is it still called breakfast at noon?

I’ve been trying to motivate myself to get back on track with eating better since I fell off the wagon on February 13th.  The plan was to resume on Monday (Feb 24th), but I didn’t.

Then, Wednesday morning I woke up feeling absolutely horrible.  I was down most of the day and only got up to use the restroom and do my 3 mile indoor walk (which was torture, but hey, keeping the streak alive).

When I woke up Thursday morning feeling much the same way, I started thinking I’d just wait till the next Monday to work on the food because I didn’t feel like dealing with it.  As I lay in bed, trying to make myself get up, I received a text from a friend asking if I had started back on Monday (I had told her at the memorial that was my plan) – oops.  I fessed up of course.  I thought about telling her I’d changed my mind and would start next week, but I just couldn’t bring myself to type that.  It felt like I was giving up again.

Barb Raveling’s “I’ll Start Tomorrow” chapter from I Deserve a Donut (and other lies that make you eat) echoed in my head.  A battle waged.  Would I concede defeat?

NO!

I knew could do something that day to move me back in the right direction nutritionally.  Last week I read Mastering Diabetes by Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro.  I have been following the “mindful diabetic” (Robby) for a while on Instagram.  His meals are so simple, his enthusiasm is contagious, his exercise regimen is inspiring, and it’s nice to see a diabetic who is thriving.

You may wonder why I would read this book? Diabetes runs in my family – both sides – all “types”.  I was a gestational diabetic (delivered five big babies) and it’s highly likely I’m headed for type 2 (if I’m not there already).

I’m sure I’ll discuss this book more because I’m one of those nerdy people who finds the operations of the human body insanely fascinating.  I LOVED all of the detailed explanations about cells and insulin and case studies.  Plus, I do believe in their program.

Anyway, a suggestion which really resonated with me was to just start with breakfast and make-over that meal for seven days in a row before moving to lunch.  Ironically, I did this many, many, many years ago before I ever read the idea in a book, and it does work if you can be patient with yourself.

I decided that was the thing I was going to do – prepare a breakfast according to the “Mastering Diabetes” guidelines.  Of course, since I’d already implemented intermittent fasting (which they add about 3 weeks into their program), I wondered, “Can I call it breakfast if I’m not eating till almost noon?”

Greens, pineapple, blueberries, dates, and chia seeds 🙂

I suppose I can call it anything I want.  Besides, if breakfast stands for “break fast”, I suppose it applies regardless of what time I eat my first meal of the day.  I tried to load up my serving bowl with whatever I had in the house which qualified.

YUM… and I instantly felt more energized than I have lately.  Then, I ended up eating “lunch” around 3PM, and it was within the guidelines too (mostly oranges).  Dinner? It was not within the guidelines; however, I didn’t get take-out and I finished by 7PM.  So, that was another win.

Unfortunately, at around 10PM I could no longer take the horrible migraine which began to creep in at 8PM and I ended up eating again.  I refuse to beat myself up over this.  I did what I felt like I needed to do at the time and I’m hopeful this will improve if I keep pressing forward.  Since I didn’t eat till noon on Friday, I still had a 14 hour fasting window, which I am perfectly happy with.

I don’t know how many days I’ll just focus on “breakfast” in the food arena, but I do know I plan to keep “showing up”. Besides, the slight changes I’ve made since Monday, coupled with the walking habit I’ve been building since January 1st, have resulted in a reduction of 3.2 pounds on the scale in 4 days (weighed Friday morning).  I’m headed in the right direction, thank you, Jesus!

So, until tomorrow, I pray you’ll join me in doing what we can today and not get hung up on meal names or perfection.  It’s “Leap Day”, make it count!

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.