When nothing works the way it’s supposed to, from the very beginning.
We survived dry February and off we go toward another monthly challenge — intermittent fasting. Another buzz word rocking up the wellbeing scene, it’s an approach to dieting whereby you eat during shortened ‘eating windows’ and follow a longer periods of fast. It’s really up to you how you organise it — some follow a 2/5 Diet, allow an 8-hour eating window and then fast for 16 hours every day, or do a full fast (i.e. only drink water) for 24 hours each week.
Although those who try intermittent fasting usually do so to shed excess kilograms, its advantages go far beyond weight loss; a long list of evidence-based health benefits of intermittent fasting include lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and enhanced heart, brain and hormonal functions. Apparently the type of intermittent fasting you choose, doesn’t alter the benefits of fasting itself in a substantial way, so — in a way — it’s a very liberal approach, whereby you can really choose what most fits you and your lifestyle.
After the month of yoga in January and dry February, which helped us get into the habit of daily gentle exercise while removing the source of empty yet destructive liquid calories from our diets, choosing intermittent fasting (with all its benefits) as our third month-long challenge seemed almost logical.
So there I was, super enthusiastic and ready to carry on my self-improvement journey into the third month of 2018…. And then, life happened.
I had to go through a fairly invasive surgery on the 2nd of March, which knocked me down for the whole weekend and, quite frankly, still makes me feel a bit run down. All went well and I’m recovering nicely, but I am not allowed to do any ‘proper’ exercise for at least 3 weeks and — depending on how I heal — it could even take me 6-8 weeks to get back to my full form. No running, no swimming, no ‘proper tennis’, no lifting stuff until then.
OKAY, I know this isn’t the worst possible scenario — that would probably be me not waking up from the general anaesthesia at all ;) — but for an energiser bunny like me, this really isn’t the best case scenario at all. Especially because I need those endorphins now more than ever!
So yeah, to put it bluntly, in my so-so mood at the moment I really do not feel like putting any restrictions on my daily eating regime. And don’t get me wrong — someone as health-conscious as me is very unlikely to start eating junk food everyday, so I think I’m ‘safe’ in that department. I’m just not too keen on having to either skip breakfast (my favourite meal of the day) or dinner (my most social meal at least a couple of times a week), restrict my calorie consumption to 500 kcal per day twice a week, or starve myself to near-death once a week, when all my strong will is now being spent on maintaining a positive outlook on things and mentally supporting my physical recovery.
I mean, a part of me is rebelling here and asking the awkward question — do we have to always restrict ourselves to reach the ‘perfect body & perfect mind’ that our culture seems to be so obsessed about?
There must be a more organic, natural way to get there! Find What Feels Good way that Adriene from Yoga with Adriene is telling us about! And I know one thing — skipping my calming breakfast routine or saying ‘no’ to my friends dinner invitations really DOES NOT feel good to me.
I also sometimes look at my grandparents who have never ever followed any diets or exercise regimes — in fact, having survived WWII, they see the concept of purposeful, self-imposed food deprivation as ridiculous, at least. Despite that, they are doing pretty well for they age; I’d even dare to say that my gandma and grandpa are healthier and happier than many younger people I know.
So where does this leave me? I don’t know, to be honest. I followed my 8/16 intermittent fasting regime for the last 6 days; I sort of broke it today by having breakfast at 8:30 am (I know, I’m a rebel!) so technically I should’ve eaten my last meal of the day before 4:30 pm… which I didn’t. I feel that I may be tempted to continue the challenge from tomorrow onward, but what I think I should really do is research some other approaches that can bring similar health benefits, but can actually fit with my priorities and life style, right now.