Previously on Weigh-In Wednesdays:
I had gotten to 199 pounds in 2008 (granted it had been a BAD/TOUGH/HORRIBLE year) and it was time to lose it. By December 2010 I weighed 175 with plans to lose at least 10 more pounds. Then I got pregnant and had a miscarriage. By Feb of 2011 I was at 182 and got pregnant again. I gained about 28 pounds during the pregnancy and was amazed that by February of 2012 (when Harper was 2 months old) not only had I lost the 28 pounds, but I was down to 172! Breast feeding is good for many things, including losing weight. I stayed around 175 through the first six months of 2012 then I went back to work full time. Stressful, long hours, tiring work. I finished breast feeding and the weight came back slowly slowly slowly but it came back.
Cut to....August 2013. I heard a story on NPR about modified fasting. I was fascinated and bought the book The Fast Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer. What really got me interested was the research on how fasting can potentially do good things aside from weight loss. There are studies that show fasting can help longevity (important when you had a baby at 44!) and can potentially reduce your risks of cancer and diabetes and dementia, among other things. All good news! Oh and yes, I wanted to lose weight. I just wasn't interested in Weight Watchers again, though it had been successful previously.
I bought The Fast Diet book, read it in a couple of days (it's quick and easy) and wanted to give it a try. I had Kurt read the book too as I thought the science behind it was something he would be interested in. He was in and we started three weeks ago. We also got physicals with full blood tests and took our measurements as suggested by the doctor in the book. I don't know what Kurt's details are but mine are as follows.
As of August 6, 2013:
Weight = 192 (goal is 165)
BMI = 30.1 ("Obese" starts at 30)
Waist = 40"
Neck = 13.5" (if above 16 then worrisome)
Overall Cholesterol = 184 (best under 200)
HDL = 92 (60 and above is best)
LDL = 76 (70-100 is ideal)
TRI = 79 (below 150 is ideal)
Glucose = 5.5 (between 3.9 and 5.5 is normal)
The Cholesterol numbers are very good and always have been, thanks to good genes and probably it helps I've been an athlete most of my life. (My 40s not withstanding...) The weight needs to come down for sure and that's my main goal.
SO! Where are we today? As of August 28, I weighed in at 187
. Five pounds off after three weeks of the 5-2 fast. NICE!
How does it work? It's pretty darn easy. For two days a week (you pick any two days) you eat only 500 calories for that day. (Men get 600 calories.) And it is recommended that you eat the calories in one or two meals, not grazing throughout the day. The positive results of fasting are in the hours when you are consuming nothing and your body has time to "reset." (Dammit Jim, I'm not a doctor, read the book! Or go to the official website of Dr. Mosley. He practices what he preaches.) You can drink water and tea and coffee as long as there are no calories added. Also, you don't have to have the two days be the same every week. I'm on a Monday/Thursday thing and if I have to schedule an important lunch or dinner on one of those days, I'll shift the fast day. Easy.
You know what? It's not that hard. What's hard losing is the HABIT of eating on those two days, not the lack of food in my tummy. I feel hungry on fast days, but no more hungry than a busy day when you don't have time to eat and suddenly it's 6 and you go, hey, I'm actually hungry! Fasting makes you SOOOOOO conscious of how many times you might get up to go eat something simply because you are bored or tired or that's what you do at noon or the tv is on or you've had a bad day and food is comforting. (This is totally me, btw).
What makes it easy for me are two things: 1) you still get to eat on the fast day! and 2) you can eat whatever you want on the non fast day. So while a lame old-school diet says "YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ICE CREAM EVER AGAIN" this one is about having whatever you like, just not on those two days a week. So on a Monday I might look at cookies at the store and want them, but I just tell myself, you can have the whole box tomorrow! But funny thing, I never want them the next day. Or if I do, I have one or two and that's enough.
What has amazed me is that I'm never really any more hungry the day after a fast day. And I find I really want to eat less at each meal as well as eat less on regular days. I can feel that I'm starting to eat less and eat better foods already, simply by fasting two days a week and being much more conscious. And yes, I eat ice cream!
So what am I eating on fast days? There are some nice recipes in the book and I also bought another fast day cookbook. I've had for breakfast 1 package plain oatmeal with a 1/2 cup of blueberries and in the evenings I've had either 2 eggs with asparagus (no butter or oil) or a bacon and butter bean soup (from the book and it's YUMMY!). I've made a faux veggie pizza (whole wheat tortilla, tomato paste, big amount of steamed veggies and some mozzarella cheese.) But you can make whatever you want as long as it adds up to 500 (or 600) calories on that day. I also drink lots of tea and water and coffee.
I'm really pleased with the results so far. There is a bit of two steps forward, one step back feeling, but only if you weigh yourself every day. (The morning after a fast day I'm always 2-3 pounds lighter but that goes up after a non fast day.) So I'm going to stop weighing myself every day. Maybe twice a week, and for sure on Wednesdays.
I need to be healthier and to do it in a way that makes sense for me -- lose weight yes, but also get benefits of reduced disease risks? Hell yes! I've got a beautiful girl to live a long long time for.