My Unexpected 24-Hour Fast

By the way, I didn’t really go 3 days without blogging. I did the last one early Tuesday and this one late on Thursday which will show up as the 31st instead of the 30th.

I had it in my calendar to purposely fast for 24 hours either today or tomorrow. Yesterday, I was working, working, working on a project for a friend. At some point my partner came in and asked what was for dinner. I looked up and found it was 3:00. I was so surprised because I hadn’t had anything to eat since 5:00 the previous afternoon.

I thought about it. It breaks every conventional rule which says that breakfast in the morning is the healthiest meal of the day. Perhaps that would be true if we ate only between 6 am and noon. But it seems to me that when I eat in the morning, I want to eat every couple of hours.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been a breakfast eater my whole life. I thought it was right to set my body up with fuel for the day, so often I would eat a hearty breakfast and then light meals the rest of the day. About a year ago, I left off with the heavy breakfasts and drank a good smoothie, full of nutrition and protein. Most mornings I would want to eat again two hours later. We see how that worked out. No matter whether I ate bacon, eggs, and pancakes or just a smoothie, I never lost a pound. That seemed insane.

When I first started reading about Intermittent Fasting, I realized that was how my partner had eaten his entire adult life – he has been on a perpetual 14 hour fast. He drinks coffee in the morning, has a light snack around 1:30 and then eats a normal dinner. He has cheesy, buttery, popcorn almost every night that he pops in his air popper and douses with melted butter and grated cheddar. This is a guy who lived on Doritos, pizza, frozen dinners and ice cream before he met me. He doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him anywhere. Then, when I heard about his diet, I wanted to feed him healthy foods. I completely changed our diet, going completely organic. Instead of frozen dinners, he was eating Tuna Niçoise salad, or salmon and vegetables for dinner. He really did not want to give up his ice cream, so I bought a Cuisinart Ice-20 ice cream maker and made it fresh and organic for him has often as he wanted it. Mostly we made plain frozen yogurt. As I told you before, at the end of this time, he had lost 30 lbs, and I didn’t lose an ounce. Do you know what the difference was in our diet? I drank a smoothie, and he still ate Doritos.

So, I’m convinced it’s not what you eat but when. He still kept to the 10 hours of eating and 14 of fasting every day. That was just his routine; he didn’t call it fasting, or even think of it as fasting. But I always drank my breakfast smoothie, made my popcorn pristine (no butter and cheese), and only had maybe an 8 to 10 hour fast per day.

The upshot of yesterday was, I realized, that my head is clear, and I have so much greater focus now, and I don’t even think about eating. Not eating does NOT make you hungry. Since I had already made it 22 hours without even realizing it, I actually made it 4 more until we ate dinner last evening.

I did notice that I was cold yesterday and today, whereas I’m always the warm one in the house, so I’m guessing I was a bit too low on fuel. I’ve spent many years hypoglycemic. When you’ve had several hypoglycemic episodes, you want to do anything in the world to avoid them, so often you eat when you don’t need to for fear of your blood sugar dropping. Apparently, hypoglycemic episodes are suddenly no longer a problem for me. The only time I find myself shaky and feeling too low blood sugar is when I exercise at the end of my 18 hours, just before breaking fast.

OH! and the biggest news: when I was at the grocery store today, I actually found myself hitching up my pants. I looked down to see if I was wearing my baggy jeans. Nope! The skinny jeans. Yay! Signs that maybe that silhouette isn’t all that impossible after all.

One of the things I do every day is analyze what I’m doing, what I’m eating, how I’m feeling. It’s a constant experiment. So I want to revisit the subject of carbs tomorrow.

Until then.

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