Intermittent Fasting Update

I’ve been doing well with the intermittent fasting (IF). My goal is 16:8, but most days I’m actually doing 18:6 or 17:7. Although I’m not experiencing any weight loss, I’m not gaining any weight either. I’m still attending the WW workshops, but honestly, I’m not counting calories or points or anything. I’m just attending the workshops to keep my focus on being healthier.

I noticed that after about a month or two of IF my memory got significantly better. I wasn’t expecting that and was quite surprised when it happened. I did a little research and found that memory improvement is a benefit of IF. I’ve also had a lot of breakouts on my face. Hopefully, this will clear up at some point. Maybe that’s just my body clearing out the crud? I don’t know.

I haven’t been exercising at all. I’ve been a bit of a slug. That’s nothing new for me. I’m pretty lazy. Everybody tells me I do more than anyone else they know, but in my mind I’m absolutely lazy. I totally complete a task in my mind before I actually get up and do it. That way, when I’m working on the task it’s very quick. My friends and family see the end result, but in my mind I didn’t put forth that much physical effort. I should probably count the mental effort I put into it. My job is mentally taxing, and I spend the rest of my time trying to unpack my brain.

I know if I would exercise or watch what I eat during the eating window I would lose weight, but that’s just not happening right now. For me, it might be helpful to try 19:5. I’m not there yet either. I’m pleased with not gaining weight anymore, so that’s a real positive.

I went for my annual doctor visit recently, and my blood pressure was perfectly normal. That hasn’t been the case since I was about 21 years old. I was so excited. I know it was because of IF. That’s all I need to keep me going.

So, to summarize here, I’m no longer gaining weight, my memory is significantly improved, and my blood pressure is normal. There are probably other positive effects that I haven’t even noticed yet. I will keep going. IF is a good thing for me.

One Percent Better Per Day

I stole this picture from “Ken Carter.” Thanks, Ken.

My motto for 2022 is “1% better is Better.”

I don’t exactly make New Year’s resolutions, but I do set goals. Resolutions sound so vague and breakable, but goals can be defined and refined and broken down into do-able pieces. I guess resolutions can too, but they have such a negative connotation.

This year’s goals are helping me to prepare for my second act. Maybe I’m too old to be going for a second act, maybe it’s my third act. Whatever. I’m still calling it my second act. What I’m referring to as my second act is preparing for what I’ll do after my eventual retirement.

I don’t plan to retire any time soon. My plan is to work another five to ten years. That said, wouldn’t it be cool to spend my retirement years painting and writing? Maybe a little teaching university students? I already have all I need to teach university students and to research and write. I want to spend this time before retirement learning to paint.

I’m committed to painting an hour a day every day in 2022 and watching one Skillshare painting video per day. That will give me 365 hours of painting and 365 Skillshare videos. That won’t make me an expert, but it will bring me 720 hours closer to my painting desires. Some things are hard to measure in percentages, but those things I can measure in time spent on them.

Not Bad, Not Bad

I stepped on the scale this morning, and the news wasn’t bad. I made it through the whole holiday season just fine. It was iffy because I ate whatever I wanted from November until New Year’s Eve. There was no WW going on. Not even a meeting.

I know what kept my weight stable was the intermittent fasting (IF). I didn’t lose any weight, but didn’t gain any either. With WW and IF there would have been weight loss. The IF kept me from gaining.

This morning, I did a WW meeting to try and keep myself motivated. I’m not doing any New Year’s resolution on losing weight, but I am making a resolution to attend one WW meeting per week, only eat between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm, walk a minimum of 5,000 steps per day, and drink 64 ounces of water. I could aim higher, but that could lead to self-sabotage. I want to be successful.

Someone said during the WW meeting this morning, “1% better is better. How much is 1%? Maybe 15 minutes of a WW meeting one time in 2022, IF for 3.65 days, 50 steps more each day, and a 2-pound weight loss for the year? I’m sure that’s not completely mathematically accurate, but a 2-pound weight loss in a year is still “better.”

I also want more joy in my life. I’m happy and content most of the time, but am I joyous? Not really. I’m working on feeling the joy.

Is anxiety just a series of delusions?

Think about it.

Something Different, Sadly

I’m sad to say we had to cancel our Hello Fresh subscription. The meals are absolutely scrumptious. I felt like a real chef while cooking all this beautiful food. So why did we cancel? The inability to control the amount of salt. The meals contain a lot of salt in the pre-made sauces, and some of the meat are in a salt water brine.

I sent a message about the salt content with my cancellation. If they ever correct this, I’ll definitely be back.

On the upside, it’s probably for the best since I’m doing WW. Of course, these meals do work with WW, but I’ll be more in control planning my own meals. Plus, my daughter will do some of the cooking. I have no idea what I’m going to cook tonight, but I’m sure it won’t be as pretty and delicious as my Hello Fresh meals.

A Little Re-Adjustment

Surprisingly, when I stepped on the scale this morning, I saw that I have lost 5.4 pounds in 19 days. That’s a record for me. When I was much younger, I could lose an average of 8 pounds per month, but as I’ve gotten older for a long time I haven’t been able to lose more than a few ounces here and there. It has been majorly frustrating. I guess this surprised WW too because when I entered my weight into the app they raised my daily points by 2 and my weekly points by 2. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who could lose 10 pounds per month. I guess it might help if I would exercise, but I’m not feeling it right now. Maybe later.

I bought the already seasoned squash with onion and dill at Kroger. I just sprayed some olive oil Pam in my Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel 10-Inch Skillet Pan with Cover and cooked the squash until it was hot and a little brownish. It was pretty good. I don’t have the urge to run out and buy some more, but it was okay.

