Day 18 – The Temptations

Today is a feed day, and I just returned from a brisk walk on the beach. MapMyRun says I burned about 400 calories in that walk (I think that’s a little high), so I came home and had a cup of plain Greek yogurt and a banana slathered with peanut butter. To be consistent, this week I decided to make the switch to full-on black coffee because when I add milk and sugar it’s almost overpowering to my taste buds now. It’s probably just better to go black and not go back.

Yesterday was a difficult fast day. I felt tired all day and I’m not sure what the problem was. I had a good enough sleep the night before and the sun was shining (though it has been unseasonably cold). I did my best to stay up and active but I fell back to sleep for about an hour in the morning and then again for maybe a half hour in the afternoon. And slept fine last night on top of that.

Maybe it’s the weight-lifting I did the day before and plan to do today? I’m lifting weights about 3 times a week in an attempt to maintain my body’s muscle. One of the benefits of ADF is that it has been shown to minimize muscle loss over regular everyday calorie restrictions. But maybe I exerted myself too hard.

I’ve noticed that when my muscles are sore, I want to eat more. It has nothing to do with needing to eat more, mind you, but is more like a knee-jerk reaction to any discomfort. Like in the back of my mind somewhere I’m thinking, If my muscles (or anything else) ache, eat. I’m also thinking, If horny, eat. If bored, eat. If uncertain. Stressed. If the sky is cloudy, eat.

Yesterday I caught myself thinking about the texture of food, of the crispies, crunchies and creamies I like. I remember that happening 26 years ago when I first went on a sustained water-only fast. In fact I thought about food a lot yesterday, and it was hard to bounce my thoughts away from it because I was tired and didn’t feel like working. So I sat and scrolled Facebook and bunches of women were posting recipes and breakfast and lunch pics and sadistic crap like that.

So yeah, yesterday was a difficult fast day. But after I had my evening salad (which I beefed up with a little extra protein because I was feeling sluggish) I felt fine, slept well, and woke up energized. For most of my life my relationship with food has been destructive, obsessive, and dysfunctional. A thing like that doesn’t change in 18 days. This eating regimen is like a reset for my body, mind and spirit. I have to be patient with myself and relearn.

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