If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you might know I came up with a (sort of) plan on my 39th birthday to be Fit by 40. Well, I turned 40 in May, and wrote then about how I had got on. I didn’t quite achieve everything I wanted to so the plan has evolved in to my ‘Fit at 40’ plan and I thought it was time I shared a little update.
So the eating/weight thing isn’t going great at the moment, and as much as I would love to not care about what I look like, or to embrace my body as the current ‘body positivity’ movement is encouraging us all to do, I just can’t. I’m not happy when my clothes are feeling tight, or when I look at myself in the mirror.
And I know that I am so much more than my appearance – I’m a 40 year old wife and mother of two amazing boys. I’ve got a degree and two post-graduate diplomas. I can speak three languages. I set up this blog five years ago and now make money from it. I mean, I’ve got a lot of good things in my life but always in the back of my mind are thoughts of being thinner. It’s stupid really but it’s the way I’ve always thought, since I was a teenager at least, and I don’t know how to stop thinking this way.
So yes, I am struggling at the moment. I really, really wish there was some way I could fix my issues with food, and stop constantly thinking about my weight. I was hoping that intermittent fasting was going to be that magic bullet but so far it’s not really working out that way.
I am still fasting, and have been doing since January, with the exception of a couple of weeks on holiday this summer. The average length of my fast is just under 20 hours, although sometimes it’s as low as 16 hours and sometimes as much as 24. I don’t find fasting especially difficult but I do still spend an awful lot of time thinking about food.
A lot of people who follow an intermittent fasting lifestyle experience something called appetite correction. Fasting helps get your hunger hormones back into balance again, which should help you be more able to stop eating when you’re full, and not experience the same cravings. I do have this to an extent – I’m more likely to leave food on my place than I used to be, and find it easier to know when I’ve had enough to eat. But my big problem is that I still have massive sugar cravings. So even though I’m fasting for most of the day, during my eating window I’m still having far too much chocolate, cake and biscuits. I really wish I knew how to stop but I just find it so difficult to resist those cravings.
Although I have lost and gained some weight since I started intermittent fasting I actually weigh slightly more than I did back in January. I’m so tempted to go back to a meal replacement diet like I’ve done before. I know I would be able to lose weight quickly, but I also know that in the long run calorie restriction can lower your metabolism and make it much more likely that you will gain the weight back again, and more on top.
I’m going to keep going with IF though – when I started I said I would give it a year and see where it took me. And actually, even though I’ve not lost the weight I’d hoped to so far, I do feel better. I can’t actually imagine going back to eating breakfast every day. On the odd occasion that I do it just makes me feel rubbish for the rest of the day. That’s not to say I’ll never eat breakfast again but I can’t see it becoming a regular thing.
I read so many success stories about IF. I really hope that my story can turn out to be one of the successes to. I’m still ‘trusting the process’ as they say in one of the Facebook groups I’m in. I don’t know if intermittent fasting is ever going to get me to the place I want to be, but I know that every diet I’ve ever done before has always ended in me gaining back the weight I’d lost eventually. Another diet is not the answer here. I don’t know if IF is the answer yet, but I do know that what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years clearly hasn’t been working.
It was Albert Einstein that said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” And they didn’t call him a genius for nothing.