Page 17 of 18

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:52 pm
by Kathleen
September, 2017: The Blessings of Simplicity starting May 21, 2017

Month 1: May 21, 2017 - 226.0
Month 2: June 1, 2017: 223.2 (month high: 224.8; month low: 221.6)
Month 3: July 6, 2017: 222.0 (month high: 224.4; month low: 219.4)
Month 4: August 1, 2017: 224.2 (month high: 224.2; month low: 221.0)
Month 5: September 6, 2017: 222.6 (month high: 224.4 ; month low: )

Weight Summary
Day 104 – Friday, September 1, 2017:
Day 105 – Saturday, September 2, 2017:
Day 106 – Sunday, September 3, 2017:
Day 107 – Monday, September 4, 2017:
Day 108 – Tuesday, September 5, 2017:
Day 109 – Wednesday, September 6, 2017: 222.6
Day 110 – Thursday, September 7, 2017: 222.2
Day 111 – Friday, September 8, 2017: 222.8
Day 112 – Saturday, September 9, 2017: 223.6
Day 113 – Sunday, September 10, 2017: 223.0
Day 114 – Monday, September 11, 2017: 224.4
Day 115 – Tuesday, September 12, 2017: 224.6
Day 116 – Wednesday, September 13, 2017: 225.0
Day 117 – Thursday, September 14, 2017: 225.2
Day 118 – Friday, September 15, 2017: 223.8
Day 119 – Saturday, September 16, 2017: 223.0
Day 120 – Sunday, September 17, 2017: 223.0
Day 121 – Monday, September 18, 2017: 223.8
Day 122 – Tuesday, September 19, 2017:
Day 123 – Wednesday, September 20, 2017: 224.0
Day 124 – Thursday, September 21, 2017:
Day 125 – Friday, September 22, 2017: 224.4
Day 126 – Saturday, September 23, 2017:
Day 127 – Sunday, September 24, 2017: 223.0
Day 128 – Monday, September 25, 2017: 223.2
Day 129 – Tuesday, September 26, 2017: 221.4
Day 130 – Wednesday, September 27, 2017: 220.8
Day 131 – Thursday, September 28, 2017: 220.2
Day 132 – Friday, September 29, 2017: 221.6
Day 133 – Saturday, September 30, 2017:

Day 104 – Friday, September 1, 2017:
I am giving up following the SET guidelines as I recognize that they take the focus off fasting. Last night, we got in too late for me to have dinner, and that is OK. I can manage. What I do not want to do is justify having breakfast because I was following the SET guidelines.

Day 108 – Tuesday, September 5, 2017:
Best meal of my life was Sunday night. I was so stuffed I did not eat until 4 pm.

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on how to overcome temptation: set up guidelines ahead of time for dealing with temptation. That is what I am doing by eating within an 8 hour window. Yesterday I had one salad at 4 and past of a soft pretzel at close to 7. By 11 today, I was hungry but held off eating until 11. I am learning to not satisfy hunger immediately.

10 PM and home from Boston: I realized that the 8 hour window is necessary for me because my schedule is so variable. Things will settle down now, with Ellie now the only kid at home.

Day 109 – Wednesday, September 6, 2017: 222.6
My weight went up but not very much given that I was at a five day celebration with unbelievably good food -- like steak, crab cake, lobster... I bet my high weight for this month will be no more than 223.0. Progress is slow. I have to be patient.

Day 110 – Thursday, September 7, 2017: 222.8
My weight is up, but I am happy because I woke up feeling physically miserable due to having eaten so much. I do not want to eat that much again today. Why did I eat so much? Stress. A check to the U of M took so long to cash that I stopped payment on it and then it posted. Tom's job is not going well. We are swamped with bills because of Anne's wedding and Tommy's tooth. The house is totally disorganized: I just got the camping equipment from our trip in late August downstairs for Tom to put away. Eating as a sedative is a bad approach. I need to take a deep breath and deal with one issue at a time and let Tom deal with his job. I went to the gym this morning and did three minutes of fast walking plus walked an additional 20 minutes. At not quite 9 AM, I am at 5,000 steps.

Day 111 – Friday, September 8, 2017: 223.6
I was paging through a book by Peter Kreeft on virtues and vices and looked up gluttony. It was interesting what he had to say. He said that the Lord does not recommend dieting. Instead, our faith has always recommended fasting and feasting. Here's the problem: too much feasting. I have too many weekend nights when I eat past 7 and some weekends when I eat before 11. What I think I'm going to do is simply add on weekdays when I fast from dinner to dinner and define dinner as what is in front of me before I take one bite.

Nice try. I'm getting close. It has been so nice to not monitor how much I eat and just eat as much as I want, but I'd also like to lose some weight.

Day 112 – Saturday, September 9, 2017: 223.0
I pulled out the Jason Fung book on fasting, and the recommendation if you are not losing weight is to mix it up: try different lengths of fasts. Today Tom gets on a plane and returns Friday. Ellie is in school all week. This is a good week to try having one meal per day on weekdays like Jason Fung does. I may not last. I may just go to 3. I may just do it on Monday. We'll see.

Day 114 – Monday, September 11, 2017: 224.4
I was in a feeding frenzy all weekend as I prepared for a change in diet. The authors of the book Intuitive Eating call this "Last Supper eating". Stupid. I hope I now see my problem, which is that my body goes into survival mode when I look to diet or even change fasting. I need to be committed to this easy approach. My walking was great up until yesterday, averaging about 12,000 steps per day. Yesterday, I walked under 3,000. Time to commit...

We were in Boston last week because my sister and brother in law had put down deposits on all sorts of activities as part of a wedding celebration but then my niece delayed the wedding. Tickets to a specific ballgame can only be used for that ballgame. My sister invited us out. The parents and grandparents believe this relationship is doomed even though the couple is now on the European cruise that was supposed to be their honeymoon.

At some point, you either stop or commit.

My saga of dieting is not similar, but I would say the same is true for my decision to fast: I must commit or I might as well stop.

I commit.

Day 127 – Sunday, September 24, 2017: 223.0
Our dog is really sick. She normally weight about 10.2 pounds and is down to 7.8 as of this morning. I had her to the vet twice last week and will get the results of testing tomorrow. They think a kidney infection or kidney failure based on preliminary tests.

It is not good to be super busy. You tend to drop the ball on something. Pepper started to lose weight in late August but I was distracted by getting two kids to college and going to Boston. We had not been able to find her regular dog food so I thought that was the cause. By the time I got her to the vet, she was really sick.

Which brings me to thoughts about dieting.... I need habits that are easy to follow. I have developed a habit of fasting but think it is healthy but not sufficient for me to lose weight so I'm going to add the SET guidelines.

Day 129 – Tuesday, September 26, 2017: 221.4
Poor baby. I took her to the vet yesterday, since she has vomited so much since she got her medication. They took another blood test and pumped her with fluid and an antibiotic that lasts 7 days. Last night, the vet called to say she either go immediately to the animal hospital for a fluid IV and get an ultrasound tomorrow or she should be euthanized today.

Then I talked with my sister and concluded that there are two concerns with the animal hospital: one is cost, and one is misery/potential benefit of treatment. Poor little girl would be without family and hooked up to an IV. I decided to call on money and it was $1,000 - $3,000 per night with the vet suggesting a minimum of a 3 night stay. No. We can't do that. I took her into Katie's room and slept with her last night. Tom wants to see if the antibiotics she got yesterday work, since she could not vomit them up.

So today, she wanted to eat, and her weight is up to 8.0 pounds. She is very lethargic. I brought Katie home last night to say her good byes, and she took Pepper for a walk but did not make it very far.

I can look back in shame at how busy this summer was and how I did not realize how sick Pepper had become until it was too late. We changed dog food because we could not find her original dog food, and by the time we found it and thought she was cured, we realized it was not the dog food. Two kids to college, Katie home from camp, Tommy's dental implant, a new car, Boston for a non wedding.... it was one long rush, and I dropped the ball on the dog. She should have gone to the vet in late August.

I don't hold out hope for the antibiotics to kick in, although Tom doe shave a point that she was throwing up the oral antibiotics. I asked the kids to pray to St. Francis.

So I cannot beat myself up, but I can say I'm not focusing on dieting anymore. I'm focusing on life. I am going to continue with the fast (eating window of 11 AM to 7 PM) and that's it. Nothing else. I will work on exercise but nothing else regarding food.

So sad. So terribly sad. This was our dog. We had dogs growing up, and it was very sad when they died, but this one is my responsibility and I blew it. I cannot go back in time. All I can do is what we think is best for her now, and that is to feed her what she wants (not the low protein mix prescribed by the vet but meat) and see if the antibiotics will help. Terribly sad... Such a joyful, cuddly dog. I am grateful for the years we have had with her.

Day 130 – Wednesday, September 27, 2017: 220.8
Ellie got home from school, and she looked at Pepper and said she was worse. Her stomach was growling, and her bladder was full. We took her to her favorite walking path and called to euthanize her. She was scared because we were crying, but she was with us and we were saying "Good girl" and the shot is in a catheter so it is not painful. It was the right decision.

So -- what else have I missed in life? What else am I not grateful for, do I assume I will always have? Tom's 10 PM flight to Omaha got cancelled last night, so he came home after 10 and woke me up at 5:30 to say good bye as he was to catch a 7 AM flight.

I have a different perspective on life. That little dog gave us much, and I never really appreciated it.

Day 131 – Thursday, September 28, 2017: 220.2
I think I'm going to lose weight now that I have given up on doing anything to control my weight except by eating only within the 11 AM -7 PM window when socially feasible.

I miss Pepper. One daughter set up a folder so we all could contribute pictures of her over the years. She has been a big part of our lives for many years. The late, great Kirby Puckett once said, "Tomorrow is not promised to any of us." I expected her to live at least several more years. For a small dog, she was only middle-aged.

Day 132 – Friday, September 29, 2017: 221.6
The house is quiet. It is incredible how painful it is to say good bye to a dog. Now I face a beautiful day but no dog to walk. As a favor to a neighbor, I walked her dog during the day from January until a child moved home in late August. She said to go ahead and walk her dog whenever I wanted during the day. That was kind of her.

I am going to try to fast until noon on Fridays and Wednesdays in October and see if stretching to a later time twice per week is a good idea. I am shamelessly tapping into a Catholic fasting tradition. I grew up hearing the Biblical readings on fasting and thinking they were so outdated and incorrect given our great scientific knowledge. Now I'm thinking it's the scientific knowledge that needs updating.

Day 133 – Saturday, September 30, 2017: 221.2
Sometimes, I eat after 7 PM for social reasons, so I think I am going to just try to fast for 16 hours past when I last ate, if possible. Generally, I will fast 7 PM to 11 AM but that is not always possible.

11:45 AM: Wow. I quickly learned it is easier to fast between two times than it is to fast for a certain length of time. I just ate a ton of food because I had to wait 1/2 hour past 11, and I didn't even make it to the 1/2 hour! No, I am going to stick to a 7 PM to 11 AM fast time and, if I don't make it, well, I don't make it.

Well, well, well... I found the scientific reason for the success of a Catholic fasting schedule that has fasting to 3 PM twice per week and not eating until noon most days. It is from this Website:

In short, you eat for two reasons: you condition yourself to eat at certain times (like Pavlov's dogs reacting to a stimulus) and you eat because you are hungry.

Varying the hours of fasting leads to conditioning yourself to only be aware of physical hunger.

I learned from this morning to set hours for fasting, and I think I am going to move to typically 7 PM to 11 AM except on Wednesdays and Fridays when I fast until 3 PM. That was medieval Catholic practice, and I think modern science is just beginning to find wisdom that was in medieval Catholic practice.

Here is the entire article:

"Does fasting increase your hunger to unimaginable and uncontrollable dimensions? This is often how fasting is portrayed, but is it really true? From a purely practical standpoint, it is not. From my personal experience with hundreds of patients, one of the most consistent, yet surprising things reported is the reduction, not an augmentation of hunger. They often say things like, “I thought I would be consumed by hunger, but now I only eat 1/3 of what I used to, because I am full!†That’s great, because now you are working with your body’s hunger signalling to lose weight instead of constantly fighting it.

The number 1, most common misperception of fasting is it will leave us overwhelmed with hunger and therefore prone to severe overeating. Thus you get pronouncements from ‘experts’ like “Don’t even think about fasting, otherwise you will be so hungry that you will stuff your face full of Krispy Kreme donutsâ€. Funny enough, these ‘experts’ often have zero experience with fasting either personally or with clients. So why does it seem so reasonable?

Approximately 4-8 hours after we eat a meal, we start to feel hunger pangs and may become slightly cranky. Occasionally they are quite strong. So we imagine that fasting for a full 24 hours creates hunger sensations 5 times stronger – and that will be intolerable. But this is exactly what does NOT happen. Why?

Hunger is, in fact, a highly suggestible state. That is, we may not be hungry one second, but after smelling a steak and hearing the sizzle, we may become quite ravenous. Hunger is also a learned phenomenon, as demonstrated by the classic experiments of Pavlov’s dogs – known in psychology as Pavlovian, or classical conditioning.Pavlov2

In the 1890s, Ivan Pavlov was studying salivation in dogs. Dogs will salivate when they see food and expect to eat (unconditioned stimulus – UCS) – that is, this reaction occurs naturally and without teaching. In his experiments, lab assistants would go in to feed the dogs and the dogs soon began to associate lab coats (conditioned stimulus -CS) with eating. There is nothing intrinsically appetizing about a man in a lab coat (yummy!), but the consistent association between the lab coat and food paired these two in the dog’s mind.

Very soon, the dogs began to salivate at the sight of the lab coats alone (having now been conditioned) even if food was not available. Ivan Pavlov, genius that he was, noticed this association and started to work with bells instead and before you know it, he was packing his bags to Stockholm to get his Nobel Prize and taste some of those oh-so-delicious Swedish meatballs. By pairing bells and food, the dogs began to anticipate food (salivate) at hearing bells alone without the food. This was the Conditioned Response

The applicability of this Psychology 101 lesson to hunger is obvious. That is, we can become hungry for many reasons – some of which are natural (smell and sizzle of steak) and others which have become conditioned into us. These conditioned responses can be very powerful and cause great hunger. If we consistently eat breakfast every single morning at 7:00, lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 6:00pm, then the time of day itself becomes a conditioned stimulus for eating. Even if we ate a huge meal at dinner the night before, and would not otherwise be hungry in the morning, we may become ‘hungry’ because it is 7:00. The Conditioned Stimulus (time of 7:00) causes the Conditioned Response (hunger).

Similarly, if we start to pair the act of watching a movie with delicious popcorn and sugary drinks, then the mere thought of a movie may make us hungry even though we have already eaten dinner and would normally not be hungry. The movie is the conditioned stimulus. Food companies, of course, spend billions of dollars trying to increase the number of CS that will make us hungry. The Conditioned Response is hunger – for popcorn, chips, hot dogs, sodas, etc.

Food at the ballgame! Food with movies! Food with TV! Food in between halves of kids soccer! Food while listening to a lecture! Food at the concerts! You can eat with a goat. You can eat on a boat. You can eat in a house. You can eat with a mouse. Conditioned responses, every one.

How to combat this? Well, intermittent fasting offers a unique solution. By randomly skipping meals and varying the intervals that we eat, we can break our current habit of feeding 3 times a day, come hell or high water. We no longer have a conditioned response of hunger every 3-5 hours. We would no longer become hungry simply because the time is 12:00. Instead, we would still get the unconditioned response of hunger, but not the conditioned one. That is, ‘you get hungry because you are hungry’, rather than ‘you get hungry because it’s noon’."

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:48 pm
by Kathleen
October, 2017: The Blessings of Simplicity starting May 21, 2017

Month 1: May 21, 2017 - 226.0
Month 2: June 1, 2017: 223.2
Month 3: July 6, 2017: 222.0
Month 4: August 1, 2017: 224.2
Month 5: September 6, 2017: 222.6
Month 6: October 1, 2017: 222.0

Weight Summary
Day 134 – Sunday, October 1, 2017: 222.0
Day 135 – Monday, October 2, 2017: 224.6
Day 136 – Tuesday, October 3, 2017: 223.6
Day 137 – Wednesday, October 4, 2017:
Day 138 – Thursday, October 5, 2017: 224.0
Day 139 – Friday, October 6, 2017: 223.2
Day 140 – Saturday, October 7, 2017:
Day 141 – Sunday, October 8, 2017: 224.0
Day 142 – Monday, October 9, 2017: 223.6
Day 143 – Tuesday, October 10, 2017: 222.2
Day 144 – Wednesday, October 11, 2017:
Day 145 – Thursday, October 12, 2017: 222.6
Day 146 – Friday, October 13, 2017: 222.0
Day 147 – Saturday, October 14, 2017:
Day 148 – Sunday, October 15, 2017:
Day 149 – Monday, October 16, 2017:

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:35 am
by gingerpie
Hi Kathleen,
I somehow missed your posting last month. I'm sorry to hear about your dog. I agree, our four legged friends sure do add a lot to our lives that we don't even realize till their gone. We also are in the kids-off-to-college stage of life. I totally understand how you just didn't realize how sick she was.

Hope the fasting goes well for you this month. I'm working on fasting as well but I'm just fasting between meals and after dinner :wink:

Have a nice day,

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:55 pm
by oolala53
You've been at this for 11 years. Maybe you've been TOO patient.

There is nearly NOBODY who loses weight without weaning themselves off eating just because they want to or because it's a social situation or they're stressed, or tired, etc. Slim people rarely change their eating for these things, and don't regard it as some terrible deprivation. You say it yourself over and over that you regret nearly every time you don't stick to your plan or eat until you're stuffed. What the Catholics meant as feasting is WAY less than feasting today.

I've seen you wrestle with this so much. I wish you could either really do it or just let it go. What do you think it will take?

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:28 pm
by ~reneew
Woah. That was quite harsh!
I see soooooo many similarities between Kathleen's thinking and my own. I have been here that long also and I think it's more of a strong will to not give up. Her strength and perseverance is what it's going to eventually take to beat this.

This noS chat group is meant for encouraging people.

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:12 am
by oolala53
I'll let Kathleen decide.

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:48 am
by Kathleen
The truth hurts. Maybe I need to focus on eating to satisfaction rather than to stuffed. At any rate, what I've done so far hasn't worked.

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:06 pm
by oolala53
If you're doing things that aren't part of your plans, then it's hard to say they haven't worked. I don't think any plan you've tried advocates eating to stuffed. (Fast 5 allows it, but that's predicated on keeping exactly to the plan for an extended period of time. Even then, it isn't foolproof.)

What do you think will help you choose NOT to stuff yourself? Are you convinced that doing that is too restrictive? Any body that is used to that feeling isn't likely to naturally be satisfied consistently with less. It would take SOME times of wanting to eat a lot more and just not doing it. Is there anything that would make that worth going through? What pleasure could you get in life by giving up SOME pleasure in eating? Or does it appear to be only sacrifice with no worthy reward?

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:45 pm
by Kathleen

It's not a matter of pleasure in eating -- of that I am sure. I do not know why I need to eat to stuffed. It's like having a car in overdrive: you need to do something to get it out of overdrive. I am going to try eating only within a 1 hour window on days that I am able to do so without other noticing.

