I’ve never in my life been as heavy as I am right now.
On top of everything going on right now with quarantining and social distancing and lack of alone time and too much alone time and comfort eating we now have a new crisis. The crisis isn’t even weight, because let’s face it, I’ve been heavy for the past decade. This one is more of the stench of self-loathing that comes with giving in to comfort eating for the past 51 days that has thrown even more burden onto my already burdened shoulders.
I tried intermittent fasting. It just doesn’t work for me. I wake up early in the morning and get most of my productivity out of the way before I have family to take care of. During quarantine, I’ve been waking up later. Doesn’t mean I’ve been getting more sleep, because I don’t think anyone has quality sleep these days. But having that ache of hunger in the morning has sucked out all the joy. By the time the family is awake and stumbling downstairs I am a grumpy mess. The morning fast is so long because I put a premium on that dinner with the family.
So a few days ago I just stopped Quaran16ing. I didn’t have any weight loss, I wasn’t feeling any better and I was so angry. Hubs immediately noticed that I was a happier person.
This morning I reinstalled MyFitnessPal on my phone. I know what works and I need to get back to those basics:
- Keep carb intake to 60g per day
- Keep myself mentally and physically busy so I don’t fixate on what I’m not eating
- Weight lifting has to happen daily
Edit: No less than 30 minutes after having posted and feeling thoroughly defeated I let the dog out in the backyard and noticed a baby bird poking its head out of the birdhouse next to my kitchen window. I grabbed my camera and caught it leaving its nest. I was in tears.
I was immediately reminded of the Bible verse about how God feeds the birds:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
My soul is in need of nourishment. If I get that right, the rest is unnecessary.
I was starting to get the hang of starving each morning. Really, that’s what it was. I decided I needed to read more on exactly how intermittent fasting worked so I could explain to myself why I was putting myself through that every morning.
The best laymen’s version I can come up with is that the human body runs off the food it consumed for about 12 hours from the last bite. Then it starts tapping its fat stores to power the ship until it gets food again. So the thought is that by fasting for 16 hours, you’re giving yourself a solid 4 hours or so of fat burning.
I was right. I was literally starving each morning.
That’s a little dramatic. But it did help me power through the past few mornings. That is, until the migraine hit. It was a migraine I’ve only seen maybe 4 times a year. It started on Monday afternoon and it didn’t go away until I hit it with Excedrin Migraine on midday Wednesday. That means Tuesday and Wednesday morning I went for the coffee first thing because, if you’ve ever had a migraine you probably know this, but migraines don’t sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night and it is still there. Makes for crap sleep.
So I broke my fasts a little early this week.
I can tell that getting into the swing of IF can tamp down apetite. I’m looking forward to getting into a good rhythm now that Aunt Flow is leaving town.
Days 4 and 5. The mornings are the hardest. I caught myself at least 3 times this morning trying to justify at least having a cup of coffee. How is it I am struggling and it hasn’t even been a week?
Last night Hubs had his head against my stomach and heard it churning. I had given up my nightcap of warm milk, and he was stunned.
Is this experiment going to have any positive results? It is almost like this stupid lockdown in that I want to have a hint at what the future holds if I stay the course. I think back to the only other place I’ve even heard the phrase fasting. Of course it is in the Bible, and it is used as a tool to reject physical needs to build reliance on spiritual fulfillment. So maybe I’m going about this all wrong. Instead of grumbling each morning because my stomach is hangry, perhaps I’m supposed to focus on something more noble. Or maybe just focus on the grumblies.
Honestly I don’t know. We are approaching that time again, and I know those pesky hormones are doing a number on me. If I can stick it out for a week, maybe just MAYBE I’ll feel differently. You know, once the hormone fog has cleared.
Again, the hardest part is waiting for breakfast. I’ve given myself lots of things to do to pass the time until I can dive into a cuppa and food. Cleaning seems to be a great way to keep from biting the heads off of my housemates during that critical time between 8-10 a.m.
My knee isn’t crackling any more and my back feels a little looser. I’m not sticking to a low-carb or low-inflammation food regimen, but I can see where the time limits would create less caloric intake. If I’m eating breakfast at 10, I’m not hungry when I fix lunch for the fam at noon. That means I’m eating alone in the early afternoon.
For sure I’m thinking ahead to normal life and how this schedule is going to work. Unless I get a good handle on it now, I don’t see this lasting once 75% of the humans leave before I’ve had breakfast each day. I do most of my productive, physical work between 5-7 a.m. during normal life.
Maybe I need to sacrifice eating dinner with the fam and move the 8-hour window to 7 a.m.-3 p.m.?
The hardest part is that wait for breakfast. I wake up between 5:30-6 a.m. every day naturally — no alarm clock. I don’t get hungry until around 8. My stomach is angry by 9. I have to find things to do around the house to take my mind off eating. Around 9:45 I start looking for what I’m going to eat and start prepping the coffee maker. If those 4 hours in the morning could be easier, I could make a real go of this.
Day 2 went really well. Breakfast was so satisfying: another egg muffin and coffee. I’ll probably do that again today since I have one English muffin left. Lunch was a couple of cucumber boats with canned tuna, then the pasta Bubs didn’t eat for lunch. Dinner was chicken tacos. By the time Hubs came downstairs from work ready for dinner I was savoring some of the leftover peach cobbler. He joked that I only had 30 minutes left in my food window for the day before he realized that I ate without him and was almost done with dessert.
The low-grade fever is still gone and those 5 never-before-seen pounds I put on are gone. I don’t know if it can be attributed to this fasting experiment, but let’s just say it is so I can count it as a little win.