Last year I made a commitment to getting healthier. I have always been a healthy eater (well, for the last 13 or so years), and have never been a big eater. Despite this, I seemed to never be able to get a handle on my weight.
July 2012--trying to hide behind my husband
I decided something different was in order. I generally just did Atkins-style eating, though not consistently, but never stuck with it for long because I like my chocolate. :) To tell myself I could not have chocolate that was not full of artificial sweeteners for months so I could fit into skinny jeans was just not a motivator for me. So on I would go, surviving on my favorite foods--salad and chocolate.
In February 2013 I turned 38. Here I was staring at 2 years until I would be 40 years old, bigger than I had ever been, and just not feeling well. How could someone eat like a rabbit yet feel achy, have chronic tendonitis (achilles--something I had struggled with since a rupture 2 years before), feel bloated, have high blood pressure, and be a size 18?! At 5ft, 4 inches, a size 18 made me look like a Butterball. I made a promise to myself that I would find something to change things for the better. It took me another six weeks, but April 1st, 2013, I started on another round of healthy Atkins-style eating (protein, fats, veggies, but paying attention to the ingredients in my food). After a week of no chocolate, I had not lost even an ounce. I think my body was saying "Ha! I've got your number! I've done this before!". Desperate, I started reading my favorite health sites. One subject that I had seen Dr Mercola (Mercola.com) write about before but had never paid much attention to was called "intermittent fasting". I researched it and found that he advocated concentrating his eating window down to 6-8 hours a day. I then came across a story about General Stanley McChrystal and the fact that he eats just one meal a day, eating his last bite right before he goes to bed. Hmmm....interesting. I did further research and found the site Fast5.org . This site had a link to read the founder's 50 page book for free, so I read it. He advocated a five hour eating window. I decided right then I needed to try it. I did not need to give up my favorite foods, just eat during a five hour window. My first window was 5-10pm. I found I was so weak by 5pm that I needed to change my window a bit. I then went to 3-8pm. My first week I lost 7 lbs. By the end of week 2, I was down 11 lbs. I lost 30 lbs in 4 months.
I have slowed WAY down since then, losing another 13 lbs since the end of August, bringing my total so far to 43 lbs. I am now a size 12, and my eating window starts sometime in the late morning and stops 5 hours after that. My first goal was 50 lbs, so I am close to that. I will then be back to the numbers I had when my youngest son was a baby--10 years ago. I feel young and energetic again and maybe even attractive to my husband. I honestly never thought I'd be able to ever get here again. I still have more I want to lose, maybe another 25 lbs once I reach my first goal. But we will see. It is not all about the weight, but the fact that my tendonitis is now gone, I don't feel that uncomfortable high blood pressure at night anymore, and I no longer worry about diabetes. My appetite for chocolate is also under control, and I get full pretty fast. Swelling and a constant feeling of inflammation are things of the past.
So in my new year I plan on reaching more goals, but more importantly, to honor God with my body, mind, and soul. I haven't felt like my body was God-honoring in a long time, but intermittent fasting helps me practice self-control, making me connect a little more to that fruit of the Spirit.
In February of this year I will be 39. I hope to be able to go use the last year of my 30s to implement exercise into my daily life, difficult as though that may be because time is always an issue.
I hope your new year is going well, and that you are feeling God's blessing every single day.