What I have speculated about eating to stuffed is that satisfaction comes from detecting a change in fullness. If you eat when not hungry, you need to eat to stuffed in order to detect a change. If you eat when hungry, you detect a change when you reach satisfaction.


Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:32 am
by oolala53
Kathleen, if you feel my post was too strong and you'd like me to remove it, I'd be glad to.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:10 pm
by Kathleen
No. It's fine. I feel like I'm on a hamster wheel. Disruption is good. Thanks,

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:32 pm
by gingerpie
Hi Kathleen,
I feel like I'm on a hamster wheel.
A hamster wheel is a circle and a circle can be broken at any point. If you can't break it during the eating event, perhaps it can be broken elsewhere. What do you do after you overeat to the point of pain? Do you behave in a predictable manner afterwards? Do you use the same self-talk over and over? How do you interact with Tom and Elle afterwards? Could it be possible to address the behavior rather than the eating in order to stop the hamster wheel?

I know you've tried many eating plans and each one seems to be more restrictive than the last. Maybe it isn't really the eating that needs to be addressed, perhaps it's some other aspect of your life and the eating is simply the manifestation of that.
. I am going to try eating only within a 1 hour window on days that I am able to do so without other noticing.
I kindly recommend that you not do this. It seems painful and punishing and quite frankly, if the other fasting attempts have failed then why would this one succeed? Isn't it easier to fast only between meals? I know the overeating remains a problem for you. I can only suggest that you cook the exact amount you,Tom and Elle need for that one specific meal. You can't overeat eat what's not there.

kind regards and warm wishes to you this week.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:16 am
by Kathleen

I did not last one day with eating within 1 hour. I'm realizing that I can only go so far with a healthy habit and then things fall apart: 10,000 steps as a goal, not 12,000; fast walking 3 times per week, not 5; fasting 16 hours per day, not 18 or 20 or 23...

Any sort of restriction of quantity always leads to binge eating. I am done with trying that. What do I do after I overeat? I go on with my day.

oolala53 asked: "What do you think will help you choose NOT to stuff yourself?" Good question. The answer may be those SET guidelines: sitting down to eat, eating without distraction, and taking hand or utensil away from food while eating. If I had to choose between eating and reading the Wall Street Journal, I may choose the WSJ. Do I know that for a fact? No, and guess why? I don't last very long following them because they are a pain to follow. Maybe that's a clue that they could be effective in having me eat less without actually restricting quantities. I still have a choice, but the choice to overeat comes with a cost of being bored because I am eating less quickly than normal.

This week, we go to Indiana to see Anne in her new home. I'd like to not be concerned about diet. I can just try following this until we get back next Sunday and see how it goes.

In May, we had four kids and a dog at home. Now we have one social daughter (she was dropped off at noon and will be picked up at 9 tonight), my husband is traveling every week, and the dog had to be put down. I am bored. This past week, I painted Katie's room. My life is very different now from even two months ago. Still, my weight is within a range of 219 - 226 with most of the time between 222 and 225. Bored or swamped: it doesn't matter. My weight is steady. How do I get out of this trap? Maybe slowing down eating will allow me to not want as much.

Comments on my thread are always interpreted as ones of concern and care. Thanks.


Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:19 am
by osoniye
Hi Kathleen- Maybe this would be a good time to take up a new hobby that would get you more active and around new people? Just an idea.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:00 pm
by navi

Kathleen, I'm a long time NoS lurker, but I rarely post. I first want to say that I admire your openness and honesty as you work through this. I too rebel against restriction - I am not much of a sweets person, but the "no sweets" aspect of NoS ironically had me craving sweets and making sure I crammed in as much as possible on the weekend, to shore up against the coming week without. Thus, one of my first mods was to ditch the No Sweets aspect, as that was not really my problem. Some would say that I could work in steps and add that in future once I got the other aspects down. But if I never had a problem with sweets, why would I do that? Why mess with my instinctive moderation around sweets by adding any restriction at all?

Even without restricting sweets, in the 8-odd years since I discovered NoS, I too have NEVER been able to comply. I, like you, have tried keto, various forms of IF, etc. etc. etc., had moderate success with the dreaded calorie counting, and it always all invariably fell apart. I even tried "instinctive" eating or whatever that is called - FAIL. So I do understand your struggles.

About two months ago I had an epiphany of sorts - I cannot explain how or why it came about, but I wanted to share my story with you so that you can see that things CAN change, by looking at the example of someone so very much like you. Not that you should take my path, but that you can have hope that one day you just might find your own.

It seems that I just got tired of thinking about food food food food - what kind, when, how much....and one day, I thought up something I call Beorn's Kitchen (Hobbit reference - the book, not the movie!). Essentially, I imagine myself to be a hobbit on a long journey. I get up, have some toast or other small meal with coffee before heading off into the forest. I must walk long hours until I arrive at Beorn's cottage. I am hungry at this point but have to wait until the meal is served, and can then eat with joy and friendship with my fellow travelers and host - but not too fast or too much, or Beorn will not approve! Then off to do some work for the rest of the day, arriving back in time for dinner. Again, I treat it as a celebration, enjoy it immensely, and am thankful for such a meal after the long day. This is followed by relaxing in front of the fireplace (imaginary - work with me here!), and at some point I enjoy a small dessert before heading to bed. Nothing else though - I do not want to risk the wrath of Beorn by raiding the kitchen between meals! If I feel particularly famished during my long walk through the forest during the day, I allow myself a small snack from my pack or I can gather berries along the way (second breakfast!). Usually I do not do need to do this - I want to preserve what little food I have packed for the journey in case I need it in the days ahead. On celebratory occasions, I can feast! Finally, I am not a vegetarian, but I lean more and more towards fruits, vegetables, and grains with very little oil or meat, as this is the way Beorn eats. As you might have noticed, this is more or less NoS with mods (occasional snacking, dessert in evening), with urban ranger (the journey) thrown in for good measure. I did not intend it to be so - I was not even thinking of NoS when I started on this path!

I realize that all sounds extremely silly, but I HAVE LOST 8 LBS and counting in 7 weeks! More importantly, I have 100% peace around food and eating for the first time in 35 years. I think I came to a point where I was just DONE with the struggle, and approaching nourishment through a fantasy lens allowed me to change my relationship to food in a profound way, that has had real consequences. I now eagerly plan my meals, look forward to eating, and even enjoy the hunger along the journey. I love snack food, so I'll often have a handful of crackers and cheese with my meal. I love starch and for the first time I allow myself to eat it guilt free. I too loved that stuffed feeling - I eat a small breakfast (toast & cream cheese usually), moderate lunch (usually too busy for more), and then a largeish dinner. I eat a lot of salad and vegetables along with the rest of the meal - so I do feel quite stuffed after, without eating excessive calories (I do NOT count calories, or even estimate). I did not intend to stick to one plate of food but for some reason (8 years of lurking here?) I have gravitated towards the one plate. Dessert, once I began the habit, has been getting smaller and smaller, sometimes just sweetened herbal tea. I use habitcal, but as long as I follow the spirit of Beorn's Kitchen the day is GREEN - there is no difference for me from weekday to weekend (if anything, on the weekends I get up late and skip breakfast). If I need second breakfast or a small snack (this is rare), the day is still GREEN as long as I followed the spirit of Beorn in my decisions. As of today I have 7 full weeks of green green green, it is so lovely to look at! Finally, I am often alone as my husband is working in another city, and on those occasions I sometimes imagine Beorn and the Dwarves around me at the table, which somehow makes me feel more relaxed and content during the meal.

Long story short, I feel your struggle. This is the first time I have shared this - no one in my "real" life knows that I am on this journey. I am sharing this here because I thought that my story might give you a bit of hope that normal eating can be achieved, once you find the "key" to what works for you. In my case it was changing my ideas about moderation - moving away from viewing it as something that was imposed on me (the rules), and instead immersing myself in a story line where moderation is part of the role play.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:26 pm
by ironchef
Wow, navi, as a huge Tolkien fan that really spoke to me! Thanks for sharing 😀
A few years ago I used the Eowyn Challenge website to “walk to Rivendell†and re-read the first book of LotR alongside. It really changed my morning walk to imagine myself trotting along with hobbit ponies are racing to keep up with Strider!

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:19 am
by navi
ironchef, I am going to have to check that out....

Edit to say - that website is fantastic! I'll need to get a pedometer, and find my old copy of the hobbit, but I am definitely in!

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:09 pm
by Larkspur
Navi, I love this. Thanks for sharing.

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:47 pm
by Kathleen

What a fantastic story! I had thought that there was a universal way to lose weight and I was determined to find it and model this approach to my children.

Years and years later, I am humbled to realize that we each have to customize an approach for ourselves.

Today is yet another Day 1 for me -- at 223.0 pounds. I tried following those SET guidelines and succeeded on Monday but failed miserably yesterday. I'm going to really focus on them going forward because I think they will help me to stop binge behavior.

Years ago, I read a post here that was someone's observation that people who follow No S and binge every weekend end up not succeeding. My weight isn't really the problem. It's a symptom. I think the problem may be that I eat a lot in a short period of time (binge behavior) for reasons that are completely unknown to me. Years ago, I read that the best way to overcome a bad habit is to create a different habit incompatible with the bad habit. Well, the SET guidelines make binge behavior impossible. Eating a large quantity of food in a long period of time just does not satisfy whatever need I have to binge eat. So - I'm going to focus on this habit, added to other good habits I have developed which have not resulted in weight loss: fasting 16 hours per day, walking 10,000 steps per day, strengthening exercises, etc.

Thank you for your inspiring story!


Day 1 – Tuesday, October 17, 2017: 223.0
Day 2 – Wednesday, October 18, 2017: 222.6
Day 3 – Thursday, October 19, 2017:
Day 4 – Friday, October 20, 2017:
Day 5 – Saturday, October 21, 2017:
Day 6 – Sunday, October 22, 2017: 221.8
Day 7 – Monday, October 23, 2017:
Day 8 – Tuesday, October 24, 2017: 220.8
Day 9 – Wednesday, October 25, 2017: 221.4
Day 10 – Thursday, October 26, 2017: 222.4
Day 11 – Friday, October 27, 2017: 221.6
Day 12 – Saturday, October 28, 2017: 221.6
Day 13 – Sunday, October 29, 2017: 220.2
Day 14 – Monday, October 30, 2017:
Day 15 – Tuesday, October 31, 2017:

Day 6 – Sunday, October 22, 2017: 221.8
We were supposed to visit Anne and Tony in Indiana, but Tom missed his flight and could not come. Ellie and I got in last night at 1:30 AM. Tom had gotten a puppy I had seen online! What a wonderful surprise!

I am finding that following the SET guidelines is somewhat difficult because binge eating satisfied a need. What it is I do not know, but I am going to stick with these SET guidelines and see what comes of it.

As for the puppy, awww.... It is so soon after Pepper's sudden illness and euthanasia, but maybe it is for the best... Coming home to an empty house was so sad. Pepper will always be special because she was the dog of our kids' childhoods, but sometimes you need to face the end of a chapter in your life. I'm rambling. The SET guidelines are just the means for something else to change in my life, something other than my weight and eating habits. I have some theories but nothing more.

Day 8 – Tuesday, October 24, 2017: 220.8
I have tried following the SET guidelines. What I have not tried doing is combining fasting with following the SET guidelines.

Day 11 – Friday, October 27, 2017: 221.6
I was discouraged yesterday because my weight had gone up to 222.4, over the 222.0 benchmark that I have for a normal weight range of 222.0 - 224.0. I gave up on following the SET guidelines.

Then, as I was raking leaves ahead of this morning's first snow, it occurred to me that I have been trying to avoid eating instead of focusing on what I want. And what did I want? The feeling of lightness. I could give other terms like a feeling of energy but light seemed to fit best what I wanted.

This past week has been both difficult and thrilling for me. I have occasionally awakened with my back hurting but it went away within 15 minutes or so. When I was in Indiana, my back hurt on Friday. By Saturday, it hurt so much I did not walk much and then decided it was the hotel bed and drove straight home despite having a nonrefundable hotel room. We got in at 1:30 in the morning.

This whole week, I've had to bend over because of the puppy, and I've had Aleve for the first time in my life. Tom has been out of town, and Ellie mostly has been in activities or work that kept her after school until dark. It was up to me to rake.

I realized in one moment that losing weight isn't really about losing weight: it's about feeling good. It's about a feeling of lightness and functionality. I felt heavy raking because I had eaten a lot after giving up the SET guidelines and thinking I needed a new plan.

No new plan. I think that fasting has led to this moment. It's occurred to me previously that dieting is about "portion control" which creates a false binary: either you starve and are miserable but thin, or you binge and are fat but not starving. Fasting opens you to the possibility of eating to satisfy. You learn that a little hunger actually is pleasant.

I have a memory of that from childhood -- a memory of a little hunger being a pleasant reminder. "Hunger is the best spice" was a saying I got from a diet book I read years ago, and it's true. I never allow hunger to come but have eaten first. Fasting is getting me over that very bad habit.

Day 12 – Saturday, October 28, 2017: 221.6
osoniye brought up the idea of a new hobby. Yes, well, she's 4.2 pounds, and her name is Pumpkin! It was brilliant on the part of my family to get me a puppy, as I was devastated by Pepper's sudden death. Pumpkin cannot take the place of Pepper. She is a whole different dog. I cannot imagine losing a child. I cannot imagine....

Day 13 – Sunday, October 29, 2017: 220.2
Now that I am online looking for puppy supplies, I'm getting suggestions of dog videos. One was of an abused dog getting love for the first time:

It is heartbreaking. It is a good emotional equivalent to my body reacting to a "portion control" diet. My body has been abused by constantly shifting rules but the most detrimental one has been to limit portions based on some external measurement, not on how hungry I am.

I am starting to figure out that the effect of an 11 - 7 eating window is cumulative. I didn't stick with it last night and didn't even mark it in any way. As long as I am following it on most days, the impact will accumulate over time to dampen my appetite. Why? I think it is because the French are right that "food creates appetite" and the obverse is also true: "fasting decreases appetite".

It seemed to me a pretty good bet that the findings of the National Weight Control Registry would help me to lose weight, and one of the findings is that you should eat breakfast. Well, that is the path of those who obsess about food 24 X 7.

Day 14 – Monday, October 30, 2017:
I think I'm just going to weigh myself once per week. The daily weigh-in is an opportunity to reconsider my approach to weight loss, and I am set. I may even weigh myself just once per month. Time is what I need.

10 PM: I ate too much today because my body is telling me I ate too much today. Ick. Fasting helps me to realize when I am eating more than what makes me feel good.

Day 15 – Tuesday, October 31, 2017:
I woke up this morning feeling lousy, and there was no need to step on the scale: my body is already telling me I ate too much yesterday. The scale is a distraction. This approach of having an 11 - 7 eating window is similar to intuitive eating, which was a failure for me. The difference, and the reason why I think I will succeed in losing weight with a fasting approach, is that I get to experience what it feels like to not be stuffed -- and it feels better.

6 PM: Wow. First Holloween alone. Last year, Katie, Ellie, Anne, and Tom were all home, and Tommy was at college. Tonight, Tom is in Omaha for work, Anne is in Indiana, Katie and Tommy are away at college, and Ellie is at a band function. I will pick her up at 7. How my life has changed! My weight has stayed stable through many changes.

8 PM: What if I suddenly stopped overeating just like I suddenly stopped drinking coffee?

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:41 pm
by navi
Kathleen, we're all rooting for you!

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:25 am
by oolala53
I didn't mean what strategy would make you willing to eat less even when it's hard, I meant what OUTSIDE your eating habits would make it worth it to challenge your fear of "restriction?" Not being a slave to whims and random eating? A comfortable feeling in your stomach instead of feeling stuffed? A vision of yourself playing easily with your grandchildren? A release from the repetitive misery over the issue?

The "why' is usually even more important than the what. Reinhard I think was more motivated by the concept of moderation defeating overconsumption than by weight loss. He just couldn't accept the life of overeating.

What do you want enough in your life to commit to seriously reducing your consistent overeating? If there isn't anything you truly believe you are now or could later miss out on if you continue, it's unlikely any of the plans will work to have you face that there is likely no plan that isn't going to ask you to give up some eating.

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:24 pm
by Kathleen
Thanks. I still have hope that I'll figure out something that works. Your story was very inspiring.

It's not that I am unable to identify motivation to reduce overeating; it's that food restriction leads very quickly to binge behavior. Binge behavior is not something I can control. I have tried. I've even read AA's The Big Book and other addiction books with no sense of how to get off this hamster wheel. The SET guidelines are a pain but they do prevent binge behavior. I need to see if they result in less food intake.

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:06 pm
by Kathleen
November, 2017: The Blessings of Simplicity starting May 21, 2017

Day 16– Wednesday, November 1, 2017:
Day 17 – Thursday, November 2, 2017: 220.8
Day 18 – Friday, November 3, 2017:
Day 19 – Saturday, November 4, 2017:
Day 20 – Sunday, November 5, 2017: 222.0
Day 21 – Monday, November 6, 2017: 220.6
Day 22 – Tuesday, November 7, 2017:

Day 1 – Wednesday, November 8, 2017: 220.0
Day 2 – Thursday, November 9, 2017:
Day 3 – Friday, November 10, 2017:
Day 4 – Saturday, November 11, 2017:
Day 5 – Sunday, November 12, 2017:

Day 177 – Monday, November 13, 2017:
Day 178 – Tuesday, November 14, 2017: 219.6
Day 179 – Wednesday, November 15, 2017:
Day 180 – Thursday, November 16, 2017: 220.8
Day 181 – Friday, November 17, 2017: 220.6
Day 182 – Saturday, November 18, 2017: 221.4
Day 183 – Sunday, November 19, 2017: 221.0
Day 184 – Monday, November 20, 2017: 220.4
Day 185 – Tuesday, November 21, 2017: 221.4
Day 186 – Wednesday, November 22, 2017: 220.6
Day 187 – Thursday, November 23, 2017: 220.2
Day 188 – Friday, November 24, 2017: 219.6
Day 189 – Saturday, November 25, 2017:
Day 190 – Sunday, November 26, 2017: 218.0
Day 191 – Monday, November 27, 2017: 217.0
Day 192 – Tuesday, November 28, 2017: 217.8
Day 193 – Wednesday, November 29, 2017: 219.2
Day 194 – Thursday, November 30, 2017: 218.4

Day 16– Wednesday, November 1, 2017:
I am going to listen to Jason Fung's Aetology of Obesity lectures on obesity again, this time with a different perspective. I've had so many "got it" moments that I need to wait and see if I actually have gotten it, but this experience now reminds me of suddenly giving up coffee last year. Coffee became not worth it. I figured that out when I was so concerned about getting just the right dose of caffeine at just the right time during our trip to Yellowstone. We stayed at Mammoth Spring Hotel where you cannot have coffee makers in the room because the hotel is so old that you could blow the electrical wiring. There was coffee in the lobby, but that meant I had to shower and dress first before going to get it -- and it wasn't exactly Starbucks quality.

What? In the middle of this beautiful scenery, with elk literally right on the lawn outside the hotel, I'm most concerned about my coffee? Maybe it was there I started to figure out drinking coffee just isn't worth it.

Overeating just isn't worth it.

