006: What Is She Doing? Life with Intermittent Fasting
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You're listening to episode 6 of the Good Girl Gone Omad Podcast. Thank you all for such a warm welcome so far. I have gotten such an amazing interest in the podcast. A lot of you have been riding with me each and every episode and I'm so grateful. So not too long ago, I asked you guys what should my next episode be? Should be story based or fact based and I got back a resounding story based. Wow! I'm impressed so that is what we are going to talk about today.
Since I launched, I've been getting a lot of questions about what exactly I'm doing. It's not a secret but I thought it would be a great idea for me to come out from behind the curtain a little bit and share with you all my personal journey with Intermittent Fasting. I'm going to talk to you about how I got started, how I overcame the biggest hurdles and you how I incorporate Intermittent Fasting into my daily hectic schedule. Stay tuned.
If you’ve been watching what I’ve been sharing over the last few weeks, you may realize that I am a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. This program can be completed anywhere in the world and the curriculum is accessible 24/7 on the app. Even though I lead with intermittent fasting, I want to be knowledgeable about the cutting edge and nutrition concepts along with modern health issues. I learn from the most distinguished medical doctors, researchers and authorities in the industry today.
The mission of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) is to play a crucial role in improving health and happiness, and through that process, create a ripple effect that transforms the world. Its unique nutrition philosophy takes a holistic approach to wellness and encourages students to consider relationships, work, exercise, and spirituality as essential to building good health. With Integrative Nutrition’s innovative learning model, you’ll be empowered to build a thriving health coaching practice, transform your own health & happiness, and change the world.
Are you passionate about this industry? Send me your email and I'll send you more information about IIN, a program catalogue and a free sample class to see if this is right for you.
I’m sure that a lot of you might think of Ghandi when thinking of inter.f. You don’t have to be a political activist in order to fast. But when I started, it sure felt like it. Before starting this journey, I thought I was gearing up for one of the most drastic challenges of my life. I thought I was going to become emaciated like Ghandi but that is far from what actually happens. Allow me to share with you my journey with IF and my exact method of IF that is responsible for the results you see on my website.
Thank you for subscribing to my podcast. If you haven’t all ready, be sure to follow GGGO on instagram and fb, where I’m also building a community of support and inspiration. Speaking of… so after announcing the launch of GGGO on IG which my transformation “before and after” photo, I got an overwhelming positive response. Thank you girls so much. But many of you want to know what exactly I was doing. And that makes a lot of sense. So let’s begin today’s topic with my own personal experience with IF.
As a mom, wife, business owner there were days that I would go hours without eating and not even thinking about food. I’m sure a lot of us share similar roles whether you are a mom, wife, student, business owner, etc. We all have hefty responsibilities. We can get so caught up in life that we go hours without eating because we are so distracted and so busy. Most of us stay in go-mode... taking care of the kids, working our job, managing the schedules. But this is not what Intermittent Fasting is. Sorry. It’s not about “forgetting to eat”. I.F is a mindful way of going without food for a determined period of time.
My very first encounter with the word fasting started off with people telling me that I was starving myself. See, before my Intermittent Fasting journey a typical day for me looked like this... you ready?
⁃ 5:30am Wake Up and get my ready for work, Get my daughter ready for school
⁃ 8:00am Arrive at work and drink coffee (my only morning meal)
⁃ 11:30am Eat lunch
⁃ 1:00pm Snack
⁃ 3:00pm Snack
⁃ 5:00pm Leave work
⁃ 6:00pm Pick up my daughter
⁃ 7:00pm Arrive at the gym
⁃ 9:00pm Get home, shower
⁃ 11:00pm Too tired to eat so I grab some popcorn or a muffin and watch tv until I fall asleep at 1AM
I was snacking throughout the day. Even at night, in bed, falling asleep, I was snacking. I would have never classified myself as an overeater... just somebody who likes handfuls of food wherever she goes. I would explain my schedule to a few professional trainers and nutritionists and, the first thing they would tell me is I’m not eating enough. They recommended that as soon as I wake up, I need to eat something to break the fast. They also said that I need to eat a balanced meal for dinner. So of course, snacking in bed, binge watching tv and staying up until 1am weren’t helping me reach my goal but I couldn’t figure out where I was going to find the time to fit in more balanced meals and snacks through out the day.
Then they would utter the 2 words that just make my skin crawl. The 2 words: Meal, Prep make me cringe. No, I can’t meal prep and I don’t want to meal prep. I’ve tried it before and nothing makes me feel more depressed than carrying around leftovers all day. Now-a-days there is an entire culture devoted to meal prep. Some people devote their whole timeline to taking pictures of the meals that they make, perfectly portioned in these tiny containers, and decorated with a nice carrier bag. And if you're not careful, they’ll have you believing that if you don’t meal prep something is wrong with you. But here’s a little piece of encouragement to those out there who are like me, check out my IG transformation picture… every incremental change that I made was not from meal prepping. Matter of fact, I eat out about 80% of the time and 60% of that time it’s not baked chicken, brown rice and broccoli. I’m only half kidding but you get the picture. I didn’t have to make my own food 100% of the time in order to see results. You’ll learn soon enough listening to people that swear by meal prepping. But any way that is another topic for another day. Moving on… I ignored their “meal prep” advice because ultimately unless I signed up for a meal delivery program there was no way I was on board with their suggestions.
So what did I do? Well… aside from ignoring these so-called professionals, I kept going harder in the gym, literally killing myself. I was in the gym 7 days a week, for an hour a day at minimum. That is a lot. I thought surely, the more effort I put in at the gym would makeup for my eating, or lack of eating or whatever. I was wrong. Eating is king.
