Fasting Through Frustration

I know. It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but I want to reassure you (and myself) that I haven’t given up. I’m still pushing through. I’m just frustrated. I’m still in the 230s! I briefly broke into the 220s, but I didn’t stay there. Yes, sometimes I wonder why I keep going with all of this. It’s because that even though the scale isn’t moving, I can’t deny how great I feel. And I know I’m not going back. So maybe I’ve discovered how to maintain, although I don’t want to maintain yet – I want to continue to lose.

Sometimes it’s difficult seeing other people’s progress pictures. I am really happy for them and it is encouraging to me, but I have to make sure I don’t compare my success to theirs – and that’s hard to do. It’s time to count my non-scale victories (blessings).

  1. I can’t wear my anniversary wedding ring anymore because it is way too big. The current ring I’m wearing was a gift from my husband a few years ago – an open heart infinity ring with sapphires. This ring I could only wear on my pinky when I first got it and now it’s also getting loose. Out of curiosity I tried on my original wedding ring that was my husband’s mother’s – it hadn’t fit for years after I had kids. And now it does fit! Victory is mine!
  2. I am wearing a wonderful pair of Lucky Brand skinny jeans, size 18 now. I haven’t fit into a size 18 since 18 years ago.
  3. I haven’t eaten fast food in over a year. And nearly has most of my family. My son agreed that even his taste in food has evolved past fast food (even though he still eats other kinds of junk food, but I’m still working on him).
  4. I have a great support system, especially through my husband. He is my biggest cheerleader. He started doing the Keto lifestyle last January. He is what you would consider “lazy Keto” because he still have some carbs here and there. He has lost an amazing 60 pounds this year! He is such an inspiration.
  5. We have had to buy new clothes – I know such a horrible side effect of losing weight. I’ve gone from a size 26 (28 when I was my heaviest) to a size 18. I am looking forward to the day that I don’t have to shop in the plus size sections any more and can go into in shop that has sizes that I can wear. Do you know how hard it is to find a good quality coat in a plus size? I had to order online. I’ll be glad when those days are over.
  6. We have fun Keto hacking recipes and restaurant menus. We actually have started doing our own personal reviews of restaurants on how Keto-friendly they are. Actually, I may add that page to my blog. I’ll try to keep it on a positive note – I’ll review those restaurants that are Keto-friendly and leave out those who are not. There is actually one restaurant that we have banned from our personal list based on the fact that when we tried substituting items to make something more Keto friendly (and I most note that it was for less food than what was originally offered), they itemized and double-charged us. It was bad. The sad part was that it’s a local place that we had been going to for years.

My main debate for the past few months is how to break this stall. Everyone has different ideas – fasting, egg fast, carnivore fast, exercise, eat more frequently, eat cleaner. I tried the egg fast and I lost a good amount in the four days I did the egg fast, but it didn’t keep going down and I can’t keep just eating eggs. It’s not sustainable.

Everyone’s body is different and I have to remember to listen to mine and pay attention to my own bio markers. So what do I know about my own body? Well, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago. I had borderline gestational diabetes during both of my pregnancies. Losing weight has always been difficult for me. And looking over my lifestyle in the past, my eating has never been horrible. Carbs were definitely a major part of my diet all my life. When I was a teenager, my main food source at school were the french fries from the cafeteria. During college, my main meal was either the baked potato bar or the amazing Chicken Caesar bagel sandwich. Late night study sessions were spent at Denny’s and the cheapest, most efficient meal was their covered and smothered hash browns. I didn’t eat too many processed foods, but I definitely ate carbs. So what did this do to my body? I am confident that I definitely developed insulin resistance, if I didn’t have it already.

So this is the main reason why it is so difficult for me to lose weight. Insulin is my enemy. I am so incredibly grateful for my first doctor who diagnosed me with diabetes had the foresight to not put me on insulin and who believed in me to lose the weight. I remember her saying that putting people on insulin before giving them a chance to make a difference was an archaic way of treating a metabolic disorder. I loved her for that (although I didn’t realize it at the time). This is why it is so important for me to fast and eat clean.

This year I had done different fasting protocols, weighing myself and testing my blood sugars throughout to find the one that works better for me. The easiest fasting protocol for me to do is the 18:6 one – 18 hours fast, 6 hours feasting. I don’t lose too much weight; I actually tend to maintain with this protocol. I think it may be a good tool for me to use when I get down to my ideal weight.

The longer fasts – 36 hours and 42 hours – are the more ideal ones for me to do. I have found that I lose on these ones and my blood sugars come down (which is exactly what Dr. Jason Fung says will happen). So why don’t I just do this and not worry about it? HA! Easier said than done. The hard part about these protocols is that it is so hard to get past that 20-24-hour mark. My brain/reasoning gets weak at this moment. Contributing factors:

  1. I’m coming home from work. It can be anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour for my commute. I’m tired and I have time on my hands to think about my hunger.
  2. I’m the main meal provider in my house which means that my habits include planning the next meal for my family.  That also means that during my commute home, I typically am thinking about what to cook for dinner for my family. It’s a habit that is hard to break.
  3. In the past, when times were tough (money-wise), we couldn’t just go out or get what we wanted to eat. There were quite a number times early in our marriage when we could only afford Top Ramen. So when we did have money or when times were good, we would go out. This has created a bad relationship with food – eating food or going to a restaurant was equaling prosperity and happiness. Last year I recognized this and made a conscious effort to change this relationship. I started off by going to coffee shops with my husband on Saturday mornings, or going window shopping at places like Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, etc. We started focusing on things to improve our house in times of prosperity. This way when I want a pick-me-up or a way to bring up the mood, we go window shopping instead of going out to eat.

Recognizing these triggers still doesn’t make it any easier. I guess it maybe helps a bit, but it’s not easier. This week I got through 2 sessions of 42-hours, well they were more like 45-hours. But both times, when I get to 20 hours, the irrational reasoning begins – why am I doing this? Do I really need to go to 36 or 42 hours? Can’t I just do the 18:6 like everyone else? Maybe I’ll exercise instead of fasting. I just really want some pork rinds or some Whisps. On my second session, I vented about this to my husband. He was torn on whether to say what my brain wanted to hear (give in and eat something so you are not emotional/mentally miserable) or to say what my body wanted to hear – don’t give up, you’ve got this. I warmed up some bone broth, drank it, and then it was bedtime and I was able to get past it.

So I weighed myself this week during the fasting. Between the two fasting sessions, I lost 3 pounds. Of course the weight goes up and down during the different times of day. For instance, after eating the weight goes up for obvious reasons, then it comes back down, coming down to its lowest at the end of the fast. The encouraging thing to see is that the weight still comes down. Now if I can just get myself in the habit of doing 36- 42 hours every other day in a cycle. I did two days this last week and I’ve only done 3 days/week 2 other times this last year. I need to get into the fasting habit if I’m going to beat this weight thing… no, if I’m going to beat this diabetes thing, this insulin resistance thing. Weight is just the side benefit.

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