Intermittent fasting – 12 weeks in

Four days into lockdown in South Africa but as importantly… 12 weeks of Intermittent Fasting done and dusted! I am so excited to have made it this far and even more excited at the results that I am now seeing. Guys, this lifestyle change is worth considering! Don’t believe me? Read on…

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The Benefits

Where shall I start…ok, lets start with the one benefit that everyone wants to know about…the weight loss. Yes it is happening and not very fast at all but the I have lost approximately 6kg’s thus far. I seem to have stagnated at this point on the scale or I just need a new scale. (It’s been very inconsistent lately.) I doesn’t really phase me though. What does excite me is that I have lost the weight and I have dropped 2 dress sizes! Yes you read that right! ok, lets call it a dress size and a half because I would hover between and 18 and a 20 and now I fit back into a 16!!! How times change…the first time I ever bought a size 16, I was mortified at how fat I had gotten and now I am thrilled to be wearing that size.

My energy levels are definitely up. I have started running up my stairs now that we are in lockdown and it feels good. I definitely need to exercise more to get my fitness levels going . I have been working from home for 2 weeks now and I suspect that the lack of movement around the office, which is where I would normally get 5000+ steps in, is also slowing down my weight loss. My head is still clear as well which is brilliant. I never want to go back to that foggy head feeling again.

Lastly, and most importantly, I have seen a reduction in my blood glucose levels. I was so excited by today’s reading in particular. I had my lowest reading this morning since 2016 and I was shocked to have my lowest readings after 2 helpings of dessert this evening. I know I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t help myself, my son had made the must delicious apple cake which we had with cream. Besides I had my morning reading to celebrate. 😉 The reading was almost normal. My doctor is going to be pleasantly surprised when I tell him.

The secret?

I am religious about fasting for a minimum of 16 hours every day. I usually start eating at around 11:30 am or 12 am and have my last meal by 7 pm at the latest. I am not as good about watching what I eat but I try not to snack during my eating period and I stick to black coffee these days. I do need to increase my water intake again as well. i have slackened off on that. I don’t really miss eating during that fasting period and, even when I feel hungry, I don’t stress about it because I know that those pangs will subside as quickly as they rose up whether I drink something or not. The real secret is to commit to making the change and to always remember why you made that commitment in the first place. What is that benefit, that life changing benefit, that you are committed to achieving? That is what will make you keep your commitment to yourself. As Simon Sinek says; “Start with Why”. Here’s the other thing to remember, you will only be committed to the change when you are ready to make it. You will know when is that time for you. For me, I have a sense of “it’s now or never” and then I know that it’s time to make the change, I commit to it, the universe sends me who and what I need and then it is a done deal and there is no turning back. I do my part and God does the rest. I don’t believe He is done with me yet! What’s your “commitment” moment?

I hope you are all staying at home and keeping yourselves and your families safe. Let’s do our part to #flattenthecurve

Until next time…#staysafe

January was a great month!

Can you believe that January is finally over! While it was definitely a long month, it was a great month for me (and I hope for you too). I started and maintained Intermittent Fasting in an effort to get this diabetes into remission and, hopefully, I will lose major weight along the way. I have also started being more disciplined and focussed on my goals and desires.

a greek salad
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Intermittent fasting…an update

My routine

It’s almost one month since I started. I started strong and expected a wobble when I got back to work halfway through the month. I must admit that I do miss breakfast. Much like smoking, I miss the ritual of it and not the actual eating of food. It was also something I did with my son in the morning and I could see that was he was getting a bit lonely in the mornings so now I make sure I have my coffee while he is eating so that he doesn’t eat alone. I am also up earlier during the week because of work so I feel hungrier sooner than I did when I was on leave. I usually end my fast at 12 and start between 6 and 7pm. I try not to eat after 7pm if I can avoid it. On those days when the hunger pangs are too great to bear and not even coffee or water is keeping them at bay, I eat at 11am. I just make sure that I have my last meal no later than 6pm. Snacking is still my challenge over weekends. During the week I have the meals and almost never snack in between.

