So I’ve never been skinny. I’d say I’m average sized (but short, alas!) I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at 14 which basically means it’s harder for me to lose weight and I’m at an increased risk of diabetes and infertility – unless I maintain a healthy weight! (I actually don’t know much about it. I’m very lucky in that it has never affected me in any major way.)
I was put on Metformin at 14, which is a tablet they prescribe to diabetics. It maintained my weight for ten odd years until it started making me very, very ill. Constant headaches, tummy aches, digestion problems – you name it! One day I came off it, and within a month I’d lost a stone and have maintained that weight loss ever since.
I then started working out intermittently and dropped a dress size (my weight stayed the same, I guess because of building up muscle?) but now I’ve sort of plateaued.
So the next step is obvious: a diet. Now, I hate diets. As a teenager I became obsessed with calorie counting and would severely restrict my calorie intake to the point where it was a bit (ok, a lot) eating disorder-y. Since then, I’ve worked long and hard to regain a normal relationship with food, and I’m pretty sure I’ve achieved it. But now I like food too much to restrict my calories every day. I like bread too much to do the Atkins. I try to stick to low GI (brown pasta, brown rice, seeded bread in place of processed white products) but sometimes that macaroni cheese just won’t stop taunting me until I eat it.
But then I started reading about the 5:2 diet, made famous by Dr Michael Mosley and his BBC Horizon documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer (which I just watched and is very good, he’s a very likeable chap! You can read about the science here.). Basically, you eat normally 5 days a week, but for 2 non-consecutive days a week you only eat 500 calories (600 for men). That’s it. When this chap did it he lost weight, his risk factors for cancer and other heart diseases lowered, as did his bad cholesterol and his blood sugar.
So this all sounds very good! Instead of denying yourself yummy food every day, you only do it for two days, and yet you get all the benefits that people who fast for much longer periods of time get. HOW HARD CAN IT BE? (Hmm, I probably shouldn’t have said that.)
So tomorrow, I begin. I have chosen Monday and Thursday to be my ‘fasting days’. I have roped both my parents in to try it because I wouldn’t have a hope in hell eating a puny salad whilst they’re gorging on curry. And I write about it here so I suffer the embarassment if I fail!
My mom will find it easy. I won’t. I’m a ‘grazer’ – I eat smaller meals, but I eat more often. Going four hours without food is a significant challenge to me. I suck at it. But maybe it will improve my eating habits on my regular days too!
Welp. Wish me luck. I’m scared. I’ll keep you updated!