I was hosting my husband’s 40th birthday party last month when the gf of one of my oldest high school friends told me that said old friend was not drinking that night. He was intermittent fasting to prepare for what I think is now his third marathon.
Intermittent fasting had come across my radar recently in my search for a diet that would help me to shed pounds without feeling like I was starving myself or giving up something I love to eat forever. So I was intrigued to learn that someone I knew was already doing it. It motivated me to learn more about it. There’s quite a bit of really useful simple info about it on the internet. And simplicity is what I think has allowed me to stick with it for almost two weeks straight now.
I am doing the 16/8 version of IF which just means that I only eat between the hours of noon and 8pm. I started the day after MLK day and it was easy for me because I had taken that day off. I fully anticipated the struggle to begin when I went to work. Eating and the joy that I take in eating is such a priority for me that I expected to really suffer emotionally from skipping breakfast. My dear friend, Mr. Marathon told me that he drinks a combo of ginger and lemon tea in the morning. I brought half a lemon with me to squeeze into my Contigo bottle and I have to say, I haven’t been a fiend for breakfast at all. I’m not saying it’s easy. There have been times where my mind is telling me I’m starving (she’s a drama queen) but I’ve been able to hold myself down with liters of water and lemon in the morning so far. The funny thing is that after waiting until noon you would think I would inhale the first thing I can get my hands on But no. After getting my desperate internal monologue in check I calmly go about looking for a light snack. It’s not always that serious. I definitely look forward to lunch, ideally a large grain and greens salad bowl that I order ahead of time. When that’s done I’m pretty satisfied. My next large meal is dinner and after that I have until 8pm if I want to snack or eat whatever I want and be done until noon the next day. It’s really trained me to control my appetite more and to be more disciplined about what I choose to eat after I break my fast each day.
Historically, people have been fasting since the beginning of time. Many of us become exposed to and familiar with fasting from learning about it’s religious purposes. Jesus fasting in the desert, the Buddah and many other religious and or spiritual figures have fasted and had nothing but air for days to weeks and more as a way to become closer to the divine. When I was younger my mom used to have my brother and I fast for at least a few days each month but never for more than one day and truly it was a cleanse because although we didn’t eat, we drank things like water with Golden Seal and other herbs meant to purge the body of toxins. As you might guess, I wasn’t feelin it at all in those days. LOL!
Health and weight loss were two things I made central on my vision board for this year and according to my dermatologist I’ve already lost six pounds. I haven’t had a weight scale in years but I will purchase one soon so that I can measure my progress better. My choice to do intermittent fasting has as much to do with giving myself structure as it does losing weight. And for the first time in my adult life this hasn’t felt oppressive or restrictive to me. It feels empowering. It’s pretty fucking cool to know that between the hours of 8pm until 12:00 I won’t let myself be tempted by food simply because it may look or taste good or because my drama queen brain tells me I can’t go another minute without it..
I’m constantly learning what a psychological game we get pulled into when using food to self medicate or sooth. As someone who uses food to do both, it’s become more glaringly obvious to me when I break my fast each day that some foods are meant to give your fuel and nutrients and fortification while others are there to create addiction. No judgement by the way. I sure did have some McDonald’s for dinner last week and enjoyed the fuck out of it. LOL! But I only allow myself to do that once or twice a month if at all. For me it’s about creating a balance, using moderation, and giving myself the healthiest foundation possible and only once in a while indulging myself with the stuff that’s not so healthy, or designed solely to satisfy pleasure receptors.
Just because I can generally eat whatever I want whenever I want doesn’t mean I should. It’s been hitting home pretty hard for me lately that the quality of my life will suffer if I don’t give myself some boundaries and clear stop and start points that don’t get compromised on a whim. Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It’s just what’s working for me right now. And God it feels good when I can apply a system to a facet of my life that actually works for the best.
My next step is to add a regimented work out to this new way of eating which means I may have to join a gym again because my motivation to exercise on my own is sadly very low.
I’ll check back on this in a few more weeks, maybe even in a video on my YouTube channel at Urban Eve. Keep ya posted.