Week 11 - How did I get Here?

Week 11 of Intermittent Fasting. How did I get here? One day at a time, turning into one week at a time, and now almost 3 months. Wow! I think the fact that I’m not regularly posting on my blog is a testament to the fact that IF is becoming just another part of my life. I do want to continue to post, for my own purposes, as well as the possible encouragement to others.

My weight is down 13lbs. Definitely not where I wanted it to be 3 months in. I am dissapointed with the rate of loss, but in my head I knew it would be a pound a week process. I did have a few eating setbacks and have found that they cost me a week in weight loss, on the other hand, it shows me that this will be a viable, sustainable weight loss program and lifestyle. It’s good news.

I am trying to eat fewer refined carbs, although I do not eliminate any food groups. I find that when I lay off the breads, pastas, etc, that I feel better.

Today I broke my fast with some fresh fruit and then had a great dinner of pot roast (very lean meat). I loaded it up with carrots, mushrooms and onions. I didn’t eat any potatoes. Drinking tons of water, which makes me feel good. Yummy food.

I will try to post weekly again, as I do think it is helpful.

See ya next week!

Week 11 - Italiannie

Anxiety Free Hunger

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. Crazy busy and car wreck and computer crash. I’ve been posting on the boards, but it’s not the same. So……

I’ve been doing Fast-5 with an occasional 24 hour fast for several weeks now. I wanted to note a change in my thinking, which I believe is due to Intermittent Fasting, as I have never had this happen before. As I write, I’ve been fasting since 7pm last night and I will break my fast at 7pm tonight. I have hunger pangs once in a while, but I’m certainly not starving.

I noticed that although I am hungry at times, I do not feel nervous or anxious about whether to eat or not, or what to eat. I’m just simply hungry. I don’t feel the need to run to the refrigerator, but more importantly, I don’t feel stressed out about eating at all. I think I’m actually learning to separate true hunger from craving food as second nature.

I know I’m not explaining this well, but let me give it a try again.

I’m hungry, so I look forward to eating when I break my fast. I’m not craving food in general or of any type. I’m not “dying to eat something.” Before IF, I would have been dying to eat something, whether I was truly hungry or not.

Could it be that, in time, I can actually conquer a “food addiction” in a real an permanent way? Can I permanently change my relationship with food to something that is healthy? Dare I dream?

Once again IF is seeming to have benefits, that I did not foresee.

This is an interesting journey.

2/5/12 - 8 weeks of IF 10.5lbs lost.

Italiannie

Week 4 - Completed!

4 weeks of my Intermittent Fasting experiment are under the bridge. I have lost 7.9lbs, averaging just under 2lbs per week. I am going into week 5 and will be doing another week of Fast-5. F5 seems to be working best for me. I have lost over 7lbs on F5 and less than 1 lb on Eat-stop-Eat. Not only is my weightloss more significant on F5, but I have found it a bit easier to do than ESE. I think with ESE, I have to plan a little better, and I don’t necessarily want to do that. With F5 my days are pretty much the same.

I keep a 5 hour eating window open 4-9 or 5-10pm. It seems like such a breeze to me. Even had a “girl’s night out” this weekend and still lost over 2lbs. I’m going to keep going with Fast-5 and see how it goes. I will keep ESE for weeks when I need a cleansing day or if I know I have an eating weekend or something ahead of me - Superbowl Sunday comes to mind. So, for now, that is my plan.

What have my struggles been this week? One day I was pretty hungry by 3pm, so I opened my eating window at 3:30 and stopped eating at 8:30. It worked great. The next day my window was back to 5-10. I don’t know why this seems so easy right now. I know there are times in my life when this would have been a big struggle, but this isn’t one of those times, so I’m riding the wave. Hoping to keep it going indefinitely. Nice lifestyle choice for me.

