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144.4

That’s a bit higher than I wanted but hey, I’m not in this to lose weight anymore.
It’s another fast day today and it seems to be about average (that is to say I can tell I’m a little hungry but it’s not what I’d call hard. It’s not as easy as the previous two fast days have been, where I’ve had no interest in eating but I’m not famished, either).
I seem to have some energy for a change (what a contrast to last week where I was just wiped out).

Eats: Tea | rehydration sachet

Exercise: commute in w/tailwind | commute home (headwind)
Weather: some cloud, sunny pm 18C.

X

142.6 on the scales

I’m feeling groovy again. That’ll be the fasting’s little mood boost and I hope it lasts.

TSC has commented that I’m all energetic and smiley. Maybe I’m just relieved that fasting is easy lately.

Eats: 1.5 hm rye roll w/jam | tea | hm sourdough w/cheese  and salad | hm tempeh | krupuk | rendang w/prawns | rice | 4 waffles w/berries and cream |

142 on the scales. Just as I predicted.

I am so glad of yesterday. It was an easy fast day, no struggle and today I feel all that lightness and clarity again. It’s really hard to explain but I suspect it’s this feeling of light and clarity that is the purpose behind a lot of the religious fasting out there. It makes you feel very different. Having fasted for religious reasons in the past I know that that adds an extra dimension to it. You feel extremely God-conscious and fasting helps to make you feel pure, somehow. Fasting not for religious reason (as I am now) it still makes you feel pure and clear in the head somehow. That’s got nothing to do with the self-denial, I don’t mean you feel pure in a psychological or spiritual sense I mean in a physiological, physical sense.It’s like the opposite of a hangover. It’s definitely a sense of well-being.  It must be just hormonal changes but it’s quite amazing.

Anyway, today is a food day so no self-denial and I need to get necessary nutrition in to tide me over fasting tomorrow. I didn’t wake up ragingly hungry this morning so a small breakfast looking out into the dappled sunlight in the garden was a real treat.  I’ve definitely got that mood-enhancing kick again. It’s not quite euphoria (maybe next week I’ll get that) but it’s certainly better already. I feel good again.

I have a hunch that what anorexics are really doing (at an unconscious level, before they interpret their behaviour as being about getting skinny) is fasting in order to get that euphoric boost. Of course it doesn’t feel like euphoria because you are so far down low that it just about brings you up to normal. It’s using fasting as an anti-depressant. Anorexia has been around a lot longer than size zero has been fashionable. Men get it, people in fat-admiring cultures get it, I got it without wanting to be skinny – i think it’s a pavlov-style learned response to feeling terribly depressed and fasting makes that feeling go away. Of course what anorexics DON’T know is that you can have that without starving yourself every day until your body consumes itself.  Anorexics don’t know when (or how) to stop.

I’m not saying it’s just that alone (there are many other things playing along it) or that this is the complete explanation but I think it’s a big part of the drive to not eat –  an addiction to the euphoric  (or in their case normalising) effects of fasting.  Since I’m not depressed, the fasting just makes me feel extra groovy.

Also, when I woke up this morning, I was daydreaming a bit and noticed that my heartrate was rather slow. Checking against my watch, my heart rate this morning was 54 beats per minute.

According to the table below, that would make me an athlete for my age

WOMEN
AGE 18 -25 26 -35 36 -45 46 – 55 56 -65 65+
ATHLETE 54-60 54-59 54-59 54-60 54-59 54-59
EXCEL’T 61-65 60-64 60-64 61-65 60-64 60-64
GOOD 66-69 65-68 65-69 66-69 65-68 65-68
ABOVE AV 70-73 69-72 70-73 70-73 69-73 69-72
AVERAGE 74-78 73-76 74-78 74-77 74-77 73-76
BELOW AV 79-84 77-82 79-84 78-83 78-83 77-84
POOR 85+ 83+ 85+ 84+ 84+ 84+

I know that redued heartrate is a symptom of fasting and reduced heartrate is also a sign of fitness. The two are not necessarily the same thing. It’s not clear whether fasting makes the heart strong or if it just slows the heart rate. I don’t feel any different (I’m not woozy or tired or anything) but I also very much doubt I’m as fit as an athlete.

