Diary of a new intermittent faster
I used to eat all the time. I wasn’t fat- I have never really had a weight issue but I am starting to see I had a food issue just the same. I used to be unable to resist a bite of ice cream, which would turn into a late night pint. And I was the girl whose belly never told on me but when I hit my twenties, my teeth began to betray me. I grew up on soda and Halloween candy just like most kids of my generation. My mom raised me alone for the most part so she did her best. I was a picky eater too so that didn’t make things easier on her.
It wasn’t until I started researching tooth decay cures (because I just knew it had to exist! I mean, it doesn’t make sense- my body can heal everything on it and in it EXCEPT for these vital little organs called teeth?! No way) that I began to try to get aggressive against my addiction to sugar. I have been fighting that monster for over 12 years now and it is only this last few weeks I finally found the key to winning for real.
For the last several months, I have felt a prompting inside about fasting. I had heard from various places about the benefits of fasting for health but I wasn’t really “sick” and I didn’t like feeling deprived. At the time, just the thought of fasting got me hungry even if I had just eaten 10 minutes before! And hunger had been such an enemy for me. The symptoms were horrendous! Headaches, brain fog, physical exhaustion!! I was irritable and my stomach painfully told me how stupid I was for trying to deprive myself like this. What was I trying to prove?
But the prompting persisted. So I paid attention. I started looking for information on how to fast properly and make it a regular part of my lifestyle. I have been breastfeeding for nearly 4 years now (almost 2 years with Annabelle and Avery’s journey picked up where hers ended) and I am nearing the end of Avery’s and my breastfeeding journey. The timing felt right. As I researched, I came upon a then free online summit about intermittent fasting and signed up for it. I did not get to listen to many of the seminars from the online summit but what I did hear was revolutionary. People have seen cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more reversed through fasting! It’s incredible how the body can heal itself when it isn’t constantly focusing on repairing the gut damage we do with our foods, or even just on digesting the massive amounts of food we ingest every day! In the summit, they talked about how people actually felt more alert and energetic when fasting than when eating! What?! And how quickly they could bounce back from any small virus that attacked them while fasting! And how a 3 day water-only fast will 100% reset your immune system!
What could I say? I had to try it. I was encouraged by the fact that people were seeing results even from skipping one meal a day. I could do that. I have done it multiple times unintentionally and while I didn’t usually like it, I knew I wouldn’t be suffering too much to do it. So I did. And some days, I fasted longer than just breakfast skipping. Some days I’d skip dinner but eat lunch. I haven’t been tracking the hours or time frames during which I fast. I’m just eating when I feel I truly must. Right now that is 1-2 times per day. It has been very interesting.
For one thing, I don’t WANT to eat as much as I used to. I have found that I have more energy while fasting and I noticed this right away, which lead me to believe the whole experience of food withdrawal is actually more about my mind than my body. I could easily curb hunger pains with bone broth. It’s not plain water, but it’s not food either. The first time I tried a 24 hour fast, I ate too fast when I broke the fast, and it hurt my stomach. I was actually too tired to keep sitting at my computer desk and working. I took a nap and handled some bathroom business and was back in action! I learned then that feeds should be gentle on my body.
As I have been pursuing gentle and properly timed feeds, I am finding myself only attracted to vegetables and some fruits. Occasionally, I can eat meat but mostly, I have wanted liquids, smoothies, or a simple salad and that is ALL! And if I’m eating food I have to chew, I HAVE TO GO SLOW! It’s a crazy experience. My meal sizes are barely half of what I used to consume in one sitting and literally do not include ANY sugar. I do still sweeten my coffee with maple syrup, but other than that, there is no added sugar in my life— I. Don’t. Want. It. Not because I’m “trying to be healthy”- I am just trying not to get a stomach ache because when you don’t spend all your energy eating, the times you do eat are literally just for fuel, and should not bring pain or tiredness that you don’t have time to succumb to anyway!
So, am I hungry? Sometimes. If it gets too bad, I do eat. I am still eating twice a day most days. But my desire is to take some time in the near future and do a 3 day fast to reset my immune system. It’s possible I will start eating vegetarian or even raw vegan because I just don’t care about food anymore unless it feels good to eat it. Right now, I am just enjoying the benefits of feeling more freed up with my time because my own eating habits don’t take up nearly as much energy as they used to, and I’m working on allowing the other areas of self discipline for my life to present themselves through this endeavor.