I’ve been so busy doing, and getting out, and socialising, I haven’t had a clue what to blog about, or what was of interest! But I thought I’d give you an update on my eating, my battle with food obsession right now.
I started looking into 5:2, taking an interest in the tentative link between fasting and depression. I figured if nothing else it was worth giving it a go to see if it could help lit my mood. It seems counter intuitive on the surface. Not eating has, in the past, left me short tempered, crabby, tearful. How would limiting myself to 500 calories two days a week affect me? The first day I drank lots and lots, coffee, water, coffee, water, a bit more coffee. And my meal was a protein heavy stir fry type affair. I was surprised and interested at how quickly the feeling of hunger could pass. It didn’t get progressively worse throughout the day. And it wasn’t unbearable. The meal I ate was at about 3pm, and it felt ok. The day passed. I went to bed. I woke up. I was hungry that first post fast day. And I think I got up fairly early to grab something to eat. But it wasn’t a ravenous “I need something now before I start eating my pillow” type hunger.
I decided to have the next fast day a few days later. But what I did notice quickly was that I was eating a little more than I needed on the day after the fast, and before the next. The lack of regularity was somewhat unnerving to me, and I was a little paranoid about the food I was eating. I felt a little out of control, and felt very quickly that 5:2 wasn’t going to work for me. The inconsistency of fasting, then eating normally, then fasting 2,3 or 4 days later was too irregular, not reliable enough, and leaving me with that diet feeling of the “last supper” eating around those fast days.
But I liked the idea of fasting, and the link with mood was something I still wanted to explore. So I started to investigate the Alternate Day Fasting as promoted by Dr Krista Varady, you can see her facebook page here. I liked the fact that there was a continuity to the week. Every other day was a pattern I could rely on, and so I started. I’m only a week on but the difference between this and the 5:2 for me is palpable. I have spent time buying the loveliest tastiest foods to enjoy on the fast days, making enriched salads that pack a flavoursome punch. The fast day meal is an event, but it is so satisfying, and surrounded by so much activity that the day passes with ease. The non fast days are relaxed, eating what I want, continuing to try to tune in, not over eat, but stress and guilt free, which is the way I had been edging back into.
I am losing weight, and I won’t deny it maintains something I want to do, but it is a slow weight loss and I am completely happy with that! Because the stress and anxiety around mealtimes is absent at the moment. I feel more energetic, and wake up less exhausted! Every fast day is taken as it comes, and it is something I intend to be flexible with. I have a bbq on Friday, it’s meant to be a fast day, but instead I’ll just shift it across to the next day and enjoy the bbq. I can choose to be rigid, and miss out on socialising when the opportunity strikes, or I can relax and let this fit my life and my choices.
As far as mood goes, I really do feel a little lifted at the moment, I feel less anxious today, more capable of doing things. It is preferable to the paranoia around my life and friendships that was creeping in over the last few weeks. But I don’t expect miracles straight away, and feel that those Black Dogs are still lurking waiting to bite. Just the awareness is enough to keep me humble.
So there we go. That’s it for now! I don’t think it’s for everyone. I don’t think this is the new plan that could change the world. But it is working for me right now. And that’s enough to be getting on with.