I remember a time when life was simple, weight wasn't an issue and UK size six was baggy on me. Those days are long gone! Two things happened--I can't even really blame my pregnancies because I lost all of my baby weight soon after each baby! First, I hit a patch of huge stress when our little girl was diagnosed with Leukaemia four years ago. Can you say emotional eating? Then I hit my 40s. Okay, so I'm not hugely overweight, but nothing in my wardrobe fits, and to a woman, that spells disaster.
Want to hear something funny? Recently my hubby, being the amazing, helpful man he is, offered to put away my clean laundry. Of course I protested since I hate feeling as though I'm always too busy to do the little things. He insisted, opened my wardrobe door, then slowly turned his head to pin me with his dismayed blue gaze.
"I can see why you didn't want me to hang up your washing." His hands disappeared into the wardrobe and returned with a few items of clothing. "These still have the labels on them," he said with his signature you-are-so-caught smile.
"I know," I replied, trying not to look guilty. "Those are my I-have-a-dream clothes."
Truth is I bought them when I was that size but never got around to wearing them. I do that sort of thing. Then the fat hit and I forgot I had them hanging in my wardrobe waiting for their turns to be worn.
So now I'm close to three stone over what I was when Meg got sick and every time I think I'm about to get a handle on this weight issue, something happens and the emotional eating episodes begin all over again. It doesn't help that I'm an author and sit on my butt for hours upon hours each day, only moving to grab a snack, tea or do the school run.
Exercise and healthy eating seemed to be a thing of the past until I got serious and started seeking God on my issues. Okay I admit, I ran whinging to Him. It wasn't the first time, I can tell you. Once I heard Him clearly tell me to fast two days each week. I'm used to fasting but I've never managed it without the prompting of the Holy Spirit. My longest no food fast was twenty-one days and that was definitely not on my strength. I knew I'd never be able to fast on my own--I'd tried before and lasted a sum total of two hours. Once I even forgot I was fasting and ate breakfast...end of fast. So I dismissed the Lord's advice. I know not smart.
Anyway, He is good and quick to forgive. This time when I lamented to Him, He said the same thing. Fast two days of the week. I thought it over, wondering how I was going to commit to fasting two whole days every week without faltering. Then I stumbled upon the 5:2 eating plan. What does it call for? You got it, fasting for two days per week. There are many ways you can follow the plan but I feel comfortable with the 5:2--eat normally for five days and fast for two. Some people do a 4:3, 6:1 or alternate day fasting. It's all still intermittent fasting.
Right, totally juiced, I started my fast on Monday. Since the weekends are my regular see-food diet days (for those who don't know about the see-food diet...when you see food you eat it! LOL), I relaxed and, putting the science of metabolism to work for me, began my new eating plan with a cheat day on Sunday. I ate to my heart's content all day Sunday--except when I was at church, but even then I had a couple of sweets--without stuffing myself.
Apparently, eating liberally of whatever you fancy/crave will boost you body's leptin. Leptin is the body's fat burning hormone. To take advantage of the high levels of leptin, I made Monday my fasting day. Mondays work for me cos I always feel blah after my weekend over-indulgences and naturally eat less on Mondays anyway. Yesterday was my second fast day this week and it went great because I knew I could eat whatever I wanted today! Today I feel light and focused. I don't feel the need to eat unless I'm hungry. That was one of my problems, I tended to snack so often I never had chance to get hungry. This is why I never made Paul McKenna's plan work for me.
Here's an article from The Telegraph you might find interesting: The 5:2 diet: can it help you lose weight and live longer?
In the first two days of the eating plan I lost 6 lbs! I fully expected it to land back on my hips the moment I started to eat normally again but it didn't. I've never experience that before.
So far I've lost 7 lbs in 5 days (first week hasn't ended yet) and two inches from my hips without any real exercise. I did half an hour on my exercise bike on Tuesday night but haven't managed any more exercise since then. Prayerfully, I'll get it together and add a couple of exercise DVDs next week. Do pop back next Friday for an update. I'll try to share my journey here with you each Friday on what I will call 5:2 Friday.
Meanwhile, if you've tried this eating plan or intend to, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear about your experience so far. This is my first week and it's a plan I feel I can easily live with. How do you find it for ease, convenience and freedom?