The benefits thus far

So far so good. I think my body is starting to heal but we will have to have my doctor check that in July when I have my check-up. I am thrilled that my blood glucose levels have a lower average through the day. This week I saw my lowest morning readings in about 2 years. They still need to drop further so that I can stop my medication but that will take time and this is a war I will win. I have to admit, every time I am tempted to snack often, I just remind myself of the goal and I pick up a glass of water instead. They say that you have to have a clear purpose to give you the best chance at succeeding at a goal. Beating diabetes will not only benefit me but my son in the long run and so far. this is the main reason I have been able to stay on track. The other reason is the dream of walking into a clothing store and just picking stuff up off the rack that I know I will look good in. Putting on weight completely threw for a loop when it came to clothes shopping. Suddenly all my favourite styles and cuts just looked wrong on me. I can’t wait to go back to buying my favourite clothes again. As of this morning, I am 2.9kg lighter (Whoop whoop!) so the weight loss dream is still alive. I am most excited about my lower blood glucose levels though. My head is still clearer than it used to be. The inflammation is largely gone but as I mentioned in my last post, it still pops in if I eat too many carbs. I also have more energy. Not vast amounts but I have noticed that I am not as tired at the end of the day on the most days which is great. I hated being tired more often than not.

So what have I been eating????

In all honestly, I haven’t made too many drastic changes to my diet. I have cut out fried chips but will steal 2 or 3 from Alex when he has so as not to feel deprived. He doesn’t bother getting upset anymore and now just offers them to me…lol. I try to keep fast food down to twice a week and and when I do have it, I make sure I am done eating by 6pm. I just feel less guilty about it if I eat it early for some reason. My dinners tend to be a protein plus veggies or a salad. I try to keep carbs to the barest minimum. My lunches are similar. I will have a chicken wrap most often at work for lunch. It keeps me full for the rest of the day and my blood glucose levels are pretty good after 2 hours. My aim is to avoid spikes in my blood glucose levels after meals. I stay away from fruit as a general rule (I was never a fan anyway so this is not hard for me) and eggs are my saving grace when I don’t know what else to eat. A boiled egg salad always hits the spot and the taste buds are always happy with it as well. What changes did you make when you started IF?

Exercising Greater focus

The one thing I have decided to start up again, although I can’t possibly tell you why I stopped, is meditating. I suck at it but I feel good about trying to do it anyway. My brain is all over the place! I accidentally bought the Oprah and Deepak 21-day meditation entitled “The Energy of Attraction” almost 2 years ago. I was mortified as it was not cheap but I kept it as I figured it had a message I needed to hear. Listening to it now, with the last 18 months worth of life experience behind me, has helped me see things differently. By the way, the free 21-day meditation on health starts on the 3rd so go and sign up if you are interested. There is a link on my facebook page. (Lawd please don’t make me make the same mistake again cos my credit card cannot take the pressure!)

candle
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Other tips and tricks that are helping me stay focussed on my various goals

  • I have my vision board on my bedroom wall and on my phone. Alex is most fascinated by it and keeps asking why I this or that included. He says I believe in “a lot of things that most people don’t”. It used to bother him but he is starting to see the benefits in his own life so he is slowly coming around.
  • I set reminders on my phone with positive messages and affirmations to keep me focussed on what I want so that I don’t drift off into zeroing in on the things that I don’t want. It is just way to easy for me to get upset about the things around me that I don’t want instead of focussing on where my vision is. As Steve Harvey says” You simply cannot drive forward if you’re focussed on what’s happening in the rear view mirror.”
  • A lot of the non-fiction books I read are on my kindle app on my phone. I highlight the passages that resonate with me so that I can easily go back to them when I feel like I am drifting off course.
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Of course I have made all these changes with my the intention of changing my inner word so that my outer world will change. How long it will take for the outward changes to show will probably depend on the consistent implementation of those inner changes and how big my dreams are. I don’t expect to be a billionnaire overnight but it is not impossible to be one 15-20 years from now. The changes required to make it happen have to happen now as an example. I am so excited anyway because I know in my heart that everything I have ever prayed for and will still pray for in the future is on it’s way to me. Watch this space! It’s gonna be a “God’s gone and done it again” decade!

Lastly, welcome February, the month of Love 🙂 I can’t wait to see what miracles you bring me. Of course love is definitely welcome and a lot of spoiling. 😜 Hope you all get to celebrate love with someone special to you this month.

Bye for now.

And when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

One more day to my birthday! Whoop whoop! I made it through another year and I am so grateful this past year. Not only did I make it but I grew. No, I did not grow wider physically for once (Yipee!). I grew as a person. I didn’t really have much of a choice but hey such is life. The important part is that it is all just part of the journey and I am enjoying the ride. Even the scary parts. I usually treat my birthday as a second new year and start “implementing” any changes I want to make then. This year I actually started on New Years day.

