Literally. I’m literally sick and tired. This is the biggest reason I’ve been quiet this past week – I’ve felt like crap.
It started on Wednesday. I had a little bit of a cough. And my chest felt heavy. I never had difficulty breathing, but I definitely felt chest pressure. And mind-numbing fatigue. By Thursday, my sinuses were completely clogged and I felt like crap. Still went to work, but it was rough.
Friday was a bit better, but not by much.
Do I have COVID? Who knows, maybe? But most likely, it’s a head cold. I know it’s hard for some people to believe, but it IS possible to have something other than COVID.
Today? I feel … ick. Sinuses are still pretty clogged but at the same time, I have a runny nose and though I’m still coughing, it’s only occasionally and my voice sounds really croaky. I doubt I do a podcast tonight because my smoker’s voice is not cute.
I’m rarely sick. Like, EVER sick. So this took me by surprise. I was prone to sinus infections for a number of years but then I discovered nose spray, Zicam and hot liquids. (Tip: Routinely burn the back of your throat. Don’t give yourself third degree burns, but hot enough for it to be uncomfortable. I have found that really helps burn off any bacteria that might be camping out).
Yep. I went to work even though I felt like dog shit. I haven’t called in ONCE in the ten years I’ve been with the clinic. I didn’t call in because I didn’t want to ruin that record, (though to be honest, I did think about that), but rather, I wasn’t sick enough to stay home. I guess I should define my reason for staying home – when I can’t walk upright.
On one hand, I probably should stay home when I feel like this. I don’t want to pass this on to someone else. And I would have, if I thought what I have is contagious, (but what if it was COVID, Karen?? Huh? Huh? Chances are, it isn’t, so calm your self righteous self down), but on the other hand, I’m tough enough to deal with it and in fact, getting up, taking a hot shower, distracting myself at work, does wonders – I usually feel way better by the end of the day whereas staying home I would have been focusing on my poor little self and wallowing in my sickness.
I feel like most people nowadays use any excuse, at all, to stay home. People don’t tough it out anymore, they call in “sick” if they have a headache, or the sniffles, or cramps or … whatever. I don’t know, maybe they’re telling the truth. Maybe their headache is a migraine, or their sniffles is a sinus infection, or their cramps are so severe they CAN’T walk upright, who am I to judge their motives? But judging by the work ethic of most people nowadays, I am suspicious.
And I don’t really care – do what you want. But it DOES put more stress on the poor saps you left to cover for you and do your work for you.
It’s just something to consider the next time you’re tempted to call into work. I’m just saying.
I started my OMAD fast this week. For those that don’t know, OMAD stands for “One meal a day.” I’ve determined that for me, my feeding window (I always feel like a cow whenever I talk about my “feeding” window – moo), is 3:00 – 7:00 PM. That way, I can still eat dinner with Kevin. And it’s every day, not every other day, or three times a week like I’ve been doing for the past 18 months. So, I fast 20 hours a day, every day.
I started it on Monday and it was rough. I was never so glad to see 3:00 PM roll around that I ate about two meals in four hours and felt SO SICK afterward. Lesson learned – I won’t do that again. But since I’ve been sick for the majority of the week and NOT HUNGRY, it hasn’t been that bad. I’m getting used to it now. And for the past two days, it hasn’t been a big deal, at all. I have been drinking water with sea salt though and I think that helps.
But being sick, it got me to thinking – is fasting GOOD for you when you’re sick? Does it help heal you faster?
Good question, if I say so myself. Ha!
I’ve also heard, or read somewhere, that when you fast and start burning fat, that you can release a virus, or some sort of sickness, that was trapped in your fat and get released when you burn that fat so that is why you feel sort of sick when you start a program designed to burn fat.
I have no idea if that is true, but it sort of makes sense to me.
So. I don’t know. I don’t know there is a hard and “fast” rule (see what I did there?) to whether you should Fast or not when you’re sick. You just have to do what feels right for your body, I suppose.
All I know is, fasting feels right for me and if I can improve my heart health and avoid brain disease, like Alzheimer’s, and extend my life expectancy, then I plan on continuing it.
Now. It’s 3:00 o’clock and time to break my fast.
