the feeding window

When you go through a drive-through, you know what it means to be told to “pull up to the window”.  You’re gonna be paying hard earned moolah and then receiving a bag of something to eat which resembles food.  I am all too familiar with the fast-food window experience from start to finish; however, this isn’t about fast-food, or even “good food quickly“.

You’ve probably already guessed that I’m talking about intermittent fasting.  Everywhere you turn, this concept has been showing up in some form or another for a few years now.  It’s almost a bit faddish.  I’ve read quite a bit on it in the past couple of years and it seems there is actually some value in shortening one’s daily “feeding window”.  For anyone who hasn’t heard of this before, the feeding window is a set number of hours when one eats their meals.  Outside of that time-frame, you abstain from eating (also known as fasting).

It really is a pretty simple concept with several modes of execution.  Personally, I prefer the 16:8 method.  Since there is a plethora of information online and in books, I’ll just share my personal experience.  I attempted to try it out last year and managed to get in several solid weeks of consistent 12-16 hour fasting days.  While I didn’t drop significant weight (probably because I believed that I could eat anything during my feeding window and still lose weight), I learned three things very quickly:

  • the first few days are the hardest
  • choose a “window” that will work the most consistently with your daily routine
  • I slept better and had more energy once my body adjusted to the window

Fast forward to 2020… Eight days into the new year, I decided to do the Green Smoothie Girl Detox (which was mostly a good experience that I’m sure I’ll discuss later). Intermittent fasting is recommended during the detox and I followed it almost to the letter for 26 days.  Most days my fasting window was around 15 hours.  During this second experience I learned something else:

  • shortening your eating window AND cleaning up your diet (even if the caloric intake is the same) eliminates the constant desire to eat

When I graze all day long, I want to eat more.  I really believe something about that fasting window being in the 14 to 16 hour range daily shuts down my seemingly insatiable “hunger”.  It’s even more obvious when I try to eat at the same times every day (think “routine”).  Within a few days, my body adjusted and just wasn’t hungry between mealtimes.  Cleaning up the diet as well seemed to make this phenomenon even more significant (but we already knew cutting out processed food makes us crave it less, right?).

I cannot tell you “scientifically” why this happens for me, but as someone who has been plagued with constant feelings of “hunger/cravings” for decades, it was nice to experience a bit of a reprieve.

After I finished the first 26 days of the detox, I started over with the program hoping to continue since I was finally releasing excess weight instead of gaining or maintaining it.  Unfortunately, during the second round, I lost a very dear friend to cancer (I miss you, Patti) and I’ve been off plan since February 13th.

Prior to this, my eating window was 10AM to 7PM.  That’s a 9 hour window, although it wasn’t unusual for me to stop eating at 6 or 6:30.  I found this to be a window that worked well with my routine most of the time, until emotional eating kicked back in due to grief.

So what does this have to do with “showing up“?  Because on Tuesday (February 25th) I resumed my shortened feeding window.  Technically it started Monday night when I stopped eating by 7PM.  Rather than let my emotions continue to run amok, I am choosing to show up, renew my mind, and run to God for the strength to live within the boundary of intermittent fasting.

So, until tomorrow, I pray the Lord equips you to just show up in regard to your personal food boundaries.

 

crying over shoelaces

By the time January 1st rolled around, I was painfully aware of the fact that I couldn’t tie my own shoelaces.  I cannot express how utterly embarrassing this is to admit.  Not only had I gained so much weight over the 14 months prior to January 1st that my belly was a hindrance to the bending-over needed to reach them, but my general flexibility had dramatically deteriorated as well from a lack of activity.

Ugh.

I cried… in full-blown, “Tonya Harding” fashion, pointing helplessly at the laces dangling from my feet.

The last time I needed help tying my shoes was the last time I was pregnant… which was a really long time ago.

Waking up to this realization made me angry.  Yes, I have thyroid issues.  Yes, I have a severely compromised immune system and have been sick (very sick!).  Yes, I’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster, but NO, I was not helpless despite what my lack of effort indicated.

I am not usually a “sit in the mud and sulk” kind of girl, so I have no idea why I seemingly just “gave up” for the better part of 14 months.  That is not me and as 2020 approached, I began to see that I had some decisions to make.  More specifically, there was one thing I vowed to change starting on January 1st (and I hate New Year’s Resolutions).  I was still discouraged just enough to recognize that “the mud” was too deep to change everything immediately, but there was one thing I knew I could do.