When I first knowingly decided to intermittent fast, I had no idea of all of the health benefits. I sometimes wish I would have learned about the benefits first. I went on Google, like many of us do and searched ‘Fasting For Weightloss’. At that point, I had been fed up with spending countless hours in the gym day-after-day but I’d still have to pick my belly up to check the color of my underwear. I’m just keeping it real! So after years of on-again-off-again dieting, I thought to myself, ‘the only thing I haven’t tried is NOT eating’. I googled people’s experience with IF to validate that I wasn’t crazy for wanting to try this. I needed to know that if I was going to try this that is HAS to be worth it because I was desperate. I needed it to work but I also loved snacking.
The one important thing I want to make sure that I mention is that while I was do research. The one benefit that kept coming across while doing my IF research is that people kept emphasizing that you don’t have to change what you eat, you just have to change when you eat. Well that got my attention all ready.. because so many people are quick to tell you what you should be eating, or what you should cut out. I’ve never heard of such an idea that never pressured you to change anything about the foods you eat. So of course I was down! Seriously, I can continue to eat and lose weight. I didn’t believe it so I for sure was going to put it to the test. You’ll need to assess your own diet to see if you have to cut out or add anything but I.F does not require any changes to your diet. This was probably the sole reason why I decided to try this.
So I started IF back in December. Of course when starting something new, you start off full of zest and optimistic and you feel like this it! You’re gonna make it. And four hours into the first day, I felt like I was starving. It felt like my stomach was eating itself from the inside out. So I found a snack and I ate it. I felt horrible that I could barely make it one day. On day 1, I didn’t think I could make it to day 2, or day 7 or a month… nothing. I started to think that the people I found on Google weren’t serious and probably nibbling on snacks like me. So I convinced myself that small snack throughout the day were okay; that they weren’t going to kill me. That’s true, they weren’t going to kill me but I knew that wasn’t the guidelines for the IF plan that I decided to follow. I knew I was doing it wrong and so I decided to get serious. I had to trick myself. Everyday around the times that I normally would be snacking, I’d find something to occupy my mind. I didn’t care if it was starting a new project or calling up a friend. Anything that would immediately stop me from picking up a snack. For 3 days, it worked. By the 4th day, I noticed I didn’t have any cravings for snack and felt full after lunch. I did that for about 2 months. 2 months turned into 4 months.
Also during this time, I went from working out at the gym 7 days a week to MAYBE 2 days a week. I felt awful, because I actually am one of those people that loves working out. I’d take as many fitness classes as I could but my schedule and my daughter’s schedule became jam packed and I literally couldn’t get to the gym during the week. I went from having a strict workout schedule, to “getting it in when I could fit it in”. I think I would workout for 30 mins on Monday and Wednesdays and for 1 hour on both Saturday and Sunday. I didn’t beat myself up about it because there was nothing I could do about our schedules but I just knew this was going to jeopardize my weightless goals.
This went on for 4 months… and I’ve lost a lot of fat. Fat that I’ve been struggling with for years! Fat from being pregnant. Fat from eating out of control. My will power was strong and my belly was going down. But how? IF is the real MVP. Initially all I did was change the hours that I eat, worked out less and have been able to accomplish so much in the last couple of months than I have with years of diets and working out.
This bonus I’m about give you all made such a big difference. Ready? I cut out sugar. I’m not a fraud for admitting this but sugar was a weakness for me, and is not healthy for anybody. I was ready to see change and I wasn’t going to see those changes eating whole cakes and shit. So I took some drastic measures against cakes, muffins, candy and pop/soda…any piece of food that I ate, had to have little to no sugar. I know my body responds well to a low-sugar diet so I figured I could accelerate any results from fasting by easing up on the sugar. But that’s all I did regarding my diet.
Since then I have shortened my eating window. I was on the 16:8 method for months before learning about the Warrior Method. I have an episode where I talk about the different styles of IF… but the Warrior Diet is where you fast for 20 hours and eat for 8. So for example, I would stop eating at 7pm and I’d start eating at 3pm the next day, and repeat. There are so many health benefits to Intermittent Fasting that I wish I would have done more research in the beginning rather than focusing on just weight loss because it doesn’t end there. I don’t think I could ever go back to our culture’s way of eating 3-6 meals a day. Of course, I used to eat this way because that is what we are continually told and when you are continually told to fold a method like this… you just do it, because it sounds like the gospel. Don’t ever doubt that you can successfully IF. My biggest hang up when I first started was not wanting to feel like I was starving. When I heard the word fasting, I immediately thought of hunger. IF gets a bad rap from people who do not fully understand but it’s really about duration NOT deprivation.
So here’s the exact method I’m doing now: a little bit of everything! Ha! I am probably the least strict IF-er that you’ll ever meet. For the most part, I’ll do the warrior method for 3 days, 16:8 for 2 and on the weekends I’m on the “do-the’best-I-can” method. That’s one of the reasons I love IF, is because it compounds your best efforts so on those days where you feel like you just can’t do it or an unexpected breakfast pops up, you don’t have to feel guilty. You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym. You just pick back up the next day and keep it moving. When I’m hungry I eat and will just adjust my eating window accordingly, not even a big deal.
Wellness is unique to you. Everyone’s body is different and will respond differently, despite what you may read or think you know. Always proceed with care and caution, you don’t want to do more harm than good but also give yourself a chance to experiment and try out new things… because you never know what will work for you.