When I decided enough was enough, I had to do something about my body and my health.
I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror every morning, and having no energy or enthusiasm just added to the fuel I needed to rush full speed ahead towards the direction for change. As I was nearing the age of 40, I wondered if what all my friends and colleagues were saying about age-related fat gain had some form of truth in it. Was it going to be this hard for me as well? Am I moving towards a goal that’s going to keep frustrating me because of yet another failure? I’d tried every single diet under the sun, and the amount of cardio I was doing every day, exhausted me. I was getting sick all the time and found it hard to keep my eyes open and concentration sharp every day. I hated what they told me because it left me and every other woman nearing 40 powerless against making sound decisions to live their best life and lead it with the most abundant health. There had to be some way around all of this nonsense. After many years of giving up, the same thing would happen to me time and time again when I started dieting. For the first three months, things would be sweet. I’d lose weight, start to feel better, and then things would head down south around the 4–6 month mark. Then I would throw that diet idea down the drain and start another one. This mess continued for more than six years. It created endless frustration, inconsistency and also a few health problems in the mix. What could I possibly expect from my body? I put it through the boxing ring when I began my bodybuilding dieting phase, and now I started the same journey again – but for several years. I could tell my body was not going to cooperate with me. Was becoming lean and healthy again a figment of my imagination? In a chance conversation with my best friend one evening, I mentioned my endless war in weight loss and that I was the biggest loser. Why wasn’t my bodybuilding diet working anymore? No diet worked. I tried paleo, keto, raw, vegan and Atkins – yet nothing lasted longer than 3–4 months. What else was out there for me to try? Then she said it, the two words that changed my whole life. “Intermittent Fasting” She had tried it for an entire week and noticed excellent results. One week?! I couldn’t believe my ears. How was that possible? “Why don’t you try it out – you have nothing to lose but weight.”For one second, I thought she just hit the nail on the head. It just clicked. From that moment on, I’ve been intermittent faster and have never looked back. She was right – within a week, the bloating in my belly calmed down, my mood became mellow, and my clarity of thought became clearer. Initially, I experienced some brain fog and extreme hunger – but that came and went within two weeks. It took my body about three months to kick in, and that’s when the fat loss results started to take place. It’s now been more than a year of fasting, and I love the results. I’m not in bodybuilding shape, but I’m fit, healthy, lean, and have no health issues. Over time, my body has become metabolically efficient, I retain and gain muscle mass from training, and my mind is sharp and clear. From experience, I believe that eating healthy and less is the key to everlasting health and longevity. It’s also the catalyst for eliminating debilitating health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Fasting eases digestion issues, immune responses and allows our bodies to regenerate and repair. There is no doubt that what a person eats influences their health. The first detailed account of this was from Hippocrates, one of the first physicians to claim that diseases were natural and not supernatural. He observed that many ailments were associated with gluttony; obese Greeks tended to die younger than those that were slim. There is no doubt that this is an actual occurrence in 2021. One character of fascination is Alvise Cornaro – an Italian Aristocrat who decided to find out if dietary restrictions would be helpful for longevity. He was said to have eaten only 350g of food per day. This food was composed of bread, panatela or broth and eggs. Meats were veal, goat, beef, partridge (yuck!) and any poultry available. He would catch fresh fish from local rivers. Since he restricted the amount of food for many years, he claimed to have achieved perfect health until his death. His restricted diet began at age 40 and ended when he died at around about 84. Unfortunately, he lied about his age, changed his birth date, and claimed 98 upon his death. Considering this was in the 16th century, I think he did pretty well to live until 84, when most people die at around 50–60. I downloaded the old volumes his grandson published to read more about his dietary and health discoveries. The best thing we can do for our health is to eat well and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Sometimes we overcomplicate the road towards health and longevity. Yes, we eat way too much food than we should, and dietary lifestyle plans such as fasting help us control our stomach instead of taking hold of us. Before I began to fast, I had no control whatsoever of my eating. I would snack all the time and eat when I wasn’t hungry. Then I would stress about what to eat for dinner and when to eat it. We don’t need to be this caught up in food and let it take control. Allowing our bodies to feel hungry when they are, eating nourishing food and not a lot of it, makes for a healthy person who is less likely to suffer from disease and illnesses that plague millions of people in the world today. The basic rule of fasting is that there will be times of hunger, and that wave will pass. Practising mindfulness and taking control of our feelings and emotions is what fasting helps us achieve. If we can self soothe our tummies, imagine what else we can take control over? It will lead to our mental and emotional health – even our success. Take a week and try out fasting (seeking advice from your health professional if you have any disease-related challenges or ill health). I guarantee, over time, it will become the easiest and most effective way to lose weight and maintain it for life, I’ll see you all along the Intermittent Fasting path for life.