I could walk…

…that is, if someone else would lace up my shoes.

It was a humbling moment.  That first three mile walk of the new year was so slow and painful.  And while I’ve sped up some from doing three miles a day (every day) so far this year, I am still experiencing pain most of the time.  Being out of shape is tough, people.  It isn’t for sissies, that’s for sure!  Thankfully, after a few weeks, coupled with paying closer attention to what I was putting in my pie-hole, I was able (with some grunting) to tie my own shoes again.

Most days, it has taken all of my willpower to complete the three miles.  Some days that was the only sense of “accomplishment” I had, but I thanked the Lord for the ability to take each step.  I have no idea if I’ll keep up the “three miles a day” streak indefinitely, but I’m not focusing on that.  I can only deal with today’s decisions, not tomorrow’s.

So, each day I decide if I’ll walk or not… and there have been some really difficult days already… days of pain… of sorrow… of grief… of darkness… of physical, mental, and emotional obstacles.

Some days I do it because I feel like it… some days I do it because it is good for me… some days I do it because the sun is out… some days I do it because I can and I know others who can’t… some days I do it because I want to keep the streak alive… some days I do it because I refuse to let my “can’t want to” brat have the last word… and some days I do it because I just want to make sure I can still tie my own shoes.

It’s about just showing up and asking God for the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  So, until tomorrow, may the Lord help you to take another step in the right direction.

 

just showing up

Yes, it has been a while since I posted out here.  I’ve started posts over and over, but never clicked that little “publish” button.  It’s difficult to explain where I’ve been and why.  Perhaps I’m not supposed to explain at this time.  Perhaps I’m just supposed to show up and let God work out all the other stuff.

I’ve been on a journey.  No, not an entirely positive one, but that’s probably not surprising to hear when someone returns from such a long silence.  I don’t know how much I’ll share because that will depend on what God lays on my heart.  For now, I’m just showing up.

I thought about titling this piece something inspirational like “Finally Getting 20/20 Vision”, but that would hint at a bit more enthusiasm than I’m feeling at the moment.  In reality, I still feel rather “blah” and “uninspired”.  That’s why I’m just showing up.

A new year. New stages of life. And I’m praying for “newness of life”.  I feel as though I’ve woken from a long sleep, far from refreshed, yet clinging to a tiny ray of hope which has somehow managed to penetrate the darkness.

So, my plan is to take you with me, for those who care to come, as I choose life and love.

Until tomorrow – may the Lord give you the strength to “just show up” in your life today.

 

Upcoming Taste For Truth Bible Study – August 3rd

Hello beautiful ladies out there! If you’ve been struggling to lose weight and have wondered if maybe you need to try a different tactic, consider joining the Taste For Truth Support Group* (Facebook) during one (or all) of our upcoming Bible studies (see group description for the full list).

51n8CMGHsmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_TASTE FOR TRUTH Bible Study

The study will officially begin on August 3rd and run for six weeks. The study worksheets and sign-up post has already been posted to the group page.

Participants Materials List:

So, if you want to go through this short little book packed with so much awesomeness, with a stellar group of gals, pop on over to the TFTSG and join us!

* The TFT Support Group is named after Barb Raveling‘s book by the same name.
** Available only on the TFTSG.

runner girl: week 11 (with juicing)

This was a tough week as I was going through some detox and fatigue.

EXERCISE

Week 11 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule began ok and then I made some dietary changes which knocked me on my rear (more on that later).

On the 11th, I went for an additional walk with a friend, which felt fine… but the morning of the 12th I wasn’t feeling so well. I decided to take that day off and resume with session three on the 13th. Unfortunately, I felt worse the next day and had been up all night in pain from head to toe.

Apparently I needed the rest because on the 14th I got up and busted out that workout hitting new records for “fastest mile” and “fastest 5K” since I started 11 weeks ago.

I know I did some T-tapp, foam roller, and skin brushing this week but I failed to write down which days I did what, so I’m just not including it in this week’s chart.

NUTRITION

Sunday was day 84 on the nutritarian diet, but I added juicing, green juice powder, and a multi-vitamin on Monday. I’m following Chris Wark’s recipe from ChrisBeatCancer.com. I make about three times his recipe and it produces 30-40 oz of juice. I divide this up into three jars and have it between meals with a scoop of the green juice powder.

