I’ve gone through some pretty drastic changes over the last couple of years. I have made a number of changes to my lifestyle to optimize my health and with that has come quite a bit of weight loss. For those who know me personally, you know that I’m a big fan of self-experimentation and tweaking anything and everything to ensure I obtain the results that I want. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, my goal when starting on this journey was weight loss and it is still an important factor to me. The key is that it is no longer the most important factor. It has long become the second fiddle to feeling better both physically and mentally.
Back up a bit; I once snickered when told by a former colleague that he only ate once a day in a feeding window that resembled 6 hours of feeding and 18 hours of fasting. He’d come across this practice in reading about some military practices. I stuck to the conventional wisdom that I should eat as often as I could to avoid getting too hungry and overeating.
Fast-forward to today; I found intermittent fasting and the associated benefits through research. I happened upon the research and the work of Dr Jason Fung. Dr Fung can be found all over social media and he is constantly preaching the benefits of fasting. I’ve also read his books, The Obesity Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting.
I have started an intermittent fasting protocol which resembles a 20 hour daily fasting window and a 4 hour feeding window. The benefits have been incredible. Yes, I have seen my weight go down overall since I started fasting almost daily. The other physical benefit has been the total lack of extra skin that becomes a problem for most people when they lose a significant amount of weight. I’m currently down 53 lbs overall and I haven’t had any issues with excess skin. The major difference I have seen has been in my mental clarity. I have never had the level of focus that I have while fasting.
Well, that is until now! I’m currently on day 4 of a 7 day extended fast. I have never felt as good as I have this week. Hunger has subsided and I have subsisted on water and tea. Most of it is based on how I feel throughout the day and would end any fast if I did not feel right. The benefits I have read about in my research are so attractive to me that I had to give it a shot. I stick to the keto lifestyle fairly lazily overall so an extended fast like this really gives my body the chance to get back into a stronger state of ketosis and ensure that I’m fat adapted. Fat adaptation means that my body is using fat for fuel efficiently and is not relying on glucose for fuel.
So, what is the point of the title of this post, you ask?
I have come to realize that most people spend quite a bit of time focusing on overall weight loss and appearance over anything else. I get it, we focus on what we see first. Yes, I have lost quite a bit of weight and have not seen 177lbs since at least my years in college. Clothing doesn’t fit the same way anymore and I appear to be floating inside most of my shirts. My wardrobe is definitely due for a renewal and it will happen when I feel like I have achieved my goal. Here’s a post I did about my goals and progress.
I have come to realize that we all focus on physical appearance so much that we tend to forget about other benefits to a weight loss journey. I have lost a lot of weight and I am quite literally a fraction of the physical being I was just 2 years ago. Although that is a fact, it should not drive others to a negative conclusion that it may not healthy to continue doing what I am doing. It’s quite a shock to me too! That being said, I have never felt as good as I do today.
I’d like to propose a simple change to how we approach those of us who are going through any journey but specifically a drastic lifestyle change. Here are a few questions that should be asked instead of making our own assumptions about the person’s well-being:
- How are you feeling both physically and mentally?
- Are you happy with where you are right now?
- Does what you are doing make you happy?
- Do you have any information you can share about this journey?
Okay, the last one was a bit self-serving in that I do love to share research and I always prefer to do some research before jumping to any conclusion.
If you are content with the way that you feel both physically and mentally, then that is so awesome! Think about that when asking a friend, coworker or family member about their new lifestyle. Give them the chance to provide you with feedback prior to jumping to a conclusion.
Now get out there and support the people who are important to you! Go hero, go!
Here’s a comparative of before and after discovering a fasting protocol. The weight difference here is 18 lbs.
Alex is a friend and we can say “client” of mine who has been keto for the last month. He fasts almost 16-18 hours daily and he eats mostly in restaurants. He works out 4 days each week and has been quite strict in sticking with the lifestyle. Alex is down almost 25 lbs in his first month. I really wanted to highlight his progress thus far. Feel free to give him a follow!