One month has passed since giving intermittent fasting a go. I feel good about it. I don’t know if I could ever go back to how I ate before. When I think about my past struggles with food, it is painful. I ate my stress, my anxiety, and my unhappiness. Ironically the more I ate to relieve unhappiness, the more I was miserable. It was a vicious cycle. Even when my life changed for the better and unhappiness didn’t haunt everything I did, I still had the old habits of eating. It was frustrating. I was happy with my marriage, my family, and the direction my life. Why couldn’t I control what I was eating? I am no mathematician, but shouldn’t the equation be simple? Unhappiness=abnormal eating. Happiness=normal eating. Right? Unfortunately, no.
A realization, a real moment smacked me in the face. I spent twenty years as a fat woman, varying degrees of fat, but still fat. For what? Because I couldn’t control what I put into my mouth and when? That is a sobering thought. I can always make the usual excuses blaming media, the food companies, etc… The list goes on and on. However, the fact remains I always had a choice. One of the best decisions I have made in twenty years is to start intermittent fasting. It has been a life changing month. Let me elaborate.
Intermittent fasting has helped me to be attentive of what I am eating and when I am eating. No longer can I mindlessly grab a handful of crackers or any snack nearby and quick. I have to think about what I am doing. When I am making breakfast for my young son, I can’t lick-the-spoon so to speak. In the evening around eight when my snacking bug is the greatest, I have to control the strong urge to eat. I am learning mindfulness which can be a powerful tool to utilize in all areas of life.
Intermittent fasting has curbed my cravings for sugar. I am not quite sure why this is. I understand some of the scientific benefits of intermittent fasting, but not this one. I am not complaining. Sugar is highly addicting. I have been a sugar addict for many years. This past month, one of my most apparent side effects is almost no cravings for sweet things. I don’t even secretly crave them. For example, I can walk right through a bakery and feel nothing. How badass is that?
Another benefit of intermittent fasting is I am no longer retaining water. In the past retaining water was a mild problem, especially during the hot months of summer. It never got too bad, just annoying. My skin would feel a little tight. It was uncomfortable, not debilitating. Hundred degrees weather was the worst. I would balloon up and suffer. Not this month. This month I haven’t had any problems with the heat. Recently, I was even able to take off my wedding ring. During the summer (Yes, I am shouting)! Something I haven’t been able to do in almost eight years.
A clear mind is a commonly reported side effect of intermittent fasting. I find this to be true. My mind is much less murky. Something that goes with this is sleep. I sleep more soundly at night. In the morning I wake up with my mind buzzing. It is great. I love it. And since, you know, I am the thoughtful ninja, it helps. I can’t wait to take my new clarity for a test drive this fall at University. Didn’t I tell you? I went back to college two years ago. I obtained my AA transfer degree. This spring I was accepted into the University of Washington Seattle. I am very excited to start the next phase of my education in September. One of the benefits of intermittent fasting is improved cognitive function. Yes, there is scientific backing to this claim. It will be interesting to see how intermittent fasting affects my performance in school.
Last but not least, my clothes are fitting better. Even my underwear is loosening up. That is always exciting. I can’t complain that is for sure. Even though I am healing a fractured spine, I am building muscle. Working the core is hard, yet, it feels good. I don’t stop at my core. Squats and lunges work out my legs without aggravating my back. I use five-pound weights while laying on the floor to work out my arms and chest. Strengthening my body while recovering keeps my attitude positive while shrinking my waist line, an added outlook booster.
As you can tell by the picture above, I have a lot of work ahead of me. That’s okay. Now, that I am getting my eating habits under control and I am experiencing all the benefits detailed above, I feel very positive about obtaining my body goals. If you haven’t tried intermittent fasting, I would highly recommend doing so. Just be aware that it is hard work. Hard work as in having to curb your urge to eat, at first at least. On the bright side, it does get better with time. Remember as beneficial intermittent fasting is, it is not a cure-all. However, it is a lifestyle change in the right direction.
Thank you for reading.
J. R. Lowe