I’ve tried enough diets to know counting calories doesn’t work. At least not for me. I can’t make certain foods forbidden or I literally have dreams about them at night. I do better being more intuitive and I actually lost 20 pounds doing intuitive eating (staying between hunger and fullness). But that was just before I hit that plateau… so I went down 20 pounds and got stuck… for two years.
So to let you in on where I’m at in my journey, I’ve been stuck dancing on a plateau for [no joke] two years. Stuck at the SAME weight. It might go up or down a pound or two, but it always comes back to the same number. For two years.
In May of 2018 I started seriously trying IF (intermittent fasting). I had dabbled with a 16:8 IF for a little while in January 2018 just to try it out, but nothing happened. So this time, in May, I was mainly doing IF for spiritual reasons and to get better at fasting. [because, I had never really fasted before. I know, I’m a pastor’s wife, I’m supposed to be great at these things, but somehow or another I always escaped having to do the fast with everyone else — usually because I was pregnant. PS: you shouldn’t fast if you’re pregnant. Intuitive eating is fine for pregnancy though, but I’m not a doctor.]
By the way, read all this at your own discretion because I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, so none of this constitutes as medical advice. You should always check with your doctor before you do anything that affects your health. Trust me, I work in health care… as a marketer (haha!)
So as I was saying, I wanted to strengthen my fasting muscle, so I tracked my intermittent fasting until I had racked up enough hours to equal a 40 day fast (without actually fasting for 40 consecutive days). I felt accomplished and I felt great — better than I had felt in a long time! I hadn’t actually lost any weight, but I gained the ability to fast. I learned that it wouldn’t kill me.
After I finished that “40 day” fast in July, I went back to trying to eat intuitively. Nothing really changed as far as my weight after that fasting period, but slowly even though I thought I was being intuitive, the weight started creeping up. I realized stress and stress-eating had a lot to do with it, but I felt helpless. 16:8 didn’t change my weight although I felt better, and intuitive eating seemingly gave me the opportunity to justify any reason to eat as “hunger” even though it probably was not true physiological hunger. What else could I do? Nothing was changing my weight [FOR TWO YEARS] so I felt like it didn’t matter what I did, nothing was going to change my state. Was this how I was supposed to be for the rest of my life?
In January 2019, I decided I had to do something before I got too far back up the scale. I was sick of being on this plateau. I was tired of being heavy and tired, having zero energy and my knees hurting going up and down stairs. I wasn’t that heavy was I? I’m not that old! My knees shouldn’t hurt! I had enough.
So December 31, I started tracking calories and trying to walk more. I used my fitbit to estimate how much I was burning vs. how much I was consuming. It was the only thing I could think to do even though I knew it wouldn’t work for me long term, I just wanted to get the scale moving. I lasted one whole week of tracking calories. Man, I hate that. I hate that so much. So one week later, I started back on IF. I remember I had seen Kayla Cox (sixmilestosupper.com) who ate only one meal a day and walked 6 miles a day and she lost all her weight. I thought her before pictures looked a little like me, so maybe it could work for me? I had already read all the books on what fasting does in your body, so it makes sense that if you’re not eating, you have to burn body fat for fuel. And this is how God made our bodies! It’s already built in! (but I’m getting ahead of myself…) So on January 7, I started IF again, for real this time. I kept and open mind to see where it would take me. See my January recap for more details on how it went!