I feel excited about my eating plan! I’m having this crazy craving for lunch. I’m going to have a couple of cups of coleslaw mix with guacamole, dill pickle relish, boiled eggs, and chicken. I know how weird it sounds, but I don’t care.

No Thanksgiving Damage

Imagine my shock this morning when I stepped on the scale and weighed exactly to the ounce the same amount I did the day before Thanksgiving. I’m so excited about this. I decided before Thanksgiving that I’d eat whatever I wanted, but only between 11:00 am and 9:00 pm. It worked. I even had two Thanksgiving events.

For our Thanksgiving dinner at home, the only fat in the cornbread dressing was from the very tiny amount of milk in the cornbread. I had maybe a teaspoon of cranberry sauce and three or four bites of pie. For veggies, I roasted baby carrots and whole fresh green beans with only black pepper and enough olive oil to lightly coat them.

I’ve lost and maintained through Thanksgiving 4.2 pounds. I’m proud of that. I don’t think I eat as much as I did before I started intermittent fasting six weeks or so ago. I don’t have the urge to eat when I’m angry or sad or anxious anymore. My moods are actually better than usual. Success! It feels great.

Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner…Twice

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day at my niece’s house. I was worried about overeating and completely ruining the 4.2-pound weight loss of the past couple of weeks. I went ahead and fasted until lunchtime around 12:30. I had some of everything, but only one plate. I completely abstained from desserts. Since it wasn’t at our house, we were able to drive away from all the food after a few hours.

However…we always have our family Thanksgiving Dinner the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition we started 20 years ago after my divorce so the kids could spend Thanksgiving Day with their dad’s family and with me on Saturday. All these years later, we still do Saturday plus I go with them to have dinner with their dad’s side of the family – even though their dad passed away two years ago.

Tomorrow will be a little tougher because the food will stay at our house. I’m only making half a recipe of cornbread dressing. There will be a wonderful turkey and roasted carrots and green beans. I’m going to try to fill up on those and eat less of the carbs. If it happens, though, it’s just one day.

I went for my annual doctor visit Wednesday. An interesting thing happened. My blood pressure was 128/76. It hasn’t been that low since around 1976 when I was single, childless, and weighed 118 pounds. I’m over the moon happy about this. I’ve had hypertension since I was about 20. I’ve always felt like it was due to generalized anxiety, but the doctors never agreed with that. They all said I “just have hypertension.” Well, whatever. What has changed now is that I’m much more relaxed since I started intermittent fasting. I’ve also found my sweet spot with CBD oil. It takes the edge off the anxiety quite nicely. I do still take two blood pressure medications, but in spite of those my blood pressure has never been below 133/83.

For me, it’s obviously all about keeping a low stress level and eating less. I’m in the obese weight range, so apparently it’s just stress and food. I don’t have a stressful life, but I do tend to have anxiety. I’m working on that too. This positive result has greatly increased my motivation to continue intermittent fasting and WW. Positive, positive results! For this, I am thankful.

Intermittent Fasting Boost

As I mentioned in my prior post Intermittent Fasting and WW, on November 10th I started back on WW. Although I know it works perfectly on its own, I added intermittent fasting to my plan as well. This was a great idea. I’ve lost 3.4 pounds in 14 days. This is good considering my affinity for Hello Fresh meals.

The reason I added intermittent fasting is because once I start eating for the day I tend to be hungry all the time. Intermittent fasting curbs my hunger and helps me to be much more successful. I don’t think about food all the time or feel deprived because I know a wonderful Hello Fresh meal is coming for dinner. The above meal is Brown Sugar Apple Bourbon Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans.

Of course, the Hello Fresh meals use my entire day’s points, but that’s not a problem because I skip breakfast and eat a zero-point lunch. I haven’t been snacking much, but I’m sure to add cups of veggies and to drink all my water because on the new Personal Points plan that adds points.

Thanksgiving will likely be a challenge. It will be made tougher by the fact that we do it twice, once with the kids’ dad’s side of the family and once at our home the Saturday after. I’m going to use intermittent fasting to at least control the hours I eat.

Intermittent Fasting and WW

During the pandemic, I’ve spent a lot of time on the couch watching tv and eating whatever I wanted. My laziness led to me not feeling my best or looking my best or even being my best self. I haven’t been able to commit to anything in a while. I’ve been in limbo and unable to lose any weight in quite a while.

Five weeks ago, things started changing gradually when I discovered intermittent fasting (IF). I didn’t know anything about intermittent fasting, so I did a little research. Intermittent Fasting For Beginners: A Complete Guide to the Fasting Lifestyle by Amanda Swain was a good place to start. I didn’t want to set myself up for failure by fasting too many hours in the beginning, so I started with the 16:8 plan. Ms. Swain defines the 16:8 plan on page 4 of her book as, “Each day you fast for 16 hours and eat all meals within the other 8. I ate between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm for four weeks, and it was a huge success.

On week five, I started 18:6 by eating 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Additionally, I started back on WW with their brand new Personal Points program. The only thing that I thought might trip me up is that I’ve been cooking Hello Fresh meals for dinner, and they use full-fat mayo, butter, and olive oil. It has been much easier than I expected. I’ve been able to plan ahead and have 0-point or low-point foods at 1:00 and then my Hello Fresh at dinner at 6:00. The photo above is the Hello Fresh Firecracker Meatballs with jasmine rice and green beans.

I’m loving this new lifestyle, and I’m feeling great. I have a lot more energy, which means I’ve gone from zero energy to a solid four or five. Not bad for five weeks.