I’m fat! But intermittent fasting is changing me.
I eat once a day, in 18-24hr intervals. When I eat, I eat whatever I want! Sometimes that means chicken and fish and soup and rice with a beer. Sometimes I go Italian with some wine and a gelato dessert. For the past couple of days, I’ve only eaten a bowl of curry with some rice and an iced tea. First day green Thai Curry. Yesterday was Indonesian with lots of vegetables – lotus root, mushroom, pumpkin, green and red peppers – not to mention the distinct varieties of spices in each. Today though I think I’ll go for Indian veg curry and soak it in some hot, steamy nan followed up by a spiced chai.
Sometimes I eat red meat. Sometimes pork. Sometimes I’m strictly veg. Sometimes I have a sugary drink. Sometimes alcohol. Sometimes I just take water. Sometimes I eat dessert. Sometimes I eat dessert first. Sometimes first, and again after! What can I do? I love to eat!
The trick I’m finding in this experience is that it is the interval at which I take the food, more than precisely the quantity I’m taking at one sitting. I’m kinda careful to balance the food groups, but it seems my body is quite naturally telling me daily what it wants, and I’m just listening. I know it’s my body talking because if it were my mind, I’d be having bacon, eggs and 4 slices of buttered toast for breakfast, followed by lunch a couple hours later, and then whether I am hungry or not, a full course dinner with the family at 6 o’clock sharp. What to say of the snacks in between and after while watching the tv?
Of course, I’m exercising, too. And you know what? I’m enjoying it! I’m actually looking forward to my daily sweat. I started with biking a few miles to the beach, but have slowly graduated to swimming once I get there, too. Yesterday the current was so strong I thought I was going to die, but I left the water feeling like I’d accomplished something and enjoyed the bike ride home. That is, after sitting for some time on the shore with a good smoke and checking my Facebook feed.
I’m down 2 pant sizes in a month and my arrhythmia hasn’t bothered me this entire time! My 51-yr-old knees don’t creak when I carry my 7 year-old up the stairs; I can feel the muscles that support them getting stronger! My wife is enjoying touching my new designer body and I’m not so afraid to look in the mirror every morning. In fact, I kinda look forward to it! What kind of gains did I make in the last 24 hours? It really is a day to day revelation!
I find the key to maintaining this routine is in the balance, and not depriving myself of every joy all at once like a real, stoic fast that sees me without alcohol, tobacco, food – nothing for days on end. Sure my mindset can get me through it for a few days, but I’m yet to get past 2 weeks. And there’re no sustainable gains to be seen in the body when that time is up. It’s all been a steel mind test. But this intermittent fasting – I love it. And I recommend checking into an appropriate way for you to approach this particular routine of eating whatever you want, once a day. Because that’s the trick, isn’t it?
Be and do what you love. Practice a bit of moderation and great things follow.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.