When I started this 90-day journey, I came up with five goals that I shared. They were as follows:
- “Have an abdomen measurement of less than 30 inches”.
- “Develop a derailment plan that will successfully get me back on the wagon when I lose focus.”
- “Exercise at least 150 minutes per week and enjoy it.”
- “No longer need to take nerve pain medication.”
- “Find 100 go-to foods for emergencies.” This goal was revised two months in to be “Increase knowledge of physiological processes related to obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, etc. and counsel friends on what I learn.” You can read more about the change here.
Since I am nearing the end of the 90-day process, I wanted to start blogging about the results for each goal. This is my second goal to describe and I will cover Goal 2.
I have had so many opportunities to work on this goal throughout the challenge because honestly, I fall off of the wagon often. I realized something last night. I do great with fasting when it’s planned and my emotional state is strong. I can fast for a day to many days without any problem whatsoever. But, oh my goodness, when my plans are thawrted or my emotional state declines, I am a completely different person and somehow become completely powerless over my eating. It’s really crazy, but true!
Luckily I have been able to successfully reset myself every time that happens. It doesn’t hurt that most of the time when I derail, I feel absolutely horrible, and my body doesn’t want to continue down that path. But that hasn’t happened every time – there have been instance where falling off of the wagon felt perfectly fine and it’s those experiences that concern me most. I hope I continue to desire returning to the wagon and don’t let things get too out of hand.
My normal eating plan when things are going well will basically be a 16/8 intermittent fasting strategy with flexibility for life. I will do some longer fasts (24-36 hours, maybe even 48 hours, just to keep my body guessing), but those will be scheduled non-routinely and will coincide with my life. I will also eat three meals a day or snacks when it works for me, but I won’t let that behavior become the norm.
My goal is to eat a relatively low-carb diet, but nothing terribly extreme. I consider eating less than 50 net carbs (excluding fiber) in a day to be a win. But, I don’t expect or need to “win” every day. What’s more important is winning the majority of the time and not losing often. I define a “lose” as more than 100 net carbs and sometimes, like last night, I have a really bad “lose”. I also want to keep my sugar intake relatively low and my protein intake moderate and related to my activity levels. No hard and fast rules here because I want my program to be sustainable.
I expect to fall of the wagon and that’s perfectly obvious when I look back over this 90-day challenge. The goal is to not stay derailed, but allow for it to happen. I cannot let myself get upset for “failing,” as that may lead to additional problems. I trust that I can get back on the wagon and as long as I have more days where I “win” instead of “lose,” I will be fine.
My derailment plan is simple. Basically, I will fast until I feel better and my blood sugar/ketones return to normal after falling off of the wagon. That may be a day, maybe two days… I was only thinking it would be longer once (after month two ended, as described here), but I stopped at 2.5 days because I felt better sooner than anticipated.
For example, last night, I consumed way too much sugar and carbohydrates due to stress eating and not getting to have my planned lunch due to meetings. After the meetings, I went to happy hour before meeting friends for dinner. It was a disaster and I had to leave early because I felt so horrible. I probably should have tested my blood glucose after that, but I didn’t. This morning, my glucose was 107 mg/dL (ketones 0.3 mmol/L) and I still felt awful. My scale increased 3.2 pounds from water weight and bloating from yesterday. That means I won’t be eating today. I will consider eating tomorrow based on what my numbers look like and more importantly, how I feel.
I also vow to continue attending Weight Watchers for weight accountability. I originally thought I would want to go every week, but my schedule won’t allow that, so I have backed off and as long as I go monthly or when I am struggling, I’m good with that. I also don’t feel like I have to stay for the meeting, as I’m finding that to be more of a struggle than I hoped it would be. But, that’s a topic for another blog…