I have probably answered the “what should I drink while fasting” question seventy-bazillion times by now. And, I honestly don’t mind answering it over and over again. My years of teaching elementary students have taught me patience when it comes to answering these types of questions.
You know what I AM tired of, though?
I am sick of hearing the the idea that there is one true way of eating that works universally.
Yes, I am frustrated by this every day, when I see members of the support groups tell other people what they should or shouldn’t eat.
This is the whole reason why I wrote Feast Without Fear, in fact.
Look, I completely understand that once you find a way of eating that works for you, you want to shout it from the rooftops.
You eat only meat and have never felt better? Yay! I believe you!
You never eat meat or animal products and you have never felt better? Yay! I believe you!
Your life changed for the better once you embraced a LCHF eating style? Yay! I believe you!
You are amazed by the positive changes that occurred once you adopted a whole food plant based diet? Yay! I believe you!
Get it? People feel great eating all kinds of ways. Many of these ways won’t be the way YOU feel best. The end.
As an example, I feel great when I eat 100% of the foods that a newly popular “diet” book tells you to AVOID. Yep. The entire “don’t ever eat these foods because they are the worst ever” list reads like my personal list of “these are the foods that my body feels best eating.” Am I mistaken? Are these foods destroying my health? Well, I’ve never felt better, or been leaner, so I doubt it.
So. What can we do about this issue? I have an idea, actually.
How about keep your eyes on your own plate, and stop telling people what they should be eating? Can we start there?
If you don’t understand why, read Feast Without Fear. I’m not just trying to sell you a book here. I’m trying to FREE you from the prison of dietary dogma.
Look, y’all. Knowing what I know now, it sounds silly when you tell other people what foods they should be eating.
We are all different. We really are. Fast clean, and then eat the foods that make YOU feel great.
Feast Without Fear, Y’all.
Note from Gin: Barbara Mudd is a member of the Delay, Don't Deny: Intermittent Fasting Support community on Facebook. Barbara is brilliant when it comes to encouraging others, and we can't get enough of her wisdom in the group. Now, with no further ado, let's hear from Barbara!
We understand where you’re coming from. We lived there too.
The constant measuring. The counting of calories. Obsessing over macros. Dissecting recipes. Analyzing labels. The fervent journaling. The stress. The cheating. Feeling like a failure. Self-loathing. Binging. Despair. Building up the strength to TRY it again.
And that was your LIFE.
Your insulin was out of whack, your cortisol was through the roof, but your weight was steady as a rock.
Yep. Its enough to make you justifiably nuts.
THEN you end up in the DDD group. And it’s different. Everyone’s hanging loose, laughing, evidently shrinking away as they speak, posting pics of food you haven’t allowed yourself to eat since 1972, and they’re telling you to CHILL. Be at peace.
And maybe you even forgot how.
How can you relax?? What if you eat too many calories and gain 18,000 pounds?
What if you eat too few and go into (gasp) starvation mode?
What if you don’t eat enough protein and your muscles start wasting…?
What if you eat too much fat and have to go directly to jail, do not pass GO, and do not collect $200?
What if your window is too long? What if its too short? What if you just don’t like black coffee, dammit?
What if you get (double gasp) HANGRY????
What if ….what if….what if….. ???
Its enough to KEEP you nuts. And it will if you let it.
But here’s a thought:
What if all that worrying, attention, obsessing is a BIG part of the problem?
**What if us trying to micromanage what is supposed to be an easy, natural process, is the biggest reason for its very malfunction?**
Not just because it keeps your cortisol elevated which is going to make it harder to lose weight….but because it is literally counter-productive.
People were of normal sizes until the government (don’t get me started on snack food and pharmaceutical lobbyists) started stepping in and telling everyone HOW and WHAT to eat. People were healthier then. Stronger. Less food obsessed. More in tune with their bodies.
I want to be like them.
I have lost 55 pounds in 5 months and I truly believe that the biggest part of WHY is that I made the decision to do this and RELAX; to relinquish control back to my body. I keep it loose and easy peazy.
I follow only one simple principle: I fast clean until I decide to eat. That's IT.
My decision to eat is dictated by the events in my life. If it’s a regular day, I eat once around noon. If there’s a party, celebration, special occasion—then there’s no restrictions, I simply enjoy the event. Guilt has no seat at my table.
I don’t count hours. Couldn’t care less if I fasted 22 hours yesterday and only 20 today. I don’t watch a clock and white knuckle it 30 more minutes until my window opens. My body unmistakably TELLS me when my window is open; it’s when my thoughts suddenly turn strongly to food.
I don’t count calories. I truly don’t believe that they have much to do with weight loss as evidenced by my own journey. I eat until my body tells me it’s had enough. Some days that seems to be a lot. Sometimes, its ridiculously little. That’s OK.
I don’t count macros and dictate to my body how much of what its going to have. Who am I to decide that? It has different requirements, different days. I have NO idea what my body is doing that day and what it needs--- it could be healing, it could be rebuilding, it could be eliminating unwanted structures, it could be breaking down a tumor…. I let my body tell me what it NEEDS and I feed it accordingly.
Adopting that one simple principle has set me free from food obsession and endless hours of guilt and uncertainty and worry. It’s taken huge loads off my mind. It has unbowed my shoulders and straightened my back with relief from that heavy load of erroneous Western Medicine Guideline data that led me to obesity in the first place.
I am finding balance in life from refusing to micromanage my body any longer. My body is in charge of fuel regulation now. I can already tell you that it’s doing a MUCH better job of it than I ever did. I should have retired that position LONG ago.
So please, consider stepping out in trust.
I KNOW, you’ve been mislead, so many times before…..but this isn’t a diet. There are no supplements. We’re not trying to sell you a damn thing. These aren’t nutritional guidelines. We won't make you get a club tattoo. We have no ulterior motives.
<3 This is an invitation to initiate the healing process that will bring you back into alignment with your body, and will hopefully lead to your decision to Get Out Of Your Body’s Way and let it lead its OWN fuel regulatory process. <3
They say “misery loves company”. That may be true. I don’t know.
But Peace and Freedom definitely love company and WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US. <3
Gin Stephens lives in Augusta, Georgia, where she has been following an intermittent fasting lifestyle since 2014. In addition to writing the #1 Amazon best-seller Delay, Don't Deny and the follow-up book Feast Without Fear, Gin is host of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast and co-host of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, along with fellow intermittent faster and author, Melanie Avalon. Check out www.intermittentfastingstories.com and www.ifpodcast.com or search for the podcasts through your favorite podcast app.