Intermittent Fasting and Steps

I will remain self-isolated until I can re-enter the world without bringing Covid19 home to Steve. Last December I worked up a plan for losing weight. I joined the JCC, got a posh locker, and started my journey to wellness. I planned on daily visits to the grocery store to buy veggies. That plan collapsed in March.

Now, I think I’ve finally found something that works for me in my current life: 5:2 Intermittent Fasting plus a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. Plus gentle yoga. I’ve been doing all of this for two weeks now. I will add a bit of strength training soon.

The word fasting in the “5:2 Intermittent Fasting” is misleading. In this context it just means limiting calories to within 500-600 calories on two fast days a week. Non-fasting days (five days a week) are just normal healthy eating.

According to what I’ve read, clinical evidence shows that 5:2 intermittent fasting is safe and improves risk markers for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in addition to helping people lose weight. Whether the benefits are just due to the weight loss, I’m not sure. But either way it seems to be safe and beneficial.

It works for me because I can use the fasting days to do gentle activities that don’t require a lot of brain power. It actually feels like a calming period, something that refreshes me. And I am slowly losing weight.

This wouldn’t work for me normally because socializing would interfere with fast days. But now the world is simpler. I see no one. I cook for no one except Steve. No game nights at my house. No wine tastings with a crowd to cook for. No writers group meetings held in places that tempt me to buy food. It would all feel a bit sad if I weren’t using it as a year or two to reset my body and my writing. But that realization that this period of self-isolation can be looked at as an opportunity and not just an imposition is good for my mental health.

For the intermittent fasting to work I had to revise my schedule to take two days off writing each week instead of one. I use fasting times for reading, cleaning, art, and learning. Then I head back to the writing on Tuesdays refreshed and ready to write. Also I grow bean sprouts to eat on my fast days. (And some for Steve as well.)

So far, this has been pleasant and relatively easy and I’m thrilled to find something that works with my brain and with the world as it is today. Steve has been doing a different variety of Intermittent Fasting for about two years and it works for him. In his version, he eats within a 12-hour window each day. I tried that and it didn’t work for me and made me anxious. This works. I feel calm and happy.

I don’t expect it to work forever. Nothing does. My hope is that it works for this self-isolating year.

I hope that you are also finding ways to make this period of difficulty beneficial and healthy for you. Be well, friends!

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