Why does food always smell better when you can’t eat it?
Today is day four of this week’s intermittent fasting. The plan made for this week is no dinners but breakfast and lunch is ok. This is by far the hardest of the plans that I go through. I love my breakfasts and lunches and have all the willpower in the world until I step into the house after a long day at work. My wonderful hubby makes sure dinner is ready to go an on the table pretty close to the time I get home, so the smells I get bombarded with are wonderful. We like to sit down together as a family for dinners so I sit at the table too so that I can interact with the family. Reason number two why this plan is so difficult. I have enticing food on the table and I have to use whatever willpower I have left to not eat it. Sometimes I fail (Tuesday) but mostly I try and have conversations to keep my mind off of it.
So why would I put myself through this? My health is important to me. We live in a world of instant gratification. We want things now and we want them ready to use/eat. We live in a fast paced world where our health tends to take the back burner. When I started working with intermittent fasting I was working two part time jobs, trying to be the best momma/wife I could be and I was taking online courses to further my education. To say I was busy is an understatement. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t loosing the last stubborn 10 pounds, I felt bloated and tired on my off times, and I couldn’t quite kick the mild cold/allergy I seemed to have. I worked out at least 3 times a week and walked/ran daily. I took my nutritional supplements daily and they helped, but not enough to make me feel better. I ate pretty healthy but definitely had/have a sweet tooth. I was getting frustrated. So when my church did their yearly week of fasting I looked into ways that I could do it safely and came across intermittent fasting and some programs I could try.
First thing I learned: Go slowly and give yourself grace, especially if you love food. In my house if you are a guest, I try and feed you. I grew up in a household where we ate while we visited and it usually consisted of snack foods like cakes, cookies and chips. The table is where the deep conversations happened as well as the ones are so funny your belly hurts from laughing so hard. As an adult that didn’t change much, other than the amount of food that was on the table. Once I started working with Advocare and using their products I started to see the importance of healthier foods. I also started to see that conversations and times gathered with friends didn’t always have to have food involved. When I added in intermittent fasting to my routine, I started to see that food was just food, just needed to sustain energy but not needed all of the time. The second thing I learned from the fasting program is that my health started to get better. Even though I had to learn to be hungry, I had more energy and I slept a whole lot better at night. I also didn’t feel sick as often, which really was the shocker to me because I was actually adding more stress to my body with the fasting but because of the fasting my immune system got stronger. I saw that I ate healthier foods when I got to eat and I also drank a lot more water. The cool thing is that the stress that is put on your body with fasting releases the energy stored in excess fat reserves, the bad thing is if you are already super stressed out and you add this stress onto your body, your body starts working against you. Third thing I learned: rest and relaxing is very, very important. Taking time for yourself is important for your health. If you can’t take care of yourself than you really can’t take care of others, nor should you.
This weeks program of skipping dinners is hard. I know this and I have failed a couple of times already, but I also know that it’s ok. What came with this weekly program was a challenge to rest at least one night this week. I need to find a day where I can find a few hours for myself. No “hey mom” from the kids. No “Heather can you come help” from the hubby. Simply a time for myself to do what I want. Nap, read a book, take a walk with the dogs, whatever it is that brings me rest and peace. My goal is to meet that challenge. Intermittent fasting is hard, it can be bad for people who have major health conditions and should not be started unless a discussion with a doctor has been had. It has more good benefits than bad though and helps set routines when routines are hard to come by. It causes people to stop and think about what they are putting in their body, because there is cause and effect. I love sweets but if I have a candy bar after fasting for 12hrs my heart races, my stomach hurts and I start to feeling sluggish. It’s not a good thing. Your health mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually should be important to you. Intermittent fasting is just one tool to get to the best you. So what is holding you back? Until next time:
Fasting is a personal journey YOU are not competing with anyone.