Today I am hungry. This is not something I am used to on my usual diet.
As you may know, I lose weight steadily on my raw-till-4, fruitarian diet. The most remarkable thing about it is that I don’t calorie restrict. I can eat up to 2,500 calories/day (average 1,900) and lose weight. In my first ten weeks I lost 15 lbs and 37 inches. My blood sugars were better, too, even though I was eating so many fruits and cooked carbs (being vegan/vegetarian). But the funny thing is, when I eat cooked food with the same caloric count during the day, I stop losing. It is the type of food eaten, not so much the calories.
So, I don’t have to deal with hunger at all, except for some reason, when I eat bananas all day, eating one per hour is necessary because I will be starving within an hour if I don’t. Interestingly, foods with fat in them and even low-fat cooked foods sustain me for hours at a time. Whatever causes me hunger with raw foods must be the amazing action of the live enzymes which help me eat so much yet lose weight any way. This may be why going completely raw cures diabetes.
Not too long ago, around the end of October, into my dietary tools, I added intermittent fasting. I was amazed. I lost three pounds in the first couple of days even while eating cooked food during the day! This is where you wait until noon or later in the day to eat your first meal. The goal is to go as late as you can in the day and depending on what you are capable of doing, from time to time or regularly, to try and make your window of eating smaller and smaller, down to just 4 hours and in some cases only eating one meal per day. Apparently this works really well even for us older women in speeding up the weight loss process. I have certainly been a witness to that. What I noticed with this is that my blood sugars are much more manageable, even getting into near normal ranges. That may mean I can stop taking medication sooner.
Right now, though, I have determined to lose weight a little faster to make up for lost time. So, besides using intermittent fasting, I am calorie restricting and only eating raw food for a short time. I may go as long as eight weeks with it because studies show major improvements in reversing much of the typical damage that comes from diabetes in that period of time (eating a plant-based, low fat 800 calorie/day diet).
As you can imagine, when I am not eating I am quite hungry! Of course, I am not hungry all of the time. It eventually disappears for a while. Sometimes I barely notice the hunger. This morning at 4 am, however, it was quite annoying. I was tempted to eat but I told myself, that is the sound of the pounds melting away and I felt better about it. Hence, it has turned into a strategy I will continue to use.
Hunger invokes anxiety in people to get them to eat. It comes to babies when they are hungry, so they cry. Having to deal with the emotional aspects of hunger as well as the physical ones, especially during times of stress, like I had in the summer, is not easy to deal with. In fact, it makes stress that much harder to deal with. But I have just discovered a couple of powerful things to help me through it.
I’ve always had trouble fasting. But intermittent fasting is a lot easier to handle because I know if the pain is bad now, it will soon go away when I get to eat. So, I am able to flex my will power muscles while keeping that in my mind and the fact that I am melting pounds away. Because these thoughts bring me hope, they give me a sense of control over a normally stressful or potentially anxious situation. What’s more, I know it is curing and reversing disease processes that have started due to diabetes, making me feel and look better. However, looking better has never been a real good motivator for me. It may get me to the diet but won’t keep me there because I don’t put any value upon vanity. I never have.
But recently, I had an epiphany that also helped. This constant difficulty I have with getting on and staying on a diet has to do with the instinct to prevent suffering. I realized that even when I get to eat cooked foods at night, I am never satisfied with just one serving anyway. Like most people, I want at least two. And if I really like the entree or side dish, I might even go for three. Not usually, but sometimes I might, especially if it was a bad day, its a celebration, or if I think my blood sugar can stand it. Either that or I may indulge in a sweet or salty snack while watching television. Not much calorie wise, but it was usually a nightly occurrence. When I can’t have those things, I suffer. I am bored. I feel deprived and I am hungry. Of course, it isn’t good for me to have them. While we diabetics may get away with all of that nonsense at first while increasing the dosages of our medication higher and higher, if we keep that up we can be sure that we will get on insulin and I don’t want that. If you think it is hard to lose weight now, that makes it nearly impossible.
I realized that while I look forward to eating my supper at night, the joy associated with it lasts only a few minutes. That is why I feel the need for more. Maybe I need more joy in my life. I certainly don’t need to make something as addicting as food my joy. So, I determined, if I am going to be unhappy even after I finish eating a meal, why does it matter if I eat regular, yummy meals or not? I might as well just go ahead and eat the rabbit food (greens and raw veggies) that I know is good for me but I don’t really look forward to eating like I do cooked starches and fats. Why should I delay the suffering? If I am not happy after I get to eat great food, why not just suffer all day? At least then I will be getting something incredible valuable out of it; my health.
These are all thoughts I can whip out of my bag of tricks when hunger begins to try to take me down.
Copyright (c) Tracey L. Nelson
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