I only have about twenty minutes until I have to run off to my next class and then I'll be heading straight to my boyfriend's afterwards. I hate feeling so rushed! But I really wanted to post a response to Jenna who has asked me for advice on fasting a few times now and I haven't really given her anything. I love love love the support you girls give me, so I definitely want to give back when someone asks for it.
The amazing thing about doing an extended fast is that your body stops getting hungry pretty quickly. The first day of a fast, if you start in the morning, you probably won't start to feel too hungry until the afternoon. Your metabolism will have slown down as you slept and skipping breakfast will keep it at that slow pace. Your stomach won't stop whining until later. I find that starting a fast at the beginning of a busy week is perfect. As long as you stay busy and distracted, the stomach pains don't bother me very much.
Everyone's body is different. The slower your metabolism is, the easier it will be to fast. A fast metabolism will lose weight a lot faster, but it definitely seems like you'd be less likely to stick it out for the long haul. An extended fast is a miracle for weight loss. You will lose weight, no matter what size you start at or what sort of exercize you do.
After the first three or four days of a fast, again this will depend on your body, you will no longer feel hunger pains. Your body sort of accepts that there isn't any food coming in and starts worrying about other sources of energy such as FAT! One pound of fat can supply your body with 3,500 calories, so there is no chance of starvation as long as you have fat on your body. Our bodies were meant to survive through famine, so a fast is actually a natural thing. Abuse of fasting can lead to problems, of course. But there is so much information on all the good things it can do for you, besides the weight loss.
Jenna said she was having trouble getting her fast to extend past a few days. I do have a lot of tips you can try, but I think learning about our own food triggers and what to avoid is the most important thing. Learning how to deprive our bodies may just take practice. Don't give up! Keep encouraging yourself and keep trying. It may be better to start with small fasting goals and work your way up. Just don't let yourself get too discouraged.
So. Just because our bodies don't physically feel hungry, doesn't mean it's going to be easy not to eat. Food is such a part of lives and a lot of us have so emotional dependency on it, so giving it up cold turkey can be just as hard as any other addiction.
I find that I eat when I'm by myself and I think that's true for a lot of us. It's so much easier to be strong and say no when people are watching. Makes sense to surround yourself with people then, at least for me. Being by myself in a room with a fridge is usually a bad thing for me. And I'm pretty good at avoiding going out or buying food, since I have the excuse of being a poor college student. This unfortunately doesn't work with my boyfriend, who pays for everything, so I have to avoid him a bit when I fast. I hate that part.
One thing that really really helped me when I first started my 30 day fast was to research fasting. I read and read and read about it. There's so much positive info about it, it's really hard to want to eat when you're reading about how amazing you're going to be when you don't, plus it's something that takes up time I might otherwise spend eating or obsessing over food. Posting in this blog and reading all of yours is another great way to not eat.
I also brush my teeth a lot. Any time I really feel like eating something, I just go and brush my teeth. Food will taste gross after that and it will give me time to weigh the pros and cons of whatever food I'm thinking about. The pros of thin always win out. I also wear my retainer a lot more when I'm trying not to eat. It's just one more step seperating me from the food. Every little bit helps.
I definitely think distractions are the key. And keeping track of your progress. Even if it's only the first day of your fast and you've only made it through the afternoon, keep encouraging yourself. Reward yourself for every victory, every piece of food you decline. I also tend to think it's a good idea not to get obsessed with the numbers on the scale. I try to weigh about once a week at the same time (mornings I tend to think are best). Your body can do a lot of adjusting in a very short period of time, so this should give you the most accurate picture of how you're progressing over time. I like to keep a calendar and cross out every day I go without food and give myself a star for the days I just did water and track my weight loss. Seeing this like this is super encouraging for me. I absolutely have to keep positive or I end up really sabotaging myself.
To answer Jena's (Violet) question. I have lost 43 pounds in all. But only 23 since I started the fast. Most of that weight is what I gained last year (gross!) but I'm still so happy about it. I want to lose a lot more, but I already feel like a new person. My face is more angular and pretty. My neck bones seem so much more prominent and I love the way my hip bones feel. And I move better now. I feel more graceful and flexible. I absolutely love it. I'll be weighing again tomorrow and I'm hoping that I haven't gained anything from my binge. I want to lose about 7 more pounds before I go home on the 26th, we'll see if I can.
Okay, totally going to be late for class.
<3 I really can't wait to read up on everyone's blogs. I missed you all soooo much!