Eats: tea | hm muesli roll w/cherry jam | banana | salad w/houmous | strawberry & apple juice | fizzy sweets | hm lamb curry | hm naan bread | hm pilau rice | poppadums | hm sag aloo

Exercise: cycle into town and back (40 minutes) | amble around town (1 hour)

141.6 on the scales.

Looks like I’m back to the old numbers, the ones I was seeing before I skipped that fast day. It’s going to take a while to get my average back down to 142.26 again and start breaking into new numbers territory but heck, either it will or it won’t. I’ll not be any happier at 142.26 than I am at 142.89.

I’m considering just not weighing myself for a while. Part of me loves the continuity of knowing my weights every day. I have a record of it going back to April 2007 and I like that. I can see that I was 144.8 then. I can also see that since then I had been gaining weight.  Bumpily, but gaining nonetheless until I got to about 154lbs. I then lost a little, gained it back and then did this alternate day fasting and have gone back to what I was and then a bit lower. I like that I can see that. I like that I can see how my weight was going up and up and then plummets with ADF (that big dip in Jan 09 was before I started ADF. I was cycle touring in India)

Fasterlys daily weights since April 2007

Fasterly's daily weights since April 2007

But then again, I also want to just let go of the numbers and just do this for the sake of doing it without getting the feedback through the scales. It is true that even now, me being happy with my weight, I feel grumpy if my weight is higher than I think it should be. It shouldn’t make me feel grumpy. I should feel great no matter what the scales says.

So I don’t know. I wish I could have someone ELSE weigh me every day and I not know but that it’s plotted down anyway, so I can look back and see in a bout three month’s time.

I don’t weigh myself out of some control freakery, I’m just curious. I like to have my little graph of weights. (I am such a numbers dork – whenever we go off on our cycle tours I like to keep a log of our days’ mileage and average speed and all that stuff. Not for any reason, just to be able to compare and look back on. Dorky, see).

Maybe I’ll take a week off weighing and see how that goes. I don’t weigh when we go on holiday, after all.

Eats: muesli w/yoghurt | tea | onion bread | boursin | salad | houmous | vanilla slice | banana | blueberries |Tagliatelli w/ mushroom sauce | cherry pie w/cream| strawberries w/cream

Exercise: none really. some baking.

Weather: summer summer summer. 26C sunshine

x

143.8lbs on the scales

Well it looks like it’s gonna take some time to get back to where I was before I skipped that fast day. Part of me thinks “wow, missing even one fast day does a LOT of damage to the low numbers I’ve  been working towards and it’s going to take a lot of time to get to where I was. Missing a fast day is so not worth it” and then this other part of me thinks “meh, you can’t have actually gained a whole lot in reality after just one day out of your routine. Don’t sweat it. It’s just numbers. Your body can’t have changed all that much from just a single day.”

I’m sticking with thought number 2 but also feel grumpy that it’s going to take a long while before my numbers go back to the 142.26 of before  and I can start patting myself on the back again. It won’t matter in the long run, though. If I look at the weight chart back in 2007 or 2008 there was lots of ups and lots of downs even in the trendline, but I was undoubtedly gaining, even during weeks when I was going down. The same is happening now (but the opposite) where a gain here and there doesn’t change the overall downward direction of my regular weigh-ins. This one week when seen as part of a whole year won’t look like any ‘damage’ done at all.

Anyway, enough of the numbers.

