Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The achilles Heel of Fasting

Paula at www.thefastinglife.com inspired me to write this blog expanding on her post of the same name.


Pressure. Pressure is the achilles heel of fasting. It has been the main struggle for me since beginning this journey. I don't struggle with hunger, or with the scale or with deprivation. I don't struggle with what to eat or how many calories I consume. All of that has just fit for me and comes easy.

The struggle for me is only the pressure. At first, before I actually released any weight, people were very overbearing with their opinions on what I was doing. They gave me sideways looks and scolded me for doing something "crazy" or "drastic". They called it unhealthy and spouted off all the usual comments about metabolism, starvation mode, and six small meals a day. Since I hadn't actually lost any noticeable weight and all the research I had done on IF was still so new in my brain, I was easy to bully. I didn't stand up for myself or effectively explain how IF works or why it is good for me.

All that is over now. With the noticeable change in my appearance acting as my smoking gun, I confidently explain in very few words how IF works and why it is good for me. People look at me differently now. They have looks of interest and wonder, of envy and admiration. Much different than the looks of disapproval and judgement that I used to get before.

Here is an example of my quick explanation:

Observer: Wow, you look like you have lost weight, what have you been doing?

Faster: I have been practicing Intermittent Fasting

Observer: Whats that?

Faster: I fast for 19 hours a day then eat whatever I like the rest of the time.

Observer: WOAH, 19 hours, that's crazy.

Faster: Well, think of it this way, if you eat dinner at 7pm and breakfast at 7am, you have already fasted for 12 hours right there. So I really only have to add an extra 7 hours. I eat at 12 noon so I break that 7 hours up into two chunks, half in the morning and half in the evening.

Observer: Hmm. Interesting. 

Faster: Yeah, and in the 19 hours, my body has no alternative but to burn body fat for fuel and so I have lost XXLbs so far.

Observer: Wow, that's huge! (looks of interest)

Faster: Exactly, and I get to eat whatever I want, which is totally worth the wait.

Observer: Maybe I should try this, what's it called again? (looks of admiration)

If you can stick it out during the difficult transition time, getting used to the change in schedule and adjusting to the fasting period (which was very quick for me) the main struggle will be enduring this pressure and disapproval from society. You can try keeping it to yourself until you feel confident in your research and have lost that first 10-20Lbs. After that, hold your head up high and don't give in to the pressure. Go your own way and do what works for you.


  1. Good for you, sticking to your guns when you knew what was working for you!

  2. Thank you soooo much for your kind words in my comment sections. I love you girl!!! Your answers to others questions are the same ones I give. I can't wait to get to goal because once I do, I'm determined to more deliberately share this lifestyle with others. I'm going to "come out of the closet" with intermittent fasting.

  3. Thanks for posting this! I'm getting a lot of pressure, but it's just more from ME, internally. I don't know anyone who's done this, and I've tried so many other things. I'm having a hard time getting started and sticking to it. Reading the experiences of others is helpful, thanks!

  4. You're an inspiration Jenna! Thanks for the post. And you're braver than I am to actually explain the diet. If people (beyond close friends and family) say I look good, I just say thanks, with no explanation, and if I meet people for breakfast/lunch/snacks I just get a tea and say I'm not hungry. Explaining it seems to invite so much negativity; I don't want to deal with it.

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