Yeah. I gained 30 pounds in one week.
Monday last week started off well. Blood work and urine test. Well into day six of my fast. And then the light headedness hit. My appetite has been unmanaged since then.
Had I managed to stick to the recovery-meal-only I’d initially intended, I’d likely be in the home stretch of a 14 day fast right now, with one fatty/keto hiccup. Instead, I put on 30 pounds in 7 days. Whole lot of candy, donuts and pastries, soda, buns on burgers, etc.
Yes, in calorie terms, I didn’t eat 30*3500 calories. Most of the weight is inflammation. My knees and other joints, my lungs, most of me is bloated. My right leg has been weeping from an open blister for several days, under so much pressure.
One bad day, even a horrific day like last Monday, wouldn’t have led to this. Seven straight days? clearly possible.
There’s no sense beating myself up. This is a journey, one with setbacks. Knowing that insulin resistance and carb addiction go hand in hand, I’m not totally in the drivers seat. But I’m trying to learn from these things. I could have eaten something besides nuts. I could have gone straight home rather than stop to shop, and foraged for food there. One high fat, modest protein meal would have barely caused a hiccup in the fast. I think I erred the day before in having a lot of olive oil, which led to no change in my day to day weight. Had I dipped under 440, I suspect my determination to not go nuts would have been stronger. Nevertheless, I need/want to disconnect motivation from goals. The motivation should be in the process, not in milestones. “I’m on a roll. Stabilize the now, and keep on keeping on.”
Jimmy Moore, who’s been doing his own 21 day fast, had something like that. On day 12 of his fast, he hit a stress speed bump and did a stabilizing meal – nuts, and fathead pizza. pretty solid meal, but then back to doing it. In one sense you could say that’s the end of the fast. But by getting right back on the horse, if he reaches the end of day 21 with only the one (keto-friendly) meal, it’s still a heck of an accomplishment.
I need to establish coping mechanisms for moments like that, so I can weather future temptations more effectively. The danger of binges like this is that you never know when you’ll redline the stress meter. I have ended up in the emergency room in the last year from pushing myself too far.
I am capable of overcoming this. It’s not just a matter of willpower. Getting into a fast is actually a place of safety; the temptations are more easy to bear. And my body responds positively to that respite.
So, after my late dinner and hard candy Halloween binge, I decided to declare a new fast.
I should say that not every day was hideous. I made it more than 24 hours from saturday to sunday, and I had several 14-18 hour intermittent fasts. But the eating periods were pretty bad most days. I made it to church on Sunday. After so many migraine mornings, I’m glad I made it, though we were late to the first meeting. Afterward, I watched a film on Sunday, about a youngish guy who weighed 315 and decided to do a 40 day fast like in the Bible. He later stretched it because he “wanted to break the world record” which he thought was 50 days. (oh, honey, bless your heart. Don’t tell him about Angus and his 382 day fast.) He went 55, and had some pretty good success. He went water only for that time, but he also did quite a bit of traveling, couch surfing, exercising, etc. He overdid the exertion a few times, and paid for it. especially toward the end, leading to some depleted moments on the couch. But he made it. He did some things of which Dr. Fung would not approve – both starting and ending his fast with several days’ juice-only “fasting.” But the transformation he made was impressive.
Yes, I think about how great it would be to go that long. Just take food out of the equation for as long as it takes. But I also know it makes sense to apply lessons and gauge progress. 5-7 day fasts have done me well. I’d like to try going longer, but safely. Two week fasts at a time with a few days between could work out for me.