Fasting has always been a part of my life because I grew up in religion. It was the time to ‘push the plate’ away to get something you really wanted from God. I never took part in it, but I’ve always known about it.
It wasn’t until about 2010 I unknowingly started fasting, mostly because I didn’t make time to eat on my highly stressful job. Unbeknownst to me, I lost weight: a LOT of weight. To me, I always look like me, so it’s not until something doesn’t fit or falls off that I notice changes in my weight. I’ve never been attached to a scale.
Then I did my first religious fast that many (or some…who knows) call Danial Fast (the 21-day one, not to be confused with the ten-day one). For 21 days, I ate one vegan meal a day with a commitment to get what I wanted from God (now I know it as one meal a day or OMAD). I lost A LOT of weight, so much that I used a hole puncher from a co-worker to add a hole in my belt. Again, I had no clue as I typically don’t wear belts as my assets have always held everything up.
I didn’t get what I wanted from this (another story for another time), but I liked the way I felt, so I fasted more and more and concentrated on affirmations.
On comes pregnancy for child number three (yes, I number them. Don’t you?!?). I wasn’t hungry much with this child, so I didn’t gain as much weight. Out he pops, and the weight remained as I stopped fasting altogether.
Fast forward a few years. With child number four, I felt like I was a Mack truck (basically a big 18 wheeler). The weight wouldn’t budge. So I went back to old faithful: fasting. The weight always dropped off when I fasted. True to form, it did this time as well…only to rebound with aggression.
Remembering how I was able to stay small-ish as a vegetarian (number one broke a seven-year vegetarian span…I was starving all the time), I went back vegetarian. Nope. Weight remained.
I then went vegan (for other reasons not weight related). It was here I really got into water fasting. I’d go a day here, three days there, a week another time, but the weight wouldn’t stay gone.
Then I went raw vegan (again, not for weight loss purposes) and hit the gym hard!!!! During this time, I was also able to do my most prolonged water fast ever: 13 days! I had a 21-day goal as I was learning about the healing effects of fasting, and there were somethings I wanted to be healed. During this time, I vowed never to do a ‘gimmie fast’ again because I had beautiful spiritual events and never asked God for a thing. But that’s another topic for a different writing.
I was at my lowest weight: my post-high school weight when I was the fittest in my life. I’ve been a gym rat and personal trainer since I was 16. I was fit back then, but I wasn’t now…I was just ‘small’, and apparently, it didn’t look great. My skin was saggy. My booty was gone. My breasts were deflated. But hey! I was small!
I continued gyming with a goal of fixing my sagging skin and losing about ten pounds. The biggest issue I had was I was gaining muscle at a snail-like pace.
One day in January 2020, at my husband’s suggestion, I decided to stop being a raw vegan and added some items back to my diet. I blew up ten pounds in a week. Now mind you, I knew all the science, but you ever know people who know but don’t apply the knowledge they know? That was me! I was trained, so I knew the weight would come back once again…especially since there would be days I would eat only watermelon and nothing else.
No worries. I expected some weight gain, especially since my intestines had more space inside them now. No biggie. On to quarantine where I went back to my old ways: let’s fast! Lol. Wrong answer, buddy. The inconsistent relationship I was having with fasting was wreaking havoc on my metabolism. I couldn’t think about food without gaining weight…fat! I tried to maintain my home workouts but injured my back and was out of commission for over eight weeks!! On comes another 20 pounds.
Half of the pounds I’d lost were almost back! So I decided to take a step back and readjust.
Over the last two or so years, I pretty much shared with you what I have learned and tested on my body.
There was one thing I always knew but omitted because I wanted to fast track my weight loss: when you fast (rest your digestion) for extended periods, or short periods, depending on what’s going on in your life, you need to actually REST!!! You rest from stress, worry, and anything that mentally and emotionally drains you. Most importantly, you rest from working out! You do as little as possible, and you let your body truly heal.
All my life, or at least since I was 11, I have ‘struggled’ with the curves I have attained. I have “yo-yoed” on nearly everything I can. Even as a fitness class teacher, I struggled to lose weight. With everything I know, I continued down a path of metabolism destruction. I thought I could beat my metabolism…or maybe I was trying to trick myself into believing that. Every time I wondered why I couldn’t lose weight, I knew why. I chose to ignore it. I didn’t want to do what I knew I had to do to fix what I destroyed for over 2/3 of my life. The science was there. The studies, research, and all were there. I didn’t want that until I finally ran out of options as the scale continued to go up.
I was going to fix my metabolism. In October 2020, I started tracking my caloric intake and estimated needs. I hate counting calories. HATE IT! Sure I always knew what food had what vitamins and nutrients without reading the packaging. One glance at the ingredients, and I knew what I was eating. But I had no clue what my caloric intake was nor my need to maintain my body. I knew that my body would adjust to whatever I did to it so that it would survive. The Creator made us perfectly! We ruined it!
And here we are today. Do I fast still? Yes!!! It’s good for you. Do I have a healthy relationship with fasting? Ideas creep into my mind, and I have to work to ignore them at times. My new goal is to fix what I destroyed many, many, MANY years ago. I am working to right-size my metabolism.
It is HARD for me. I struggle to eat because, for so many years, I didn’t. No, it wasn’t anorexia; at least I don’t think I was. I just was not used to eating. I haven’t eaten before 8:00 am in so long, I struggle with it. The first time I had collagen before the gym, I thought I was going to puke! This was just collagen in my tea to break my fast before gym time.
I still habitually eat pescatarian, where I eat fish but do not eat meat, but I’m more flexible now: flexitarian. I really love this title (when typically I wanted none). I learned this word from my little sister-in-law, and it fits in perfectly. I still don’t eat some things for no reason except I don’t desire it, but I’m eating my calories. Whether it be in two meals, three, or five of them, I’m eating them, with hopes that I will enjoy this again.
My goal is not to fast for days at a time AND gym hard. If I fast, I aim to rest. You can hold me accountable for that. Otherwise, I aim to eat my caloric needs healthily.
It’s been three months, and the scale FINALLY stopped moving! Lol. I hate that thing. I need to work on my relationship with it, but that’s another goal for another time. I don’t weigh myself often. I still monitor things according to how my clothing fits. I’m still gyming. I’ve added running (although cardio isn’t best when working on correcting the metabolic rate), but I’ve avoided running my ENTIRE life and now love it. My time is improving, and that motivates me! I’ve also implemented hill walking because the gym closed for two weeks in December, and I needed something more. I think this is why my run time has improved.
I have watched people who carried their meals around and ate at a specific time no matter what and pity them. I never wanted that life. I may have to or want it at some point, but right now, I still don’t. Right now, I’m just ensuring my body’s needs are met and monitoring them.
Everybody is different. I have to learn what works best for my body, just as you have to with yours. I still love the health benefits of fasting. I’m still struggling to eat ‘all the time’ (as I refer to it). I still need to check my relationship with fasting and eating. I have to remain disciplined. And this…this last part…is and always will be part of my goals.
Happy fit life, people.
Remember, I’m not qualified to tell you what to do and not do. I test ideas on myself and let you know how they affect me. I enjoy sharing with you on this platform, which gives me stage. These are not the opinions or thoughts of VI Life & Style. I encourage you to do your research. There are plenty of studies out there on everything under the sun.
Until next time…fin.