I'm starting a fasting diet today; I'm just sick of being overweight and unhealthy--not engaging in life because I hate how I look and feel. I'm grateful that I have taken care of myself for most of my life and have been athletic, because I am convinced that is what has held me together during these last years of health decline. All the yoga and running and cycling, all the mind training and inner emotional work... if I had not had all of that to prop me up since 2015, I know I would not still be around; i.e., spoken plainly: alive. I started doing weekly fasts when I lived at the Himalayan Institute yoga ashram back in 2007-ish. I did those on and off for years and am grateful I did; those fasts are one of the causitive factors allowing a baseline level of health maintenance from that time through the present. It also gives me a knowledge base of the science and background of the fasting I will begin today.
Today I will start a two-day juice fast to kickstart a two-week period of low-calorie fasting followed by a 5:2 plan fast, based on "The Fast 800" by Dr. Michael Mosley. I have some tests coming up on Friday that I have to fast overnight for anyway, so I thought I would go ahead and start early to clean out my system. I have been eating like crap, overeating, and drinking too much, so it's time for extreme measures!
However, the fasting is only extreme in calorie amounts, because beyond that it's based on the "Mediterranean Diet", which is quite healthy, and how I tend to eat anyway, when I am healthy and exercising and being mindul of my nutrition intake.
The Mediterranean Diet is simply cutting out simple carbs and sugars and eating more veggies, fruit, healthy fats, and complex carbs, along with protein. It's old school and it's a healthy way to eat. The Fast 800 is an 800 kcal short-term version of that diet, focusing on higher protein amounts to stave hunger. I'll eat 800 kcals on the Med Diet for at least two weeks and then switch to the 5:2 plan. The doc only recommends fasting up to 8 weeks depending on weight loss needed. I'll see how I feel at the end of the first two weeks, but can't imagine continuing for more than 4 weeks total; I only need to lose 30-35 pounds ("only"? Aaack! What the hell happened and how the hell did I let this happen?! Stress and trauma, that's how!). The 5:2 version included a fasting calorie intake of 800 calories, but for only two days out of each week. The other "5" of the 5:2 is healthy, moderate eating, Med style. Once I've kickstarted weight loss and have some confidence and energy increases, then I'll resume my former healthy habit of fasting once per week, but I'll skip the juice fasting, because it's so high in sugar, and stick with the fasting suggestions of Mosley's plan, 500-800 kcals for 1-2 days each week. I'm also considering a broth/juice fast for 3 days every 3-4 weeks, but that is further down the line.
I've had a lot of health issues that I have never, ever had to face in my life and the situation is terrifying and depressing. To go from a healthy athlete to a decrepit person with no energy or will power has been very discouraging. It's also a vicious cycle: all the good habits I need to do--and used to do-- I have no energy for, and my discipline has diminished with my energy level. The only thing that will save me and reverse this whole process is exercising daily and losing weight. Both of those will help me emotionally and mentally, to follow the other steps I need to take to get my emotional self back in order and start prioritizing self-care.
Today is Day 1, and I'll keep at 800 kcals during my liquid fast of juice, tea, coffee, and doenjang borth (miso). Oh, but I am using 3/4 c. of light soymilk for my coffee so I don't go insane and lose motivation. But I will slowly switch back to tea and give up the coffee over the next few weeks or month. I don't need it, just got back in the bad habit of drinking coffee every morning, instead of my healthy, Chinese, whole-leaf black teas!
I joined a new yoga studio a few days ago, so I'm eager to get my yoga practice back on track. I also intend to change some of my habits that have contributed to a sedentary lifestyle and decreased energy and mood. I will start taking walks at night, instead of watching a movie and zombie-eating (eating in front of the screen like a brain-dead person). I'll also get a lot more activity with yoga classes because I'll ride my bike to and from the studio!
I can do it!
surprised it is 2020! Holy crap when did that happen!