Desperate times and desperate measures.

August 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM 11 comments

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?

Entry filed under: Health. Tags: .

Making bread Aardvark

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. I'd Rather Be In Iceland  |  August 15, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    We saw this show. The husband is also thinking of trying it. I’ll be interested to see how you get on! It did sound like a good idea in principle and not too hard to do. Indian yogic thinking dictates that you should completely fast one day a week. This does sound easier. I’d have to plan exactly what I was going to eat on those low calorie days as I hate being hungry. I’ve also wondered how you do this if like me you are running, even at my relatively low mileage of 25-30 miles a week.

    Reply
    • 2. knotrune  |  August 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      I have to plan my calories careful on fast days, but you’d have a few more to play with🙂 It’s based on being a quarter of your daily calorie needs, so you might need more than the regular 2000 daily recommendation for women. Many veggies are almost no calories, lean chicken breast, fish and quorn are all low calorie proteins. Even many fruits are low, an 80g portion of strawberries is only 25 calories. So it is quite possible to have two decent sized meals on fast days, I just picked what suits my needs better.

      You might want to get better advice than mine about running and fasting though. I found it was no problem to go for a walk on a fast day, but that’s hardly comparable! You might at least want to take an emergency energy bar on your first fast day run just in case it was a bad idea.

      A lot of religions include fasting and I am starting to wonder if it’s more because it is actually good for us rather than just being about hardship and suffering for the exaltation of the soul or whatever!

      Reply
      • 3. I'd Rather Be In Iceland  |  August 18, 2012 at 6:23 PM

        Funnily enough I’ve also considered following the Ramadan principle of not eating between dawn and dusk, although I’d have to have water!

  • 4. I'd Rather Be In Iceland  |  August 15, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    PS – welcome back – I’ve missed your posts.

    Reply
  • 5. Laura  |  August 15, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    I’ve got some friends on Ravelry who are trying the fasting thing, and it’s going well for them too, and like you, on their eating days, they’re still trying to eat sensibly. I think the key is to find something that works for you and stick at it, whatever it is, as long as it gives you the results you want along with the lifestyle you want!

    Good luck with the studies. It’s hard to get the brain up and running again after a break, but I’m sure you’ll get back in the swing of it soon🙂

    Reply
  • 6. Andra Watkins  |  August 15, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    I wish you the best as you try this. I really think, if this makes you feel better, it is worth trying. Please keep us updated on your progress.

    Reply
  • 7. fast5blog  |  August 16, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Hi, I am trying a different type of intermittent fasting but it is suppose to do the same thing. It is called the Fast 5 and you get to eat every day but in the same 5 consecutive hour time period, commonly 5-10 pm. If you would like to compare notes and results you can check out my blog. Good luck with your experience and I hope you get the results you are hoping for.

    Reply
    • 8. knotrune  |  August 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      It sounds interesting, I hope it works for you. I couldn’t do that because I have to meds with food at breakfast and 10pm. I’m now following your blog🙂

      Reply
  • 9. I'd Rather Be In Iceland  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    I’m trying this for the first time today! Think it will be ok as I’m at home but not sure how I would do this on a work day. I’m going to try doing two days this week and if it seems ok keep it going…

    Reply
    • 10. knotrune  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Good for you🙂 It’s a good idea to try it first at home – make sure you have plenty of things to do to distract yourself when you feel hungry and remember the hunger is just your body’s habit, it most likely doesn’t need the food it craves (unless you actually are already thin enough!) Some people even find it easier at work as there is more to do to distract themselves, except at lunchtime if people are eating in front of you😀 then maybe go outside for a stroll! But once you’ve done it once you know more what to expect. I found that it was actually fine to go for a walk on a fast day and I didn’t collapse in weakness half way round🙂 but it still makes sense to build up gradually to things. Let us know how it goes🙂

      Reply
      • 11. I'd Rather Be In Iceland  |  September 11, 2012 at 8:37 AM

        OK, it wasn’t too bad yesterday. It did make me realise how much time I normally spend eating, and how much mindless eating I do like just wandering past a cupboard and stuffing food in my face. I did a little walk that must have burned off about 200 calories and was ok. Not any hungrier this morning than normal, but was nice to just eat what I wanted. According to the scale I am down 3 lbs since yesterday but that is a false reading…I’ll be devastated when I’m up 4 lbs tomorrow after eating normally! Anyway, definitely going to do it again on Thursday and I’m sure it’s good to give your digestive system a rest like this.

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