Fasting – An Experiment in Desperation

No, I’m not desperate to lose weight easily because it’s the fastest way. To the contrary. I’ve tried so many approaches – low carb, lowish carb, low calorie, high protein, macro counting, paleo, primal, AIP (autoimmune protocol), I’ve even dabbled in various directions of the last three.

I think it was about five years ago. I was in a similar boat. I wanted to drop some weight, but I was struggling. I also was struggling with high triglycerides, and decided to give paleo, which at the time commonly was low-carb, a shot. I dropped 10-15 pounds really easily, felt pretty good with how I looked, my triglycerides swung into a good place, and I felt pretty good. Except suddenly eggs were making my face break out. Six months later, peppers were doing the same thing, and the weight was creeping back on. 

Cue the over-obsessive, exhausting and frustrating next five years. I’m about ten pounds short of my highest weight right now. Those ten pounds the first weight loss I’ve seen in five years, but so stubbornly so. And they came from eating low carb. But the loss came quickly with five or six pounds. And the other 2-3 have been dragged out over three months. Was I low carb the entire time? No. But I was long enough to know it wasn’t working for me like most people.

Within the last year, and mostly just to see if I could I did about a five day fast. And I lost weight! The first two days sucked, but after that, it wasn’t terrible. Genuinely, I missed eating when I was at work. And that’s the true reason I broke the fast. I wanted to eat. More than hunger, I missed the act of eating. At the time I thought I’d try a second fast again soon to help maintain my loss. But, sadly, I never did it. 

So, I’m back. I want to try this for real this time. I want to see if I can lose any weight for real. I know about water weight loss. I know about losing muscle mass, including vital organ mass. It’s all scary and frustrating. But the truth is, it’s hard to lose fat without muscle, and I’m desperate. It’s not healthy to be overweight. Excercise is painful. And I plain don’t like how I look. My goal isn’t lofty. I won’t even move into a healthy BMI. But if I can feel better about myself, and be a weight where running is doable, and harder workouts aren’t as hard on my body, it will be time well spent. I just need to stay focused. And work on my food issues. So, here’s what I’ll do:

  1. Fast for 5-14 days. Only water, diet soda (no judging) and maybe some broth.
  2. No strenuous exercise. Walking only. Maybe light yoga.
  3. Journal journal, journal to work through some food issues. 
  4. Make a plan for post-fast. Maybe an every other day fasting plan. Maybe the 2:5 plan where you fast two days of the week, and eat normal five. Maybe a 5:2 plan where I fast during the week and eat on weekends. If fasting is what works, I need to commit to it.

Ideally, I’ll get on a roll losing and after an initial long term fast, the shorter 1-5 day fasts will allow me some workouts on eating days. I can build up my running endurance and maintain some muscle mass. 

Right now I’m a size 18. I’d love to be a 12. But, honestly, I see pictures of me where I’m a 14, and think if I could get this bloated look out of my face, I’d be very happy. 

So, there it is. Starting after lunch tomorrow, fast. 5-14 days. Hopefully I’ll see a loss, and be able to keep it moving to a size and healthier place I’m comfortable with.