November 1, 2018

Intermittent Fasting Trial, Day 1 -- Another Meal Prep Session

A few days ago, I wrote that I wanted to experiment with intermittent fasting. I am curious to see if it affects not only my weight, but things like my energy level, sleep, and digestion. My weight is at the highest it's been in eight years, and my attempts at getting back to calorie counting have only been half-hearted. 

I wanted to try something different, but only if it fits in with my number one rule: Don't make any changes you're not willing to live with forever.

I spent decades of my life trying all the different fad diets and they got me nowhere. So, in 2009, I decided to only make changes that I was willing to do forever. And it worked! I dropped 125 pounds by eating only the foods that I love (in moderate portions) and eventually exercising. Each change I made was something that I had to be willing to do for the rest of my life.

I've seen a number of fad diets come and go over the last nine years since I started losing weight. Sometimes they are tempting to try when my weight is up 10 or 20 pounds, but I always remind myself that I need to stick with the promise I made myself all those years ago.

Intermittent fasting is very trendy right now, but I don't consider it a "fad diet". Like I wrote in my post about it, it seems to me to be a pretty natural way of eating and it would be very convenient in my life. It's certainly something I would be willing to do forever if I enjoy doing it during this 30-day trial period.

I'm calling this a "trial" or "challenge" or "experiment" because I am genuinely curious what changes (if any) the intermittent fasting will have on me. My plan is to do it for 30 days and keep a record of as many things as I can--my hunger levels, my weight and body fat, my sleep patterns, and even my mental state. It will be awesome if I notice a decrease in anxiety or stress, as some people have reported. 

Anyways, today went very well! It's not quite bedtime now, but I am feeling full and content and I don't think I'll be eating anything else tonight. 

I had a super busy day planned, which was great in helping me not focus on hunger (or boredom eating). Remember how I prepped 20 freezer-to-slow-cooker meals last month? Well, we used them all up, having one nearly every single day. And I LOVED IT. I'd spent 7-8 hours prepping everything in one day, but for three weeks after that, I didn't have to cook at all--and we were still able to eat a home-cooked meal every night. 

Yesterday, I did a huge grocery run to do another prep session--this time, I planned to prep 27 meals for the month of November. I used several of the recipes from last month, but I ditched the ones we didn't like and added some of our personal favorites from my recipe collection. I included a lot of my favorite recipes, but most of them aren't slow cooker recipes, so I converted them the best I could. We'll see how it goes! (I'll share the list and notes once I see how everything turns out.)

So, after spending $300 at the grocery store yesterday (yikes! But it's not bad, considering it's for the entire month), I threw everything in the fridge in order to get right to work when I woke up in the morning. The kids didn't have school today (they always get the day after Halloween off), so I was able to sleep in until 9:00! It was SO nice. I haven't been sleeping well at all lately because of the nerve issue with my arm.

When I woke up, I quickly took my body measurements (I'm not at all ready to share those yet--oh, my, they are much different from the last time I took them! haha), my body fat percentage, my resting heart rate, and my weight. Just some numbers to use for comparison purposes later, if I feel like there is a difference. 

While my weight dipped into the 150's a couple of weeks ago, even seeing 158.0, today I was back up to 162.4. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the kids sharing their candy with me last night ;)  Let's hope that I see some progress this month--at least enough to give me a push to want to continue. 

By 9:15, I was in the kitchen with an apron on and prepping food for the 27 meals I planned to have in the freezer by the end of the day. (This meal prep sounds ridiculous, I know. I never understood people who made all sorts of freezer meals like this, but now that I tried it, I love it! The prep work isn't fun, but I love not having to cook all month.)

I had coffee this morning with a teaspoon of heavy cream (having cream in your coffee is controversial among people who do intermittent fasting, but I figured that if having coffee with a touch of heavy cream helps me to fast during the day, then it doesn't matter to me whether it's "correct" or not. I'm doing this for myself. And Dr. Jason Fung, author of The Complete Guide to Fasting and a bit of an intermittent fasting guru, says that it's fine.)

It worked well, too! I stayed very busy with the meal prep, which ended up taking until 5:00. Crazy, right? But I now have 27 meals in the freezer, ready to throw in the crock pot in the mornings. Jerry and I wanted to avoid eating out at all this month, so now we don't have any excuses. 