Critics of ADF might say that a longer life but with fasting days is not worth the price (who wants to live a longer miserable life, right?)  but I can categorically confirm that fasting does not make you miserable. Not even on the fast days and definitely not on the food days. Today I’m fasting. It is 3.15pm, my hunger is about a 3 out of 10 and I feel great! I might get hungrier over the course of the day but it’s unlikely to be misery-enducing and unbearable.  If it is, I’ll have a small snack but I’ll try to avoid it if I can. Maybe I’m just getting some of that euphoria again.  I say that because I am under immense pressure with my assignment (that I’m totally not ready to write) and have less than a week to do it, I still feel pretty groovy. I don’t seem to have that “I’m so fat” feeling about me anymore. I feel really happy with my body (despite its imperfections). That’s so cool! Turns out I never intended to be perfect, I just wanted to be happy and that’s just what I am. Imperfect but happy about it and I’ll live longer to boot! (with any luck). Keeping those electrolytes in check seems to be important, though.

Still, YAY for euphoria and self-acceptance!

Eats: water | tea |

Exercise: commute in | commute home | push ups (didn’t count ‘em. maybe 12?)

Weather: overcast morning, sunny afternoon. 25C. Lovely summer’s day

141.2 on the scales. That’s 4.4lbs lost overnight.

To recap: I skipped a fast day and just ate normally for three days running, gained a shedload of weight and went to my highest weight in I don’t know how long and then one fast day later I go to almost my lowest weight. Weird.

I’m glad to say the bloat has gone and the fasting yesterday wasn’t too arduous, although I was thinking (obsessing) about food when I went to bed. I made such plans for eats today.

I’m wondering whether I have some sort of food intolerance.  I could eliminate all suspects from my diet, see if reintroduction of certain foods leads to a repeat bloat, then eliminate it again to confirm. I could be intolerant of dairy or gluten or any number of fruits but to be honest, when I do this alternate day fasting, I don’t get the symptoms. I only get it if I eat every day. So not only would that mean eating every day to find out what the food intolerance might be (and gaining weight) it also means then knowing I’m intolerant and having to avoid certain foods. I don’t want to be one of those fussy eaters who worry about certain thigns ‘contaminating’ their food. I want to be able to eat what I like without worrying about it.

So, in short, I’m not going to bother. If I am intolerant, I don’t really want know. I like being able to eat whatever I feel like. Fasting seems to prevent the symptoms and since I’m doing alternate day fasting for life, it shouldn’t be a problem. It might be something to worry about if I get to too low a weight and I need to have more food days to keep my weight stable but at the moment I seem to be doing fine as I am. I can still afford to lose a few pounds

Eats: 1 large muesli | 2 peaches | 1 tea | 1 coconut ice cream | onion bread w/cheese and tomato | vegetable biryiani  and chicken tikka| strawberries, blueberries and pineapple

Exercise: cycle into town along seafront

weather: summer is here!!!! 25C sunshine.

143.6 on the scales. Ain’t that just typical? I get so near that magical 139 on Wednesday and then ‘twaaannggg!’ up I go again, out of reach.  I’d better start breaking into the 130s soon, as the number 4 is sticking on my keyboard (I blame overuse).

It’s a fast day today and I feel pretty good today. It’s a lovely summery day (albeit bit cool for my liking) and I can get on with my studies (I’ve just finished transcribing the interviews and now I need to start analysis of what was said for my write up). I had a very enjoyable Food Day yesterday. Once I’d had the chowder, the sugar cravings ceased.

TSC and I are both pretty accomplished cooks. Most of the foods we eat are homemade and our freezer is stocked with leftovers rather than pre-made foods. We’re just not in the habit of buying sauces in jars, ready made meals or things from a packet. I think the main reason for this is that the kitchen is the main room of the house so spending time cooking is always a sociable thing (plus we have no TV so it’s the primary evening activity after work where we catch up with one another, flirt with one another and discuss the latest ideas/plans/concerns/excitement about our upcoming RTW trip).

