What I’d always thought was poor eating habits turns out to have a pseudo-scientific name: intermittent fasting.
Turns out, contrary to my previous association with the word, to fast merely means to abstain from food. Since I was raised with a monthly “Fast Sunday” practice, I always associated fasting with things spiritual. (Later on I came to understand that breakfast literally means to break one’s fast, but I still associated the terminology of breaking one’s fast with either a violation of the 24-hour monthly fast, i.e. to eat before 24 hours had passed, or breaking it after the 24 hours were over—though I usually call that eating rather than breaking.)
To accompany my low-to-no-sugar practice, I’ve decided to capitalize on my previously-considered-poor habit of skipping meals, and use it to my advantage. I admit to being shallow (if that’s really what this is)—I gave up sugar hoping it would help me lose weight. (I’d become quite good at finding weight lately and surprise, surprise didn’t like it.) Since sugar abstinence wasn’t losing me anything, I wanted to try something with more potential, as long as it was easy. And if it’s all health-promoting, so much the better (because I’m really against damaging my health).
If you want to know more about intermittent fasting, I’ll give you the same recommendation someone gave me. Google: Jason Fung and Dr. Eric Berg on intermittent fasting. So far I’ve only listened to a bunch of Dr. Berg’s videos (which is handy because I spin yarn while I listen—multi-tasking!). My parents raised me to be very health-conscious, so I enjoy listening to lectures on health-related matters. The basic practice seems to be: don’t eat for 16 hours, do eat during the other 8 hours (don’t pig out for 8 hours, just eat normally). That’s what I decided to do for my jumping off point. Seriously, it was going to be SO EASY—it’s just formalizing what I already do anyway.
Along with all the Dr. Berg videos, I also saw one by a blonde gal, who’s in great shape, talking about her first week trying IF out. That particular video wasn’t especially informative, but I picked up one really helpful piece of information from it: DAY TWO WAS HARD.
True. Yesterday was relatively easy, but today? So, so, so tempting to start eating at noon (my selected begin-eating-hour is 1:30-2:00). After all, I was HUNGRY and people should eat when they’re hungry, right?
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah, but let’s define hungry. Is it when your stomach is growling or when you’re passing out? (OK, yeah, not passing out but more like feeling faint and shaky-ish)? Because other than my noisy mid-section, I’m feeling grrrrrrrreat! In fact, I think the only reason I’m paying attention to the noise is because “I’m not allowed to eat yet.” Like I said, I already have the habit of skipping meals for half-or-more of the day (not routinely, just—ahem—intermittently). When you attach strictures like a time clock to it, then I Pay Attention, notice the deprivation, and want to alleviate it. It takes a tough customer to not thrash about when fettered.
Many years ago I saw an episode of M*A*S*H* wherein Hawkeye decided to give up drinking alcohol. He made everyone else bored sick with his constant chatter about the virtues of sobriety. The lesson was not lost on me. So, fair warning: writing about IF is a great way to kill an hour and a half. I want to remember some of my experiences. And maybe there’s someone out there who’s considering the practice and might find my information useful.
Hopefully soon this will be an ingrained habit and I won’t feel the need to yak about it all the time.
In the meantime, ciao! (Or was that chow?)