Preparing for Day One
This experiment in intermittent fasting (IF) has one goal: to discover if IF is right for you.
Who are you, where are you from and why are you doing this experiment?
The benefits have been well documented. This article gives a good roundup
In addition to all this, I have noticed two benefits that are super exciting for you as a recovering compulsive eater.
A - Food is less of an issue
I am much less hungry, and whereas I used to say I managed my compulsion really well, now compulsion is not an issue. This is not to say I do not resist IF, because I do at times. It just surfaces in resisting meal planning and other organisational snafus. However the great news is that this is far easier to deal with than some innate feeling that I am compulsive like an alcoholic at AA who hasn’t had a drink for 10 years.
B - Feeling Grounded
This is difficult to put into words, because being grounded is the domain of the body. At the time of writing, the gym is lockdown shut and it has been too cold to exercise much recently. But the reduced inflammation that has improved my mobility issues about 80% is also helping me make friends with, and be relaxed in my body.
Power of Experimentation
Imagine you need to buy a new car.
When you enter the car showroom, you are likely to be on alert for salesy tactics to get you to up your budget, upgrade the features etc.
What you are really trying to work out is: which is the best car for my needs? And accordingly you filter everything the saleperson is saying to you through this question.
You are (hopefully) in assessor mode when you buy a new car.
This is the mindset I want you to have for this experiment.
Most diets (and I imagine IF programmes) encourage you to approach this dietary change as a badly behaved toddler sitting on the naughty step.
The programme has all the responsibility and all the power.
You have no responsibility, no power. Even toddlers are given a choice of veggies to eat at their meals!
It is ESSENTIAL you treat any suggestions - including mine - as just that. The only gospel truth is what works for you.
Most Diets vs This Experiment
Discussion: what diets have you done that left you feeling like this? How effective were they?
Any restriction is potentially problematic for recovering compulsives because restriction often triggers the IFR.
Therefore the experimental mindset, which calms the IFR, is the best way to approach this and will help you weather any discomfort or resistance that crops up.
Being experimental is also a low commitment strategy, which further calms the IFR. “I can go back to what I was doing tomorrow”.
A Word of Caution
I have developed a way to do IF that means I am never hungry, or at most mildly so. It is also devoid of compulsion (using mild hunger as an excuse to eat junk for example).
However, any restriction at all may be a step too far for you right now. It may be that there are foundational steps you need to take before considering IF.
I have clients that I would never mention IF to, because it is not right for them.
I have structured this experiment in such a way that you can check in with yourself regularly and ask yourself if this is a useful approach for you right now.