Day 17 – Thursday, November 2, 2017: 220.8
I was thinking that there would be some dramatic change like there was when I went from having coffee every single day to never having coffee, and so I think I was preparing myself for that cliff by eating everything in sight, including Holloween candy. When I stepped on the scale this morning, it was with the decision to go over that cliff. I was shocked, literally shocked, that my weight was at 220.8 instead of somewhere in the 224 to 225 range. Why? Well, I think I know why. I may decide to eat until stuffed, but stuffed comes sooner. Fasting limits how much I can overeat.

I had my monthly personal training session with Kayla yesterday and told her I think this will be like losing coffee. She said it looks like you will gradually lose weight over a long period of time. Yeah... reality check... I did not like that and ate more after I got home from personal training.

Now, this morning, I'm thinking weight loss as a goal could use some benign neglect. It is actually counterproductive to try anything in addition to fasting, at least for me, at least for now.

A second coat of paint needs to go up in the laundry room, and the puppy needs play time. I like the idea of benign neglect for a weight loss goal!

Day 18 – Friday, November 3, 2017:
Over the past couple of days, I have listened to the first two of Jason Fung's Youtube videos "The Aetology of Obesity". I went to bed last night feeling somewhat sick. While I have listened to these videos previously, the message didn't really sink in. Now the message has sunk in because I can understand with the experience of fasting. Basically, the drive to eat has to do with insulin levels in the body. Fasting lowers insulin levels. I am realizing that I still eat to stuffed, bu the experience of stuffed itself has changed.

Day 21 – Monday, November 6, 2017: 220.6
I was wrong. It is not fasting and only fasting. In fact, it is really just ending overeating and fasting helps.

oolala53, I don't fast with rigor. If I eat past 7 PM, that is OK by me especially on the weekend. Yesterday, for example, I just didn't eat right at 11. I'm not even tracking when I start and stop. Instead, it is just a guideline.

The real problem is I overeat, and the solution is to not overeat. The problem is how I measure that. That is what I need to figure out.

Day 1 – Wednesday, November 8, 2017: 220.0
I couldn't walk much for a time because my back started hurting when I was in Indiana. Last week, I told Tom I am not sleeping in that bed until we get a new mattress. The mattress was a wedding gift from my parents 24 1/2 years ago. My back has gradually been feeling better to such an extent I am thrilled to be out raking leaves. In the meantime, I managed to lose my pedometer.

I've also been somewhat housebound trying to get that puppy to be housebroken. I've been watching Fung's Youtube videos on The Aetiology of Obesity and almost through the fifth one. Yesterday, I resolved to let the exercise go and just focus on fasting. For the moment, there is enough exercise in my life with raking, painting, and training a puppy.

Fung's theory is that people overeat because their insulin levels have become elevated, often from eating a carbohydrate-rich diet. Fasting is the cure. I do feel better not eating breakfast, but my weight is somewhat stubbornly in the obese range. What to do? I think I'm going to step back from exercise and take it easy and just eat one meal per day when it is not noticeable to others. That should be rather easy to do during the week. I'm also going to drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in one cup of water as the last thing I have around 7 PM at night.

I think fasting is going to be easier than 10,000 steps per day.

12:30 PM: Ugh. I've long maintained that obese people are gullible rule-followers, but I didn't know why. After slogging through all six Youtube videos on Aetology of Obesity by Jason Fung, I now know that that is true. We fatties have followed the elites' advice to cut calories, eat several meals per day, go low fat... I heard "Fat makes you fat" and "You cannot deny the second law of thermodynamics" by my father.

It never works for me to make dramatic changes in lifestyle. I found my pedometer and am putting it back on. I'm going to fast until 11:30 instead of 11. It turns out it is much more effective to have 18 hours of fasting with 6 hours of eating rather than 16 hours of fasting with 8 hours of eating. I'll try to move towards that.

Day 2 – Thursday, November 9, 2017:
The other day, I bought Trader Joe's coffee ice cream, which I have come to think of as being my favorite food. I had some, and it didn't taste all that great.

Why? I've been thinking about what I learned in the Fung Youtube videos, and I think I may know why. If the body is not in a fasted state, then glycogen is being used for fuel. That's sugar. If the body is in a fasted state, then fat is being used for fuel. Is it possible that the body starts to prefer fat if there are periods of fasting?

I don't know. I'm going to stick with no food restrictions whatsoever during my eating window and see what happens. Through the end of this month, I'm only going to try for an 11:30 AM - 7 PM eating window.

If I don't stay within that window, that's OK. It can happen. I'll just do my best.

Day 4 – Saturday, November 11, 2017:
I got invited to join the Dr. Jason Fung Fan Club on Facebook, and there is a lot of good information there. One person was asked if she just fasted to lose weight or needed to control calories when she was not fasting. She replied that she was as likely to lose weight by just fasting as she was to win the lottery.

Well, that is my theory -- that all I have to do is fast, and my food choices will switch naturally. The fact that Trader Joe's coffee ice cream did not taste so great was encouraging to me. Maybe my taste in food is changing with fasting.

I do feel impatient and so am thinking I will switch to a 1 - 7 PM eating window from an 11 AM - 7 PM eating window immediately.

Day 5 – Sunday, November 12, 2017:
I'm somewhat disgusted this morning, having read some more on fasting and how insulin levels drop most precipitously when you fast 18 -24 hours. Why am I disgusted? Well, what did Catholics in the medieval period do? They generally did not eat breakfast and fasted twice per week, on Wednesdays and Fridays. I've been following bad medical advice (eat low fat, eat frequently, count calories) for 40 years when the answer was in my faith, although my faith has abandoned the practice of fasting except twice per year, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Fasting until 1 every day makes eating lunch with others difficult. I think I'm going to shoot for a 12 - 7 PM eating window on most days and then gradually work my way towards a 6 - 7 PM eating window on Wednesdays and Fridays.

There is still a commitment to not restrict my eating when I do eat, and I am encouraged by changing tastes. I had almonds the other day that tasted great. For years, I avoided nuts because of their high calories, high fat, and low volume. It turns out nuts are really good for you.

Bad advice. My problem has not been low willpower or some sort of emotional response to life. It simply has been that I have followed bad advice.

Day 177 – Monday, November 13, 2017:
Ellie made Toll House cookies yesterday, and I had a couple and thought: yuk! My taste in food has changed. I didn't lose much weight since May 21, but I think that was the start of this diet because that is when I started fasting consistently, and I bet it was the consistent fasting that led to my change in taste.

Day 178 – Tuesday, November 14, 2017: 219.6
I have been eating everything I want, including those Toll House cookies. I think that fasting impacts appetite and that is why it works. I am gong to be very relaxed in how I approach fasting in that I don't worry too much about not actually sticking to my eating window. Instead, I'm expanding the fasting period to noon most days and 6 PM Wednesdays and Fridays so that I can still lose weight even if I routinely eat outside that window. Last Friday, for example, I ate at 9:30 PM and had breakfast fairly early. Since then, I've followed the window.

I've also joined a couple of Facebook groups on fasting. In one, the question was whether you should focus on the eating window or the fasting period. One person insisted the key to success is to focus on the hours that you fast. I tried that and found that it just gave me the excuse to open the eating window earlier because I could just close it earlier. That did not work for me!

What I find works for me is to focus on the eating window. Every single day, I can eat as much as I want of anything I want but just for a limited period of time. Today that window is 12 - 7 PM. That is a long time. I can shove whatever I want into my gullet. My gullet wants less.

Weighing myself every day turned out to be a daily opportunity to change what I am doing. I think it best now to weigh myself infrequently so that I don't see the natural ups and downs of weight.

7 PM: I forgot to mention that I have a retractable measuring tape, and my waist is down from 44" to 42". I have a long way to go to get to a normal waist size. When I was single, it was irritating to wear dresses with belts because I always had to use a safety pin to pin the belt way over since my waist size was 24". What happened? What happened? Yes, 4 pregnancies, but could it be that fasting will get my body back toward a small waste?

Day 179 – Wednesday, November 15, 2017:
I just plain feel good today! It is my first day of trying to fast until 6 PM. Over the last week, I've come to realize that there is a definite changing in my taste in food, and maybe that means that the long slog of eating 11 AM - 7 PM only has finally paid off. I did just need to be patient!

I am not sure if a daily fast with eating only 12 - 7 PM would result in weight loss. It may be that this fast is a daily maintenance routine. My guess is that I need the longer fasts to lose weight, and I hope that I get comfortable with them quickly.

Brad Pilon of Eat Stop Eat recommends one or two 24 hour fasts per week. I figure I can shoot for two and hope to have at least one.

I'm going to use the old Catholic way of fasting as mostly my guide because I suspect it is the most reliable. That may mean I fast more in Advent and Lent but probably not this year since I am just now working myself up to the weekly fast schedule during "ordinary" time. What I will allow myself is no fasting at all on Sundays or the time between Christmas and New Years or the time between Easter and what is now Divine Mercy Sunday.

The scientific pros got it wrong: eat low fat, count calories, restrict portion size, etc. BUNK. I'm not trading one scientific pro for another.

7 PM: I lasted not eating until 5:20 and then there was a feeding frenzy until Tom got home about 6:15. Salad. Peanut butter sandwich. Cheese. Toaster strudel. Soup. Cottage cheese. Yogurt. Basically anything that I could eat that was within reach and most of it was stuff I did not have to cook.

Lesson learned. I need to gradually increase the fast time on Wednesdays and Fridays. Maybe I will just fast until 12:15 on this Friday.

Day 180 – Thursday, November 16, 2017: 220.8
Tom worked from home yesterday, so he noticed that I had engaged in a feeding frenzy when he was gone. He teased me about it last night and this morning. Well, I decided to take a look at my weight and was relieved that it had not gone up all that much.

Day 181 – Friday, November 17, 2017: 220.6
I have my plan in place, so I think I can go back to daily weigh-ins. I was to fast until 12:15 today but actually fasted until closer to 1. It is so nice to not have to track when I actually eat or to count the hours from one time of eating to another. Instead, I just shoot for an eating window. This is ultimate simplicity.

Day 182 – Saturday, November 18, 2017: 221.4
The results from six months of fasting are not encouraging; however, there are promising indications that this diet will work in the long run. Yesterday, I was gone all day, and last night Ellie was out with friends, so Tom and I just got Chinese take-out at the grocery store. It was not very good. I got about 1/3 of the way through and realized I was full. I considered putting the food in the refrigerator but thought it would taste worse tomorrow, so I soldiered on and finished it. I am starting to realize when I am full rather than stuffed. Now I need to start honoring that. The rest of the dinner belonged in the garbage, not in my stomach!

Day 183 – Sunday, November 19, 2017: 221.0
At just shy of 6 months of fasting, I have lost a grand total of 5 pounds. Let's see what I weigh in another 6 months. I am going to increase the amount of fasting by 15 minutes on every Wednesday and Friday until I am fasting until 6 PM on those days. I will also work on exercise and believe my focus will be yoga. There are Monday, Wednesday and Friday yoga classes at the Y that I can take.

Day 184 – Monday, November 20, 2017: 220.4
I felt a little bummed yesterday by the very slow weight loss, but today I am feeling more optimistic. There will be ups and downs on the scale, but the general trend is down. Yesterday, we continued discussing spending a week on a houseboat next summer. That was my favorite vacation when I was a kid, even though we spent almost a month in Europe when I was in middle school. Now, looking forward, I think I'm not going to be comfortable in a swimsuit. I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that fasting is for good health in the long haul. I cannot be getting off track shooting for a lower weight by a specific time. Instead, I need to put my body in charge of weight loss and just focus on sticking with eating only within the window of time selected.

Last night, I did not finish eating until 8 PM. That is life. Things come up. I don't beat myself up if things come up that result in a later or earlier eating time, but I try to stick within the window if I can.

8 PM: Tonight, Ellie and I finished eating around 5:30 PM because there was a band meeting at 6 PM. That means I was done eating at 5:30 but still will aim for not eating again until noon tomorrow. It is so nice just to look at the clock one time to see if I can eat or not and not worry about how many hours it has been since I last ate.

10 PM: This is an interesting excerpt from an obituary in The Economist: "The starting point is unconscious incompetence...Next comes conscious incompetence, when you see what is wrong and try to stop doing it. Then comes conscious competence, when you do the right thing but only with effort, and finally unconscious competence: the mental equivalent of automatic pilot. An added bonus of this stage is that the brain switches from the energy-thirsty cerebral cortex to the much thriftier cerebellum." This is a description of a swimming coach who helped athletes learn to swim by focusing on swimming silently, minimizing the splashing that is wasted energy. When I read this, it occurred to me that my fasting is very much in the stage of unconscious competence. I can fast with minimal to no effort at this point. Now I need to lose weight!!! I think what I need is patience, but it is hard. In 183 days, according to my Happy Scale app, my moving average puts me down 6.1 pounds. I hope it speeds up!

Day 185 – Tuesday, November 21, 2017: 221.4
This up and down of weight is so frustrating. I need to train myself to just look at the Happy Scale yearly report which shows weight loss.

Day 186 – Wednesday, November 22, 2017: 220.6
Yesterday, after picking Katie up from college and before heading out with her do to an errand, I had an apple and a cookie and realized I was not hungry at all so why was I eating? I am going to try to ask myself if I am hungry before I eat. I may not be, but at least I will be aware that I am no.

Day 187 – Thursday, November 23, 2017: 220.2
I told Tom that I had lost 5.9 pounds in 186 days, and he said that is about a pound a month. I asked when he will think this diet is working, and he said when I have lost 40 pounds -- so about when I am 70 years old. He then said that the guys from work were all talking about how, at their annual physical, they are all told they are overweight and they need to "eat less, exercise more" but they don't. These are all hard-driving, highly-paid men. Can't they see that it isn't a matter of willpower? They all have willpower or they would not be where they are.

I only fasted until 12:15 yesterday, and it was hard! I think I will just stick with a consistent 12 - 7 PM eating window and work on consistent exercise.

Day 188 – Friday, November 24, 2017: 219.6
It was only on the way home from Thanksgiving that I realized that I had focused more this year on family rather than food as compared with other years. After all, every single day, I give myself unrestricted access to food for a period of time. In past years, Thanksgiving was special in allowing unrestricted access to food, so I ate up. This year, I just enjoyed.

I don't have to do anything else to lose weight. I am not asking myself if I am hungry. That's just noise. I'm still toying with the idea of fasting longer on Fridays, but today's weight is very encouraging to me.

Yes, I had egg nog. Yes, I had Polish sausage. Yes, I had pumpkin pie. Yes, I had wine. I had everything I wanted without guilt or even a second thought. The only time I thought about food other than to enjoy it was when I thought I don't want to get seconds so I have room for pumpkin pie.

6 PM: I fasted until 12:30 PM today. It was difficult to stick it out that extra half hour.

Day 189 – Saturday, November 25, 2017:
Yesterday, on our family's trip to visit his Mom, Tom bought Little Debby cakes. They are totally disgusting. I never have them. Why did I want them? I have no idea, but I had three. We ate dinner fairly early -- at about 5:30.

Today, I skipped breakfast as usual but we did not have lunch until about 2. It wasn't all that difficult, and I fasted more than 20 hours. Why was it not all that difficult? I don't know. On Friday, it was difficult to fast until 12:30 PM.

I see the wisdom of fasting longer on one day because you gain more confidence in being able to fast for a longer period of time.

My mother in law is dying. She is in hospice and is not expected to live to Christmas. I feel a sadness in looking at my own life and thinking how much time I have wasted dieting. My mother in law was kind until about 2 years ago when dementia removed some filters. She scared me when I witnessed her yelling at her son in law about how her keys were taken by her daughter, and I suggested she check her purse where she found her keys. That one incident really colored my view of her, and I felt much more uncomfortable around her after that. After all, I am a daughter in law, not a daughter.

In my own life, I consider that I am sometimes moody and quick to be upset. Perhaps some of this is due to dieting. I think dieting makes you much more focused on self -- measuring out food, making sure the ingredients in meals eaten out are acceptable for your diet, savoring every bite because you have to limit how much you eat to the measured portions that you had decided beforehand... It's an awful way to live, and it made me grumpy. I think fasting makes you a calmer person, and I have an inkling why: you know that you can go without food for a long period of time. You don't need to be upset if dinner is late an hour or you get delayed in eating for one reason or another as happened today. I was eager to eat at 2 but everyone else was starving -- and everyone except Ellie had had breakfast!

Day 190 – Sunday, November 26, 2017: 218.0
I forgot to set up the room humidifier and, predictably, got a bad cold now that the weather has turned and it is dry. I got up late which is part of the reason why my weight is so low. Katie made me tea with lemon and honey which I had even though it was not noon. I like the flexibility of aiming for an eating window but not sticking with it no matter what. I don't even record that I ate earlier than noon or later than 7 PM. I am still toying with having Sundays be totally free days but am not sure it matters since I have lost the desire to eat in the morning.

3 PM: I have quite the hacking cough and have lounged around all day. My overdrive appetite is gone. Why? On the way home from Thanksgiving dinner, I thought of the analogy to a fever breaking -- suddenly, the driving desire to eat everything I could get my hands on was quite simply gone. Now that continues: is it because of a permanent change or because I am sick? Usually, I pull out the humidifier in October but the weather was so mild I did not. I was caught unawares. This stinks. I can not even sit up.

Day 191 – Monday, November 27, 2017:: 217.0
I am feeling better and will get dressed today. My appetite seems to be different, almost like a shift out of overdrive. Things seem different and not just because of being sick. It's like the wind suddenly dying. I just do not have that driving desire to eat. What happened? It was only last Tuesday that I picked up Katie from college and, in the space of the few minutes before we left for errands, I was grabbing food as I went out the door. Something happened since last Tuesday afternoon, and I'm not sure exactly when, but it happened by Thursday night. Of course, another possibility is I got sick, but I don't think that is it.

I've kept an online journal all these years hoping that I would capture at some point a change that meant freedom from weight problems, and I think it occurred between last Tuesday afternoon and last Thursday night.

Now I understand why No S Diet works for some and not for others. Some of us need a longer period of fasting in order to have our appetite corrected to the point that we eat normally. I'm 217 pounds, I've been sick, and so maybe I am jumping the gun in thinking my appetite in overdrive is now a thing of the past, but I don't think so.

4 PM: I realized that one reason for my appetite to decrease is that I have become accustomed to starting to eat after a 16 hour fast, which means I do not have a stomach that is close to stuffed. It seems weird now to eat when my stomach is close to stuffed. I no longer like it.

Day 192 – Tuesday, November 28, 2017: 217.8
I am feeling better, so I ate more yesterday and my weight is up. That is totally fine. I want to sort through more when it is OK to eat outside my eating window. It's really a judgment call. oolala53 suggested I tell myself that the social situation may seem important but my body is only going to be able to tamp down on insulin resistance if I keep to that window. I have thought about it and think I agree with the fact that she states (I need to fast to reduce insulin resistance) but disagree with the idea that I have to be so consistent in fasting that I need to pass up enjoying food in social situations.

Life needs to be enjoyed, and eating within a 7 hour window should not take top billing. I don't need to be 100% consistent in eating within this window, but I need to try and think about when it is and is not appropriate to eat outside the eating window. Yesterday, there were two examples of my considering eating outside the eating window. One was silly. I was shopping at Costco, saw a taste test that looked good, and checked my pedometer: 11:55 AM. Now that was silly, I said to myself: does it really matter if I wait 5 minutes? I decided to wait. There is the old slippery slope argument that, if you shouldn't wait 5 minutes, maybe it is OK not to wait 10 minutes. To put it more amusingly, there is the old Arabic saying, "If you allow the camel's nose in the tent, soon you will be dining with a camel."

