Sunday, March 25, 2018

My First 24-hour Fast

Today is the beginning of my 4th week of intermittent fasting. I've done really good and am taking off the weight pretty painlessly.

**Before I get to the fast, let's talk about my motivation.**

The IF is wonderful and something I have found that I can live with for life. Although there was recently one HUGE bump in the road. That was when I got rid of my old, cheap analog scale and switched to a more accurate digital one. Before I got the new scale, my readings were way off. I was counting that I was down 11 pounds until I went to the doctor and they weighed me. The nurse told me that was no problem because if my scale was off, it was still reflecting my weight loss - just with a different set of numbers. Wrong. The old scale was not only off but it was giving me different weights every time I stepped on it in a 20-minute time span. Yes, I finally tested it that way.

With this new scale giving me more consistent readings, I realize that I am just now down 7 or 8 pounds. When I thought I was down by 11, I was eating a little more loosely. Now I know that I need to take my daily calories down a bit. Still, I am really pleased with the photographic results:

posted these back here

I dug out the same top and pants to take this photo just now:


Day 20 looks and feels great.

Now, the fast...

It is about 2pm here and I have to wait until 6pm to reach my 24-hour fasting goal. Here is how the day has gone so far:
  • Woke up at about 7:30 because I had a rough night sleeping. We had a really big surprise snowstorm and the street plows have been busy. I think that the scraping and whirring of motors kept me from sleeping well. 
  • 7:30 is not that early, but it's way too early when you remember that you aren't going to be ingesting anything but your meds, water, and plain tea until 6pm. 
  • I kept myself busy cleaning and taking out the garbage until about 10am, then I started feeling anxious and a little light-headed. My usual time of breaking the 18-hour fast is about 11am. I think my stomach has a better clock that my brain does.
  • To get past the initial cravings for coffee with cream, I drank a big glass of water and made a cup of Raspberry Zinger tea. 
  • At 1pm, I started wondering if doing a 24-hour fast was such a good idea. What if it set off some of my medical symptoms? What if I was doing more harm to my body and immune system than good? What it- Never mind, the craving passed. I told myself that I was doing good things for my body and that I might be healing myself by making better food choices and fasting.
  • At 1:30, my brain fog seemed worse than usual, but my fatigue was lessened. I still felt a little bit light-headed and my already bad balance seemed more "off" and shaky. I decided to sit down and do this blog post. I don't want to waste this temporary reprieve from fatigue. (If fasting helps the fatigue, I will definitely do it more often!)
And here I am.

The main reason for even starting on IF was to lose weight and see if it helped me feel better than I normally do. So far, I am losing weight. I still have brutal bouts of fatigue and brain fog, but I notice that my mental state is better. Isn't the human body an amazing thing?

I just told my niece that I plan to try doing a fast at least twice a month. Depending on how this all affects my fatigue, I want to talk to my doctors about working my way up to an even longer fast a couple of times a month. Maybe a 30-hour fast? 

Wouldn't it be amazing if in my efforts to lose weight and just generally feel better turn out to eradicate at least some of my sarcoidosis symptoms? That would be like an answer to my prayers! I can't wait to talk to my doctor about my IF results so far.

One tip that I would like to pass along to anyone thinking of doing a 24-hour fast: pick the right time of day to start. I think that I will start any future fasts at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. That way, I can keep busy with appointments or cleaning until bedtime, then I can start eating again the next day at a reasonable time. Because I start back eating tonight at 6 and then start my regular fasting period at 7 or 8pm, I will have to really work at not overdoing the calories. Or maybe I won't be tempted to glut? I will find out.

My niece is a breakfast eater so I was warning her to time her fasts to fit her lifestyle. Breakfast is no problem for me because I can't even stand the smell of food in the morning.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has done a 24-hour (or longer) fast. Did it improve your mental state or ability to think more clearly? Did it make you feel better or worse? I want details - the "skinny" if you will. 

I will definitely blog the next fast that I attempt.


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