Your turn. What do you think? Do you Fast? Do you Fast when you’re sick? Why, or why not?
ADDED: I just thought of something – what if I’m feeling sick because I wear a mask to work all day every day? I think, eventually, it’s going to come out that wearing masks cause respiratory issues. Mark my words.
I started fasting in November 2019. Right before Thanksgiving. Probably the WORST time to fast. But what can I say? I’m an idiot.
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my fasting journey. But for those of you curious, yes, I’m still doing it and could probably do it better, but my goal was never to lose weight, per se, but to feel comfortable in my skin. To not have to be uncomfortable in my clothes because I’ve made a vow to myself, I will not buy bigger clothes.
My Fasting schedule is: I Fast for 24-hours on Sunday, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Why those days? No specific reasons, those days just work better for me. So, for example: I eat dinner on Saturday night about 6:00 PM. I will then not eat again until 6:00 PM Sunday night. I’m giving my intestines 24 hours to rest and my glucose to drop to zero. Am I hungry? Yes. But it’s not bad and I’ve gotten used to it, to be honest. I think the biggest reason I feel hungry is because my brain has been programmed to turn on my hunger hormone at the “normal” eating times and I just need to re-program it. Which takes time.
But honestly, I’m not really that hungry anymore. And I try to only eat when I’m hungry on “feeding” days. I don’t know why we have all been brought up to believe that we have to eat three meals a day. No, actually, we don’t. And in fact, it’s better if we DON’T do that.
Have I accomplished Fasting goal? Yes – sort of. But it has been a BUMPY road and I learned A LOT about my body in the process. More on that later.
First and foremost, if you’re thinking of starting a fasting program, talk to your doctor. Especially if you have any underlying health conditions, specifically, diabetes. Fasting messes with your blood sugars, in fact, that’s what fasting is, in a nutshell, it lowers your glucose level to virtually zero so that your body has no choice but to tap into your fat reserves, so if you’re diabetic … well, you can see the problem. So check with your doctor before starting something like this.
First of all, what is fasting? Dr. Jason Fung is a doctor one our neurosurgeons at work refers patients to. Well, he doesn’t refer them to him, he encourages people to look him up and watch his videos. Here’s Dr. Fung talking about what to expect when you start a Fasting regiment.
Headaches or Dizziness
Yes. I have experienced, and sometimes still experience dizziness. And I’m pretty sure it’s lack of sodium. I don’t really like salt and prefer my food to be salt free so on Fasting days, I drink a glass of water with sea salt and it not only helps curb my appetite for that day, but I have noticed a decrease in dizziness. And it should be sea salt, not the iodinized table salt.
I have also bought bone broth and warmed it up at work to drink on Fasting days. This helps with hunger and I’m hoping the collagen in bone broth will smooth a few wrinkles in the process. (Hey, let me wallow in my self-delusion, please).
2. Bowel Changes
The change in bowel patterns – erhm – I’m going to keep this brief because NO ONE is interested in how many times I go to the bathroom, but I will say, that yes, that definitely changes when you Fast. However, I take magnesium supplements on Fasting days not only for constipation, but it also helps my stress levels. It helps calm me down and I’ve definitely noticed a difference since taking it.
I have experienced a bit of insomnia. But since I’ve cut all caffeine out of my diet, this is not as big of an issue as it used to be. I didn’t cut caffeine out of my diet because of Fasting, but because I was having a lot of heart palpitations. Cutting caffeine really helped with that but what REALLY helped my palpitations was taking potassium supplements. Ever since I’ve done that, my palpitations nearly disappeared. (Some of the palpitations was due to stress/anxiety, which I have from time-to-time when my body can’t take anymore and then it just sort of manifests. Fun stuff).
He mentions Blue-Block for insomnia. I actually bought, and am wearing now, Blue-Block glasses I bought from Zenni.com. Do they help? Meh – jury is still out but I would like to think they are helping my eyes as I stare at either a computer screen, a phone screen or my Kindle screen all day long. I DO think it helps with eye fatigue.