I feel I am really learning what hunger is, and I am learning that I don’t need to eat all the time. These are very freeing for me. I remember when I was on Weight Watchers (a program that I have tons of respect for), I was always thinking about food, planning food, and I was very stressed and anxious about not having enough points to last through the evening, not knowing what to order when I went out, or what I was going to do at a social gathering. With Intermittent Fasting, I have virtually eliminated these stresses. I eat normally, responsibly, and even treat myself - no guilt, no rules, no good-food/bad-food.

I actually feel more normal and natural doing Intermittent Fasting, regardless of whether it was a ESE week or a F5 week, than I ever did with more conventional diet plans. This is more “real-life” to me.

So, on that note…… off to another week of Intermittent Fasting with Fast-5.

1/10/12 Italiannie

The Skill of “Not Eating”

I promised myself I would post every Tuesday, but with the holiday weekend, I lost track of time. Well, here I am, a day late. Yesterday I began a week of Fast-5. So far I have done 1 week of Fast-5, two weeks of Eat-Stop-Eat, and now a back to Fast-5. ESE worked so well during the holidays, as it was wonderfully flexible. I did lose more weight my first week of Fast-5, but then I wasn’t eating all of the holiday goodies and I did lose a bit on ESE during Christmas and New Year’s weeks, so I think that is very successful.

Intermittent Fasting is teaching me some very important things. Right now, I must say that the best thing I am learning is how not to eat. I know this sounds obvious, but learning this skill is much more important than simply not eating during my fasting times. I have noticed that after I break my fast and have a wonderful meal, and even a small dessert, that I am not usually hungry for the rest of the evening, and I don’t really eat. Before I practiced IF, I would eat all evening, whether I was hungry or not. This not “needing” to eat is a HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT for me. As anyone with a weight or eating problem knows, conquering habitual eating is at the core of successful weight loss and maintenance.

So - to repeat myself (it is important that I remind myself of these things over and over, so forgive my redundant blogs)

1- I’m learning that it’s ok to be a little hungry, and as a matter of fact, I’m hungrier less and less during my fast times

2- I’m learning that once I’ve eaten and I am satisfied, it is getting easier to not eat (this is a skill)

3- I’m not obsessing on food all day, but I certainly look forward to delicious and healthy things when I do break my fast, and I can eat what I want and not feel guilty or like a failure

4- I’m learning that food is not my enemy. I continue to enjoy cooking, eating and entertaining

Onward we go!

Itialiannie 1/4/12

Got through the Hunger!

Yesterday I reported in that I was very hungry, I would say ravenous, for the first time since I started my Intermittent Fasting. By 12:30 in the afternoon I had been starving for a couple of hours!!!! Well I did power through it.

I think I would have been fine with myself had I eaten, but I wanted to see if I could actually do it. It was more of a mind over matter thing as opposed to a weight control thing.

I feel great that I had powered through! So……… I’m not only learning to deal with knowing real hunger from false hunger, but I’ve also learned that I can do something, even when it is uncomfortable. I don’t know if I would recommend it to someone, or do it again for that matter, but there was a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

I broke my fast with some fruit and a handful of nuts and then made a huge salad. I ordered pizza and wings for my family, and I ate one slice of pizza and 2 wings. I found they were really too greasy and salty for me. (I would normally have eaten 2-4 slices of pizza and 4 or so wings)

My take-aways:

I do not feel the need to binge after a fast, as a matter of fact, I’m satisfied with less

Fasting has helped to clean my pallette and has given my tastebuds a heightened sense of what is good.

These are wonderful things!

12/30/11 Italiannie

Hungry Today!

Well into my 3rd week of Intermittent Fasting, and I’m really hungry today, much earlier than usual. I’m doing Eat Stop Eat, and I’m in the middle of a 24 fast, which I do not plan to break until 6pm. It’s 12:30; 5 1/2 hours to go. So, how am I going to deal with this? Let’s sum up why I’m doing IF:

1- An easy way to create a weekly calorie deficit

2- Enables me to eat pretty much what I want, and enjoy my family, meals, gatherings etc.