The second consideration for eating outside my eating window was Ellie, who likes to bake, making potica for the first time. Potica is a Eastern European specialty, and it took her four hours to make. She wanted me to try it when she finished, and I told her I would try it today. If there were other people, maybe I would have tried it. If it had spoiled right away, maybe I would have tried it.

When is it appropriate to eat outside the 12 - 7 PM window? Social reasons that are special? A dinner that lasts past 7 PM or even starts after 7 PM? I don't have to be perfect in following this window. I don't even have to come up with bright lines for when it is and when it is not appropriate to eat outside my eating window. I just have to try and stay within the window at least most the time, and I don't have to fuss with defining what most of the time means. There is no tracking of exception days with this approach.

This approach to weight loss is really simple and so it is easy to follow. I have a bright line for when I should debate about whether or not to eat (outside my eating window) and a bright line when I can eat anything I want and as much of it as I want (inside my eating window). Those are the only bright lines I need.

The Costco taste test was going to taste better when it was eaten inside my eating window. No wondering if I should or should not allow myself to have the taste test. That alone will drive me to honor the eating window when possible.

Day 193 – Wednesday, November 29, 2017: 219.2
The behavior is the goal. Weight loss is not the goal. I cannot be perturbed by the increase in the number on the scale when my goal is behavior and to let my body release weight on its own schedule. I went to the gym for the first time since getting sick and only stayed about 10 minutes, since I still have a hacking cough. That is OK. I'm on the way to recovery. Something has changed in my relationship with food. It's almost as if an addiction has been broken. I have wondered if I would have as abrupt an end to overeating as I did to drinking coffee, and I think that may have happened. I actually think it happened on Thanksgiving Day and didn't even realize it until we were driving back. Food no longer has to be an obsession.

Day 194 – Thursday, November 30, 2017: 218.4
Now all I need is time. My focus is exclusively on keeping what is called a clean fast -- I have water only during the fast. To make up for not having coffee, I have hot water in the morning.

I believe my tastes are changing towards a healthier diet but am not quite sure. I am trying to move away from foods with flour and sugar but am not setting up any standards. Having low carb does not appeal to me in the least. I don't like the idea of putting labels on food plans and then trying to stick with them. It was great on Thanksgiving to have homemade egg nog and pumpkin pie and toffee that Ellie had made. I had a lot of that toffee and a lot of egg nog!

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:31 pm
by gingerpie
Overeating just isn't worth it.
Now this is as true a statement as I've ever seen.
I like the idea of benign neglect for a weight loss goal!
So do I. Just do the work and let the scale fall where it may.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of focusing on behavior and don't worry about a goal. The behavior is the goal.

Best of luck to you.

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:18 pm
by oolala53
There's only one way to show that overeating isn't worth it and that's to NOT do it. If a person does it, it means she is still not convinced. She thinks the discomfort of not overeating ISN"T worth it. The pleasure or ease or urgency (even if it isn't pleasant) is more important. That is not a crime, but it actually helps to see the issue as it is. When I saw that I kept up behaviors that seemed like they might not be worth it, I had to recognize that I thought something else was even more compelling and worth giving into.

If you really think an item isn't worth it, you don't buy it. If you think a place isn't worth it to visit, you don't go there. Etc.

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:04 pm
by Kathleen
"The behavior is the goal." I like that idea. Overeating is not something that can easily be measured, but fasting 16 hours out of 24 is something that can be measured.

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:48 am
by oolala53
How can you say overeating is not worth it if it can't be measured? You must have had to experience it to say it's not worth it. Why not add not overeating during weekday 8-hour eating windows to your behavior goals? It will be unlikely you'll experience any reinforcing benefits from fasting 16 hours if you consistently overeat during them.

Where will you record the measuring of it? Since behavior will be your goal this month, why not drop recording weight?

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:40 am
by gingerpie
I think I missed what is your specific behavior goal? Is it fasting or not overeating? I know that ultimately you want both but what is the focus this month? For me it works best to focus on one tiny thing at a time and keep adding behaviors as I gain success. I also tend to start with the easer steps first. But it's absolutely vital to know what the actual goal behavior is. Otherwise, it's easy to get muddled.

Hope your weekend goes well.

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:51 pm
by Kathleen
It is fasting and only fasting. I think it might be counterproductive to add behaviors. Fasting alone will lead to weight loss over time. I sense it already: I eat less to get to a feeling of fullness. With overeating, how are you supposed to know the bite that qualifies as overeating? I put your words "behavior is the goal" in my profile. It perfectly describes what I am trying to do: focus on behavior. Thanks!

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:28 pm
by oolala53
It's important to think ahead to what obstacles you may encounter. What reasons/thoughts might come up to eat outside the window? How will you refute them? I feel sad when I see how many times in the past so many situations can sway you from your stated intentions, leaving you whirling in thoughts that don't lead to the changes you wanted. The excuses all seem reasonable at the time except that they have kept you in nearly the same unhappy eating patterns for years. The reasons are not going to go away. The responses have to change if you are going to heal your insulin response. I know you will be so joyful to change that.

I put my reasons to stick to No S on index cards and on my desktop and read them hundreds of times over the first three months. I included some of my refuting thoughts on the cards. They came to my rescue many times, and I was never sorry I waited past the urges. I knew I was always kidding myself when I believed the extra food was necessary when I had plenty of reserves in my body to draw from.

For example, one of yours might be, "This social situation might seem important enough to eat, but my body's insulin response doesn't know the difference. It will overproduce insulin no matter what. If I'm serious about reducing the insulin response, I'll stick to my 8-hour window. I want those benefits!"

Similar for eating pressure from others. "My body will not alter its insulin response to make someone else feel better by my eating outside my window. I can kindly thank them but not eat. Better to be uncomfortable for a time from their reaction than to keep subjecting my body to the inner discomfort of insulin for so many hours of the day."

"I feel so glad at my first meal each day that I kept my 16-hour fast overnight."

"I feel so proud each night that I kept to my eating window."

"I can more than adequately fulfill all of life's obligations while keeping to my 8-hour window. My relatives and friends respect my new habits even if they don't completely understand yet, just as I love them regardless."

"My body is adequately fed all day by my food and by drawing on its stores during my fast. I am not fooled by fake feelings of deprivation. I deprive myself more by eating outside my window than sticking to it."

Looking forward to a joyful report in December!

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:32 pm
by gingerpie
I put your words "behavior is the goal" in my profile. It perfectly describes what I am trying to do: focus on behavior. Thanks!
I'm glad something I said makes sense to you. It's always hard finding the right way to phrase something.
It is fasting and only fasting. I think it might be counterproductive to add behaviors.
I'm a bit concerned that you might find yourself overeating even inside your window and thereby become discouraged. Please do try some of the wonderful ideas that oolala suggested and . . . remember to celebrate any success you have. Even if they seem tiny and insignificant they are the stepping stones to bigger successes. I hope you come back often during the month to let us know so we can celebrate with you.

Best of luck to you this month. I'll be thinking of you often.
Kind regards,

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:19 pm
by Kathleen
Thanks, gingerpie. I think I'm headed in the right direction. It may be that I need more of a fasting period of 18 hours per day rather than 16, so I'll work towards that, starting with a fasting period of 16.5 hours per day.

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:17 pm
by gingerpie
Hi Kathleen,

How's the fasting going? I've been thinking of you. I'm still struggling with evening snacks but I think it's as oolala said, I just have to learn to sit with the discomfort. Perhaps I could learn to embrace it as it's only by stretching into the unfamiliar that we grow.

Hope you're well,

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:21 pm
by Kathleen
Hi Virginia,
Evening snacking isn't an issue for me; it's more being able to eat in the afternoon, so an 11 AM - 7 PM eating window is actually really easy. I'm not quite settled on when to fast, but I'm convinced fasting is the way to go! Thanks for asking --

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:46 pm
by lpearlmom
Another Intermittent Faster here. Doing 19/5 and really loving it. I may shorten my window later if weight loss stalls but so far this seems to be a good window for me.

Best of luck with it all!


Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:14 pm
by Kathleen
Fantastic, lpearmom! NoS Diet is a fasting diet in that you fast between dinner and breakfast (about 12 hours) five days per week. I'm looking back and thinking it does work for some people, but my insulin resistance required stronger medicine.

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:31 pm
by lpearlmom
Yeah I think I'm better prepared for IF because of NoS. However now that I know what a clean fast is, I realize I should have been doing that between meals w/ NoS. It does make such a difference!



PS. Here's the link to the IF Facebook group if you're interested. ... nt_mention

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:38 pm
by Kathleen
I requested to join. Thank you! There always was something right but not quite enough about No S for me, and now I think I know why: I needed to fast more in order to lower insulin levels.

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:12 pm
by lpearlmom
Oh yay!! I can see that. I did well on NoS and lost 40 lbs but I could see it wasn't going to go any further than that and I need to lose 20-40 lbs more. The scale is starting to move with IF though so I feel like I'm on the right track.

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:54 am
by Kathleen
December, 2017: The Blessings of Simplicity starting May 21, 2017

Day 195 – Friday, December 1, 2017: 219.8
Day 196 – Saturday, December 2, 2017: 221.0
Day 197 – Sunday, December 3, 2017:
Day 198– Monday, December 4, 2017: 220.8
Day 199 – Tuesday, December 5, 2017: 221.2
Day 200 – Wednesday, December 6, 2017: 221.2
Day 201 – Thursday, December 7, 2017: 221.6
Day 202 – Friday, December 8, 2017: 220.8
Day 203 – Saturday, December 9, 2017: 221.4
Day 204 – Sunday, December 10, 2017: 221.0
Day 205 – Monday, December 11, 2017: 220.8
Day 206 – Tuesday, December 12, 2017: 221.6
Day 207 – Wednesday, December 13, 2017: 220.8
Day 208 – Thursday, December 14, 2017: 219.6
Day 209 – Friday, December 15, 2017: 220.2
Day 210 – Saturday, December 16, 2017: 219.8
Day 211 – Sunday, December 17, 2017:
Day 212 – Monday, December 18, 2017:
Day 213 – Tuesday, December 19, 2017: 221.6
Day 214 – Wednesday, December 20, 2017: 222.2
Day 215 – Thursday, December 21, 2017: 222.4
Day 216 – Friday, December 22, 2017: 222.0
Day 217 – Saturday, December 23, 2017: 221.4
Day 218 – Sunday, December 24, 2017: 220.4
Day 219 – Monday, December 25, 2017: 221.0
Day 220 – Tuesday, December 26, 2017: 219.6
Day 221 – Wednesday, December 27, 2017:
Day 223 – Thursday, December 28, 2017: 221.6
Day 224 – Friday, December 29, 2017:
Day 226 – Sunday, December 31, 2017: 215.6

Day 195 – Friday, December 1, 2017: 219.8
I am feeling better and eating more. I do feel as though I have less of a driving need to eat everything in sight. It's hard to describe, but there is more calmness. Trying to lose weight has been a frustrating effort for decades. Even getting to be below 220 is a victory.

Day 197 – Sunday, December 3, 2017:
My euphoria of this-problem-has-been-solved got crushed. I ate a lot on Friday and then again yesterday and so did not weigh myself today.

I am thinking of plunging into one meal a day (OMAD). It did not work so well when I tried it just a few weeks ago, but I'm going to do it again but only on weekdays, if possible. That is what my current guru, Dr. Jason Fung, does. Also, it is Advent, and that is what Catholics did during Advent and Lent.

I cannot bear to look at that scale and see a number above 220, and I have my monthly personal training with Kayla on Friday.

Day 198 – Monday, December 4, 2017: 220.8
Ah curses. Life has a way of calling things to attention. I just cannot focus on my weight right now. Tom was told he is not performing well enough to keep his job and will be terminated in six months if things do not improve. He needs to find a new job. I talked with him about my working, and he does not want me to do that right now. I think I am just going to continue on the 12 - 7 PM fasting schedule only add 15 minutes more of fasting per week on Fridays, allowing my body time to adjust to less time for eating. This is really scary for us, with two kids in college and another in 11th grade.

Day 1 – Tuesday, December 5, 2017: 221.2
I think I've found a very easy way to maintain 220 - 225 pounds. I do not have time to worry about weight but need to support Tom in looking for a job and consider how I could re enter the job market. Do I just give up? No, I need something easy and simple. OMAD. One meal a day. I think I'm going to do this and just count the days per month I eat OMAD and see what happens with my weight. I learned from my last attempt at this that I need boundaries that are not just time. This is not One Hour A Day to eat everything in sight. I must everything in front of me before I take one bite. That will keep me from a gorge with the refrigerator door open.

Day 201 – Thursday, December 7, 2017: 221.6
Last week, for a few days, I experienced peace with food. I am sometimes my own worst enemy. I need to stick with the 12 - 7 PM eating window except on Fridays when it can be longer. If I try for a narrower window, it just does not work.

Day 202 – Friday, December 8, 2017: 220.8
I get why fasting works and dieting does not. With dieting, you are always in a state of deprivation, and your body rebels. With fasting, your body appreciates the difference between being stuffed and being satisfied and prefers the latter. All I have to do is stay the course and let my body let go of the fat in its good time. The biggest surprise for me in fasting is that my taste in food seems to be changing. I am not so keen on sweets, or the tastiness of sweets seems to have diminished.

If I lose about a pound a month but my variance in weight per month is about 3 - 4 pounds, it is really easy to get discouraged and think I should try something else. I think what I need to try is "benign neglect". I keep thinking about our money in the stock market. Tom and I have managed our money separately just because we have never had time to discuss it and we each had different 401K plans. After the 2001 terrorist attack, the stock market tanked, and I pulled all my money out. A few months later, I put it all back in the S & P 500, and it has stayed there. Even though I stopped working in 1999 and have not contributed any money since then, I have stuck with 100% of funds in the S& P 500 since 2001 and my portfolio is larger than Tom's! Part of that is he did not start saving until he was married. In fact, he was in debt when we married in 1993. Still, he makes a lot of money and puts a lot towards retirement.

What is the analogy here? Stay the course. I need to stay the course. Over time, this will work, but in the short run it may not look like it is working.

That leads me to the idea of benign neglect. Did I panic in 2008 when the stock market went down almost 50%? No. I did not even look. I knew that, over the long run, being in the stock market would pay off and I did not want to pay 1 - 2 % of assets to somebody else to manage the money. I thought it simpler just to throw it in the stock market.

With this fasting lifestyle, maybe it is OK to record my weight, especially since I use Happy Scale and the ups and downs are smoothed over in that app because they show a rolling average.

Maybe I will not write as much. To be honest, my attention is now shifting to my hearing loss. There is certainly a genetic component. I was talking with my sister the other day about hearing loss, and we were discussing tinnitus. I told her that tinnitus seems to be associated with restricted blood circulation in the head and hearing loss is associated with dementia which our father has. I am doing research on this and believe that there is hope for improvement. It was a "Hail Mary" pass to see what I could find, and some ideas were pretty silly -- like putting garlic in your ear overnight. What I have found that seems to help is the Hindu practice of bee breathing. I found some a series of yoga breathing basics with AJ videos on Youtube, and that is what I am working on. The Mayo Clinic told me that my hearing loss was progressive, irreversible, and genetic -- that there was nothing I could do about it. They may well be right, but I am going to try!

As a result of this new health hobby and the recognition that my fasting could benefit from benign neglect, I'm not sure how much I will write going forward, but I will keep tracking my weight and post it with comments going forward. To my surprise, lots of people seem to read these comments. In more than 9 years posting, I've gained 5.8 pounds. That is not an impressive record! I sure have tried a lot of different things and learned a lot and gotten some helpful advice, but I'm still fat. Tom told me that he would be confident this was working if I lost 40 pounds. That probably is a good measure. I'll be confident this works when I've lost 40 pounds. It's discouraging to think that, on a monthly average of 1 pound per month, I would be 3 1/2 years older when I have lost 40 pounds. Do I have that time? Well, the key here is to realize that each month I will be on average a lower weight which is good. It's not that I will wait 3 1/2 years to lose any weight. My weight has been incredibly stable. If I am 12 pounds less in a year, that would be good. My weight one year ago today was 224.2. I have been in the 220 - 225 range for 90% of the time. Last week, I was below that range. It should be clear over the next six months that I am headed in the right direction if I am mostly in the 215 - 220 range. The bottom line, however, is that I am SO tired of trying to lose weight. It's not that I give up. It's more that I am sticking with this approach because it is calming and seems to be better for me. It does seem almost restful to fast. My body doesn't have to work as hard digesting food if I take a break from eating.

The puppy wants to play. Time to go...

Day 208 – Thursday, December 14, 2017: 219.6
I am determined to lose weight without resorting to limiting what I eat or how much I eat. Determined. Limiting when I eat was a good start, but I think it may be inadequate. On Sunday, I considered the SET guidelines but instead added taking a sip between bites.

This idea comes from The Weigh Down Diet, a Christian-based diet that flopped after the author revealed that she did not believe in the Trinity. Most of the program has to do with begging God to keep you from eating when you are not hungry, but there are two behaviors she encourages: one is to cut your food in half and ask yourself after eating the first half if you are still hungry; the other is to take a sip between bites. I reject out of hand asking about hunger level. I went down that path just before I started the No S Diet in 2008, and it was miserable. It turns out hunger is psychological. You can feel hunger the instant you see smell something delicious. I should have known that before, but the diet was miserable because I was always looking to my stomach. The idea of taking a sip between bites, however, could have merit. I started trying it and found yesterday that eating wasn't worth the effort. That is OK. To have a hurdle that is easy to get over in order to eat is OK for me for dieting.

Day 218 – Sunday, December 24, 2017: 220.4
I wrote this on November 27 when I was recovering from a cold:
"My appetite seems to be different, almost like a shift out of overdrive. Things seem different and not just because of being sick. It's like the wind suddenly dying. I just do not have that driving desire to eat. What happened? It was only last Tuesday that I picked up Katie from college and, in the space of the few minutes before we left for errands, I was grabbing food as I went out the door. Something happened since last Tuesday afternoon, and I'm not sure exactly when, but it happened by Thursday night. Of course, another possibility is I got sick, but I don't think that is it.

I've kept an online journal all these years hoping that I would capture at some point a change that meant freedom from weight problems, and I think it occurred between last Tuesday afternoon and last Thursday night.

Now I understand why No S Diet works for some and not for others. Some of us need a longer period of fasting in order to have our appetite corrected to the point that we eat normally. I'm 217 pounds, I've been sick, and so maybe I am jumping the gun in thinking my appetite in overdrive is now a thing of the past, but I don't think so.

4 PM: I realized that one reason for my appetite to decrease is that I have become accustomed to starting to eat after a 16 hour fast, which means I do not have a stomach that is close to stuffed. It seems weird now to eat when my stomach is close to stuffed. I no longer like it."

That feeling did not last, and I again thought I would try a longer fast. I fasted until 7 PM one day last week, intending only to have bone broth for five days, and then I ate a ton for the next hour after having the bone broth.