OH. MY. GOSH. YESSSSSS. I definitely experience heartburn. Especially when coming off a Fast. I went through a period of time when I drank Apple Cider Vinegar, not so much for the heartburn but because it also helps with hunger pangs. Thankfully, heartburn doesn’t happen very often and when it does, I just chew on the Alka-Seltzer heartburn tablets and that takes care of it.
The beauty of Fasting is that it’s completely customizable. You can follow any schedule you want. For me, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays just seem to work the best. I knew I didn’t want to skip Friday or Saturday nights because those are our “date nights.” Kevin and I go out to dinner on those nights.
I will say, that starting out is hard. And start small, by the way. Don’t start with OMAD (one meal a day) or alternate day Fasting. Try skipping breakfast and eat lunch and dinner to begin with. Or, eat breakfast and lunch and skip dinner. Whatever fits into your lifestyle. And then gradually, lengthen your Fasting window. Skip breakfast and lunch and only eat dinner, for example.
Another tip – DON’T DRINK SODA OR OTHER SUGARY DRINKS. I can’t even tell you how MUCH this helps. Those drinks are good and addicting because they are liquid sugar. And sugar is addicting. Also, cut down your carbs. I try not to eat much bread. And I LOVE bread. But again, it helps. Bread gives you a lot of belly fat because of the yeast, which is also in beer, hence, a “beer gut.”
As Dr. Fung said, consistency is key when you Fast. But it’s a lifestyle choice and change and it’s not always easy. Let’s break down the reasons people fail when they try Fasting according to Dr. Eric Berg.
It seems “unnatural” to not eat. So it’s a mental shift away from what we’ve been taught our whole lives. In order to survive, you must eat. And sure, that’s true, but skipping a meal or two doesn’t equate starvation. “You’re switching food fuel with fat fuel.”
2. Feel Worse
Yes. I won’t lie. When I started my Fasting journey, the third day WAS AWFUL. I was dizzy, a little out-of-my head and I felt like my stomach was going to eat itself. I believe I broke my Fast a bit early that day because I was so miserable. But I didn’t give up. The fourth day wasn’t as bad and after a while, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I still have hunger pangs but I just ignore them most of the time. I found out, the hard way, that most of my struggles were due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. When I started taking potassium and started drinking water with sea salt, my symptoms went down SIGNIFICANTLY. I also eat a lot of eggs on my feeding days and raising my vitamin B levels also really helped. So, learn from my mistake – keep your electrolytes up, it’s important.
3. Don’t Lose Weight
I dropped about 20 pounds in three months. And then … nothing. Now granted, I haven’t been as active as I need to be. Remember, I’m either sitting on my butt reading or I’m sitting on my butt blogging or checking my Patreon, so I’m quite confident when I start my walking back up, I’ll drop some more pounds. But the fact that I dropped that much weight right off the bat was very encouraging. And people at work noticed and were encouraging, that really helped me to stick to the plan. And remember, my weight loss goal was just to feel comfortable in my skin, not necessarily to get down to a size zero. Not because I didn’t want to be smaller but because I don’t want the stress of staying that size. Staying overly big or overly small takes a lot of work and quite frankly, life is too short to want to deprive myself of the small pleasures all so I can stay overly small. No thanks.
I also Fast to repair my internal organs. And it’s healthier for your brain which studies have shown help prevent Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. And it also prolongs your life expectancy. There are A LOT of health benefits of Fasting, not just weight loss and to be honest, those benefits are more important to me than being stick thin.
4. People Discourage You
“You’re not starving your body, you’re just shifting what fuel you’re running off of.” Dr. Berg says when you eat is more important than what you eat. I found this interesting and encouraging. Insulin is triggered by carbs and frequent eating. I wish I had known this stuff when I was in my 20’s. I think a lifetime of Fasting would have made my life a little easier now that I’m in the my 50’s. It’s not too late, but if you’re reading this and you’re younger, I encourage you to look more into this alternative. I recommend watching Autumn Bates and Fledge Fitness YouTube channels. They are both GREAT resources on what Fasting is, how to implement in your life and the science behind the lifestyle.
