Former NFL Player Russell Okung Explains How He Lost Over 100 Pounds on a 40-Day Water-Only Fast

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So, I would push back on you a little bit. I don’t think there’s any casual way to go about this. When we look at the feats of Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, we’re in awe of them because they’ve taken their respective courts and gridirons and done something great. What I’m trying to get people to understand is that the same ability lives in you today! Don’t lessen yourself. 

What kind of toll did this have on you mentally?

I’ve spent my entire life, since I was ten years old, lifting and moving people. I made a living doing that. But it’s just a reality that the body weakens. I can’t lift my kids as much as I want to. That’s painful. They get it, but I miss doing that at times. You gotta be really careful to not stress the body too much. 

How did your family help you during this process?

They would give me tips. I have this uncle, and I told him I wanted to do this 40-day fast. He laughed at me! But then he goes and calls his daughter, his wife, and his sons. Within a day, they were like, “Not a problem. We’re in.” For most people, this is crazy. But we’re talking about African cultures who know what deprivation is like. You are significantly depending on something larger than yourself every single day. So, I’m mulling it over, and when he hears I’m about to do it, he spoke for his entire family and said they were in.  

Generally speaking, how do you feel now?

Oh my goodness. I feel alive! I feel more connected with nature. When I say alive, I feel detached from my body. Detached in a sense, that my essence runs through the birds, the trees, and all of nature. I feel more attached to that than my physical composition. There are a series of cultures that have learned about this experience. Hinduism, Buddhism, Canaanites, West African empires, these are ancient truths that I think are coming back into the consciousness.

What does your health plan look like now?

It’s actually something that I’ve been developing for over a year now. Ultimately, there are three different components to my health and food value system. I’m prioritizing three things: soil, water, and air. 

There it is.

The relationship I have with soil, from seed all the way to table, can it satisfy my needs? Is it all going through a sacred process? I’ve been developing this now for a good amount of time, testing it on myself and my wife and kids. It’s been amazing so far. I hope people like it too.

So you’re growing your own food?

I’ve been growing my own food. For sure. I deal with local farmers, I have a deep relationship with my food and the hands that prepare my food. Things that people spray in foods—most of these farms that say they’re organic are not organic. We have to look at alternatives. 

There’s real passion in your voice right now. I love that.

I love what I’m doing. I don’t know how receptive everybody is, but that’s okay. If I can help five people, I have done my job. Seriously. When my time is said and done, people can say. “Yo, well done.”

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Former NFL Player Russell Okung Explains How He Lost Over 100 Pounds on a 40-Day Water-Only Fast

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