No, I need a steady hand. I need to stick to the 12 - 7 window. Yesterday morning, I awoke with a similar feeling to the one I had on November 27, but I lost it around noon today as I indulged in Haagen Dazs ice cream which Katie had traded for Santa pictures. She was working at the Santa workshop, and business was slow due to the Vikings game, so the Santa workshop people gave pictures to the Haagen Dazs people in exchange for ice cream. I'm sure all that was negotiated with employers!

Anyway, my weight really isn't the issue anymore. My weight is a symptom. The problem is the driving desire to eat. I think that fasting somehow depresses that desire to eat over time. Since I have been dieting for 40 years, it will take some time for fasting to depress that driving desire to eat. That's OK. My focus will not be on weight. I'll just track my weight daily and continue to focus on eating only within a 12 - 7 PM window if possible. It will take time to lose weight, and that is OK. That is OK.

Day 219 – Monday, December 25, 2017: 221.0
Willpower has nothing to do with what is happening to me now. What is happening is the direct result of fasting. At Mass this morning, I thought of two analogies: ice breaking up on lakes in the spring and the sun breaking through clouds. At long last, my appetite is abating.

What did I do? Well, it is Christmas Day, and we always eat up with candy and then have smoked turkey provided by my brother. By the time we had Christmas dinner at 2, I was already full. I ate anyway. At 3, I went to bed. Katie got a new video game player, and my son in law felt sick so he took a nap, so it was OK that I slept for 3 hours. Now I am up, amazed that this has happened.

Day 220 – Tuesday, December 26, 2017: 219.6
All I am doing is fasting. Yesterday. I ate so much by 3 that I did not eat again until noon and did fast walking this morning without a problem. I feel good. That is key. It is not anticipation of losing weight that keeps me going in this fasting lifestyle; rather, it is recognition that I just plain feel good.

There is a spiritual element to all of this that I do not understand and so cannot explain. Fasting is calming. I am able to go 16 hours without food. That recognition is calming. Dieting creates a sense of scarcity. Fasting creates a sense of abundance.

Day 221 – Wednesday, December 27, 2017:
Day 223 – Thursday, December 28, 2017:
Day 224 – Friday, December 29, 2017:
Day 225 – Sunday, December 31, 2017:

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:31 am
by oolala53
May I ask to be reminded what the beginning of the 195 days was about? tx

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:33 pm
by Kathleen
The start was not very exciting. Tommy had just come home from college, Tom had started a new job, and I simply did not have time to think much about weight loss. I landed on a whole number weight of 226 and decided to commit to daily fasting. I started with an 11 - 7 window and went down to a 12 - 7 window.

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:07 am
by Merry
Kathleen wrote:
I cannot bear to look at that scale and see a number above 220, and I have my monthly personal training with Kayla on Friday.
You've got an overall downward trend going though. Stick with it, this might be a good, workable plan for you. Don't worry about the fluctuations (I do totally get not wanting to see certain weights though!) hang in there!

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:52 am
by oolala53
What else would you be willing to change to see a drop on the scale?

It's extremely hard to out-exercise overeating. But exercise is good for other things.

If you are eating modern refined foods or mostly dense foods and feeling like you should be able to eat all you "want" during fasts, it is likely to be very hard to create a deficit or get your body to alter its metabolism.

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:30 pm
by gingerpie
I am thinking of plunging into one meal a day (OMAD). It did not work so well when I tried it just a few weeks ago, but I'm going to do it again but only on weekdays, if possible. That is what my current guru, Dr. Jason Fung, does. Also, it is Advent, and that is what Catholics did during Advent and Lent.
Although I understand the temptation, I feel that one can not find their own path by following someone else's.

This may sound silly to you but I think it's worth a try. I suggest you (literally) look in a mirror and say out loud "I'm good enough just the way I am. Even if I'm over #220 I'm still good enough. The next best thing I can do for myself is ___________ and now I'm going to go do _________________." Then go do whatever that thing is. Say that to yourself every. single. time. you pass a mirror. If you make a mistake and slip into old behavior, so be it. Just find a mirror and start again.

If you base your actions on respect and compassion for yourself you'll find your way. I'm sure of it.

As always, with kind regards,

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:57 pm
by lpearlmom
IF is terrific but definitely not a quick fix. It can take some time before you switch to fat burning mode. Have you been posting on the FB group at all? Everyone there is so supportive.

I changed my window to 2 hrs and seems to be helping a lot.

You can do this!


Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:10 pm
by Larkspur
Hang in there. The job news sounds stressful. My husband's department was closed eight years ago. He moved into a different setting (private practice) which has been much more fulfilling and lucrative though stressful of course. This is not to make light of your worries but to point out that the next thing may actually be better rather than worse.

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:56 pm
by Kathleen
The job was going to kill him. I've told him "the greatest wealth is health". This spurs him to do what he should have decided to do about 2 months into this job: find a sane job. Scary. Disappointing. But, yes, perhaps a "blessing in disguise." Our challenge (Katie) is at college now. Maybe I should go back to work. We will manage. Thanks for the encouragement.

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:16 am
by Kathleen
January, 2018: The Blessings of Simplicity starting May 21, 2017

Day 227 – Monday, January 1, 2018: 213.8
Day 228 – Tuesday, January 2, 2018: 213.0
Day 229 – Wednesday, January 3, 2018: 214.6
Day 230 – Thursday, January 4, 2018: 215.6
Day 231 – Friday, January 5, 2018: 216.6
Day 232 – Saturday, January 6, 2018: 218.0
Day 233 – Sunday, January 7, 2018:
Day 234 – Monday, January 8, 2018: 217.8
Day 235 – Tuesday, January 9, 2018:
Day 236 – Wednesday, January 10, 2018:
Day 237 – Thursday, January 11, 2018: 218.4
Day 238 – Friday, January 12, 2018:
Day 239 – Saturday, January 13, 2018:
Day 240 – Sunday, January 14, 2018:
Day 241 – Monday, January 15, 2018: 217.8
Day 242 – Tuesday, January 16, 2018:
Day 243 – Wednesday, January 17, 2018: 219.6
Day 244 – Thursday, January 18, 2018: 218.4
Day 245 – Friday, January 19, 2018: 216.0
Day 246 – Saturday, January 20, 2018:
Day 247 – Sunday, January 21, 2018: 216.6
Day 248 – Monday, January 22, 2018: 218.0
Day 249 – Tuesday, January 23, 2018: 217.6
Day 250 – Wednesday, January 24, 2018: 217.6
Day 251 – Thursday, January 25, 2018: 217.2
Day 252 – Friday, January 26, 2018:
Day 253 – Saturday, January 27, 2018:
Day 254 – Sunday, January 28, 2018:
Day 255 – Monday, January 29, 2018:
Day 256 – Tuesday, January 30, 2018: 217.4
Day 257 – Wednesday, January 31, 2018: 218.2

Day 227 – Monday, January 1, 2018: 213.8
Do I see a pattern emerging? Fasting makes me not able to eat so much. I got sick at the end of November and I got sicker just in the last few days. My mother in law passed on December 20th, and we had the funeral on December 29th. We went out to the burial in sub zero weather. I was wearing new boots I thought were waterproof and were not. We drove home right after that because Anne had to catch a plane, and so my feet were cold even after I took off the boots. I got home and was shivering. The phrase "chilled to the bone" came to mind. Since then, I have had no appetite whatsoever and had only one cup of bone broth yesterday.

What am I to make of this? I think my body can no longer tolerate so much food. My in laws sure know how to cook and entertain. We had fudge and caramels and all sorts of sweets. If you pair fasting with that sort of eating, it does not go well.

What am I going to do now? I'm going to be very careful about my eating so that I don't return to overeating -- ever. It's like my abruptly giving up coffee. It was sudden and definite.

The author of the five hour eating window idea, Dr. Bert Herring, said that 90% of people who try it find that they lose about 1 pound a week starting after three weeks. That did not happen to me. I just kept binge eating until I expanded my window to 8 hours and then reduced it to 7 hours. Even then, I only lost a few pounds, but I started noticing changes.

It's like ice going out on a lake. The town where my husband grew up has a tradition of putting an old car out on a pond on the outskirts of town and then people take bets about when that car will fall into the pond when the ice breaks up in the spring. The ice weakens and cracks but still holds the car. At some point, the ice is too weak to hold the car, so it falls in.

That is what I think has happened to me. All those months of fasting have been like ice weakening and cracking: my taste in food has shifted somewhat, but my weight has barely budged. Now I'll see what happens.

Day 228 – Tuesday, January 2, 2018: 213.0
I ate some yesterday and figured my weight would be up today but it wasn't. I'm not sure what I am going to do going forward but want to hang on to as much of this weight loss as possible.

5 PM: I had to speculate on why I got sick both at the end of November and at the end of December. It was very strange. I concluded that appetite correction is working abruptly rather than gradually for me.

Day 229 – Wednesday, January 3, 2018: 214.6
I think I made the right decision to just return to a 12 - 7 PM eating window after being sick. My appetite is different. My weight went up, of course, because I ate barely anything for a few days.

Day 230 – Thursday, January 4, 2018: 215.6
My weight is still climbing after my being sick, but I do not want to change my daily eating window of 12 - 7 PM because it is sustainable. The thought crossed my mind that, maybe, temporarily, I could have that window every other day. The next thought that crossed my mind was I am sick to death of changing my eating. I'm sticking with this.

9 AM: I wimped out on walking this morning and instead took a long bath. Today, I have two walls to paint in Ellie's room while she skis, and tomorrow she has to put back stuff on one side of her room and clear away stuff on the other side. I want her room all painted before she returns to school on Monday!

Anyway, that was my lame excuse for not walking this morning. I decided in the bath that my New Year's Resolution for this year is to stick with the 12 - 7 PM eating window all year except on Fridays when I may extend it. No more playing around with times and lengths...

Day 234 – Monday, January 8, 2018: 217.8
Maybe it took me so long to lose any weight because I was determined not to restrict quantity or choice of food, only times when I ate. I don't know. I can now feel some difference in how clothing fits. I once again return to believing that benign neglect is appropriate at this point. I can do nothing to speed along the process of my body releasing excess weight. The more I push, the more this program backfires. On Saturday, for example, I decided maybe I should fast for two straight days, and the result was that I started eating at 11 AM rather than noon. On Sunday, I considered this again and started eating at 11:56 AM. Now I'm back to sticking with a 12 - 7 PM eating window. I keep on forgetting to lengthen the fast time for Fridays, so now I'm just going to try a one hour extension -- to 1 PM -- on Fridays and see how that goes. I believe a shorter eating window on Fridays will help me because my body now expects food at noon.

Day 236 – Wednesday, January 10, 2018:
I delayed on having my annual physical because I decided to change doctors and ended up going this morning. My last physical was in June of 2016. What did I weigh then? 223. What did I weigh this morning? 219. Pathetic.

From here on out is real weight loss. I think I'm going to put my starting weight as 220. The 226 weight that I have been using for my starting weight was unusually high.

I had my monthly personal training with Kayla yesterday, and she was encouraged because I am trending downward however slowly.

Day 238 – Friday, January 12, 2018:
The results of my blood work were shockingly bad, much worse than the test results I had last year which were an improvement over the tests from the prior year. One example was my triglycerides which were 324 when they were 143 last year. Why? I gave up coffee so I thought maybe coffee would impact triglycerides but coffee actually can raise them. My eating habits have improved. My weight was down, however slightly. The only thing I can think might have had such an impact was my slacking off on exercise because of my mother in law dying and Christmas. Another possible reason is that my eating habits in June are better than in December due to egg nog, cookies, etc. Anyway, this has spurred me to get back to my 10,000 steps per day.

It is hard to describe because the change is so slight, but I am feeling better. It's as if it took several months for the process of change to start and the process of change is just now beginning. I can feel that clothing fits more loosely. I can feel that my stomach is slightly less wide.

Day 239 – Saturday, January 13, 2018: 217.8
I have been toying with the idea of going on a 5 day water-only fast, but I keep on coming back to the fact that such an approach is not sustainable for the long haul. I would then constantly be bringing up to myself when I should go on longer fasts than these daily fasts which end at noon. Also, I thought about stopping exercise during the longer fast.

No, I am going to stick with this approach. My hope is that there was a long start up time in which the teenage rebel in me came out and I was having three cups of coffee ice cream just because I could. Yesterday I ate a lot in preparation for a longer fast. Where is this getting me? Turmoil.

No, I am sticking with the eating window of 12 - 7 PM when I can. Interestingly, it is not perfection that I need in keeping to this eating window. It is just sufficient consistency. I am fairly consistent but do not have to be perfect. Gone are the days of restrictive calorie counting when eating to 1,503 calories meant eating to above 3,000 calories.

Day 242 – Tuesday, January 16, 2018:
My father passed away on Sunday night in the presence of my mother who was sitting on the bed next to him and talking with him. It was a peaceful death. He was struggling to breathe and then just stopped. Even though it was long in coming, I was in shock. In my mind, he was going to last at least a couple of more years.

Death of a parent gives perspective. I really am getting less and less interested in weight loss in general. The words "waste of time" come to mind for a lot of things I do. I am sticking with the 12 - 7 PM eating window, but do I really have to obsess about food and weight? I mean... my Dad... my boisterous, brilliant father is gone. The strongest memory I hold of him was when he met Katie at 4 months. He was just taken with her.... he said, "I look at her and 40 years fall away..." He was remembering what it was like to have me. I grew up with his reading to us every night. He loved us so, all of us, and his family was first, last, and everything to him. I am so glad my mother was with him when he died.

Day 246 – Saturday, January 20, 2018:
My father's death was a big alarm saying that I don't have all the time in the world, and that fact was reinforced by the measly 4 pounds I lost between my physical in June, 2016 and my physical earlier this month.

I'm switching things around. I am in a very unique position that Tom has a problem with his job and absolutely positively does not want me to work until he is settled. I contacted my old boss who was happy to hear from me and told me to let him know when I might return to work, so I have that option in my back pocket if Tom does lose his job and we face all these bills.

So -- I have decided to plunge into the one meal a day phenomenon. I had tried it exactly twice and once I got upset with Anne and the other time I got upset with Katie. I did not want to do it in case my mood was adversely affected, but I'm going to do it.

My preparation was to not eat for two solid days, from Wednesday night to this morning. All I had was about 3 cups of bone broth during that time. I got up today feeling lousy and proceeded to have 3 clementines, some cheese, and some blueberry bread.

My plan now is close to NoS: no restrictions on the weekends and one meal a day Monday through Friday, if possible. This is the plan followed by two prominent doctors in the fasting space, Mark Mattson and Jason Fung.

One thing I absolutely did not like about fasting longer than 24 hours is I did not want to do anything. The poor dog got one walk around the block. I focused the last two days on documenting HSA expenses and college expenses, much needed and much dreaded paperwork. I stayed away from everyone. Not a good way to live.

This should be easier. I will have lunch socially during the week and have no problem skipping breakfast. Breakfast is not often a social event except on the weekend.

Day 247 – Sunday, January 21, 2018: 216.6
It is very nice to have a long stretch of not worry about when I eat. The weekends will be whatever I want whenever I want. Surprisingly, I was not all that interested in sweets and none were in the house anyway. I made a red bean feta salad loaded with good stuff: cabbage, red pepper, and olive oil. My taste in food is definitely changing.

I think NoS has some genius in it, but people cannot be as far gone as I was when they try it. I am going to plow through this week with eating only dinner.

Day 249 – Tuesday, January 23, 2018: 217.6
It is sheer foolishness to try to change this diet when it is working. I have not been above 220 all month. Part of the impetus for a longer fast is I noticed my hearing improving, and I have read the studies that correlate hearing loss to dementia. Yesterday, I found an alternate to longer fasting which is drinking a tumeric-ginger tea. We will see.

I have isolated myself socially because it is so embarrassing not to hear someone, and I don't want to declare defeat by getting a hearing aid. Kayla has given me some exercises to try that could help with head and neck and shoulder flexibility.

There is clearly a genetic component as my siblings all have noticeable hearing loss.

Day 250 – Wednesday, January 24, 2018: 217.6
What caused me to go off track with the fasting was the blood test result from my physical on January 10th. I had dramatically worse numbers which was baffling to me because my eating habits have improved. I've concluded it was due to the holiday eating. My eating is trending better but my eating in December probably was much worse than it had been in June 18 months earlier.

I am just going to try to eat within a 12 - 7 PM eating window.

Yesterday, I stopped in at Trader Joe's because I was returning something to the store next to Trader Joe's, and I thought of the coffee ice cream and did not want to buy it. I did not want to have it. That was just shocking because I would have said Trader Joe's coffee ice cream was my all time favorite food. My taste in food has really changed, and I believe the change is due to fasting.

Day 251 – Thursday, January 25, 2018: 217.2
I keep on wanting to go on a multi-day fast but two things convince me not to do so: 1. Kayla emphasized "sustainability" in everything I do, and multi-day fasts disrupt exercise and everything else; 2. I would not want my kids to get into the habit of doing it.

Simplicity is key, and trying to eat within a 7 hour window every day is very simple.

3 PM: I just wanted to eat a ton today. Maybe it was the stress of figuring out how to get my father's ashes from CA to NJ for internment. Maybe it was a backlash from toying with the idea of a multi day fast. I don't know. It doesn't matter. With this diet, I put my body in charge of deciding what to eat and how much to eat within a 7 hour timeframe. That's it. Today I wanted chocolates and pretzel sticks. At the moment, I feel somewhat sick and dehydrated from too much of both. That is good. That is feedback from my body to my mind to let me know when it is time to stop. With restrictive calorie counting eating, the feedback is from the mind to the body to say it is time to stop -- and the body predictably revolts with an uncontrolled binge.

I always thought really fat people tended to be nice people, and I realize why. They want to do the right thing. They have tried to follow the advice of experts.

It's too bad the experts were 180 degrees wrong: ... 18012519pm

Skip breakfast, and you are on your way to being healthy!

Day 252 – Friday, January 26, 2018:
What I wrote yesterday just summarized what I have learned. The key is to put my body in charge of losing weight. How can I speed up the process? Restricting calories is counter productive, but maybe more exercise would help.

Day 253 – Saturday, January 27, 2018:
I got knocked somewhat off course in the past few weeks with the death of my father. That is OK. There clearly is a lot of emotional eating going on. That is OK. I'm still allowing my body to decide what and how much to eat.

I'm back to thinking benign neglect is an appropriate approach to this diet. For the next month, I think I'll concentrate on doing more fast walking. I did not even put on my pedometer yesterday and managed to wash it last night. It is time to focus on exercise, not eating.

Day 256 – Tuesday, January 30, 2018: 217.4
I am going to try to do fast walking more than 3 times per week, perhaps as often as every day. Maybe it can be like the fasting -- I do it when it is convenient and don't worry about other obligations which prevent me from doing it. Today I was up to 3:15 of walking as fast as I can. This is the first day I have gone to the gym two days in a row.

Day 257 – Wednesday, January 31, 2018:

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:46 pm
by lpearlmom
Hi Kathleen!

I hope I'm not out of line saying this but just wanted to mention that most people find a 7 hour window too long to really lose much weight. Your body probably needs more time in the fasting state to get into ketosis. I know mine does. A 5 hr window is a good place to start but some people need even shorter windows. Once you're into maintenance you can enjoy a longer window.

You probably already knew all this but just wanted to throw that out there just in case.

Best of luck!


Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:01 pm
by Kathleen
Hi Linda,
I did try shorter eating windows and found that I was poised at the start of the window to grab every food in sight. I then went to an 8 hour window (11 AM - 7 PM) and found that doable and then shortened it to 12 - 7 PM. What I have found is that I generally don't start eating at the beginning of the window. It has all been very relaxed.

Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:29 pm
by lpearlmom
Oh that sounds perfect! Glad you found what works for you.

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:36 pm
by oolala53
Hi, Kathleen,
I took the liberty of doing a quick average of your recorded weight in December. The five days not recorded would likely have made only a small difference. It rounded to 220. 8. Given that it was a holiday month and the trend was downwards toward the end, your prognosis for loss in January is very good, if the appetite reduction continues.

Warmest wishes for 2018.

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:43 pm
by Kathleen
Thank you for the encouragement!

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:54 pm
by Strawberry Roan
Hi Kathleen - Happy New Year to you and yours.

I, too, want to wish you well. I have embraced the IF lifestyle the last couple of years and it has served me well. My window of fasting is usually 7 p.m. to 1 p.m. the next day - 18-6. I try to keep calories around 500 or so during the "eating hours". Whatever works best for your body is what you should do, of course, and adjust as you go along.

Here's to a happy, healthy 2018.

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:05 pm
by gingerpie
As a result of this new health hobby and the recognition that my fasting could benefit from benign neglect, I'm not sure how much I will write going forward, but I will keep tracking my weight and post it with comments going forward. To my surprise, lots of people seem to read these comments.
LOL Kathleen,
Of course we read them. That's what we're here for :))

Best of luck with fasting this month. I'm glad that you seem to be drifting into a place of peace with food.

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:10 pm
by oolala53
Berry, did I see on your thread that you do it only three days a week, all in a row? You're not limited to 500-800 calories every day, are you?

Sorry to hijack, Kathleen.

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:38 pm
by lpearlmom
Some people eat 500 calories on their fasting days and eat normally the other days. That would be too hard for me though. I rather just fast for a bit every day.

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:12 pm
by Strawberry Roan
oolala, on the three fast days I consume about 500 nutritious calories or so usually just as my evening break the fast meal (don't really measure but I have been studying food so long I can figure it out pretty easily) - eat to my TDEE on the others (or a little less).

Yes, I do M, Tu and Wed each week. I actually do more like 23:1 as I often don't eat at all until my evening meal on a fast day - but consider myself an 18:6 IFer as that gives me the option of something in late afternoon if wanted or needed. Most days I do not.

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:34 pm
by oolala53
That sounds rather reasonable, given that we older folks often have a drop in appetite. I know I've had days on which my appetite needed only one good meal. But being on Vanilla has felt better, though I'm doing a seasonal adaptation right now.

Sorry to hijack, Kathryn!

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:27 pm
by Kathleen
Oh, that's OK. I tried the Alternate Day Diet and did get down to 217. That was summer of 2016. The problem was I did not think it was sustainable because I had to miss dinner every other night with my family.

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:35 pm
by oolala53
You could have had dinner EOD. Varady's research was done on lunch, it's true, but Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat says it's up to the faster. Anyway, it's an option and one you could incorporate it later if you want more loss.

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:03 pm
by Strawberry Roan
Kathleen, (truly not wanting to sound harsh, I have always been one of your biggest cheerleaders)

I have read back through your posts and must comment that the theory that one can eat whatever they want on the window of time that they are not fasting and still maintain their weight and health -------------

makes as much sense as some who think that one can eat whatever they want on S days and still maintain their weight and health goals.

It just cannot happen. Unless what they "want to eat" is truly healthy, moderately caloric foods - certainly not if they are eating highly processed, sugar and fat laden options.

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:41 pm
by Kathleen

The theory behind what I am doing is that fasting naturally and without willpower decreases appetite so you eat less. What I have also found is it changes taste to more healthful foods.


Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:51 pm
by Strawberry Roan
I agree that the more we eat healthy food, the more our mind and body resists the junk. I know that I really didn't even enjoy most of the Christmas excess - threw out the end of the chocolates this morning and had already given the birds all the cookies.

Keep on doing what feels right for you and remember,
you can't go wrong when you do right !

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:41 pm
by Strawberry Roan
Kathleen, so funny - I was reading on another site I frequent and saw this post

(I am not using the poster's name so I am sure she won't mind)

The more I’m on this fasting I’m finding my taste is changing and also my eating habits, on non fasting days I tend to go for a healthy meal now, I’m no longer craving fatty and sugary meals, although I still go out for drinks at the weekends and a meal.

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:07 pm
by Kathleen
So interesting --

Why would a taste in food change? I believe that the answer may be in the gut microbes.

I read this article in yesterday's Minneapolis Star Tribune: ... 467921523/

It made me wonder if fasting changes the gut microbe so that a taste in food changes.


Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:24 pm
by Eileen7316
I'm so sorry for your loss, Kathleen. It is very painful to lose a parent, and he sounds like a wonderful father!

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:58 pm
by Kathleen
Thank you, Eileen. He was a wonderful father and grandfather. It hurts.

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:27 am
by Larkspur
So sorry about your dad.

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:51 pm
by Kathleen
Thank you, Larkspur. He was so happy to be a father. Can you imagine how it felt to know that you made someone else happy by your very presence?

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:33 pm
by Strawberry Roan
Kathleen, I am so sorry for your loss.

May you, and all who loved him, be comforted by your memories and may God grant you serenity in the days ahead.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:39 pm
by Kathleen
Thanks, Strawberry Roan. It's a shock. Tom lost his mother last month, and we were talking about the finality of it all -- this person who has always been in your life is no more. I have two favorite pictures of him, one of him climbing on the back of a camel with my mother and the camel about to take off, and the other of him with Katie and Ellie on each knee when they were probably 4 and 6 years old. Delight. He delighted in his family. His death is something of a wake up call for me.

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:30 pm
by Larkspur
Kathleen, I think having a loving parent makes grief less complicated though perhaps sharper at first. I had a loving, engaged mother who did her best by me, and though I lost her early (I was 24) I think my grieving process was easier because I didn't have too much ambivalence to work through. And I have definitely lived my life with the understanding that people are sometimes called on to exit early.

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:17 pm
by Kathleen
That was beautiful, and it reminds me that I have been blessed to have my parents until I was almost 60. My sister in law lost her mother when she was a new college graduate, and she was the primary caregiver for the last year of her mother's life. It gave her a sense of the brevity of life, a sense that I now have. The late, great Kirby Puckett once said, "Tomorrow is not promised to any of us."

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:07 am
by oolala53
I don't know how I missed hearing about your father. Much sympathy.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:21 pm
by Kathleen
Thanks, oolala53. I'm doing better. My mother is in the process of moving into a Continuing Care Retirement Community where she will start out in an apartment and move into assisted living when she can no longer care for herself. I am glad she has a new chapter ahead of her. She says it is good that she will have no memories of my father in her new home. A new chapter. Heck... I have trouble adjusting to a new dog, and she is managing with a whole new life...

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:27 pm
by oolala53
How wonderful that she has the means for such a great opportunity. I assume it's close enough for you to visit.

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:24 pm
by Kathleen
No, she isn't. I have not lived within driving distance of my parents since 1983, but she now lives in the same town as my sister. She is in California. I am in Minnesota. It is 7 above today in Minnesota and 78 above in California! My father once said when you get older it is good to live near a daughter. They chose the daughter in CA! My mother and I talk frequently, however, and she seems to be doing ok.

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:04 pm
by oolala53
Having a sister to help her and keep up with is a boon.

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:53 pm
by Kathleen
Very much so.... My parents chose to be near the daughter who lives in a temperate climate! The nation gets to see what weather can be like in MN when the Super Bowl comes to town this weekend. Thank God for Home Depot which allows you to walk your dog inside their stores! Current temperature is 0 degrees.

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:54 pm
by Kathleen
February, 2018: The Blessings of Simplicity starting May 21, 2017

Day 258 – Thursday, February 1, 2018: 218.4
Day 259 – Friday, February 2, 2018: 218.4
Day 260 – Saturday, February 3, 2018:218.6
Day 261 – Sunday, February 4, 2018: 218.6
Day 262 – Monday, February 5, 2018:
Day 263 – Tuesday, February 6, 2018:
Day 264 – Wednesday, February 7, 2018: 217.4
Day 265 – Thursday, February 8, 2018: 219.0
Day 266 – Friday, February 9, 2018: 218.6
Day 267 – Saturday, February 10, 2018: 219.8
Day 268 – Sunday, February 11, 2018:
Day 269 – Monday, February 12, 2018: 219.0
Day 270 – Tuesday, February 13, 2018: 220.4
Day 271 – Wednesday, February 14, 2018: 217.0
Day 272 – Thursday, February 15, 2018: 217.6
Day 273 – Friday, February 16, 2018: 216.2
Day 274 – Saturday, February 17, 2018: 217.0
Day 275 – Sunday, February 18, 2018: 215.8
Day 276 – Monday, February 19, 2018: 216.4
Day 277 – Tuesday, February 20, 2018:
Day 278 – Wednesday, February 21, 2018: 216.0
Day 279 – Thursday, February 22, 2018: 217.0
Day 280 – Friday, February 23, 2018: 216.8
Day 281 – Saturday, February 24, 2018: 218.0
Day 282 – Sunday, February 25, 2018: 217.8
Day 283 – Monday, February 26, 2018: 217.4
Day 284 – Tuesday, February 27, 2018: 217.4
Day 285 – Wednesday, February 28, 2018: 216.2

Day 263 – Tuesday, February 6, 2018:
I had my monthly personal training session with Kayla yesterday, and I told her I had slid several times last month into trying longer fasts with the inevitable result of binge eating. I told her I am putting weight loss on the back burner. Actually, I think I'm giving it up altogether.

This morning, driving back from the gym, I realized that the key success factor for fasting is very simple: your body figures out that you feel better if you eat less and you feel better if you eat food that is better for your body. I told Kayla yesterday that I was surprised to find myself in Trader Joe's and not at all interested in buying coffee ice cream.

Fasting exerts a gentle downward pressure on appetite. That's it. That's all. I knew that this had to be simple, so simple that it would be easy to miss.

Yesterday, I was reading towards the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, and Gandalf the Wizard was trying to figure out an incantation to open a door. The clue was "Speak, friend, and enter." Gandalf, the great wizard, tried many spells with no effect. One of the hobbits had asked what it means to say "speak, friend", and finally Galdalf realized that the hobbit was on the right path. All Gandalf had to do was speak the Elfish word for "friend". It was that simple.

I long ago gave up on the medical community having any clue how a person can lose weight. I grew up thinking the Ash Wednesday reading about fasting was just bizarre. It turned out the medical community, like the great wizard, overlooked the obvious, which has been part of most religions, including my own. People need to fast. Christ said, "When you fast", not "if you fast."

Everything else follows from fasting. What that means is you desire food that is good for you and you slow down your eating to enjoy the food that you eat.

I am still a long way from being thin and healthy, but I appreciate that I am on the right path.

Day 264 – Wednesday, February 7, 2018: 217.4
Some of my hearing loss can be attributed to tinnitus, and I am working with Kayla on trigger point therapy for it. Interestingly, tinnitus can be caused by stress. I wonder if years of dieting caused my teeth grinding which can be a symptom of stress and a direct cause of tinnitus. It is so nice to let the weight go.

8 PM: It's a small thing, but I realized that I did not finish my milk. I am a reliable member of the Clean Plate Club.

Day 273 – Friday, February 16, 2018: 216.2
I went above 220 on Tuesday which was totally unacceptable. I know my weight varies a lot and the trend is downward, but I still was very upset by seeing 220.4. My mother's reaction to my telling her I had lost almost 10 pounds since last May was accurate: "You'll run out of months before you run out of pounds." I also thought that maybe my weight dipped because I was sick after my mother in law's burial because I walked to her grave site in boots that only looked waterproof. By the time I recovered after three days of eating virtually nothing, my weight was 213. Maybe my body was just drifting up to the normal range of 220 - 225 after that sickness, and on Tuesday I finally got into that range. I don't know, but I was just too upset to stick with my current plan of unconditional permission to eat every day 1 - 7 PM.

What I decided to do was keep the same 1 - 7 PM eating window but limit myself to bone broth three days per week. I only had bone broth on Tuesday and yesterday and will only have bone broth tomorrow.

I have bought into the idea that first and foremost you need to make a lifestyle change, that whatever you do must be sustainable over the long haul. That seems 100% logical.

It may, however, be wrong. It may be that I need an extra push to get out of the obesity trap, a push that is greater than what is needed to sustain a weight loss. It reminds me of a rocket leaving earth: lots of fuel is needed to get out of earth's atmosphere but not so much is needed to continue in space.

I don't know. Frankly, I'm disgusted -- disgusted. How could I have allowed myself to be so fat for so long?

Tom's job is tenuous so we are not making any firm plans for a summer vacation. If we do go anywhere, we will rent a houseboat for a week in Northern Minnesota. Although as a child we had a family vacation for three weeks all over Europe, my favorite vacation was a houseboat trip. I ask myself: how am I going to enjoy a trip like that when I cannot squeeze into a bathing suit? I, a former lifeguard, did not even put on a swimsuit all last summer.

No. This has to stop. This has to be my number one priority. I decided to take off the pedometer, stop the fast walking, and just focus on the eating. I still am allowing myself unconditional permission to eat on the days when I am not restricted to bone broth.

This approach is uncomfortably similar to the approach I tried in January, 2017, when I fasted 36 hours three days per week. I did not lose weight.

Well, I'm trying this. We shall see. 216.2 today. That is good. Once I have adjusted to this fasting schedule, I'll return to walking.

Day 275 – Sunday, February 18, 2018: 215.8
Yesterday, I intended to have bone broth only. After having about 2 cups at noon, I realized "This stuff really fills me up." I then thought that maybe I could just stick to the 12 - 7 PM eating window -- with unconditional permission to eat -- as long as I had bone broth. That was it for the bone broth. I had two Girl Scout cookies yesterday. I did not limit myself to two. That was all I wanted. Hmmm. Maybe all I need to do is have bone broth as part of my daily diet, along with eating within a 7 hour window.

Day 276 – Monday, February 19, 2018: 216.8
It never pays for me to do things abruptly. Trying to fast longer led to giving up my fast walking, and this morning I had to take off my wedding ring. I also stopped doing my 5 minutes of band exercises, and my hearing deteriorated rapidly so that I could no longer hear 40dBHL tones at 1K and 2K. Hearing only 40dBHL is already terrible hearing. This morning, I woke up and realized that doing those band exercises may help with hearing. I did them once and now can hear those 40dBHL tones. I never liked doing them and have been very inconsistent. Now I see a direct correlation to hearing and will be very faithful in doing them.

What am I going to do with weight management? I'm going to have as a baseline eating only within a 12 PM - 7 PM eating window but will try to have bone broth every day and may try a 23 hour fast once per week. I have to set aside the weight management to focus on what I can do about my hearing. The Mayo Clinic told me that my hearing loss is genetic, progressive, and irreversible and there is nothing I can do about it except get hearing aids or (for severe cases, which was not me) a cochlear implant. My older brother and sister are very hard of hearing, dementia is correlated with hearing loss, and my father died at age 92 having spend years in a fog of dementia. I told the Mayo Clinic, "I don't believe you". When I told my brother that story, he snickered and told me, "The Mayo Clinic told me the same thing, and I believed them." This morning was the first indication that maybe there is something you can do about hearing loss.

So weight management goes on the back burner.

Day 278 – Wednesday, February 21, 2018: 216.0
Our new puppy chewed and broke her first collar. Before then, however, I disliked the design because you could click just one side in place and think that she had her collar on. There were a couple of times when she was at the front door without her collar on, which is dangerous for a puppy. With most items that click into place, like a seatbelt, there is no partial click into place. You either are clicked in or not.

What I have felt about my weight management approach is that it had not quite clicked into place. I've got down what should be my goal for walking and fast walking but not this. This morning, driving home from dropping off Ellie at school, I thought of what could be a click in place addition to my dieting. I need a 24 hour fast. The literature shows how the greatest benefit to fasting is with an 18 - 24 hour fast, but I can only manage a 17 hour fast well. Tom likes an early dinner on Sundays. I think I'll plan a 24 hour fast starting after the early dinner on Sundays. That's it.

Even without a 24 hour fast, I think fasting has the effect like air going out of a balloon. It is slow. Slow. Slow. Slow. Dr. Herring, who came up with the Fast 5 Diet (eat within a 5 hour window), said that his experience is people don't lose weight for three weeks and then lose a pound a week. I have had a slower loss but now am down exactly 10 pounds since my start date of May 21, 2017!

Day 279 – Thursday, February 22, 2018: 217.0
Yesterday, I had personal training with Kayla, and we discussed hearing loss and trigger point therapy. She has been honest with me over the years and has been frank with me when she thought I was out of my mind for some of my ideas, so I was quite happy when we had a long discussion about how trigger point therapy might help with hearing loss. That will be my focus. In fact, I'm using up personal training sessions that Tom got last year and never used and that expire in May, so I'm going to have 8 weekly personal training appointments that are only 30 minutes in length and that cover trigger point therapy only.

Yesterday, we did discuss weight briefly. I told her that I finally feel as though I've got a program that I can settle into -- having as a goal one 24 hour fast from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon and then daily eating windows of 12 - 7 PM with a relaxed approach that social or other reasons may result in my not having a perfect record each day which is just fine, just fine. A perfect record is like 100% on a test. It's not necessary. To get an A -- to get a 90% adherence record -- is just fine. I'm also not going to fuss with trying to get a 24 hour fast in if I don't do it from Sunday to Monday. I don't want that pressure on me, and I want that incentive that this is my only shot in the week to have a 24 hour fast. From what I have read, it is really beneficial to get to a 24 hour fast, but it is hard for me and I found myself grumpy when I did do it. Having one 24 hour fast per week maximum should be manageable.

Making a decision and sticking with it, I think, will help me to lose weight. My body has gotten the attitude of "Eat everything in sight whenever you are allowed" because I changed my dieting approach so much. Now I can calm down and just do follow this approach:
- I have unconditional permission to eat anything I want and as much as I want whenever I allow myself to eat.
- I can eat every day from 12 - 7 PM.
- If it works out, I will try to fast for 24 hours from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon.

10 AM: Yesterday, Kayla and I were discussing why this approach works for me. I told her that I think it is due to the "contrast effect", a psychology term which basically gives the person a contrast between two things. For example, a person who is poor in America may feel aggrieved, but a person with that same amount of wealth in Africa may feel wealthy. It's a matter of contrast.

With fasting, my body can compare how I feel after several hours of eating and perhaps prefer the state of not being so full. I do think "unconditional permission to eat" (a phrase from the book Intuitive Eating) is essential because, otherwise, my body wants to eat every thing in sight in preparation for the next period of deprivation which is likely right around the corner.

When I tried intuitive eating without fasting, I ate everything in sight. The kids nicknamed it "The Peanut Cluster Diet". I literally cleaned the local grocery store out of bags on peanut clusters.

With fasting, I know I can eat anything I want and as much as I want just as soon as it is noon. I know I can continue eating as much as I want until it is 7 PM. There is no feeling of guilt or deprivation. There is no panic that I need to eat everything in sight because I know that I will be able to eat anything I want and as much as I want every single day for seven straight hours.

