless fasts (each a minimum of three days long). There are known health benefits of foodless fasting. There are no known health benefits of sleep fasting, but he feels a calm sense of power for the following few days.

To cap off his sleep fast, Julian devoured a large $10 Costco pepperoni pizza. While you technically don’t have to be a member to eat at the food court, you certainly don’t have to be a member if you walk past the ID checkers when they’re not looking. If you employ this method, you also get to feel smug. There are no known health benefits of eating a whole large $10 Costco pepperoni pizza, but he did anyway. What a rebel.

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