J. Kathleen Cheney (j_cheney) wrote,
J. Kathleen Cheney
j_cheney

5:2

A couple of people had asked, and instead of writing long emails, I'll summarize my experience so far here. (Easier for me, I admit.)

I am now finishing my first month of intermittent fasting (5:2). Essentially, I pick two days a week and don't eat on those days.

That's a generalization. I have been consuming <500 calories those days, generally in liquid form. I usually get more like 300, in truth, but I'm still working out the kinks. The next morning I get up and eat like a normal day.

This month I've been concentrating on getting my digestive system accustomed to the new regime.  I will admit that the first week was hard, but I've increased my fiber uptake (including taking a fiber supplement on my fasting days), and things have smoothed out. I am speaking both figuratively -and- literally here. (Poop. I'm talking about poop.)

My hunger has been pretty minimal. I personally think that my hunger/fullness cycle is broken due to some extreme dieting back in high school. The upside of that is that I rarely feel hunger. Pretty much never. The downside is that I rarely feel full.

That means that, for me, fasting is actually easier than moderating.

I have, on fasting nights, woken up with a headache. To combat this I've been moving about 100 calories to just before bedtime that night to move blood to my digestive system and away from my head. That has worked.

I haven't had any weakness or lightheadedness associated with the fasting. Other than the digestive issues and that headache, I feel pretty normal.

Other than the fasting days, I haven't changed my eating habits. I wanted to ease into this, since I'm trying to think of this as a lifestyle change, not a diet.  The next two months I'll be concentrating on upping my amount of exercize and cleaning up some of the stuff I'm eating. I have some bad eating habits that I don't mean to completely expunge, but I want to improve them.

Have I lost weight? I suspect I have. My stomach seems a little flatter (although it has a long way to go). I didn't weigh at the beginning of this, and I don't plan to weigh now. I'll weigh when I'm ready to do so. Again, this is about long term habits, not a diet.

The skipping-solid-food two days a week isn't onerous, and I've been fine going to restaurants and having tea while my husband eats (unsweet, because I hate the other stuff). I cook breakfast and dinner for him as well on those days, but I'm experimenting with shifting some of the cooking to the day before. The most perplexing thing about the fasting days is the lack of structure. I don't have the meals to work around, and that's going to take a bit of getting used to. Last week I tried sitting down and watching TV with my 'lunch' drink, which felt odd, but I may have to do that.

So I'm happy with it, so far. I have the option of swapping out days (like fasting on Tuesday instead of Monday) but I haven't done any of that yet. We'll see.

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Why am I doing this?

I would like to weigh less. I told my husband that one of the things I worry about is weighing a lot in old age when nurses and med-techs might have to move me around. Seriously, that worries me. Go figure.

My health is okay. I'm not on any medications or supplements, and I practice yoga (yin, though) regularly. I do need to keep my eye on the possible issues of HBP or diabetes showing up late in life, so that's a seoncdary concern. (Yes, I'm aware that should be above the nurse worries, but I never claimed my brain makes sense.)

I am not good at moderating (like counting calories), but I am good at absolutes. I dropped sodas cold turkey back in 2012, and this is sort of the same.

I have always had success with no-carb diets. Unfortunately, in the last few years when I've tried that, my old gastric problems (I had ucers years ago) start cropping back up. So for me, that's not a viable long term solution. (In fact, my dermo suggested it due to possible staph issues, and I ended up on Zantac within a month.) Because I don't care for most veggies (yes, I'm a 3yo), my whole grains are an important factor in keeping my stomach acids under control.

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Weight factors:

I've always been a heavy girl. Hormone therapies made this much worse. My weight was pretty static until I started on Birth Control. Then I gained about 20lbs per year. I stopped taking the hormones and I stopped gaining weight. I stayed at that weight for 16 years. After I had my hysterectomy, I didn't gain any weight... until I started HRT (which is similar to birth control). I gained 13 lbs in that first month, so I told my doctor I would have to wean back off of the HRT. I got to go through a second, lesser menopause! Unfortunately, I'd gained enough weight by then that I was concerned, yet there were a lot of stresses in my life, so I couldn't seem to find a diet that worked for me.

I'm now through menopause, with the fun slowing metabolism that brings with it. So I have to limit my calorie intake somehow. From now on. And this seems to work for me.

Therefore, I am going to stick with this through mid-August, and we'll see from there if I can maintain it.

Tags: 5:2
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