3- Looking to lose 1-2lbs per week

4- Looking for a sustainable, low cal lifestyle that does not have me obsessing about food

5 - Has worked well in the past

What is the reality:

1- It has been fairly easy, with only tummy rumbles a few times. Not as much of a struggle as I thought

2- I’ve enjoyed all family gatherings and no one even knows what I’m doing, enjoyed cooking, celebrating and entertaining.

3- I’ve lost a close to 6 lbs in just over 2 weeks - not bad for Christmastime

4- I’m not thinking about food all of the time, just what I would normally be doing for dinner, etc.

5- It has been working so far, with little trouble, with the exeption of today

My take away: I’ve been using the blog and the forums to help keep myself accountable, which has been wonderful. I love the encouragement I get from the people on the boards. I’m not even going on them as much as I was at the beginning, but it’s great to know they are there, when I need them. I’m involved in an accountability thread and a Valentine weight loss challenge.

It’s the first time in a long time when I’ve been able to go to bed at night and not feel like a failure, and I haven’t really felt like I’ve been on a “diet” or a “program.”

I’m absolutely delighted with the weight loss/lifestyle combo. It is doing everything I need it to do.

Can I stick it out this afternoon? How will I feel if I make it through the next several hours without food? How will I feel if I break my fast? I know I’ll be pretty forgiving of myself, as I’ve had a great 2 weeks, and tomorrow is another day, on the other hand, wouldn’t it be great to have powered through this, giving myself the confidence that I can do that when it gets difficult - it really has been pretty easy up until now. This is the first time I’ve been hungry enough that I’m not able to distract myself.

Well, I’ll see what happens over the next several hours. I’m grateful to have this blog for accountability. I want my evening to be filled with joy and happiness regardless of whether I break the fast early or not. I’ll check in tomorrow with a report.

12/29/11 Itailiannie

IF Through the Holidays

It was my intention to write every Tuesday (my official weekly weigh-in day), but I put in a 13 Hour Day yesterday, so I didn’t have a chance to post. I’m into Week 3 of my Intermittent Fasting experiment. I did one week of Fast-5 and I’m into week two of Eat Stop Eat. I thought ESE would be great this week, as I know with another holiday coming, I wanted the flexibility of being able to eat outside of a window.

So….. I’m down a total of 5.7 lbs in just over 2 weeks. This is phenomenal to me when I consider that this is the holiday season, and I’ve enjoyed my family, my holiday foods and still lost weight. I believe that because I am learing what real hunger is, because I am not depriving myself of anything, and I am not thinking about food all of the time, it has been a sucess so far.

There has definitely been a 2 steps forward and 1 step back result on the scale, but the trend has clearly been downward. I did not mention to very many people what I am doing, as I didn’t want to hear that I need to be eating more often, and because I could eat what I wanted, no one is the wiser.

If you are an emotional eater, like almost everyone who struggles with their weight - as emotional eating is defined by any eating when you are not hungry (bored, angry, happy, frustrated, etc) - you may want to give Intermittent Fasting a try.

Well, I have to decide when to take down my Christmas decorations. They are so pretty, but they do start getting dusty and they lose some of their glitter after a few weeks. Ahhhh the holidays - I love to see them come and I love to see them go.

For information on Intermittent Fasting check out the web sites for

Eat Stop Eat - Tons of info and a downloadable manual - not too expensive

Fast-5 - Tons of info and a FREE downloadable manual

I don’t believe I’ve been getting any spam from either of these sites. So, all’s well.

12/28/11 Week 3

Itialiannie

Entering Week 2 IF with Joy at Christmas!

Delighted that I came through my first week of Intermittent Fasting with a 4.5 weight loss. I won’t say that it didn’t have it’s challenges, but it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been. I opted for the Fast-5 Program this past week (I ate only during a 5 hour window 5-10pm). I did not binge the way I thought I might, which was a huge success. I think because I immediately ate a couple of pieces of fruit a the beginning of my eating window, it really helped me take the edge off. After that, I cooked and ate as I normally would during the evening. I do eat a mostly healthy and whole food diet, but I always ate too much. This has been a great way for me to manage my calorie intake. It feels natural to me.