It felt like I had a shot of caffeine that first day. Immediately felt more energized. By Wednesday afternoon I was beginning to show signs of detox though. I began running a low grade fever, my stomach was upset, and then I got a fever blister on my face. By Wednesday night I was in pain from head to toe. Everything hurt and I couldn’t sleep. I ended up taking a pain killer, but still only slept a couple of hours.

I decided to press through and keep up with the juice. This required renewing my mind about it because I seriously wanted to quit. I mean, cleaning out the juicer is a pain, and if I’m going to feel crummy too… ack! Lots of prayer and reviewing why I was doing this in the first place. Thankfully, the Lord brought me through.

I would have periods of time where I had outrageous energy and then I would feel so sick I didn’t want to move. By Saturday morning I felt better and even felt like if I didn’t get in some exercise I was going to explode. I started craving the juice and exercise. I even had moments where it seemed my body was “revving”. I haven’t felt that in decades. My overall body temp seems to be running hotter than it has been as well. I’ve thought about taking some temps with my basal thermometer to see if there has been a shift there. I don’t see how it hasn’t shifted because I’m warm all day long and have had to reduce the number of blankets I sleep under or I sweat through my clothes.

I do want to be clear, I’m not doing a cleanse or a fast. I simply added more nutrition in the form of juice, green powder, and vitamins to my normal eating routine (nutritarian). Since my weight had slowed significantly, and I’m guessing it’s somewhere around my “sticking point”, I thought maybe my body struggles to get past there because it thinks it has to hold onto the fat as some sort of defense mechanism (long story). So, after prayer and research, I’m trying this experiment to see if a larger influx of nutrients will signal it to let go.

As you can imagine, I was nervous about stepping on the scale… I mean, I’m ADDING stuff, not taking things away… and I skipped two whole days of exercise. Plus, the lovely monthly was here in full force on weigh in day…. and I had hardly slept the night before…. oh, and I had potatoes for dinner lol…. So, you can imagine my surprise when the husband told me I had released 1.4 more pounds. Say way?! Thank you, Jesus!

I did take Sunday off from juicing, but resumed Monday morning. I guess it’s time to move on to week 12.

 

 

runner girl: week 10

Still cruising along through this journey. Let’s take a glance at week 10.

EXERCISE

Week 10 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule I got a little ahead of myself. I think I was all pumped up after last week and then session one felt like a beating. It seemed as though I was trying to race myself and I was supposed to be focused on taking it easy.

As a result, I was all over the place… too fast… too slow… couldn’t find a cadence that felt good… ugh. Seventy two minutes of “I want this to end now”.

I felt better during the next two, but was still pushing a bit… as my pace would indicate.

I did do one pilates workout this week. Thought it might be fun to add in a little arm work, but quickly realized my arms are too puny to do the whole thing.

NUTRITION

Sunday was day 77 on the nutritarian diet. Closing in on 80 days is rather a big deal for me.

When I started with this nutrition plan, I genuinely thought the weight would fall off. I guess I figured it seemed ridiculous that it wouldn’t considering what I’m eating (and even more importantly, what I’m not eating). I decided to step on the scale again Friday and was disappointed yet again. Down 0.2 for the week.

I think I said something like, “Are you kidding me? At this rate it will be five years before I reach a normal weight!”

Oh goodness. So, I spent some time with God about it, hoping for some perspective. I also did the “Tired of the Struggle” questions/verses from I Deserve A Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat). In the end, I am thankful to have released weight, even a little.

I don’t know why I keep expecting it to move faster since my body has declared its resistance to weight loss over and over again. Friday morning I just felt really tired of the struggle and was feeling sorry for myself a bit. If a “normal” person ate this way, the weight would be flying off… not for me though. It seems I will get to claw my way all the way to the end. Even still, that 0.2 is gone and I will do my part to ensure it doesn’t return. I don’t know why God isn’t clearing the boulders out of my way faster, but I will trust in His plan and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I also started asking Him if there is anything I need to tweak a bit.

On Sunday, the husband and I decided to grab a smoothie from Jamba Juice and have a meeting about some family stuff. I stood in line debating which fruit/veggie smoothie I wanted. I felt a nudge toward the one with ginger juice added. Instantly, I regretted this decision because the ginger was so strong and it burned my throat.

You see, I’ve had tonsil issues for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was little, doctors and dentists and orthodontists (and anyone else who actually sees my tonsils) would comment on how crazy inflamed they always were/are. I’ve had strep numerous times.

