For those of you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I have struggled with weight issues most of my life, from anorexia and bulimia in my twenties to issues with being overweight. I’ve tried just about every diet and eating plan out there, only to lose the weight and gain it back again. It was time for a change, but I just felt stuck in a rut of ‘I’ll start tomorrow’s’…Such a frustrating cycle of stasis.
My best friend, Diane, and I have been struggling together with weight and lifestyle; she went through an absolutely horrible year that included the death of her sweet mother. I have been dealing with tons stress with growing professional obligations and lots of travel. Diane started a new plan to combat type II diabetes and immediately began seeing positive results; I was so proud of her for taking the step, deciding a week later to finally begin the intermittent fasting plan that I had been researching for quite some time, along with moving to a primarily plant-based diet. Diane chose to join me in the fasting plan- it’s always easier to go through major undertakings with a friend.
We posted about our positive changes on our Amicitia Duo Facebook page, both for accountability and in the hopes that we might inspire others to make healthier choices. It has been inspiring to hear the stories people have shared of their successes with intermittent fasting. Hearing from real people who have struggled and found a solution that worked for them helps me believe that I can finally find something that will help me to maintain a healthy weight.
I’m fifty-six (almost fifty-seven) and have been through a hysterectomy and a lot of life; I’m not trying to be a swimsuit model. I only want to be healthy and fit and feel good about myself. I want to have energy to do all of the things I love in my life and in my crazy busy but wonderful career. I want to age well and not face the same health challenges that my mother did. I want to once and for all get off of the merry go round and live at a healthy weight.
I’ve been following the 16:8 version of fasting (often 17:7), eating breakfast and lunch and a little snack between 8am and 4pm, then fasting from 4pm until 8am. I’m eating a primarily plant-based diet and staying away from alcohol, sugar and breads. Nothing is truly off-limits, but I feel so much better eating this way. I’m down seven and a half pounds in two weeks, and it is exciting to feel and see changes happening. I have always done better with routine when I make changes, and this seems to be a way of life that I can embrace for the long term.
It seemed foolish to start this right as the Christmas holidays began, but I was just tired of so many years of, “I’ll start after the New Year…umm, I mean my birthday!” and the eventual decline of my good intentions. Starting now means I miss the debauchery of the season, but I gain the ability to focus more on what the season means to me rather than on the food and drink that make me sluggish and slow. I’ve made and will be making tons of cookies and desserts for friends, but I haven’t tasted one; I know if I eat one, I’ll want several. I have some sort of superpower right now- I get excited about making the cookies, but giving them away is the best part, not eating them. Progress?
In the big scheme of things, weight doesn’t matter; I have a happy marriage, a wonderful and fulfilling career, a life I truly love. But…what a Christmas gift to give myself of good health, of energy, of pride in loving myself enough to keep on trying to find the path forward…One day at a time.