Intermittent Fasting – Why?

It’s not 10 hours since I announced I was getting up off my ass and doing something about my lack of energy, motivation and just my general feeling of blah! For those of you that don’t know me I have lived with depression and anxiety officially since 2002 but realisticially all my life.  Life has been mental around here lately and to be honest I started to feel sorry for myself – i.e. I gave myself permission to stop exercising and to eat all the pies and by jesus have I been eating the pies, enough to add 17lbs to the body in a 10 month period.  We are all guilty of it and I could write a massive long post as to why its happened but it’s going to change Jack Shit – the bottom line is I have had enough of feeling blah and not fitting into my clothes and to be honest it’s only going in one direction and its not a good one! The weight gain is only the physical signs of what has been going on, you can’t see the mental or emotional, the torment inside my head, how its affected my confidence, my drive and my anxiety.  Training and exercise isn’t about looking a certain way its all about how it makes me feel.

You’re probably wondering why now, what’s happened.  My latest update on my iphone is to blame, all my photos seemed to get backed up on to my camera roll and while trying to fix it over the weekend I found all these photo’s from last year and late 2016 and it just made me sad.  To be honest it was a slap in the face, i sat there in shock wondering how I got to where i am now, how did I lose my way so badly and give myself permission to stop caring about me.  You see getting fit and healthy is not about vanity but sanity.  Exercise and good food are as important to me as if i was taking anti-depressants, in fact I have been there and they never gave me the high exercise did.  So as I sat on the couch this morning wanting more toast and Nutella I decided feck this and just got dressed, threw on my runners and before i knew it I had the earphones in and off I went.

The less I say about that run the better but I did it and the plaster has been ripped off so now its on to focus on the other elements and for me the harder part, the ‘diet’.  I don’t do well being told what to do, ask anyone that knows me, it just causes me to break out (ok not actually) but you know what i mean. So telling me I have to have this or I can’t do that just doesn’t work, I need a diet where I can have treats now and agin where i feel in control of what i eat and when i eat it (within reason).

I have been looking into Intermittent fasting for a while now and before you all think I am about to embark on some ridiculous eating plan, I’m not.  Internittent fasting (IF) is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between eating and fasting.  This is not a diet as it does not say what you can/cannot eat, the idea is that you eat balanced meals during your 8 hour window and fast for the other 16 hours.  This is seen more as an eating pattern than a diet.  Many studies have shown that it can have a powerful effect on your body and brain, and may even help you live longer.  There are a couple of different addaptations.

  1. The 16/8 method (which is the one I am doing) also known as Leangains protocol.  This is where you start eating later in the day or skip breakfast.  You eat during an 8 hour period and you fast for the other 16 hours.  I will be able to eat between 11am and 7pm each evening and then I fast from 7pm to 11am the next morning.
  2. Eat-stop-eat:This involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week.
  3. The 5:2 diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week you only eat 500-600 calories, on the other days you eat normally.

I love my food but I do have an issue with sugar.  Once i start I just can’t stop and would happily have chocolate/sugar for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So for me having rules around my eating times just simplifies it for me.  I aim to eat 3 balanced meals a day, with one treat a day in the evening.  Not being able to eat after 7pm will be my biggest ally but also my biggest challenge, but in saying that I have to say I am ready to get started.

This week I’m going to detox from processed sugar, so no sugar for the next 6 days unless in a natural state.   I’m only doing it for the first week to give myself a fighting chance and then little treats will be added in on a daily basis.  I haven’t had sugar since this morning and already I am having withdrawals, its going to be a long week!! Seriously if I can get through this week with Halloween and a house full of sugar then I’ve got a good fighting chance, but I do have a few tricks from over the years to help with the cravings.  Here are some of the items that help with my sugar carvings:

  • Pineapple
  • Suar free yogurt
  • Apples
  • Organges
  • Grapes

Right it’s time to hit the bed, its the only way to get through the cravings, sure its the first day over. To anyone who is doing this with me well done and best of luck.  If you have any questions please let me know.  I’m no expert but if I can help in any way I will.


Frances xx

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