Day one of my IF eating pattern was a roaring success. I sipped on calorie free liquids (water, coffee and tea) until after my strength training at 2pm. My first meal of the day consisted of a baby banana (seriously tiny, about four inches long), about 1/8 cup pistachios and one largish piece of turkey jerky. I had another baby banana after work, went for a 3 1/2 mile hike up a valley near my house then ate a bowl of quinoa, roasted veggies (zucchini, eggplant, onion and bell pepper) and baked chicken. Well, most of a bowl. I couldn’t finish the whole thing. I also ate *gasp* a small bit of cookie dough and felt *gasp* zero guilt in doing so.
Giving myself only five hours to eat really helped in a lot of ways. I didn’t mind dishing up larger-than-normal portions because I knew I had to get all my calories in a shortened period of time. The bigger portions filled me to the brim which helped stave off the urge to binge until after my window of eating had passed -- IF gave me a valid reason to say “no more food for you tonight, fattie”.
I was sure I’d have to complete my weight lifting routine with no energy, but somehow that wasn’t the case. I maintained the same level of intensity that I usually do. Apparently having a snack beforehand is not necessary after all.
My hike was lovely. Not eating for most of the day had left me a tiche cold, so walking up a mountain was the perfect way to warm up. It started raining about a quarter mile in, so I took off my jacket and let the heavy drops splat on my bare arms. Everything was green. Beautiful. Tranquil. Perfect.
Best of all, instead of the usual manic energy that accompanies restricting (I ate about half the calories I normally do), I was able to enjoy a relaxing evening of reading and watching old episodes of South Park.
I’m not naïve enough to believe my struggles with eating are over, but I do think IF has given me a new way of looking at food. Another tool in my belt. Another chance at success.
Tonight the whole family is going to Olive Garden for my sister’s birthday dinner. Since I’m allergic to dairy (more specifically the protein chains in cow milk) and have a slight gluten intolerance (too much sets off an autoimmune response in my intestines) I tend to avoid Italian restaurants. I looked up Olive Garden’s menu online and was pleased to find an entrée that not only meets my allergy requirements but also contains only 400 calories! Since I NEVER finish all the food on my plate (leftovers are the BEST) I’m looking at about a 200 calories intake. After dinner I’m taking the pup on a hike and then going to the pool for an hour of swimming, so I might even splurge and have a few bites of bread stick and a bowl of minestrone soup. The best part? I have ZERO anxiety about tonight. None. It feels amazing.