Having said that, I promised I would try a couple of Intermittent Fasting programs, to see which one would work best for me as a permanent lifestyle. Today I will begin Eat-Stop-Eat. With this method, you eat normally 5 days of the week and then you have 2 days where you have 24 hour fasts. You do eat each day, though.

Two days during the week you would eat an early dinner and then not eat again until the next night’s dinner. For instance I would finish my dinner one day at 6pm and then not eat again until 6pm the following night. I thought this would work well this week, as it’s the holiday, and I plan to:

Eat regularly Today (Tues), Weds and Thurs

Eating regularly on Friday buth with an early dinner - Finishing by 6pm

Fasting Saturday until 6pm (Christmas Eve Dinner)

Eating regularly Sunday (Christmas Day)

Eating early dinner Monday and Fasting until Tuesday Dinner

I think I would normally plan my two fasting days a little further apart, if it wasn’t for the holiday, but the beauty of this program, is that you can be completely flexible.

It was important for me to have a plan going into the holiday. I am looking forward to enjoying wonderful meals, even a little dessert. I am planning to have healthy options to serve my family on Christmas day. This will be an interesting week.

Although I plan to post mostly on Tuesdays, I will definately check in to update any trials or successes I have during the week.

Italiannie 12/20/11

Chilly Sunday

Cold weather has finally shown its ugly face. It always does. Quiet day, took dogs for a run in the fields and then watched some football. My husband is working on putting a new hardwood floor in the kitchen. I do hope he gets it done by Weds, as I am having everyone here for Christmas dinner. It will be fine, I’m sure.

I must say that Intermittent Fasting has been working very well for me. I was never hungry much before 1pm, so my only challenge has been from 2-5pm. Some days I’ve been a little hungry, but mostly I think I’m just used to snacking at about that time. Holding off those few hours is where I save loads of calories. I was usally eating about 600-700 calories during that late afternoon. That knowledge that the couple hours of fasting state has so many benefits gives me the incentive to hang in there.

It’s stunning that I don’t really binge once my window opens. I almost always eat a couple of pieces of fruit first off, which takes off any edge, and is very easy to digest. Then I go about preparing dinner and my evening goes ahead as usual.

I had another nice dinner, followed it with some yogurt and blueberries, and may have a little something later, as I don’t think I had enough calories to get me through until tomorrow’s window.

I began IF last Tuesday, and I believe that I will update my blog on Tuesdays - post my thoughts and progress. I may post in between as needed for my accountability.

My plan is to switch from Fast-5 to Eat Stop Eat for Christmas week, so that I have a plan for holiday success. I want the flexibility that that will give me. It will be interesting to see which program I choose in the long run. May not even need to pick between the two. The beauty of IF is that it is so flexible.

So, I’ll be back on Tuesday!

Italiannie 12/18/11

Lazy Saturday

Today was the first time I felt hungry enough to think I may not make it to my eating window. So at about 1pm I ate an apple, and then I was fine until we got home from church (around 7ish). Made a huge salad with loads of italian fixin’s (not low cal, but definately loads of fiber and tons of fresh stuff). We all loved it. Also had a couple of slices of crusty italian bread. If this was my dinner following a day of eating, it would be alot, but because it was my only food (except for the apple), I could enjoy it.

I will probably have a cookie or some other little dessert at some point too. Yummy. Love IF eating.

I think my struggle today came because I was home alone and the house was quiet, the wind was howling, and frankly I didn’t feel much like doing anything. It was one of those very rare lazy Saturdays (and a week before Christmas, no less). Anyway, I got through it, enjoyed a fabulous church service and had a great dinner with my family.

Thanks for checking in, Italiannie

12/17/11- Day 5