Knowing this is very calming.

One thing I told Kayla yesterday was that three kids showed up at our door on Saturday selling Girl Scout cookies. Two older brothers were taking around a younger sister. It was very cute. We bought two boxes of cookies. I had two cookies total because that was how many I wanted.

Last year, as I recall, I had an entire sleeve of one package of cookies in about an hour. I think of eating that many cookies now and it just turns me off. Disgusting...

Dieting triggers a survival mechanism. I think it took me so long to lose weight with fasting because my body has had to calm down that I am not going to restrict myself except with time.

Time Restricted Feeding. TRF. ... ay-n838486

The No S Diet is a form of TRF because you fast between dinner and breakfast. For me, obese for so many years, the No S Diet was insufficient but it pointed me in the right direction.

Thank you, Reinhard.

Day 280 – Friday, February 23, 2018: 216.8
Yesterday I had three grapefruit. Three entire grapefruit! That is totally bizarre. I used to eat grapefruit when I was dieting and became averse to having any when I went to an approach that included "unconditional permission to eat."

I remembered something else interesting that happened in my conversation with Kayla. We discussed how much I would lose, and I said 70 pounds. She was shocked but then I said that it was not up to me. It was up to my body. I was going to continue eating whatever I wanted and see what weight I lost as a result. This is a good way to live.

Day 281 – Saturday, February 24, 2018: 218.0
Of course my weight went up. Whenever I change what I am doing, that is a signal to my body that I may change again in the near future -- so eat up while you can! I need to commit that this is my diet through the end of this year. Period.

Day 284 – Tuesday, February 27, 2018: 217.4
This was an email sent out from Brad of "Eat Stop Eat" fame. It describes the need for simplicity, consistency, and flexibility:

"If you hit a plateau, the worst thing you can do is add complexity - arbitrary laws, rules and tricks to your diet and nutrition program.

I know because this is something I am guilty of.

I occasionally move away from simplicity in the hopes of finding something… better.

I like to explore new ideas (which is fun), but it always ends badly.

I’ll think of cool tricks to try, thinking that somehow I can I ‘trick’ my body into doing what I want.

It’s on odd mindset where instead of viewing you and your body as one thing, you view your body as some thing you need to conquer, to take control of and manipulate.

This Never EVER work for me.

The biggest mistake I make is trying to do longer fasts on a regular basis… and adding complexity to my workouts and to my post workout nutrition.

Eat and Fast, Lift and Rest.

That’s Eat Stop Eat, that’s what gets me lean and keeps me lean.

The minute I deviate, the minute I buy into the many different forms of the obsessive compulsive-addiction we call a ‘healthy lifestyle’, I falter.

Complexity has a cost.

And what people perceive as healthy these days scares me.

Stick with a simple, flexible approach that works.

Eat and Fast, Lift and Rest.

Your friend,


Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:35 pm
by Eurobabe2
Haven't checked in for awhile, and I saw the update about your father. My condolences. It's always a blow to lose a parent, no matter their age or health.

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:46 pm
by osoniye
Hi Kathleen. So sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad!
I remember feeling so unprepared for losing mime. You sort of expect to outlive your parents, but that doesn't make it easy!! Hold close those warm memories.

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:02 pm
by Kathleen
Thank you, Eurobabe2 and osoniye. One of my brothers and I live in the same town and yesterday we had a long talk about my parents. My brother was shocked about how little my mother had prepared for my father's actual death, and I was pleased that my mother has not suffered some sort of catastrophic medical event (like a stroke) since he died. It is a shock to lose a parent, but it is even more of a shock for my mother. My goal now is to keep my mother happy and as healthy as she can be as a 92 year old!

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:46 pm
by Kathleen
March, 2018: The Blessings of Simplicity starting May 21, 2017

Day 286 – Thursday, March 1, 2018: 217.2
Day 287 – Friday, March 2, 2018:
Day 288 – Saturday, March 3, 2018: 216.0
Day 289 – Sunday, March 4, 2018: 216.0
Day 290 – Monday, March 5, 2018:
Day 291 – Tuesday, March 6, 2018:
Day 292 – Wednesday, March 7, 2018:
Day 293 – Thursday, March 8, 2018: 216.6
Day 294 – Friday, March 9, 2018:
Day 295 – Saturday, March 10, 2018: 218.0
Day 296 – Sunday, March 11, 2018: 216.6
Day 297 – Monday, March 12, 2018:
Day 298 – Tuesday, March 13, 2018:
Day 299 – Wednesday, March 14, 2018:
Day 300 – Thursday, March 15, 2018:
Day 301 – Friday, March 16, 2018:
Day 302 – Saturday, March 17, 2018:

Day 1 – Sunday, March 18, 2018: 219.0
Day 2 – Monday, March 19, 2018: 216.8
48 - 42.5 - 47.5
Day 3 – Tuesday, March 20, 2018: 217.6
Day 4 – Wednesday, March 21, 2018:
Day 5 – Thursday, March 22, 2018:
Day 6 – Friday, March 23, 2018:
Day 7 – Saturday, March 24, 2018:
Day 8 – Sunday, March 25, 2018: 219.0
Day 9 – Monday, March 26, 2018:
Day 10 – Tuesday, March 27, 2018: 216.6
Day 11 – Wednesday, March 28, 2018:
Day 12 – Thursday, March 29, 2018: 217.0
Day 13 – Friday, March 30, 2018:
Day 14 – Saturday, March 31, 2018:

Day 286 – Thursday, March 1, 2018: 217.2
I need to focus on exercise, not changing my fasting schedule. This is hard. I hate being this fat. Patience is not a character strength of mine.

Day 288 – Saturday, March 3, 2018: 216.0
I am still considering adding to my fasting schedule, but I am more convinced than ever that religious tradition is a better guide to fasting than scientific recommendations. Science failed me with the low fat, calorie counting approach.

Greek Orthodox fast every Wednesday and Friday until 3 PM. Some women add a Monday fast. Next week, Tom is in Chicago all week, so I may try fasting until 3 PM on Wednesday and Friday next week. Something tells me there is danger in my not feeling hungry at all until noon but then wanting to eat right away at noon. Maybe it will be better if I vary the eating window on a weekly basis.

I got to 10,000 steps yesterday for the first time in a long time. I am not going to attempt a multi day fast. Those attempts have only succeeded in reducing my regular and fast walking times.

Day 289 – Sunday, March 4, 2018: 216.0
I think I'm going to start with just fasting to 12:30 PM instead of noon on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Day 290 – Monday, March 5, 2018:
Yesterday, I woke up and it as if I was staring at a sinkhole. I cannot explain and probably will not do a good job describing, but it is as if my appetite went into a sinkhole. What did I do? Bizarre as it sounds, I decided to eat up. It's as if I was saying good-bye to an old life. I went and got an entire bag of Dove milk chocolates and put them in the often-empty candy dish. Tom observed my having some and asked if I was going to let anyone else know they were there. He was teasing. I then made a frittata and ate the entire thing. Finally, Tom had a gift certificate for Fogo De Chao, and we went there. I stopped eating at 4:39 and will now be in a 24 hour fast.

This experience somewhat reinforced my view that having an unconditional permission to eat when eating is essential to sanity. I feel free. I also told Tom yesterday that I feel thin -- he bit his tongue and made a snide remark about how feelings aren't reality, but I do -- I have lost enough weight that I feel thinner.

We shall see what happens, but I think I could lose weight more quickly now. My appetite is much diminished and it suddenly happened.

3:30 PM: I quickly figured out the downside of having a 24 hour fast: you have to track hours! Do I want to do that? No. I want simplicity. I even bought a timer so I could do that, but the timer was at home when I finished eating at Fogo de Chao. What I am going to try to do is fast until 3 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Day 291 – Tuesday, March 6, 2018:
Some people on the intermittent fasting sites swear by the necessity of counting the number of hours you fast. It just does not work for me. I got one of the recommended phone apps. I got a timer which allows you to count up. It's too much fuss for a long term solution. Still, fasting every day between 12 and 7 PM has a downside which is that my body is raring to eat as soon as it is noon. I am reminded of when we had technology free Sundays until 6 PM, and Tommy would be sitting at the computer with hands over the keyboard waiting for the digital clock to turn to 6:00. I'm not that bad, but I do try to be home at noon and do eat a lot right at noon. I think varying the start time could help, and for guidance I turned to the practice of Greek Orthodox who fast Wednesdays and Fridays until 3 PM, although women sometimes add a third fast day on Mondays.

Interestingly enough, the Mediterranean Diet was developed because of the long and healthy aging of the Greeks, but Ancel Keys never looked at the effect of the Greek Orthodox tradition of fasting when he studied the Mediterranean Diet!

I am now going to settle into a routine of having an eating window of 3 - 7 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with an eating window of 12 - 7 PM on other days. If there are social reasons to eat outside those hours, that is just fine. I originally thought that I would make Sundays a "cheat day", especially since the Greek Orthodox literally say it is a sin to fast on Sundays (no such restriction for Catholics!) What I have found is that I no longer like the idea of eating on Sunday morning, and besides we usually get up late and go to church in the morning so there often isn't much time for eating before Mass. I ate in the morning this past Sunday and didn't really enjoy it even though we had plenty of time because I was taking Ellie to Mass in the evening. I think the reason why Greek Orthodox forbid fasting on Sundays is that their fasting lifestyle goes way beyond just fasting on Mondays and Wednesdays until 3 PM. They have all sorts of other rules, especially in the fasting seasons of Lent and Advent. I don't want to go there, at least not yet. I'm fine with a simple attempt at a daily eating window of 3 - 7 PM or 12 - 7 PM.

I am not tracking success or failure because that is not what it is: I do not fail if I eat outside the eating window. Rather, eating only within a set eating window is habit. Most habits are very strong like the habit to brush your teeth every morning and night. I had aimed for a strong habit but that won't do for eating because eating is so much a part of socializing. Instead, I'll aim for a flexible habit with any and all exceptions I want. For example, on Sunday, Katie, Ellie and I are driving to Madison to look at UW - Madison for Ellie. There will be considerations for eating that have to do with how much snow is on the roads, the times for the tours, etc. My eating window should not drive all other considerations. For Greek Orthodox who fast, the eating window does drive all other considerations because the Greek Orthodox are fasting for religious reasons. I'm just fasting to lose weight, so I can be flexible with regard to my daily eating window.

12:30 PM: I just had split pea soup, a bowl of Cheerios, 1/2 peanut butter sandwich, a cutie, a muffin, two Dove mini chocolates, and 1/2 banana. I am stuffed. The sensation of being stuffed is one which comes more quickly after a fast. It also isn't altogether pleasant so I believe the desire to eat to stuffed is a leftover reaction to all those years of dieting and will subside over time.

The sensation of being stuffed never ever comes if you are following a diet of calorie restriction. The amount I just ate is over the top, but that over the top is less than it has been which is why I have lost weight. The weight loss, however, is S L O W. I think it may be wise for me to dial back on thinking about dieting and even weighing myself and just trust this process. I can change my focus to exercise. I am getting plenty of exercise today shoveling the driveway!

Day 292 – Wednesday, March 7, 2018:
Too much. It is 12:51 PM, and I am going to fast until 1 PM instead of 3 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. As a reward for fasting until 1 PM on those days, I'll weigh myself the next morning. This will enable me to continue tracking my weight but not on a daily basis. I want to get away from the daily habit of weighing myself.

Day 293 – Thursday, March 8, 2018: 216.6
Yep, having a variable start time is important. I struggled to make it to 1 PM yesterday. I think my body has adjusted to a noon start. It's been trained.

Day 294 – Friday, March 9, 2018:
Kayla would be proud of me that I decided to fast only until 1 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays instead of until 3 PM. She said that my history is such that I'm likely to binge eat if I change things up too much. I only talked with her for about 5 minutes about weight because I am focused on seeing what I can do about my hearing.

It is quite obvious to everyone else that the only thing I can do about my hearing is get a hearing aid, and even Kayla thinks my hearing will not improve but instead will get worse less quickly. I'm not giving up.

I showed her a video of my Dad taken the last time I visited, which was in July. It was his last gift to me. I videotaped him, in his dementia, saying the first two stanzas of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, which was the last thing he could recite, even after the Our Father and Hail Mary were gone. I never anticipated my video of him could help me with hearing, but maybe it can. Kayla observed that he really strained some of his neck muscles, and now we are working on some exercises.

I could have given up long ago on weight management, too. I just think the medical community is wrong about how to maintain a low weight (intermittent fasting, not the agony of constant calorie restriction), and I am hoping that the medical community is wrong about hearing loss (exercise to change flow of blood into the ear, not hearing aids to make up for death of hair cells in the inner ear). What the heck. It's worth a shot. I told Tom I would give up in June if I did not get results by then.

My focus is not going to be on weight management because I sense that I have little time to fix the hearing, if it can be fixed at all. I may step back some from writing here.

Day 296 – Sunday, March 11, 2018: 216.6
I see a pattern here: I go through a period of overeating (this time, it started last Sunday) and then it abruptly stops (yesterday at about 5 PM).

Day 297 – Monday, March 12, 2018:
Last night, we ate at a German themed restaurant and did not finish until about 8:15. I had a Cobb salad with steak. Now it is 7:30 am and I just woke up and that steak is like lead in my stomach. The tour of UW-Madison does not start until 10:30 so we will have a leisurely morning. As I lay here, I think there is no way I would want breakfast and maybe not lunch, either.

In all those years of dieting, the overwhelming feeling of overeating (breaking my diet) was relief even if it was mixed with disgust and guilt. As I lay here, I feel no relief or guilt or disgust. What I feel is fear. The great St. John Paul II started his mininisrty with the words, “Be not afraid.†Fear has driven my overeating. Fear of starvation. I cannot guarantee to myself that I will never go hungry, but I can guarantee to myself that I will never force myself to go hungry in the midst of plenty.

I did not even eat that much last night but I ate more than my body wanted.

Day 298 – Tuesday, March 13, 2018:
Oh, did I eat up on our mini vacation trip to UW Madison. A German restaurant. A fudge shop.

Now my body is sending the clear message that enough is enough.

I have come up with the saying "Some things are best learned the hard way" in dealing with the children. Katie, for example, has worked continuously since 9th grade and earned more than $10,000. She also has blown a lot of money. In her first month at college, exclusive of books (which we buy for her), she spent $647. She did go on a weekend trip, but she also blew a lot of money. Now she is budgeting because I told her she has to have at least $5,000 before she goes to Spain for a semester this fall.

My body has to learn the hard way, too. My mind has to get out of the way and let my body learn. I think weighing myself and thinking much about fasting is counter productive.

Day 300 – Thursday, March 15, 2018:
Yesterday was Pi Day, so of course we got pie. I also made chicken pot pie for dinner. I am inclined to stick with 12:30 pm M, W, F as a start time and then noon as a start time on other days and leave it at that.

Day 301 – Friday, March 16, 2018:
I know I need some variability in fasting times in order to not have a situation in which I am at the ready right at noon to chow down everything in sight. I am thinking about having only one meal a day for nine days straight. Starting today could be a good time, since we are going to a gala tomorrow night, Tommy and Katie return to college this weekend, and Tom is out all next week. I'll think about it while waiting for Katie to get out of her surgery this morning for wisdom teeth extraction.

4 PM: While waiting for Katie, I started reading Wheat Belly which I had picked up from the YMCA's book sale this morning, and I decided just not to eat wheat until dinner. That was a slippery slope into binge eating, which predictably follows a decision to fast longer. How many times do I need to learn this lesson?

Day 302 – Saturday, March 17, 2018:
Trying to have a variable start time did not work out. I realized that doing this required too much thought. It is better to settle into a noon - 7 PM eating window. Maybe I can try to delay my start time if I know I'll be eating later than 7 PM. We're going to a dinner which starts at 7:30 PM tonight, for example. On the other hand, that little adjustment also adds complexity.

I may also consider the 24 hour fast from Sunday to Monday, if it works out. It may work out this weekend. Sundays are different in our household. This may work out.

After this week, I don't want to weigh myself -- at least not yet. I will weigh myself by the beginning of April.

11 AM: On third thought, I'll just try to have an early dinner on Sundays and maybe delay starting to eat on Mondays. Complexity kills.

Day 1 – Sunday, March 18, 2018: 219.0
Uncertainty always leads to overeating for me, and this past week was no exception. I think I have my program now. It's very straightforward. I will no longer eat in anticipation of my diet changing.

7 PM: We finished dinner by 4 PM because Tommy was headed back to college. I should be able to last until 4 PM tomorrow. I feel good about committing to one 24 hour fast per week and a 7 hour eating window per day.

Day 2 – Monday, March 19, 2018: 216.8
48 - 42.5 - 47.5

After all this effort, I have a waist measurement above 40. So be it. I believe the 7 hour eating window is good for maintenance and the 24 hour fast once per week will help me with weight loss. At this point, there is so little effort involved in fasting until noon that it feels odd to eat before noon. A 24 hour fast, however, does take effort. I made use of the Oxo timer I bought so that I have an easy way to tell when the fast ends. Right now, I have fasted for 17 hours, 7 minutes.

10:30 AM: I realized this morning that I did not just want to lose weight. I wanted to lose weight with "unconditional permission to eat". That seems absurd and impossible. Maybe it is. I now have a plan to follow. We shall see.

4 PM: I made it 24 hours. It was tempting to stop short and eat at 22 hours, but I persevered. I'll eventually get used to it like I got used to the 7 hour eating window, but it will take time.

Day 3 – Tuesday, March 20, 2018: 217.6
Up and down. Up and down. My first thought on looking at today's weight was that I should try a five day fast. Dumb. The decision to fast longer only provides an excuse to not exercise and sometimes even to not fast until noon. I need to stick with the decision I made on Sunday.

Day 9 – Monday, March 26, 2018:
There are supposed to be lots of benefits to fasting for at least five days, and I have debated about going ahead and doing it. Tom's job is taking him out East every week. He just left this morning but will be back Thursday night because it is Good Friday. Ellie is on break all week. Tommy gets home Thursday night for Easter. My concern about a longer fast has been safety with driving. I've fasted three days and done just fine but have never fasted past that number of days. There doesn't need to be any driving on Thursday, and Tommy or Tom can drive on Friday.

Longo -- that's the doctor who recommends fasting five days, only he recommends a fasting routine that allows food and, I believe, stuff that you purchase from him. Instead, I'm just going to try a 60 hour fast with water only.

Day 10 – Tuesday, March 27, 2018: 216.6
This week is so open because the dog got spayed yesterday. She is going to take a lot of care for two weeks. When I realized that last night, I decided to try one meal a day Monday through Friday. And so I ate dinner. It's a good thing, too: I had to take her out twice last night. She is whining now, and I hand fed her. I told Tom this is our last puppy. He said it was our last dog, and I said I didn't like that idea!

8 PM: I now have a more modest goal of 24 hour fasts, if possible, ending at dinnertime on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Conveniently, Friday is Good Friday so I have to fast anyway. I went to the back of my closet to jeans I could not fit into -- many of them -- and they fit, all of them! Losing 10 pounds does matter!

