Archive for August, 2012

Aardvark

Sorry to be misleading, this post has nothing to do with aardvarks. I always struggle with what to call a post and felt a bit random. I would prefer to write the post then think of a title, but I feel I ought to give it a name so it has a file name when it gets autosaved. I know that doesn’t matter, but these little details that nobody cares about, somehow I do care about them. I might be happier if I learned not to. Who knows?

Anyway, leaving the non-existent aardvarks behind (is that even possible?) the reason I am posting today is to provide the promised update about the fasting. I know, it’s only a week since my last post, what’s come over me? 🙂

Not that it’s going all that great. I’m still managing to do it, but I weighed myself this morning and was peeved to discover I had only lost a measly half pound since last week 😦 Now I know I’m not doing it to lose weight, but that is the only measurable bit of data I can collect on whether it’s working or not. I’ve also just not felt any different on fast days this week. I have to just chalk that down to the vagaries of my condition, I have bad weeks and less bad weeks. But it’s a little disheartening.

So am I giving up? Oh no! I’m fasting today as well! Just in case I was wrong about it being OK if the fast days are not consecutive. I fasted yesterday so let’s see how it goes. I have no idea whether it will be harder than a single fast day. The husband was not keen for me to try it, not least because he misses eating with me for dinner, so I’ve had to agree to sit with him while he eats and I don’t. Hmmm, that’ll be fun…

I’ve also had a different breakfast today. Instead of the oats and dates I had yesterday I had a chicken breast and a bit over 5cm of cucumber. The chicken breast reckons it’s 160 calories, but I don’t eat the skin and scrape off any congealed fat too (it’s a pre-packaged cold one, not ideal I know, but I have to accept that). I just looked it up and the site I used reckoned that would be 123 calories. Cucumber should be negligible. The site gave a measure per cup, who eats cucumber in a cup? The official portion size is 5cm, so why can’t they give that? Anyway it was only 8 calories, so pretty negligible.

I had been also disappointed to discover I had been wrong to discount the calories in skimmed milk. It’s 35 per 100ml and I must use at least that on my oats and in each coffee, so I had been getting 100 over what I thought! 😦 Still, today I will definitely be closer to 400 calories.

That coffee is a nuisance, but I don’t want to do without my coffee. Not least in case I’m addicted, I don’t want headaches. I only have 3 a day so I might not be addicted, but now is not the time to try that out as well. So I just have to take on the chin the fact that it’s about 80 calories per mug. And no, I am not prepared to drink it black and sugarless, ick.

If I try to eat sensibly on the feed days too, not having cake just because I can, then maybe I’ll have something better to report next week.

Well, that’s it for now. I could write about other things, but I don’t feel like it any more.

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August 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM Leave a comment

Desperate times and desperate measures.

Well, maybe that sounds overly dramatic, but drama is good, right? Anyway, it might not have slipped your notice that I have failed to post for a while. I’ve not been feeling too great. Nothing major or life threatening, just relentless lack of energy, the plague of a boil, general under the weather-ness, etc etc.

I decided I needed to do something about it. I am supposed to be going back to my PhD (or possibly MPhil) at the beginning of October, but although the actual anxiety has lessened – praise the Lord! I am still in no fit state, especially since I will be in at the deep end and need to hit the ground running. You see part of the problem right there. Running in water is not very productive, especially at the deep end!

I have also not lost any more weight. In fact I suspect it has been creeping back up. Not helped by not being able to exercise when unwell, and by eating takeout half the week because the husband doesn’t want to cook every day after work, which is fair enough, but I haven’t been able to do any either.

The irony of watching people exerting themselves in the pursuit of Olympic gold while vegetating on the couch all day has not been lost on me either. A couple of times I even ate chocolate as I watched them.

But I also managed to catch another televisual treat during the Olympic fortnight, which convinced me to try the aforementioned desperate measure:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549

My UK readers should be able to see that on catch up, hopefully it is still at least a readable article from other countries.

Basically I am trying intermittent fasting. For two days a week I only have 400 calories. It’s usually 500 for women and 600 for men, but it is based on being a quarter of what you should eat and I try and aim for more like 1500 due to being so inactive.

I’ve had 3 hungry days so far. It’s nothing like as bad as I had expected. The first day I was a bit hungry in the afternoon and quite hungry all evening, but the other two days I was only a little bit hungry some of the time and not too bad for most of it. Also, far from fainting as the husband expected, I have actually felt more alert and energetic (for me) on the hungry days. My hungry days are Tuesdays and Fridays, but I shall move them around if I need to.

The main reason I wanted to try this is because it is supposed to reset something in the body from cell division to cell repair. I so need my body to repair itself! That is my main hope from this. I hate arthritis. But also it is supposed to make new brain cells grow, which has to be a good thing for going back to the thesis! Also it is good against cholesterol and is a good way to lose weight. If he can lose a stone in 5 weeks then even if that’s all it does it will have helped. Less weight on my knees might help me exercise a bit more.

The other good side is that, not only does it not require any expensive equipment or weird foodstuffs or eating nasty tasting cack, it should save money as I don’t eat two lunches and two dinners every week! Moreover, apparently on the feeding days I can eat whatever I want! Cake, ice cream, fish and chips, all guilt free! 😀

It seems to be a very flexible system, as little research has been done on what works or doesn’t, nobody really knows whether there are any other rules than those. They did compare people who ate healthy on their feed days to people who ate anything and that’s how they know that you can eat anything and still get the benefits.

I was so glad it is not total fasting, because I have to have food with my meds twice a day or I risk stomach ulcers. And I am not going to try and do without my anti-inflammatories. So I can have oats with skimmed milk and strawberries and half a teaspoon of sugar for breakfast, a banana at 10pm and two coffees. The latter is the only drawback because I only like coffee with sugar in, and no less than one and a half teaspoons which is 50 calories per mug 😦

I usually have 3 coffees a day, so 2 is not a massive hardship. And it’s so worth it if it works! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Oh, I forgot to weigh myself at the start, which is annoying, but on Saturday, after two hungry days, I was 11 stone 4 pounds, this morning after 3 hungry days I was 11 stone and one and a half pounds! Two and a half pounds off just through one fast day – if it keeps going at that rate, I will lose a stone in a month! Cool 😀

I am also trying to gradually retrain my brain for when it goes back to the thesis. I need to get used to doing a lot of academic reading, not just novels, so I have been reading a chapter a day from an academic book last week and am trying for two a day this week, gradually building up and also increasing in relevance.

And I need to build up my writing discipline too. I have been free-writing on my laptop and have decided that the blog is the logical second step. I hesitate to set a goal as I might beat myself up for failing which is not helpful at this stage. But I planned to start with this post, which I have done! Yay 🙂 and then I shall try another one. In fact, I intend to do some about runology and stavechurches, not just waffle about my boring life. I’ve already written most of one about Anglo-Saxon runes, I just need to sort the pictures for it. Finishing is my hardest part. But I shall try to get that done soon.

OK, this is now over 1000 words, so I’d better stop for now! What do you think – am I mad to try fasting? Have you tried it? Is it just a fad?

August 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM 11 comments


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