Tuesday concluded my seventh week of intermittent fasting (I.F.). It’s been a wild ride. I’m happy to report I’ve lost six pounds, which certainly isn’t going to break the internet but is nevertheless a steady and healthy rate of weight loss that gives me the greatest chance of long-term success.
But do I feel better? Well, yes and no. When I feel good, I feel very good. Much better than I did before. All the stuff I was doing to myself, like eating too much and not stopping when I’m full and eating crap because I have no accountability, that’s all but stopped. Nutrition has become extremely important to me again, seeing as I’m only eating two meals a day and have a short window of time to consume my nutrients. I don’t feel bloated or inflamed anymore, my wedding ring fits again, and my alcohol consumption is way down. All positive.
My flares, on the other hand, are having a revival. They are more frequent and more intense. I’m not just suffering from pain and lethargy. No, that down comforter of fatigue keeps wrapping itself around me for like three days each week. I have no idea if fasting is causing this or not because, in all honesty, science and medicine don’t know a concrete thing about diet and health. They just have a lot of conflicting theories accompanied by interpretable evidence. So all I pretty much have to go on are random mice studies and I.F. gurus who, like any respectable guru, swear up and down fasting is the answer to every problem that ails humankind.
So where does that leave me, the sick girl over here who after thirteen years is still so determined to regain some semblance of a life, she’ll try anything? My fatigue has me back in the trap. You know, the one where I have so much to do on the days I feel okay in order to get caught up from everything I couldn’t do when I was too fatigued to do anything, I’m not getting enough done. Not being productive makes me bitchy and short-tempered. So do flares, in all honesty. This serves as notice that I’m officially bitchy and short-tempered.
I’ve all but stopped exercising, which is something I’d been doing twice a week consistently since the beginning of the year. I’ve stopped writing my book and therefore attending my writer’s group, that’s how consumed I’ve been with getting my YouTube channel off the ground (about I.F., of course!), this blog going again, and my social media presence present for the first time in a long while.
Despite all the aforementioned negatives, I’m sticking with intermittent fasting. Over the course of my illness, anything that’s ever made me feel better in the long-run has made me sicker initially. It’s just the way it works with me. My life was a flippin’ mess when I started I.F. at the end of May. I couldn’t for the life of me force myself to pick my healthy habits back up and was well on my way down the rabbit hole of obesity and increasing sickness.
My life seems to happen in layers. Every time I’ve gotten a handle on my illness, this is how it has happened: First comes nutrition. Then exercise. Then the ability to wake up every day and care about the outside world. Eventually, I find myself the same person most days, and on the fringes of resuming my position as a contributing member to society. If it takes me a few months of setbacks to find that path, I’m willing to keep on stumbling.
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