What fasting has taught me

It’s amazing what you begin to notice when you become more mindful and aware.

Last week, I wrote about my journey of weight loss and mentioned my current plan to kick the kilos goodbye through intermittent fasting. Not eating is something that’s a challenge for me. Particularly being an avid breakfast eater, so adjusting to the 16/8 (fast 16hours, eat for 8hours) was always going to be a struggle.

I started a good few weeks ago. And for the first week, it truly was a struggle. All I could think about until midday was eating. My stomach would let me know it wanted food and it was a constant battle reminding myself why I was doing this. I had decided that if I’m going to give it a shot this time that I need to commit 100% otherwise it’s a failure from day one. So, I pushed through.

I’m at week 3 now and it’s no longer a struggle. I’m not hungry like I used to be. In fact, some days, I don’t eat till 1pm because I forget. But what I’ve come to notice is that, even though I’m not hungry, I still have an urge to eat. I’ll pop into a café to get a coffee, see others eating and I feel like I should maybe buy something too. But I don’t need it. I’m not hungry. The cakes certainly look good and tempting. But I remind myself, in those moments, if you eat something, you are letting only yourself down.

I’ve also noticed that sometimes, I feel the urge to grab something to eat simply because I’m bored. The other morning, I was awaiting a team day to start. I’d gone to get coffee, but I was super early, as usual. I’m a total dweeb like that. And as I thought of what I could do to kill time, I initially started to contemplate getting a bite to eat. As I realised I was thinking this, I started to wonder, how many other times had I eaten simply to ‘kill time’?

*WHAT!?* This was an eye opener for me. Have I ever really been THAT hungry?! I used to tell myself, I could never fast like those others who do it. I NEED to eat. But, I’ve proven myself completely wrong. I don’t need to eat as often as I used to. I certainly do want to eat. Heck, who doesn’t. “Oh, free cake? How could I say no?” But I actually can fast just like others can. I just needed to let my body adjust.

I recently learned that this is one of those, “as you get older” kinds of things too. You see, the older you get, your metabolism slows down. What this means is that instead of eating 3 solid meals a day, we only need to eat two. Our bodies need that extra time to digest what we’ve fed it. Of course, disclaimer, I’m in no way a professional nutritionist or anything so don’t take my word for it but, hearing this, it absolutely makes sense.

I also feel like I have loads more energy and don’t find I need coffee as much. I still drink it of course, but I also drink plenty of water to help through the times when I feel hungry. It’s been an adjustment all round, but I have to say, it’s been a good adjustment. I’ll save money on food, for one thing hahaa. I’ve been a bit all over the place mood-wise while adjusting, but to be more in control of my body feels really empowering.

I think I was ambitious with my goal of 10 kilo down by end of October as I’m down only 2kg after 3 weeks, but down is down and I’m feeling so much better with the progress. The awareness this has given me over myself, why I eat and how I eat, has been the biggest and best achievement of this 3 weeks by far. Thank you all for the supportive comments received after last week! You help keep me motivated. Thank you Brit Army x

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