I didn't even really notice if I was hungry through the day or not, because I was so focused on what I was doing. The day went by so quickly! I ate dinner a little after 5:00, and thankfully, I didn't pig out. That's one concern I had about intermittent fasting, considering I have binge eating disorder. I didn't want to fast half of the day only to follow it up with a binge. 

I'm happy with how my first day went! It was much easier than I thought it would be. It may be more difficult when I'm not so busy, but considering I'm working on the kitchen renovation (and probably will be for another couple of months), I plan to stay busy enough to get used to the different eating patterns. 

Today would have been Mark's birthday. I still laugh about the fact that he always told us his birthday was on Halloween (he thought it was) and then when he was in the hospital, his bracelet read "11-1-1955". We were all so surprised! Mark was never sure of his age, either, so it was interesting to finally learn that as well. (We didn't tell him that we'd been celebrating his birthday on the wrong day all those years--and I'll always think of his birthday as being on Halloween.) 

I'm sure Halloween was an easy way for him to remember it. I find it surprising that he would have been 63 today--he seemed about 10 years younger than that to me! I thought of him a lot last night when we were handing out candy. Halloween just isn't the same without him. 

BUT... how cute is Luke in his lederhosen?!

He loved passing out candy so much that when he went trick-or-treating at a few of the neighbors' houses, he gave away his candy to some random kids on his way back home, hahaha. 

And Riley... she is SO sweet! She has an enormous smile that (unfortunately) is impossible to catch on camera. She's very alert and made all sorts of squeaky noises when I was holding her. She looked like a baby doll in her little dirndl (a.k.a. dress; I had to look up the name of it.)!

While Halloween is bittersweet without Mark, I do love the new tradition of spending the evening with my nephew and niece :) 

I miss the days of dressing my kids in cute Halloween costumes. Yesterday, Noah dressed as Michael Myers, and Eli dressed as a bandit. 

I gave Eli a mustache and beard shadow with make-up, and I thought it looked hilarious. They're so grown up. They are both taller than I am now!


  1. Omg your niece and nephew are SO cute! I love their little German costumes! And holy cow are your boys big!! That's crazy! Glad to hear your first day went well! I have to say, I am SUPER curious on learning more about your meal prepping. I would love to be able to try it. Spending 8 hours in the kitchen on one of my precious weekend days sounds like torture lol but if it means a month free of cooking I think I could make the sacrifice! ;)

    1. The 8 hours of prep was definitely not fun! I did make it a little better by listening to podcasts while I worked, but I was exhausted by the end. I will write a post about it after I see how these meals work out. This prep was more efficient than the last one, because I knew what to expect. But I think I can make it go a little faster next time with a couple more changes!

  2. Wow... does Eli ever look like Jerry! Cute costumes. So excited to hear how the intermittent fasting goes for you. Eating low carb will make it easier for you … just sayin! On Facebook I follow Dr. Fungs group called the Obesity Network... really great info and super motivational. Good Luck and Happy November!

    1. Haha, low carb just isn't in the cards for me. And not just because of my love of dessert... but I love beans, lentils, rice, and fruit! I have cut back on sugar quite a bit over the last few months (I haven't been craving it--weird! I've been choosing salty/savory snacks, which is totally unlike me). Unfortunately, it hasn't helped my weight. So, I'm hoping that the intermittent fasting will give me a push!

  3. I'm excited to hear about the results of your IF. I have been doing an "easy" form of it for a while how - 12 hour eating window, 12 hour fasting. I think it has helped my sleep since I don't go to bed with food in my stomach, but I'd like to try a longer window to see if it helps with my weight. Good luck!

    1. When I got to my lowest weight in 2016, I was eating in a 12-hour window (I didn't consider it "fasting", but I just preferred to eat at 8:00, 12:00, 4:00, and 8:00 every day). I don't know if that 12-hour window played a role in my weight loss, but I definitely felt very good while doing it!

  4. OMG! Those costumes are ADORABLE!

  5. I love doubling what I am cooking and freezing half for later dinners it's amazing but I have done a big prep before and love it. I need to do one again.

  6. I can't wait to see the results you get. My husband has been doing this for the past five months and has lost almost 30 pounds. BUT, that could also have something to do with the fact that he started Gracie Jiu Jitsu at the same time.....

    I'm excited for you!


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