So. I’m sorry if you clicked on this post thinking you were going to get a before and after picture. Honestly, I WISH I had taken a before picture but again, my goal wasn’t merely to lose weight but to feel better on the inside and the outside. I think I’ve accomplished that but I’m ready to amp it up another notch. I’d like to start OMAD (one meal a day). I’m close to doing that now. Even on my feeding days, I have been trying to stick to my fruit smoothie in the morning, skip lunch and then eat dinner. My fruit smoothie is:
Handful of Pineapple One banana Greek yogurt One scoop of protein powder One cup of Almond milk Handful of Strawberries
It tastes like liquid ice cream. I LOVE them. I drink them three times a week right before work and that will, most times, curb my hunger and I don’t eat lunch. I hate to give them up, but I suppose I could drink them as “desert” after dinner.
At any rate – I want to try OMAD and of course, start moving more. I have been walking a few times around the hospital during the weekday and I’ve been averaging about 7000 to 9000 steps per day. It’s better than nothing.
So Fasting is not a fad for me, it’s a lifestyle. One that I really don’t have any intentions of stopping. The trick is finding a schedule that fits in with your life.
It’s a personal journey and one I hope you will look into and try.
As the title suggests, yes, I’m still doing the alternate day fasting. I’m heading into my third week.
I’m currently fasting on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. I have figured out those are the best days for me to fast. I routinely have clinics on Mondays/Wednesdays and I have found that if I’m fasting on one of these days, I lose patience with patients more easily and I’m on my feet all day so I’m burning calories and feel more hungry. In addition, we have a lot of food days and I didn’t want to miss out on those days with my doctor and mid-level.
My feeding days are, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Again, these days work best for me. Fridays and Saturdays are the days that Kevin and I go out to dinner and again, I didn’t want to miss these “dates.”
I’m only fasting three days of the week because I’ve been reading (I’ve done A LOT of reading up on this topic) that if you fast for too long, your body goes into starvation mode and instead of releasing your fat reserves for energy, it holds on to your fat because it doesn’t know when it’s getting it’s next fuel. I don’t want that to happen because if I’m going to put myself through this, I want to maximize the benefits.
So far, so good. It’s been a struggle, I won’t lie, but mainly with my Ghrelin hormone, i.e., your hunger hormone. This hormone kicks in when your body is used to eating, breakfast, lunch and dinner times. I have to keep busy and drink lots of water when that hormone rears its ugly head. But it’s manageable and not too uncomfortable, more annoying than anything else.
There have been two occasions, around 6 in the evening, where I feel like my stomach starts turning inside out and is eating itself. It’s terribly uncomfortable and borderline painful. When those times occurred, I cried uncle and ate a spoonful of peanut butter which helped calmed it down enough I could handle it. Yes, I broke my fast, but I worked hard to keep my calories under 500 calories during those times. This is not ideal and I felt like I failed when I gave in and ate just a bit, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything else, the feeling was THAT powerful. So, though not ideal, you have to do what is best for your body and at that time, I felt like I needed to do that. However, I’m going to try very hard NOT to let that happen again.
After the second time of this happening, I looked up what I could do to avoid that feeling in the future. The information I’ve found said to eat a lot of protein before your next fasting period. So, this past Wednesday night, I ate dinner, as usual, and then, before I went to bed, I heated up some frozen cauliflower, broccoli and carrots in the microwave and ate that whole bag, (well, nearly all of it) and a can of tuna and when I fasted on Thursday, I felt no hunger pangs, at all. In fact, that day was the most comfortable I’ve felt fasting. It was a breeze.
Yes. My body is getting used to these fasting periods, but I really think eating the vegetables and tuna really helped get me through the 36 hours of fasting. Because that’s what it ends up being, 36 hours of fasting. For example, tomorrow is a fasting day. So, I will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner today, won’t eat anything at all tomorrow and will break my fast at breakfast on Monday. That is roughly 36 hours of not eating anything.
I worried at first that I would want to binge eat on my feeding days after coming off a fast but so far, I haven’t experienced that. Yes, I’m hungry, but not ravenous. And I can feel my stomach has shrunk so when I do eat, I’m not gorging myself. I’m also more focused on making sure I’m eating good foods as opposed to junk food. Yes, I still eat the occasional slice of bread or sugary snack, but I’m not going overboard and quite honestly, I’m not really craving junk food that much; I find that I’m craving more good foods and they are tasting better as well.
