Food, Getting into Shape

Alternate Day Fasting: Two-Week Update

Good day, everyone!

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.


The (Incredible?) Shrinking Woman

I’m shrinking.

My body is shrinking and I couldn’t be HAPPIER!!

Well, except for the boobage shrinkage – I’m not particularly happy about that part.

A few nights ago, I woke up at 2:50 in the morning, my skin on fire and just feeling uncomfortable. I had cashed in some of my credits at the tanning salon eight hours earlier and “upgraded” to a level 2 bed. I hated that bed. It closed COMPLETELY, which left me gasping for air, and the fans, well, they sucked, so I sweated, a lot. (Which is nothing new, I sweat all the time. But somehow, sweating in a tanning booth just FEELS gross, you know?) Even though the experience was claustrophobic, I have to admit, that sucker tanned the crap out of my skin and I won’t be using it very often because I have no desire to look like a walking leather bag when I get older. (And just so you know, I rarely tan. This is like the first summer I’ve tanned in years and will likely be the last time I tan in years. I just go through spurts when I WANT to. Thankfully, they are few and far between, so please, no lectures).

But I digress.

I alternated between hot and cold all night. I had the fan on me (which is the only way I can sleep in the summer time because otherwise the air feels so HEAVY and I can’t stand feeling like there’s a Mack truck on my chest) so I would cover up from the fan, but then would kick off the covers because I got too hot. Off, on, off, on until I finally gave up and got up.

I went into the bathroom and being awake and aware of my skin, I lifted my shirt to see how dark my belly was.

Dark. But what caught my attention was my boobs. I blinked. Then I blinked some more. Had they shrunk? They looked smaller … somehow. I turned this way and that way and examined them from all angles.

They were most definitely smaller. I was somewhat alarmed. For you see, I never really HAD boobs until I had children. Before children (BC), I was pretty flat chested. In fact, I was pretty much a walking stick – no chest and no hips. Then I had kids and WHAM, I suddenly had boobs! Happy! But I also suddenly had hips, Not so happy!

But it was a trade-off, see. I could live with that trade-off because the boobs I’d always wanted, and always dreamed of having in high school, were finally MINE! All mine (well, I had to share them with the husband, but you know what I mean).

So when I noticed they had shrunk, I was quite bummed out.

And then I noticed my arms. What the … was that … could that be …? DEFINITION I was seeing in my flabby grandma arms?! Holy cow! Where did those shoulders come from? And I was definitely seeing some muscle where there was no muscle before.

And where did my second belly roll go? Now, when I bent over, I had one roll where I used to have two.

I’m telling you, I stood in front of that mirror a full fifteen minutes admiring this strange, defined, SHRINKING body. I guess I thought that if I didn’t get an eye full at that moment, I would likely wake up from the dream I was obviously having and I would be back to normal – large (and when I say large, I mean a healthy size C) boobs, obese arms and the Michelin man waist.

I gave my shrinking body one last, lingering look and went back to bed.

Ah well, a girl can dream, right?

Only, when I woke up the next morning, I was greeted with the same small-ish body.

*blinkblink* Had all of my working out FINALLY paid off?

For those new to this blog (welcome!), I’ve sort of been on a working out spree. I’m a big walker, in fact, I LOVE to walk on my treadmill and watch DVD’s – kill two birds with one stone, right? I’m all about multi-tasking. In addition, the husband and I stumbled onto an infomercial a few months back for Turbo Jam. Usually, we roll our eyes at each other and change the channel, but something about this program caught my attention …

It looked fun. I have always loved dance-y, athletic-types of workouts and all of the punching and kicking caught my attention. So, we ordered it … and have TOTALLY gotten our money’s worth.

Now before ya’ll think I’m some sort of health freak, let me set the record straight. I like to eat. Specifically sugary, fattening donuts and chocolate. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say I’m addicted to this stuff. I’d be the size of a house if I wasn’t constantly making deals with myself: All right, Karen. You had a glass of A&W Root Beer this afternoon, which is like 20 teaspoons of sugar. Since you chose to have this glass of soda, you may not have any chocolate for the rest of the day. Or … I’ll eat something pretty healthy, like salmon for lunch, and then reward myself later (because I’m really not a big fish eater but WOW, the protein is an awesome pick-me-upper), with a 3-Musketeer bar (because if I’m going to eat chocolate, why not pick the kind that has less fat, right?)

In addition, if I binge myself on junk food (which happens), then I MAKE myself work out extra hard to work off the calories – it’s a constant give and take with me.

As a result of these deal breakers, it appears that I’m constantly working out. Well, okay, I am constantly working out. But now I’ve become addicted to it – more on that later.

But what REALLY motivated me to start working out again was this one photo.

Normal Family Before Pie
(I’m the fat chick in black on the left-hand side).

One photo where I look like a beached whale with chipmunk cheeks – attractive, no? It was a picture we had taken last Thanksgiving at our house with my husband’s family. I like my husband’s family, really. But they drive me crazy to be around because they are all beautiful, THIN people. And then, there’s me. Whale woman.


My sister-in-law posted this picture on Facebook and the family has really had a great time making fun of themselves – especially me. Because really, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s left? Tears? I don’t DO the feel sorry for myself bit. I just don’t. I’m a proactive sort of person.

But seeing this picture again disgusted me, not just because of how I looked but because at the time, before I saw how this picture turned out, I thought I had looked fine. In fact, I had felt pretty good about myself. But then I saw this picture and my self-confidence flew out the window like someone’s still-smoking cigarette. WHOOSH. Perception was burned to a crisp.

(My husband, trying to make me feel better, said, “But honey, that photo was taken with a wide-angle lens.” It doesn’t matter, I’m still whale woman – hear my whale cries of anguish).

I think I have the reverse of anorexia nervosa – where I think I look great but then I see a picture of myself and it’s like, WHAT THE HELL?! It’s so depressing.

So, I’ve been working out extra hard, that photo always in the back of my mind to motivate me to continue even when I feel like my arms are going to fall off or my lungs are about to explode.

And apparently, all of this sweating it starting to pay off. The husband commented the other night that I was indeed building definition in my arms. And that I was definitely skinnier overall. And yes, he admitted, after much coercing from me, that my boobs were indeed smaller.

*sigh* A “small” price to pay to look better, I guess. (Get it? Small? HAHA).

I had the presence of mind to measure myself when I started using Turbo Jam – I did not, however, have the presence of mind to put the DATE on these measurements (idiot) so I’m guesstimating here, but it’s been at least two, possibly three months, since we bought the program. Here are the results:

Chest: Lost 2.5 inches (see! told you!)
Arms: Lost 1 inch
Waist: Lost 3.25 inches (!)
Hips: Lost 2 inches
Thighs: Lost 1 inch (which is disappointing)

Weight: I don’t weigh myself. I keep track of inches because to me, that’s what is more important.

Now, because of these results, I’m working out harder. I’m motivated to continue because dog-gone it, it’s making a difference!

Now hopefully, when we take the next Thanksgiving picture, I won’t dread it but will be proud of how I look in it.

Of course, that’s what I thought LAST THANKSGIVING …


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