Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Picking a fast

Upon my research, I learned about many different types of fasting. I ended up going with "Eat - Stop - Eat." This method calls for a 24 hour fast 1 or 2 days a week. This seemed ideal because this means I would not have to worry about the tortures of fasting every single day. Counting calories and limiting my calorie intake is hard enough as it is - adding prolonged periods without eating on a daily basis - FORGET IT. Based on what I know about myself - I could power through not eating for a measly 24 hours... It couldn't be any worse than living through a hangover, right?

Fasting attempt day one: Thursday October 1st I attempted to 24 hour fast from 10am to 10am. By 6pm I had failed. I think this time frame did not work for me for several reasons. The first one being that I did a hard bike ride first thing in the morning, followed by a protein shake and expected myself to not eat anymore till the following day at 10am as a first timer? wasn't happening. I was starving by noon that day and it was torture to sit through lunch with my colleagues as they ate. During my last period class a student offered me a Carmel apple sucker and from there the fast was over. I felt mixed emotions. I knew it may take some practice and I wasn't completely devastated that I did not complete the 24 hours. I just knew that I had to make some adjustments and try again.

The real fail came after I left work. I made the decision that since i failed, I'm going to fail big! I drove through taco bell and got two bean burritos. I had this sensory image built up in my head about how savory and satisfying inhaling the two burritos would be. When I got home i went through  my binge eating ritual of putting on comfy clothes, finding the perfect eating TV show on netflix and snuggling up in bed - binge eating always tastes better in bed... Sadly, with each bite I took, I was not getting the fulfillment I so craved. I took bigger bites, added more mild sauce, but nothing was working. At the end of the 750 calorie binge i was not only not satisfied, I was ravishingly still hungry and the mission was on.

I don't keep much food in my house due to my binge behaviors, but i did manage to find a frozen quinoa dish that was delish with some black bean salsa and some onions. I ate it almost everyday for lunch at work with much delight and fulfillment. This time was different. I don't have a microwave so i enlisted the help of my trusty electric wok. apparently, this meal really did need to be microwaved. either that or i needed more patience. by the time i had returned to bed with my new dish in hand and the perfect netflix show turned on, the food wasn't even fully cooked. I shoved it rapidly in my mouth still cold. It was less satisfying than the  burritos and even worse, was making me feel ill. as any successful binge eater knows - this is no deterrent - this is only a signal for me to eat bigger bites and more rapidly - to power through the wretched tasting meal. the rest of night i was sick. Sicker than I have felt in a very long time. My stomach was pained, my head throbbing. It wasn't breaking the fast that caused me all the distress, it was binge. Needless to say, I haven't been able to even look at the Aldi frozen quinoa fiesta meal since then.

My second attempt, on the other hand, was a huge success. I opten to still do the 24 hour fast but from the hours of 8pm to 8pm. my logic with doing this is that I can eat dinner, go to bed, let myself sleep in (less hours to be aware that im NOT eating), go to work (really easy not to eat because Im so busy) then eat dinner when I get home. flawless. Was so easy. I didnt even realize i wasnt eating - i never really felt hungry and i wasnt having insane food cravings. In fact, i was craving food less than I would on any other 'normal' calorie day. Even as im writing this right now on a normal food day, i am thinking about what to eat when i get home - this did not happen on fast days. Its almost like i was glad to have to reliqhish the control and just accept that i am not eating. it was also easier to eat healhty. I wasnt craving insane amounts of salt or sugar like a do on a regular basis. i was content with simply eating a light vegan salad with ginger dressing. In fact, i didnt even finish the salad - i actually stopped when i was full. I cant even pin point another time in my life that i have actually been able to do that. it sincerly has bever happened before. I completely give credit to the changes the fast is inducing on my body. it is actually  doing what it said it was going to do. amazing. it is sincerly my miracle.

So my initial plan was one day a week, but i found it to be so easy that this week im doing two days a week. I actually think that starting next week i am going for 3 days a week. I have a lofty weight loss goal to reach by january. I need to feel good about myself when i go to hawiaa. and i love my fasting days. I feel so much better on my fast days. I have energy and my mind is clear. Today is a regular eating day and ive eaten very healthy, but im groggy, tired, my stomach is aching, and im craving pizza. none of these symptoms plague me on my fast days. i figured the fasting would be a good way to help me reduce my overall calorie intake and i was convinced it was going to be a huge struggle, but i did not see all of the other positive side effects coming along with it. I cannnot describe how stunned I am at the positive impact fasting has had. Ive only completed two days of fasting and ive already had people comment that im looking slimmer and several of my students commented on  my glowing skin. Ive also been sleeping better. i am someone who has needed xanax every night to sleep for the past 10 years. I have actually been falling alsleep quickly and staying asleep through the night - something that basically just never happens.

The only disaponting aspect of IF that i am encountering is that I didnt know about it sooner. I feel like ive been under a rock or something and am sad i didnt discover this till almost the age of 32.

One irritating aspect of sharing with people about my fasting adventures, is the response that not eating for 24 hours will cause my body to go into fat storing mode and store more fat. clearly, this is a farse. Clearly, by eating several times a day, my body is overly gifted at storing fat and my fat storage mode is alive and kicking. From the research ive done and studies ive read, just the opposite is true, but how do you argue with someone who already has thier mind completely made up. simple - you dont. Im not on a mission to change minds, and i hope that through this experience and my success, i will be able to change minds by being an example. I will say that some people are going to be mightly jealous when im rocking a bikini in january in HI :)

Final thought: since this week with two fasts was so easy, next week, im going for 3... monday wednesday and friday. No way i would attempt a weekend fast. Im just not there yet...

tata for now


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