Hey, friends! Thanks for stopping by. Today I want to talk about my latest health obsession: intermittent fasting.
The first time I'd ever heard of intermittent fasting was from Conor. He told me you don't eat for a certain amount of time and eat during a specific time window. If you have read my first blog post and know my story, you can probably imagine that I was horrified at this idea. I couldn't stand the thought of restricting myself from eating ANYTHING for a certain amount of time. So I wrote it off and vowed I would never, ever put my body through anything like that again.
Fast forward to now. It's the best thing since sliced bread. So why the sudden change? Glad you asked!
I'm getting married in November and have been working on checking off all the to-dos, one of those being dress alterations. Long story short, the back of my dress wasn't coming together as it had several months before.... Wonder how that happened! I have to say, though, I took the news well considering my past with body image issues, so I'm proud of that!
My seamstress told me that we would have to change the back of the dress to be an open-back rather than the beautiful buttons that I'd fallen in love with at the store, unless I could slim down some to make it button without being too tight. I was honestly fine with making it open-backed because I trusted that she would make it beautiful, BUT I am always up for a challenge! And those buttons are so pretty!
I was still skeptical, though, of diets and restrictive eating. Even though I knew I wanted to try and lose some fat, I wasn't sure how to do it because I didn't want to go back to feeling tired and irritable all the time. I talked with my trainer (s/o to Jason!) about what we could do in the gym to make my back smaller. I suggested maybe I should do more cardio (yuck) and really clean up my diet (yawn). And at that moment, which has probably changed my life forever, he told me I should try intermittent fasting because "It works."
Here I am four weeks later, feeling amazing inside and out. I honestly am not sure where to start with all the good things to say about it.
All the diets I ever tried in the past (3-1-2-1, calorie restriction, ketogenic, vegetarian, the list goes on) always left me feeling absolutely terrible. I never had any energy and I was always hungry and irritable. I had cravings and binged all the time. I lost my period on several occasions (sorry if that's TMI to you, but I believe it's an important indication of your health!). I lost muscle mass and couldn't make any gains. And I still never felt like I saw the results I really wanted (which probably had more to do with my body image issues than the diet, but still).
But intermittent fasting (IF). Oh my goodness. I have never felt better.
Basically, I ascribe to the 16/8 fasting schedule. So I don't eat for 16 hours, then I have an eating window for 8. I start eating at 12 PM and stop eating at 8 PM. My eating window usually consists of the same amount of food that I normally eat, but some days I'm just not that hungry, so I may only have two meals. There are SO many ways that you can choose to do IF, but I really like the 16/8 because of my activity level and my history of being under-nourished. The 8 hour window gives me enough time to feed my body the amount that it needs. I love it!
So what about the fasting window? Don't you feel tired and hungry? Not at all! This is another miracle of IF. I was sure that I wouldn't be able to do it because I remembered well the feeling of being hungry and I didn't wan't to relive that. But after the first day, I felt so good during my fasting window. It gives you this really clear and focused feeling. I work really well in the mornings during my fast and I also feel great during my workouts. I'm telling you, it's like magic. I can't explain it! Also, I am definitely losing body fat and my clothes are fitting way better!
I don't want to keep rambling about IF, but there really is so much to it. So many health benefits. There is an IF podcast that I listen to now and one of the things they said is that IF is a health regimen with a side effect of weight loss. I love that. It is so flexible and it truly can be a lifestyle because it's sustainable. I'll stop here. But if you're interested, you should look into IF and listen to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast with Melanie Avalon and Gin Stephens on iTunes. It will change your life!
I want to end with this: even though I am trying to lose some body fat, that doesn't mean I am unhappy with the way I look. Before I decided to lose fat in order for my wedding dress to fit, I knew I had gained some, but I wasn't really upset about it. And I'm still not. I think that this mindset shift has also made a huge impact on this new health journey. I am coming from a place of self-love instead of hate. It's truly made all the difference!
Thanks for reading!