I’m so lazy that I didn’t take my body measurements when I started this and I certainly haven’t weighed myself because I stress too much about numbers when I do that, but instead I’m focusing more on how my clothes fit. I have noticed that my scrub tops are fitting looser. I don’t have to tug on them quite as much to give myself breathing room, though they are not hanging off of me I definitely think they are looser.
I think the biggest indicator for me will be when it comes time to do my health screening with work again in the summer, when they take my blood pressure and weigh me. I’m hoping my weight drastically shows a difference, but other than that, I’m not interested in weighing myself.
Speaking of vitals, I have noticed a DRASTIC change in my resting heart rate since fasting. My resting heart rate would typically run in the high 70’s but I’ve been noticing that my Garmin is charting low 60’s now. Granted, I don’t know how accurate my Garmin tracking is, but in the three years I’ve been wearing my Garmin, my resting heart rate has NEVER been that low.
I haven’t noticed any changes in my energy levels so far. I don’t feel like I’m more tired than I was before though I do feel like my mental clarity is a bit better; I don’t feel as sluggish as I used to. And I feel like the quality of sleep I’m getting is a bit better, too, but it’s still early days.
My next plan is to start making it a goal to get 10,000 steps per day. I typically average about 7/8,000 steps on a clinic day so reaching 10,000 on those days won’t be too hard but when I’m not in clinic and sitting all day doing computer work and answering phones, I only get about 4,000 steps. I need to get back in the habit of getting right back on the treadmill when I get off work instead of changing into comfy sweats and sitting down to veg on YouTube videos. Everything I’ve been reading about fasting cautioned you about not really attempting any “hardcore” (not that I’m ever a hardcore fitness geek) exercise program right after fasting but to give yourself a few weeks to adjust to the changes before starting anything outside your normal day-to-day stuff and I feel like I’m ready to incorporate more physical activity now. So I will dust off my treadmill and start walking again.
I also plan on trying Keto coffee to see if that helps suppress my appetite on fasting days. Keto coffee is coffee, coconut oil and butter blended together. I bought coconut oil and butter last night and I just bought a foam frother on Amazon to take to work and use. I’m excited to see if the Keto coffee hype lives up to the name.
I was talking to my brother-in-law about fasting on Thanksgiving and he let me borrow his “Complete Guide to Fasting” book. I haven’t read it yet, I feel like I’ve gotten so much information about fasting from YouTube, but he says he’s done five-day water fasts before. I don’t think I’ll ever get that hardcore about fasting, but then again, I never though I would be doing what I’m doing now, so you never know.
I also downloaded an app on my phone, it’s called “My Net Diary” just to keep track of what I’m eating on my feeding days. Though I have no intention of counting calories, this has been interesting to see and it does motivate me to keep my calories under my “ideal” calorie intake in order to reach my ideal weight goal. It has become a game, of sorts, to keep my caloric intake within range. I’m hoping this, along with fasting three days a week, will accelerate my weight loss goals.
I’ll check in with you all again in a few months on my fasting journey and let you know how it’s going.
Overall, I’m very happy and excited to fast. I feel better, I will hopefully, eventually, catch sight of my chin again someday and I hope all of the research I’ve read is correct and I’m preventing Alzheimers and extending my life expectancy by fasting.
In case you were not aware, I watch a lot of YouTube videos.
The sort of videos I watch vary: from Drag Queens, Disney vlogs, family vlogs, reading/writing vlogs and anything else that captures my interest.
Like this video:
I’m not an athletic person. I don’t like to participate in sports, though I was a pretty good volleyball player in high school. I tried out for track one year but my heart started a weird flutter thing and it scared me enough to stop that nonsense.
I worked out two years straight in my early 40’s – I got up at 4:30 AM, went to the gym and worked out on the weights and treadmill; I was in the best shape of my life in that time period. But I burned out and have never gone back to the gym since.
I have spurts where I religiously use my treadmill at home, but those spurts only last a few months, again, I get burned out.
I think I’m ready to start one of those spurts again.
But walking … I’ve always enjoyed walking. It’s calming, takes very little effort from me and it leaves me free to focus on my thoughts, think through things, and just fade away from my every day life for a bit.