Day 11 – Wednesday, March 28, 2018:
I am almost done watching this video:

It gave me insight into why my adjustment to fasting has been so slow. I refuse -- absolutely refuse -- to restrict what I eat or how much I eat. While it is true that my taste in food is changing -- as an example, I took great delight in making asparagus soup, it is also true I am continuing to have lots of sugar. What did I do when the thought occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I should restrict what I eat? I grabbed a couple of mouthfuls of jelly beans. No, my best bet is to continue increasing my fasting time but slowly. I decided just to look for fasting until 1 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and until noon on other days. I'll do that until it is easy for me and then lengthen the fast on those days again.

Day 12 – Thursday, March 29, 2018: 217.0
Once again, I see the genius of the No S Diet. Eliminating sweets during the week helps with having a low carb diet. I may try to avoid sweets during the week and see how that impacts weight loss.

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:07 pm
by Kathleen
April, 2018: The Blessings of Simplicity starting April 20, 2018

Day 15 – Sunday, April 1, 2018:
Day 16 – Monday, April 2, 2018:
Day 17 – Tuesday, April 3, 2018: 216.6
Day 18 – Wednesday, April 4, 2018: 216.0
Day 19 – Thursday, April 5, 2018:
Day 20 – Friday, April 6, 2018:
Day 21 – Saturday, April 7, 2018: 216.2
Day 22 – Sunday, April 8, 2018:
Day 23 – Monday, April 9, 2018:
Day 24 – Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
Day 25 – Wednesday, April 11, 2018:
Day 26 – Thursday, April 12, 2018:
Day 27 – Friday, April 13, 2018:
Day 28 – Saturday, April 14, 2018:
Day 29 – Sunday, April 15, 2018: 218.8
Day 30 – Monday, April 16, 2018:
Day 31 – Tuesday, April 17, 2018: 218.2
Day 32 – Wednesday, April 18, 2018:
Day 33 – Thursday, April 19, 2018:

Day 1 – Friday, April 20, 2018: 218.0
Day 2– Saturday, April 21, 2018: 217.4
Day 3 – Sunday, April 22, 2018: 218.4
Day 4 – Monday, April 23, 2018: 219.4
Day 5– Tuesday, April 24, 2018: 218.8
Day 6 – Wednesday, April 25, 2018:
Day 7 – Thursday, April 26, 2018: 219.2
Day 8 – Friday, April 27, 2018: 218.8
Day 9 – Saturday, April 28, 2018: 219.0
Day 10 – Sunday, April 29, 2018: 218.2
Day 11 – Monday, April 30, 2018: 219.6

Day 16 – Monday, April 2, 2018:
My hearing loss is driving me crazy. I had found an online tool to assess hearing, and it has shown increased hearing loss over the past couple of years. I was printing off my record of hearing loss when I noticed an improvement between October, 2015 and February, 2016. What the heck was I doing then? I went back to this blog to see and found that I was doing a few things: fast walking, taking magnesium, taking a combination of Ceylon cinnamon and honey, and fasting three times per week for 24 hours each. So, in addition to the exercises to improve posture that I am hoping to improve hearing, I am going to try to replicate what I was doing three years ago. I am taking a bath with Epson salts three times per week rather than taking magnesium. I am setting up an audiology appointment for the end of May so that I can get hearing aids if this does not work.

The Y had a book sale, and I picked up a bunch of books on the last day -bag sale. One was a book by Tim Parks, and it was his journey to health through silence. I read the book in one day, increasingly appalled by this person's quest became an obsession. That book was a warning to me. That is why an end date of late May is so important.

Day 17 – Tuesday, April 3, 2018: 216.6
I don't need to go to the gym. I need to shovel! Katie left her coat home when she was home for Easter. I am driving it over to her. I think we've gotten about 8" and it's still snowing. This morning, I considered a multi-day fast but decided to just try to eat within a 2 hour window 5 - 7 PM. That is what I ended up doing yesterday.

Day 18 – Wednesday, April 4, 2018:
I changed my mind and ate within a 3 - 7 window yesterday but decided, going forward, to try a 5 - 7 window on weekdays. It wasn't that bad to do. It's just an adjustment.

Day 21 – Saturday, April 7, 2018: 216.2
This morning, I told Tom that I weighed the same as I did three months ago. I was planning to try 3 42-hour fasts per week. To my surprise, Tom said it is clear to him that I am gaining muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. I think I'm going to try 2 hour eating windows during the week plus avoid sweets during the week.

Day 23 – Monday, April 9, 2018:
Consistency. Routine. That is what I need. Trying to control what I eat or how much I eat always seems to backfire into binge eating. Curses. I've done it again. What I have found, through trial and error, is that I cannot have a goal of more than 10,000 steps per day or five minutes three times per week of fast walking. I have a solid program of strengthening exercises. Now I need to settle on a fasting schedule. Multi day fasts inevitably fail, sometimes before they even start. No. I need something routine and reliable. I can have a goal and if I fall short -- oh well. That is what I have done with 10,000 steps per day. For example, this morning's routine was somewhat disrupted and the result was I was at the gym for fast walking without my pedometer. I still went. It doesn't matter. I'll be short on recorded steps today and that is fine. Eating is social. I cannot always stay within a fasting window and that's OK. I just have not settled on an eating window but now I will: 5 - 7 pm weekdays and 12 - 7 pm weekends. What about getting together with a friend tomorrow at 3 pm at a coffee shop? Totally fine. Eating window starts at 3. I am going to trust that that much fasting leads to a better choice of foods. I'm not going to try to stay away from certain foods.

Day 26 – Thursday, April 12, 2018:
I was going to transition into the 5-7 weekday eating window and 12-7 weekend eating window, but here's the thing: Why bother? Tom and I are planning for me to return to work in the fall so he can get off the road before it kills him. We go on a houseboat trip in August, and I'm just going to dread getting into a bathing suit. Why not adjust now to limited eating hours now when my responsibilities are so limited?

1:30 PM: At Trader Joe's, I picked up both coffee ice cream and chocolate covered pretzels. Just now, as I was putting the pretzels in a container, I felt very calm thinking that I could eat every single one of them without guilt if I just wait until 5 PM. There is the secret: delay, don't deny. By 5 PM, I won't want to eat every single pretzel. Even if I do, eventually I won't want to eat all the pretzels. I think I was on the right track with fasting but just did not limit my hours enough. We shall see...

Day 27 – Friday, April 13, 2018:
I have focused on neck and shoulder exercises and largely dropped the ball on fast walking especially after dropping and breaking my glass water bottle twice in two weeks. My hearing has really deteriorated. I did not think fast walking would have much impact but now I think that is what led to a temporary improvement in hearing back in 2015. Trying to figure out an appropriate exercise program seems almost like an investigative process.

Meanwhile, yesterday at 2:25 I decided that I could start eating at 2:30, and I wolfed down a lot (but not all!) chocolate covered pretzels from Trader Joe's. We finished eating by 5, so I decided that this was a transition day and today I would eat in a two hour window. Then I went to Costco. Feeling upset about eating earlier than my planned start time of 5 pm, I bought a size 16 pair of jeans in the brand (Gloria Vanderbilt's Amanda jeans) I usually wear but my size is 18. I figured this could inspire me to go to a two hour eating window. I got home, tried on the jeans, and they fit! Wow! That is yet another indication that I am actually gaining muscle.

Today, I decided maybe I could just settle into a five hour eating window (2 - 7 pm) and focus on returning to fast walking. I went to the gym and walked fast just one minute and fifteen seconds. When I got home, I tried my hearing test, and I could hear better than I have in at least two weeks. That was encouraging.

I go back and forth on so many things, and often weight on a scale has led me to make changes. I think I'm going to avoid weighing myself except maybe once per month.

Day 30 – Monday, April 16, 2018: 218.2
I am sticking with a 12 - 7 pm window. Over time, I think my drive to "eat everything allowed" will dissipate if I just stick with it. I binge eat in preparation for uncertain eating conditions in the future.

6 PM: Eating window of 1 - 7 PM. There will be times when I will not make that window, and that is just fine. Today I ate just before 1 because of picking up Ellie from school at 12:30. It won't be much of an adjustment to move to 1 - 7 PM. Anything shorter than that would be a big effort that I am not willing to make. I am now going to focus on exercise. Part of my exercise plan is to walk 10,000 steps per day. With all my back and forth on eating window, I have slumped down to 5, 000 - 7,000 steps per day. My time is better spent walking than fiddling with eating window times.

Day 1 – Friday, April 20, 2018: 218.0
My hearing has gotten to be absolutely terrible, and yet there is a glimmer of hope: it is measurably better after my fast walking, and I am only up to 2 minutes 15 seconds as of this morning. My weight took a back seat to trying to figure out my hearing, but I did have an inspiration this morning. Somewhere I read that the best way to solve a problem is to see if you can figure it out in a similar way to how you have been able to solve a different problem in your life. In other words, where are you successful and what can you learn from it?

This morning, I realized that I am really successful at financial management. Everyone preaches budget. I never understood budget. How was I supposed to budget this week for Pumpkin to break a nail so we had to take her to the vet to get it treated? $141.32. What do I do? I track all expenses. I save receipts and then write down and categorize expenses : Groceries, Gas, Pumpkin, etc. When credit card statements come in, I make sure I have captured all expenses an then enter them into a spreadsheet that rolls them up.

How does this relate to weight loss? It occurred to me to just focus on tracking. What can I track? Calorie counting isn't specific. It is meaningless to say you ate 1,432 calories today. It's not like being able to track expenses to the penny.

No, for me, the best thing to do is track time. Counting hours is a royal pain. What I plan to do is track when I start eating in a day. That should help me to eat later in the day. My goal is now 5 pm rather than noon. Today I ate starting at 12:15 pm.

It's another day 1, but this day 1 is 8 pounds lower than the one nine months ago. I'm on the right track.

Day 5– Tuesday, April 24, 2018: 218.8
Yesterday, I was at Trader Joe's and it did not appeal to me to buy the coffee ice cream.... Did not appeal to me. I am letting that sink in. My taste in food is shifting so much that I don't even want what was my favorite food!

I am thinking that lpearlmom was right in suggesting I look at a tighter eating window, and I think I'm going to move to 1 PM rather than 5 PM. Big shifts in what I do don't always work out very well. In fact, I am now looking at the mess I created by trying to focus on exercises to improve my hearing. I stopped the fast walking which might have helped as well. I did not walk 10,000 steps. No, what I need to do is get into something fairly consistent, and I think I can manage an 18 hour fast with a 6 hour eating window especially on weekdays.

I saw that my hearing improved when I tried cinnamon mixed with honey and magnesium back two years ago, so I am going to try that approach again. I just split 180 400 mg magnesium glycinate pills in half so I can take one a day at dinner, and I'll try the cinnamon and honey mixture right at 1. My hearing loss and tinnitus is driving me crazy. I think my weight will go down naturally because of the shift in what I want to eat. It will take time. I'm not much interested in paying attention to it but will continue to write.

Day 6 – Wednesday, April 25, 2018:
This morning at 9, I heard three tones that I could not hear at 7. I did fast walking for 2 minutes 45 seconds between about 7:30 and 7:45 am. Have I stumbled into a possible way to address hearing loss?

Day 7 – Thursday, April 26, 2018:
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Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:55 pm
by oolala53
I was perusing the troubleshooting for Fast-5 in light of its sounding like you are still experiencing a lot of overeating episodes. Do you feel you have done this?

Yes—Most people can eat as they please on an AC schedule, but some, particularly those starting with a diet high in sugars and processed foods, find that high carbohydrate intake on one day increases the next day’s appetite and hunger. To avoid this, substitute other foods for the Super-BCPs (SPRBCP: sugar, pasta, rice, bread, cereal and potatoes). By the way, donuts, cake and pastries count as “bread,†and icing, frosting and filling counts as sugar, so don’t ruin your chances for real progress by rationalizing technicalities. You don’t have to eliminate them entirely or count calories to a keep under a certain limit; just avoid having them as the main source of calories in any meal for a three-week trial and check your progress at the end of the trial. If, at the end of the trial, you’re seeing progress, then keep it up!"

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:30 am
by Kathleen
Ha. Ha. Technicalities... How about jelly beans, chocolates, and ice cream? Maybe I should start with avoiding sugar during the week.

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:49 am
by Larkspur
I think it's true that time restricted eating is good for body composition. My son and husband haven't lost a lot of pounds but they are definitely leaner. My very weight and appearance conscious SIL pronounced my husband "not overweight" at her last visit :)

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:22 am
by oolala53
, What are the technicalities? I don’t understand why you’re not already avoiding sweets during the week since that’s what Herring recommends, if you’re really going for appetite correction. Otherwise he implies that it’s not gonna happen. And honestly, it doesn’t sound like it has for you.

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:22 pm
by Kathleen
I was joking about technicalities. Actually, I have been debating about restricting sweets but haven't actually restricted sweets yet. This week, I ate so much of Ellie's Easter candy that I went and got some more. You bring up a suggestion that merits some consideration that maybe I should restrict certain foods. I'm thinking I'm going to start with just restricting sweets. While my weight is stuck just above 215 pounds, I do notice that my pants feel looser. Also, for the past several years, I have rarely gotten below 220. Since the beginning of January, I have been above 220 exactly once. There is progress, but it is slow. I believe my appetite is shifting towards healthier foods but maybe it would be good to push the progress along a little by deliberately restricting sweets. It may not be that hard to restrict sweets. My all time favorite food was Trader Joe's coffee ice cream, and I seem to have lost the taste for it. If I give up sweets altogether, maybe I'll start to feel about sweets like I have come to think about coffee: no thanks!

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:03 am
by lpearlmom
Awesome progress. Just to let you know, a lot of people do seem to just naturally crave healthier foods with AC. I find the key is to have sweets at the end of your window when other foods have given your body a chance to be satisfied. I do try to keep sweets to the weekends but if I’m having a really strong craving for something I’ll have a little something. GL!

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:43 am
by oolala53
Kathleen, do you think that eating so much of someone else's candy that you go buy more qualifies for Herring's recommendation "To avoid this, substitute other foods for the Super-BCPs (SPRBCP: sugar, pasta, rice, bread, cereal and potatoes). By the way, donuts, cake and pastries count as “bread,†and icing, frosting and filling counts as sugar, so don’t ruin your chances for real progress by rationalizing technicalities."?

He says for these not to be the main part of any meal. Are you eating a greater proportion of protein, fat and vegetables than these foods? It sounds like AC will not happen without this change.

Have a great month.

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:14 pm
by Kathleen
The candy I bought was replacement for the candy I ate, not candy I would eat myself. I though that fasting would reduce calories and perhaps also choice of foods. It has to some extent, but I'm still obese. I like the idea of cutting out sugar. Pastries and doughnuts never were a big temptation of mine; candy and ice cream were.

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:08 pm
by oolala53
I only brought up restricting any food because Bert Herring, the promoter of Fast 5, which I thought was your chosen program, does.

My point was that your appetite for sugar has not been corrected enough for you not to eat so much of someone else's candy that you had to buy more to replace it. Herring is the one who said to at least cut down on it, making it only a fraction of any meal. He says it as if it will just happen with little effort. I would be very surprised if a lot of desire and excuses to eat it didn't come up over the next few weeks. A person would have to be ready for challenges to the new proposal. The challenge is not a sign it's a bad idea. No matter how many examples posted on the internet of people claiming they suddenly didn't want this or that food, they add up only to exceptions. Waiting to be an exception will keep most people right where they are for years on end.

How about an April with one or no serving of sweets along with only one meal on any day? You could have other meals, if they fit in your window; just no sweets.

See you in May.

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:35 pm
by Kathleen
I have come to the conclusion that something has to change, so cutting back on sweets seems like a good addition. I immediately ate more sweets. Why is that? I have no idea. It seems bizarre but maybe the only lever of control I have been able to exercise over my eating is timing for eating. While Dr. Herring is the doctor who got me into looking at fasting from a medical viewpoint, I have gravitated to Dr. Jason Fung with his books "The Obesity Code" and "The Complete Guide to Fasting". Dr. Fung eats one meal a day on weekdays and that is it. Over the weekend, I tried no restrictions but it seems that I just eat when I start eating. I started eating at 11 on Monday and at 12 on Tuesday.

At this point, I'd like to try an eating window of 5 - 7 PM on weekdays and 12 - 7 on weekends, when socially easy. I prefer the idea of an eating window rather than meals. It did seem that fasting got me to prefer better foods, at least some times. Easter with all the chocolate and jelly beans tripped me up.

One other thing I tried yesterday was to write down the times when I eat just like I write down my exercise. I tried that yesterday and it gave me an excuse to eat earlier. By not writing down my actual eating window, I rely on personal integrity to eat when I plan to eat.

It is hard to explain this, but realizing that it is better for me to not write down my eating window makes me realize just how individualized weight loss/lifestyle changes are.

Your perspective is appreciated. I have lost weight. I am happy about that. If I can reduce my eating window, I think I'll do even better.


Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:00 pm
by Larkspur
Hey Kathleen-- I have just the same issue. I don't have much trouble adhering to a 16 hour period when I don't eat (half of that I'm asleep, after all!) So that's interesting, right? If I want sweets, for example, why don't I yearn for them when it's my fasting time? It has been fairly easy to do which is really interesting. On the other hand, when I think about cutting out sweets or bread, I (a) hate the thought and (b) seem to want those things more. What I SHOULD do and what I seem to be able to do are not the same. So I'm in the same boat.

I ran into a cool podcast yesterday that I thought had some useful thinking on the subject. One of the speakers described refined foods as "aggressive" and that clicked for me. Bagels and candy really do pull me around more than other foods, before and after I eat them. I had a bagel, bean soup, and some jellybeans for lunch yesterday, and it was like being hit by a truck. I was useless for hours. So tired and sleepy. Today I had chicken wings, two kinds of salad, and a multigrain roll, and I feel energetic and not sleepy at all, even with 2 malted milk balls and a sweet coffee afterwards.

My way of handling the sugar problem has been to try keep it to one serving a day at lunch when bodies are supposed to be more sensitive to insulin. I have been writing it down, which I don't like doing that much, but I really have trouble acknowledging how many sweet and refined things I eat and this has been enlightening. I tallied calories yesterday just for information and I was around 2000. Didn't get any real exercise, so it's not surprising I haven't lost weight lately.

Anyway, I'm pulling for you! I really think you're on the right track and I hope we both solve The Sweets Problem soon!

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:01 am
by lpearlmom
You’re doing great Kathleen! I keep a 2-3 hr window during the week and a 4-5 hr window on the weekends. I’ve found it very doable. Some ppl even keep a 30 min-1 hr window but that is just not very enjoyable for me. A lot of ppl lose their taste for sweets overtime with IF so keep that in mind as you continue on your journey.

You got this!

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:47 pm
by Kathleen
Larkspur, I decided to continue eating as much as I want and anything at all that I want and only use one lever, time. Today I bought Trader Joe's coffee ice cream. I am committed to fasting until 5 and then finishing eating by 7. A two hour span gives me the ability to adjust if, for example, Ellie needs to be at Band Society at 5:30 so we will eat right at 5 today or Tom gets home from work at 6:30 so we eat at 6:30. I find eating within a window much easier that striving for one plate. Writing things down seems to have a counterproductive effect just like it is counterproductive for me to try to cut down on sweets: I JUST EAT MORE!!! Good luck to you.

lpearmom, Thanks for the encouragement! I already have lost some of my taste for sweets!