I mentioned in Part 1 that my eating habits were not my main concern as I started this journey of working out. I wanted to make sure I was in the right mind-frame and could stick to my workout plans before I changed my diet. When I started going to the gym I weighed 216 lbs. It was the biggest I had ever been. Failed diets mixed with emotional eating after my dad passed away, led me to see a number I NEVER wanted to see on the scale.
I knew something had to be done in order to live the life I wanted to live. Dad died at 65 from heart problems, so I wanted to get a head start on my health and become the healthiest version of me I could. In the past, when trying to lose weight, I had done extreme things…only to gain every bit of it (and more) back as soon as I started eating regularly again. I lived a keto lifestyle for awhile, which actually had me feeling wonderfully with great energy, but I had to limit carbs so much that I knew I could not possibly make it into my long term life choice. Keto was the last thing I did before I ended up on the scale seeing 216 lbs staring back at me. Don’t get me wrong, keto is fabulous for people who can maintain it, I just can’t.
So, in the early days of trying to lose weight (which happened to be the holidays), I simply tried to eat less. I didn’t forbid any foods or feel guilty upon eating anything, I just wanted to eat less of the foods I liked. For instance, no more second and third helpings of mashed potatoes. Three pieces of pizza instead of 4 or 5. These changes were relatively easy, but my weight was not coming off very quickly. I was getting discouraged.
As the new year approached, I started drinking more water (I had given up soda 3 years prior.) I very rarely had gatorade or anything besides water and milk. I added more salads into my diet. I am super picky, so I don’t have to worry about salad dressings or all of the things added to them which can make them unhealthy. We started nixing Friday night pizza night (we still have it occasionally, but it is not a regular occasion. In fact, we have enough coupons from Casey’s pizza boxes for a free pizza and they have been sitting in my house for over a month–something which would never have happened before.) We started eating less pasta. We now have pasta once or twice a month. Our diet typically consists of a lean protein, a potato or rice, and a salad or veggie. Easy to plan and healthy. I also gave up most sweet treats and replaced them with a small rice krispy treat (which are only 90 calories), a banana, or an apple. It has become easier and easier to eat healthy, simply because I know that I can eat more healthy food, which has less calories and feel more full with less cravings than when I eat junk.
Ok, friends….take a deep breath….cause I know this next part is going to send some of you into a panic. I am afraid of hearing from many of you saying I am being unhealthy and I need to change my choices. So, ready—1, 2, 3…..deep breaths 🙂 By February 2017, I started recording my weight every Wednesday in an accountability group on Facebook (I am currently the only person still taking part—as Angie says, this means I win!) I started my weigh-ins at 207. It was not where I wanted to be, but it was better than where I started. As you all know, I am Catholic….we spend our Sundays in a pew and love being a part of our faith-based community. I knew Lent was coming up on March 1st, so I wanted to think of something I could do that would help me on my health journey. I originally said I was going to stop gossiping as well, but that lasted a total of 10 minutes. hahahaha 🙂 I decided I was going to give Intermittent Fasting a try for Lent. (cue—oh my goodness, she was fasting—-doesn’t she know she is supposed to eat little meals all day to lose weight?!?)
Chris has been doing Intermittent Fasting (IF) for a couple years now. I wanted to try it out and I thought doing it for a short time, over the span of Lent, would be a good time to do it. There are many ways to do IF. I followed the 16/8 plan, which meant for 16 hours of the day (a huge chunk of it was when I was sleeping) I didn’t eat. Gasp! I had an eating window of 8 hours during the day/night when I ate. What I found out was—I loved it! I had more energy and I made better choices when I did eat.
Lent came and went and I found myself continuing to fast. I still do it now. I do it about 90 percent of the time. If a friend asks me to an early lunch, I won’t say no. If I need to have breakfast/brunch at a bridal shower or special occasion, I will eat. I do have two meals a day, a late light lunch, and dinner. Any of my friends who have seen me eat during this time can attest to the fact that I am getting plenty of food. I get enough calories. I am not starving myself. I repeat—I am not starving myself! IF isn’t for everyone, but it works well for me. I actually really love it and have been doing it for 4 months. It can easily be something I can do long term.
There’s a wonderful documentary regarding IF, Eat–Fast–and Live Longer, that I suggest you check out before determining whether or not you think I am crazy. And a link to more information about the health benefits and types of IF.
So, for the foreseeable future, I will be fasting….and loving it. I am currently 187 lbs–that’s nearly 30 lbs gone. I look and feel so much better. I have a long way to go, but I know I will get there with hard work and determination.