Anyway, they’ve been irritated lately (more so than usual), which I figured might be an indicator of detox. Anytime I have an infection, my tonsils react first. Well, for weeks the left one has been covered with white spots (yeah, I know it’s gross) – which looking through pictures of throat issues looked like tonsillitis to me.

So, I’m drinking this smoothie and it’s burning the heck out of my throat. I look in the passenger side mirror and there are my enormous tonsils, with the left one covered in white stuff. I keep drinking the smoothie because I’ve gotten used to the ginger and it’s starting to actually soothe my throat a bit. Several minutes later, I feel a pinch and some pain around the left tonsil. I look in the mirror and most of the white stuff is gone… GONE! And my tonsils are now significantly reduced in size.

Now, since I’m actually working on this post after Sunday, I’ll go ahead and finish the story. Monday, we went for Jamba Juice again and I got the same drink. Less burning this time, but by the time I got home my throat felt different. I checked out those tonsils again and discovered the white stuff was completely GONE and my tonsils were pink and barely noticeable. I was shocked.

I’ve been reading up on juicing (in regard to cancer – another story), and had been considering adding this to my dietary regimen. After seeing what that ginger juice did to my tonsils, I’m definitely going to give juicing a try. Hopefully I’ll have more to report on that next week.

 

runner girl: week 9 (whoa!)

Can you believe it? I’m actually looking forward to the run/walk workouts now. This is the point I’ve been waiting to reach. I love the sense of accomplishment, but mostly, I love being out in creation… seeing bunnies, deer, and sunrises… smelling flowers… hearing birds and cows… it’s invigorating and peaceful all at once.

EXERCISE

Week nine of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule was probably my favorite week so far. The first session pushed us into more consecutive jogging minutes than I have done in a really long time. I felt energized and as though I had crossed the threshold back into “runner girl” status.

During the final 5-10 seconds of session 3, I cranked up my pace while trying to maintain form. I didn’t really feel like I was trying to sprint, I was just moving my legs faster and hit a 6:23 pace. I felt amazing (despite the fact that the kids and husband passed me as though I were standing still lol), but this was short-lived as my left knee swelled by end of day Saturday and hurt by Sunday.

Suddenly, I regretted not foam rolling or doing T-Tapp this week. Maybe it had nothing to do with the bolt for the finish on Friday, or forgoing the foam roller. It’s possible that wearing heels to the funeral of a sweet lady from our homeschool co-op on Saturday was the culprit. Either way, I need to foam roll most days of the week, and T-Tapp probably twice a week.

I did use my rebounder on Sunday evening to work my lymphatic system a bit, but my knee didn’t like it.

For some reason I was thinking a lot about breathing and oxygen this week and realized I haven’t mentioned another factor which influences pace.

Altitude.

We workout at about 7+K feet above sea level, and despite living here 10 years, it does affect my pace. I don’t know by how much, but an example is that when we were walking in Texas, my walking paces were faster by at least 1-1.5 minutes per mile. Of course, there are other factors, like elevation gains/losses as well since I live in a hilly area… and the slight oxygen advantage we have in the first few days of being at lower altitude.

One benefit to higher altitude though, there is always a significantly cooler part of the day to run in the summer… and this week’s runs at 4:30AM proved to be down right chilly at times.

NUTRITION

Yesterday, I hit 70 days on the nutritarian diet – That’s 10 weeks people! Wow.

On Friday I weighed in, and while I was disappointed at first with the measly 2 pounds in the last 28 days, I got over it. This brings me to 16.2 pounds gone in just shy of 10 weeks. I don’t know when I’ll weigh again. I might do every other week, or maybe once a month. If the scale is going to move much more slowly, maybe it’s better to not weigh as often.

We did try two new recipes from Dr. Fuhrman’s cookbook. One we liked, and one was a little weird for my taste (French Minted Pea Soup). My youngest daughter liked both and I’d say she’s got a more discerning palate than I.

I mentioned earlier that we attended a funeral on Saturday. I cannot tell you how badly I wanted fried food the rest of the weekend. Grief is such a powerful emotion and I’m used to stuffing emotions with food. It was also sobering because this sweet woman wasn’t much older than myself and had been battling cancer for 18 months. She was such a giving and kind person. She will be sorely missed. I decided that she would not want me to harm myself in my grief for her, so I stuck to the program, but it was far from easy.

Life goes on, although not the same for certain.