Since I left the hospital, I have not only started graduate coursework, but also have worked to get a handle on the remaining obstacles to good health. My weight became a real impediment to my job and my daily functioning, and between Lyme Disease, nursing school, and night shift, I put on a record amount of weight.
A friend told me about the Ketogenic diet, a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet, that is meant to control the hormones that direct weight gain and weight loss. During that time, I have become a huge fan of Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist out of Toronto, who treats his diabetic patients with this eating plan, along with fasting. He has two books that I highly recommend if you’re curious: The Obesity Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting. That said, he has plenty of free videos on Youtube that are incredibly educational, and completely intuitive. He doesn’t talk above the listener or below them, and I like his delivery style.
About 3 months in, not only was I losing weight steadily, I was noticing that my hunger had really bottomed out. The next logical thing to do was to include fasting. I had already been intermittent fasting on a 16/8 schedule at the suggestion of my Lyme doc, so I moved on to a 36 hour fast once weekly, and then progressed to the alternate day fasting when I had some experience under my belt.
At first, it was easy. And I was dropping a good deal of weight. But it didnt remain easy. My second semester of grad school started, and the alternate day fasting was beginning to take it’s toll. I was hungry and tired on fasting days, and I was unable to focus on my homework. So I decided to switch to a 5:2 fasting plan, where you fast for 2 nonconsecutive days in a week. This plan has been in place for the past two weeks, and I am struggling with it. I was unable to get as much homework as I wanted to today because I was unable to focus, and I am tired, hungry, and cold.
I think it’s time to return to basics. Time to go back to just intermittent fasting, either on a 16/8 schedule or an 18/6 eating window. Time to tighten up my food choices, and pay attention to those sneaky carbs. I need to remind myself that this isn’t a race, the weight will come off, and that it will take some time to undo the metabolic damage my body suffers from. This is a permanent change for me, and I need to do the things that will bring me success in the long run. And if that means adapting my fasting to a more reasonable approach, then that is what it means. I still need to be able to focus on school, and my other family obligations.
In the end, I will still meet my goals.
In case anyone is curious about ketogenics, here is a link to an article in JAMA.