Unfortunately though, I think we’re getting into a rut and eating the same sorts of foods too much. I like to try new things.I’m very much a have-a-go cook and want to try my hand at new techniques or try new recipes. I’m thinking of setting a challenge: no cooking the same food twice, to expand our repertoire of dishes. We’ve already built a good set. Recent additions to our repertoire include fish pie, pad thai, naan bread, red thai curry, sag aloo, pilau rice, fish with beurre noisette but it’s getting boring when we buy a fish and always do the same thing with it. I want to make new stuff. Because Food Days are unbounded by calorie concerns, I can be sure I can have anything I want, so I really should make full use of that opportunity.

I don’t know. This might take some planning. We have a store cupboard of foods that need eating up too, before we go on our year-long trip. Maybe I should concentrate more on finding ways to eat the quinoa we’ve got knocking about in the cupboard.

Anyway, I’m pretty chipper today and feel this fast day will be an easy one. We’re off to the beach tomorrow so I’m already looking forward to some fresh strawberries in our picnic for then but other than that I think today will be a cinch. Sometimes I think it’d be nice not to have to fast every other day but then again I suffer the consequences of bloat and sluggishness if I don’t, so it’s just not worth it.  This is definitely the way to go for me. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the weightloss isn’t the main motivator anymore. I’m happy with where I’m at already. I looked pretty smokin’ in my undies this morning. For the first time in a long, long time I liked what I saw. I think my goal weight of 132 (an arbitrary number, based on nothing more than the roundness of the number 60, as in kilograms) was not a bad one, by any means. It’s still within healthy and it’d be a nice slim me but I didn’t realise I could be pretty satisfied at 10lbs above that. I think the personal happiness and satisfaction is better than the number. I’m also pretty relieved it’s not been a route into anorexia, where thin is never thin enough. It seems I DO know when to stop and it IS possible to love an imperfect body.

anyway, must get back to my assignment. I’ve got an A grade to maintain.

I noticed I the afternoon that I started to wane a little. I slowed right down, felt very cold and then got very sleepy, had a nap on the sofa in the kitchen and completely slept through TSC cooking himself lunch and eating it.  Because I was fasting he kept expecting the food smells to wake me, but obviously I needed sleep more than omelette.

Eats: 2 milk tea | 1 early grey tea | water

Exercise: 14 push ups

141.2 on the scales.

woke up absolutely famished. I had a double breakfast: 2 slices of toast, a croissant AND a bowl of muesli. Mid-morning I had a custard tart and from thence my food choices began to go very much downhill.

If I have one sweet food, it sets off a chain of sweet food cravings. Indulging just sets me up for the next one in about an hour’s time. I had the custard tart (TSC left it for me. It was a freebie from work) which led to a cupcake type thing I’d made, which led to a second, which led to some liquorice which led to thoughts of breaking into my chocolate stash (a tupperware container of various types of good quality chocolate  used for baking and/or chocolate emergencies) but I thought: Hell no! that’s my baking chocolate. That’d be like drinking the cooking sherry: it smacks too much of desperation.

Now, in my experience, the only way to break the cycle of sugar to sugar to sguar is to have some protein. So, after some chopping, peeling, cutting, measuring, pouring, stirring, and seasoning  I had ‘voila!’ produced a delicious smoked cod chowder that made my taste buds sing and put a lid on the junky cravings.  Phew! So healthy, so tasty and put a stop to the stupid eating.

I suspect I’ve been so ravenous this morning because I didn’t have a perfect faster yesterday. I ate some bread to be sociable and then, while I was cooking up a bolognaise sauce for TSC (who was carbo-loading for a monster cycle ride today) I was tasting, retasting and tasting again as I was cooking. I ate a fair amount of bolognaise sauce, and I had a bit of his garlic bread just to taste.   It didn’t make me bloaty but it did make me hungry by morning. I’m not usually tearing the cupboard doors off their hinges on the morning of a Food Day but I could have happily eaten the choppingboard this morning, I was so hungry.

Eats: 2 rye toast w/jam | 1 bowl muesli | 3 milk tea | 1 custard tart | 2 cupcakes | liquorice | cod chowder |

140.4 on the scales this morning.

