So what the heck happened 08 August? I felt I was already teetering on the cusp of a fall off the wagon event, and then it happened. Somehow getting beyond 60lbs has been harder for me mentally than I thought it would be. I had thought it would be motivating to see I have come so far and the last 20lbs would feel easier mentally. That has not been the case. After a week of no movement on the scale I embarked on a 72 hour fast that broke the plateau. The scale had indicated as much as 63.2lbs lost. Looking at the calendar the weight loss has continued its positive trend but mentally it has been very hard, feeling I am not making the progress I should. I could not seem to correlate the trend and my mentality. Upon further analysis and reflection the data shows I have not been as ruthlessly disciplined. Instead, I have been moving more broadly across a continuum of more relaxed standards (both in intermittent fasting (IF) and the sugar/carb intake) on one end, and longer fasts on the other. The result was still weight trending positive overall but, and data bears this out, I have not been as regimented which has made me feel a bit out of control. The positive trend in weight has also been accompanied with more varied ups and downs of the weight day to day. I have told myself all along this journey that I could not let up and relax/change discipline until the goal is reached. I need to tighten up and be more regimented staying within a narrower band.       

Leading up to the fall I had some minor lapses in my discipline; a handful M&Ms here, a scoop of ice cream there, occasional mindless snacking, etc. I also have not been as strict regarding IF with the times straying, increased snacking, and overall not being as regimented. Nothing terrible, but is noticeable in the data I keep. I justified the behavior telling myself that I will need to learn to introduce/allow myself some of this upon reaching my goal. I knew in my soul, though I could not admit to myself, this was not true. I then compensated with longer fasting. Reflecting, I now see that I was teetering and only rationalizing to myself instead of staying true to the values I have set for this journey.

The morning of the fall I had a planned breakfast. I usually don’t have breakfast but incorporated it into my week to accommodate a friend. I do believe it is good to change-up the IF so your body does not become so accustomed to a sustained schedule. Breakfast was fine, staying low carb with eggs, sausage and strawberries. Afterwards I stopped in Trader Joes for some macadamia nuts. They are a good low carb snack but very high in calories. This was not a smart move because controlling the portion of nuts is a challenge, and exacerbates snacking that diminishes my IF discipline. Once inside I found myself not able to resist various kinds of peanut butter cups offered in different packages. I debated different kinds, consciously aware that none of them were worthy. I could not overcome the mental challenge and bought tub of unwrapped miniatures. I could have made the choice of none or a small package of a few individually wrapped, but did not. I then subsequently ate all of the nuts and cups over the course of the morning. I knew I would, this part of my health journey still needs work and is not controlled. This is a combination of the lifelong portion control issue which is made worse by eating sugar/carbs that don’t keep me satiated. I have read articles about studies of people who can stop eating when full versus those who simply keep eating until the food in front of them is gone. Unclear what causes that behavior, but I definitely am in the latter. I can distinctly remember being in kindergarten at a friend’s house and we had a shared snack while watching TV. I thought I was judicious, but my friend shocked at how much I ate. A core memory making me realize this has been a lifelong issue. The learning point here is that the 8/8/23 incident was a result of the relaxed IF discipline I require, sabotaging myself with some snacking moving along the continuum mentioned above.

I was unhappy with myself, and managed to control further binge until evening. I often find that the binging is a cycle that is hard to break; it leads to more binging of even more poor sugar/carb choices that cycle to even more binging. After work I got a haircut, and McDonald’s is right there. Had it not been for an inept drive-thru operation I would have had a double cheeseburger. Upon arriving home I had some pork rinds (carb friendly) as I was craving salt, however not eating for hunger, a sign of undisciplined IF. I could have added salt to a drink or even taken some on my tongue as I have done previously. We had dinner which unfortunately was heavy carb with a pasta base. I also have noted that my typical amount of water intake for the day was lacking, making me not feel as full. After dinner I completely fell off the wagon having copious ice cream right out of the carton and some M&Ms. It was a precipitous fall and lack of discipline. Even as I was doing it I was not feeling well and not enjoying the food. It is crazy to me the total lack of control that can happen.

The next morning I was not surprised to have a scale increase (as it had the last couple days) falling slightly below the coveted 60lb loss mark. Frustrating and disappointing for sure. I also was not feeling well physically from all the sugar that my body is not used to. By lunch time I was feeling very hungry from the sugar/carb burn off. I was concerned about another sugar/carb binge and thus my solution was to eat a lunch of real food with a good amount of fat to feel satiated and return to a more sustainable schedule of IF. So at 1230 I had lunch of roasted chicken, avocado, Greek salad, eggs and sausage. This carried me through until the next day. The scale was again indicating 60lbs loss and I feel much better physically, more confident, and that I am on the right path.

Reflecting, I believe there are a couple things to learn. Like the vacation experience, I need to continue to plan in order to be focused. Having gone through this and writing about it will make it easier/better next time. Give myself grace and recognize I can pick up from here and move forward, not all is lost in one day. Perhaps pushing the plateau too hard with 72 hour fast led to binging and broadening the continuum. Some patience is required, trying to speed the process may have opposite results.