And I enjoy hiking. Kevin and I have gone to the Rockies a few times and really enjoyed the hiking trails. I would like to go back someday but I want to be in better shape so we can hike longer and more often.
So this video really caught my attention. It was interesting and inspiring and I really respect what these women endured – it’s not for the faint of heart. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable, hungry and physically taxed.
But think of the experience! The feeling of isolation, peace and appreciation for God’s gift to man (the Earth, in case that was unclear).
I wonder, if my life had been a bit different, if I hadn’t met Kevin when I did, hadn’t gotten married, had kids, until later in life, if I would have had the courage to do something like this. I have nieces/nephews who are quite adventurous and have participated in hikes and backpacked across lands, stayed in hostels and just LIVED. And I admire their strength and courage to even try those types of things.
I would like to think I would have done the same thing when I was their age, but I don’t think I would have. I was (am) fiercely independent but I don’t think I had the courage to do something like this. Maybe with friends and only with friends who knew what they were doing. I was very nervous about the unknown back then. I remember being very nervous any time we left the city, like if we left the city, we were venturing into alien country and in that alien country there would be no food, water, Wal-Mart. *laugh* I used to get so wound up and uptight whenever we traveled and I know it wasn’t fun for Kevin to put up with my neuroses.
But quite honestly, since working in the medical field, I’ve lost that nervousness when it comes to people and dealing with the unknown. Because every every day is a new adventure and you never know what patients will throw at you on a given day, I’ve learned to roll with the punches and I’m much more relaxed about things. I know this because the last few trips we’ve made, and there have been hiccups, (translation: it didn’t go exactly as I wanted it to go), I’ve just shrugged and been like, “Okay. But did we die?”
I think this video has pushed me over the edge of my hesitation to get back into shape. I’ve gotten back to the point where I’m winded if I vacuum the house. Yikes. I’ve also been watching videos about intermittent fasting and this video also inspired me to try that again.
I did intermittent daily fasting for about six weeks and I felt great, though I had a lot of heartburn. I’m not sure why that occurred but it was so uncomfortable that I stopped.
But watching the video where the girl intermittently fasted every other day has intrigued me and I think I will try that. Honestly, fasting is not hard for me. I could care less about food as a whole and if it wasn’t for the heart burn, I would have continued the daily fasting routine. (In hindsight, I think my electrolytes were off. I will definitely be more mindful of that this go around).
I think I will try something different this go around. I’m going to try fasting on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, (because those are the most realistic days for my schedule), and try and keep my calories between my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and my BMR (basal metabolic rate) number. After using this calculator, I figure I need to keep my calories on eating days around 1800 calories per day and if I am so ravenous on my fasting days, eat about 500 calories to take the edge off, at least in the beginning. It looks like I need to keep my calorie intake around 2100 calories per day once I start walking again, and 2400 calories when I fully get back into my walking routine.
But then again, after doing a bit of research about intermittent fasting, is counting calories really the best way to go?
So .. maybe counting calories isn’t the way to go. I tell you what, I’m going to start this process and just wing it because I have no idea at this point what will and won’t work for me. But I’m ready to try and figure it out.
Of course, this is the absolute worst time to start something like this, right before the holidays and all the holiday goodies, so I need to stay realistic and allow myself to cheat here and there because if I don’t, then I’ll obsess about it and be more likely to stop all together.
Now I need to download a calorie counter app – there are only a MILLION of them. I want something that all I have to do is plug in the food and it automatically calculates the number. I don’t want to think about it too much, I just want to know.
I also need to take pictures to document my progress and no, I won’t be posting them, don’t even think about it. *laughs*
I’m not fat, per se, but my BMI is considered obese. (Though to be perfectly fair, I feel like the BMI standards are a bit unrealistic nowadays but maybe that’s just me trying to justify my BMI).
I’m tired of feeling puffy. I’m tired of looking puffy in pictures. It’s time to take control of my body and I can certainly make better choices about what I put in my mouth. (*insert dirty joke here*)
I hope this post inspires you in some way. If you want to look and feel good, the only person who can make that happen is YOU.
Time to practice what I preach – starting next week – because let’s be real – Thursday is Thanksgiving!