A Journey Towards Successful Weight Loss
There is a lot of literature written on fasting and weight loss. Personally, I like a self-quantified and experimental method. Meaning that, if I found something I’d like to work on, I follow a 3-fold formula. Firstly, I embark on the research that includes studies, books, podcasts, and other related literature. Secondly, I try to find leading experts in the field and ask questions. Finally, I experiment and record, and make adjustments. With that in mind, in the following blog, I’d like to share some of my mistakes and fixes to help you ease your journey.
1) Not knowing your “WHY.”
“He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.”
― Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Everything starts with a “WHY.” At the beginning of 2020, I started working on a paper that I called “2020 is the year when I reached my ideal weight and kept it off.” I jolted all my reasons in the free from. Things like “I’d like to have a jiggly fat-free flat stomach when I jump,” “I like to prove to myself that I can overcome my addiction to be constantly in the fed state,” “I’d like to end my battle with my last 10 pounds,” “I’d like to stop using food to numb the pain.” Just to name a few…
At the beginning of my transformational wellness journey, I lost 40 pounds and was able to keep it off. Even though I felt like I was in pretty good shape, my weight fluctuated between 119 to 114, which I felt is a bit too high to my tiny (5.1) frame. So, I wanted to rid of about 10 pounds. On July 13th, at the end of my 2nd sprint, the scale went down to 109 from 119!
For me, weight loss is an exercise in mental discipline. If I can push the limit and break the cravings, I can do anything!
It was not easy. Some days, I felt like pulling the hair on my head, curling into the child’s post on my the floor, wishing to break the fast. But I kept in mind my “WHY.” In other words, my “WHY” was like a hand from a sinking boat holding me over.
- Find a quiet place and time.
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Grab something to write on.
- Take 12 breaths through your nose, inhaling and exhaling on the count of 4.
- Write down WHY you are fasting, be as descriptive as possible.
2) Not having downtime
“Everybody seems to think I’m lazy.
I don’t mind, and I think they’re crazy.
Running everywhere at such a speed.
Till they find there’s no need.”
― John Lennon
If you are like me and need to occupy your day continually, fasting is a perfect time to dig a little deeper and take a close look at your life.
Ensure to clear your calendar as much as possible. Fasting is a perfect time to chill, rest, and reflect.
What lies underneath our lives? What drives us? A lot of people recommend staying busy, working out, making plans. Based on my experience, it is a terrible idea. Of course, I can’t stop working, bills, for one reason or another, refuse to pay themselves. But, all the other plans are on hold. So, when you fast, cleanup your calendar and be ready to settle into a comfy chair with your favorite book!
- Take a bath with your favorite tunes or guided meditation.
- Catch up on reading.
- Listen to audio-books.
- Take a nap.
And exercise not only drives the need for more nutrition to assist in repair and rebuild, it drives hunger and it may shift oxidative priority away from fat oxidation. This is how and the absolute fat burn during exercise is surprisingly irrelevant. pic.twitter.com/NFtBp1KYiz
— Ray Cronise (@RayCronise) June 5, 2018
If you read my blog posts in the past or had a chance to chat with me, you know I am crazy about Ray Cronise and Julieanna Hever (that I meat a little later). Ray changed my life.
I have to admit; not exercising was the hardest for me. I just love to move, hike, and love working out. However, exercise during fasting will make things worst. If you’d like to dig deeper, read the paper by Ray Cronise. From my understanding, exercise drives the need for more nutrition. It will make you hungry and will take away from the fat burn. So, your body goes into the metabolic winter and delves into the fat reserves.
- Stock up on good books.
- Take a bath, listing to music.
- Practice breathing and mindfulness.
4) Overeating food breaking the fast
“Leave something on your plate… ‘Better to go to waste than to waist.”
― Michael Pollan, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual
Unfortunately, it is tough for me to leave food on my plate. Instead, I prefer to use smaller plates and cook a little less food so I can clean my plate. Honestly, sometimes I just can’t stop eating once I start. Instead, I learned to avoid this by sheer determination and strict planning. For example, if I am “bridging” my fast with potatoes, I would just cook one small potato, use a small plate, and have a plan to leave the kitchen immediately. Also, I make some of my favorite teas in a small mug.
In other words, plan on how to break your fast. If you are used to eating often, you’ll feel hungry all the time and get discouraged. I started by skipping dinners and gradually increased my time. During my last 3-week fasting sprint, I was able to go without or with very little food quite gracefully minus a few manic episodes.
- Gradually increase the number of hours you go between meals until you reach an 8-hour and 12-hour eating window. Build up a tolerance before you delve deep.
5) Not having support
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey
I would not be where I am today without people who came into my life. Firstly, my best friend, my partner in crime, and my soul-mate – my husband. He always supports me in all my endeavors. It becomes crucial when fasting and embarking on the transformation journey. Reflecting back, every time I decided to change unsupportive behavior, the circle of friends changed as well. Yes, that included a divorce as well. Fasting could be a test for your relationships and friendships. Another, life-transformative experience to consider. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Life is too short to be waisted with assholes.
Another important point, seek teachers and mentors.
- Reflect on your circle.
- Educate yourself and surround yourself with people who love and support you.
- Find mentors and teachers to help you on the road.
In summary, you can do it if you put your mind to it!