• Sandy Reynolds

My experience with intermittent fasting

Every month this year, my sister and I are trying one thing to improve our health. We started with sugar-free January and moved into intermittent fasting last month. There have been volumes written about this approach to health. I was in the drugstore this week, and I saw a magazine devoted to intermittent fasting. It's that mainstream.

If you aren't familiar with this popular diet trend, the idea is to shorten the amount of time that you eat during the day. Some people recommend doing 16-18 hours of fasting. In a 24 hour period that leaves you with only 6-8 hours where you are 'allowed' to eat. The logic is less time to eat = less calories consumed. It makes sense.

So how was the experience? It was OK. I'm struggling right now with the metrics I want to use for success in this health venture. Weight seems to be an obvious one, but I've been reading Anti Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christie Harrison. As I read it, I noticed how much I am motivated by body image and weight. It's been a struggle my entire adult life. The truth is my weight has probably fluctuated (outside of pregnancy) about 25 pounds. The difference between my thin weight and my fat weight is 25 pounds. The chasm between how I feel about myself feels much larger than 25 pounds. Right now, I'm somewhere in the middle.

I'm considering getting rid of my scale. I'm thinking about what metrics I want to use to measure my health, and I don't think weight or clothes size is how I want to calculate how I feel about myself. What's important to me now at this stage of life is energy, resilience, and strength. I didn't see any marked change in my life after 30 days of doing a 14-15 hour fasting time. I don't usually eat in the evening, and I eat a late dinner and late breakfast, so it wasn't a significant change. Is it worth doing? It can't hurt.

What I am learning overall is that I want to measure what feels most important to me. This month (March 2021), we have decided to track what we eat. I can already tell you I am feeling all sorts of resistance to this focus. Check back in early April for the results.

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