Definitely losing again, suddenly. No more plateau. Just goes to show that when you hit a plateau it’s not a sign that you need to change anything, you just wait it out. Today I am 10lbs lighter than when I started this. For someone who was not overweight to begin with, that’s pretty amazing.

I still feel funny to be tracking my weight when I’m happy where I’m at. I guess I’m just gonna see where this takes me, where my weight will settle at. I won’t start worrying unless I get too low. I might find my weight just stops at about here, which would be pretty cool with me.

I didn;t eat very sensibly today. My boss  brought in cakes and I ate some of those and some liquorice sweets. I feel quite yucky after all that sugar. If I only I remembered how yucky I feel BEFORE I put that sweet into my mouth.

 

Eats: 2 toast | 1 milk tea | liquorice | 2 apple & balckcurrant pies | 1 chicken tortilla | 1 apple | a toad in the hole w/kale and carrots |

Exercise: commute in, clear day.

Weather some cloud. 19C

142.6lbs on the scales this morning.

That means I’ve stayed below the physicsdiet average even after a Food Day and that this plateau is officially history. I’m back to losing weight again. Funny that I’m not so hot on losing weight anymore,  just as I start dropping more pounds, haha. But still. I’ll see where this takes me. I’m going to carry on as I’ve been doing and either I’ll eventually stop losing weight or if I get to skinny I can just tweak this a little – maybe have dinner on a Fast Day or something. I’m loathe to reduce the number of fast days per week, as I don’t want to get bloaty again, plus alternating days gets a good, easy rhythm going. I’m really enjoying it this way. This is definitely something I can do for life.

The city where I live is hosting a week of bike events. This morning was a free breakfast at a park I almost cycle past every morning, so TSC and I stopped by for a free breakfast. I had an orange juice but handed my bacon buttie to him to have. It’s pretty cool to have these events. There was a live band and a great atmosphere. I just wish they’d publicised it a bit more. You kinda have to have had your ear to the ground for cycling events to have heard about it. A big banner proclaiming free breakfasts to cyclists would have been nice, reminding the motorists that they’re missing out, teehee.

There is another one laid on for tomorrow, so I can have the breakfast that time. I didn’t mind at all though. I’m rarely hungry first thing and I like my fast days now. It’s summery and that makes not eating much easier than in the winter when you want warm, comfort foods and you’re feeling cold all day. I don’t know whether this is the usual euphoria but I feel top of the world at the moment. Another reason to keep the fasting going. Mind you, I felt rather queasy at about 1.30pm. That might have been because of the orange juice I had this morning.

During my lunch hour I was feeling a bit queasy. Caffeine has helped in the past and so I bought a diet coke (I just about never drink fizzy drinks but today I made an exception) and it perked me up quite nicely. I’m not likely to be making a habit of fizzy drinks (sugar free or not).  I don’t normally like them enough to get over their general unhealthiness but this one hit the spot quite nicely.

Eats: 1 orange juice | 3 mik tea | 1 diet coke

Exercise: slightly longer commute |

Weather: bright day. 20C

What is alternate day fasting?

Alternate day, also called intermittent fasting is simple: you eat whatever, however and whenever you like one day and abstain from all food the next day and follow that with another day of unlimited eating. You just keep alternating these days. There are variations on this but all involve some form of prolonged period (usually at least 15 hours) without food. Okay, so it sounds a bit nuts, but this way of eating has been associated with significant health benefits including insulin regulation, improved cholesterol, asthma symptoms, calming inflammatory responses and is implicated with longevity in studies on other mammals (a human study is in the works but of course we have many years yet before we'll know whether the human participants live to 100 or not). Typically about one week into this most people get a bit of a high, a euphoric effect and some see weight-loss. It might seem counter-intuitive, but contrary to expectations, you do not want to shovel all and any food down your throat on the Food Days. You tend to eat quite normally. This way of eating suits me very well. It won't suit everyone.
August 2014
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