I started this way of eating because I was frustrated and looking for something to “cure” my emotional eating. I was willing to try almost anything. Fasting was never something that was on my radar because, in all honesty, it scared me. How in the heck was I supposed to go X number of hours without food? I have convinced myself,in the past, that I get the shakes and that my blood sugar dips to dangerously low levels if I don’t eat every couple of hours (not ever tested of course, self diagnosed). Basically, what I was feeling was fear and unwillingness to try something that was foreign. When I broke through that barrier, that is when the true magic happened.
The last month has not been perfect by any means but I have come to the realization that mind is so much stronger than stomach. As stated in my previous blog post on intermittent fasting, I did feel not so good for a few days when I first began fasting but once I got over this hurdle, I actually felt better. Better not only while I was fasting but also better about the food that was going into my body, better about the treats I was eating, and better emotionally because I wasn’t mindlessly stuffing food into my mouth on a daily basis.
Now to get into the imperfections of the past month. I didn’t fast everyday. In fact, the last week of my month was spent eating lots of food at every hour of the day (well, not every hour but every waking hour) and eating not so good foods for a couple of those days. But, there was absolutely no guilt about anything I ate and there was absolutely no weird hang ups for me about eating past my normal eating time (when fasting, I usually eat 10-6).
These imperfections really were the test though. Because of the lack of guilt, and because of the mindset I kept about eating outside of my normal eating time, I really solidified that intermittent fasting was right for me.
What I am trying to say on a broader scale about eating in general, is that you need to find a way of eating that does not give you any kind of guilt and that does not cause weird hang ups for you. The fact is, even if your eating habits are totally “normal”, if you are having guilt about food, and if you are hiding aspects of your eating habits, then the way you are eating is not healthy for you.
I was this person. I was emotionally eating and having major guilt about the foods that I was mindlessly consuming. I found something that worked, it isn’t a magic pill or a cookie cutter program that works for everyone. I work at it everyday. I tweak it, I experiment, I put in the effort.
What am I going to work on in month 2? I am going to work on timing my workouts with my meals to make my workouts more effective. I am getting more strength but I was so used to working out first thing in the morning ( I did it for about a year) that working out mid-morning is still taking some getting used to. Sometimes I eat too much pre-workout and then feel like I need to eat more after and then I end up feeling stuffed. Or, sometimes, I don’t eat enough pre-workout and then I feel weak during my workout. Its all about finding a balance and I know this takes time but I am getting a little antsy to be back into a rhythm again.
I hope to come back and write next month’s intermittent fasting update with some positive news about my workouts.
Until then, I will keep working hard to find that balance.