Unicorn birthday cake
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After much assessment of where I am and where I want to be, I came to realise that I don’t really live a very intentional life. I have a tendency to say I want to do certain things and even have a “why” as motivation yet, I never intentionally act on those desires. I just fall into things and never actually question if the action I find myself taking is really getting me any closer to my end goal. I tell myself it is but, hello, I haven’t exactly come anywhere close to achieving them so clearly my actions are not. I react and I definitely don’t act intentionally.

Clearly this needs to change. So I made the decision to start acting intentionally and it blows my mind how quickly the universe comes to the party. On New Years day I suddenly found myself with alone time on my hands so I started working in a new journal that I had purchased. I wrote down my goals, my words for the year (“intentional” being one of them) and I started looking for images for my vision board. I have been attempting to put one together for the past two years. I created one for my phone about a month a go but I still felt like I needed a proper board up in my room so finally it is done.

The next day I go to the doctor as my prescription needs a refill and I walk away with the distinct feeling that I must lose the weight that the doctor has been nagging me about now. I had the sense that it has to be now or I will live to regret it. As per my last blog post, I was not happy about the idea of losing weight as it is a lifestyle change that I didn’t want to make but I knew it had to be done. So what did God do, He sends me an angel in the form of Kerry, to direct me to a book and offer to go on the journey with me. I buy the book the same day and read it. While I am reading it, everything just clicks into place and I know, I just know, that this time I will succeed. Thank you God and Thank you Kerry!

You probably think I am talking a load of bull but I have experienced that “click” every time I have made a major decision in my life, especially when it is one that I have been avoiding accepting because I am scared of the new reality it will bring. In my early 20’s, I had a 5 year on again/off again relationship with a guy that I adored. We were in 2 different places in our lives and, quite frankly, we were just very immature at the time. We knew we couldn’t give each other what the other wanted but we were not prepared to let go. Then one day, he did something that made me realise that it was time to let go. It was very minor but that “click” kicked in and that was that I walked away. I did start questioning my decision after a few months but God quickly gave me a reality check and made sure that thought didn’t enter my head again. I cried for days but once I stopped I was good to go again and never looked back. When I gave up smoking, I dragged my feet about it until one day, while watching the budget speech, I just decided this was it. I was not wasting another blue dime on cigarettes, I picked up the book on giving up smoking from my book shelf (I had purchased it about a month earlier) and while I was reading it, click, click and click happened, and that was that. I haven’t picked up a cigarette in 6 years and 11 months. When I am done, I am done.

There are a few other examples I can think of but I’m sure you get the point. I heard and felt that click while reading that book so I am done with this weight and this diabetes that tried to take up residence in my body. Not today bugger. Not today! So it’s day 2 of this new journey and new reality. There are three obstacles that I need to overcome to make this work.

  1. Drinking black coffee. It’s never quite being my thing
  2. Giving up snacking. I do it when I am bored or need to think.
  3. Cut down on my carbs

Black coffee has been overcome! I had my first cup yesterday and actually enjoyed it. This evening I reached for the milk in the fridge and felt nauseous at the thought of adding it to my coffee. Mental switch officially done and dusted. Giving up snacking will be done. If i think back to my thin days, I didn’t snack as a general rule. I at when I was hungry and that was that. I ate to live and i did not live to eat and I was happy so it will not kill me not to snack. I will still be happy. My wallet will be happy with a lower grocery bill and my body will be happy because it won’t constantly have to work on digesting food.

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I am still working on the mental trick to cut down on carbs but I am not too stressed about it. One way or the other, the comfort carbs days have come to an end. Cheerio comfort carbs. Thank you for the comfort but it’s time to move on now. Do note that if you see me in the next few days and I appear a bit crabby, please bear with me, I am just adjusting to the lack of comfort carbs.

The book, for those who are interested, is about Intermittent fasting. I had researched the topic to death last year when my doctor first recommended it but there were no clicks. While reading the book, everything that I researched about banting and intermittent fasting came together in a nice little package that went …you guessed it…click. The right book at the right time. The book is called Delay, Don’t Deny by Gin Stephens if you would like to read it.

The effect is slow apparently so don’t expect a new me strolling down the street in the next few weeks but definitely in the next few months.

Welcome 47 and my New Reality! I am ready for you.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to like and share if did. I would love to hear your tips and tricks with Intermittent fasting . Bye for now.

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