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My Journal: Accountability and Support

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20 Apr 2014 00:07 #21480 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Days 3-4 have proven tough but rewarding. Struggled a bit with cravings, but hydrating and reading some of motivational materials helped.

So far, I am again feeling some of the effects associated with completion of the first 3 days (lightheadedness when standing too quickly, and sweet taste in my mouth indicating ketosis.)

I am grateful to be moving forward again after my recent lapse, and look forward so much to the completion of week 1!

Onto Day 5 :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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21 Apr 2014 21:45 #21494 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Days 5-6 have been a tad easier than the previous 4 days. I am dry fasting today, simply because I had no desire to hydrate at all.

I have found, so far, the best way to deal with temptations is to distract myself with other things. Easy to do, as I am a PhD candidate with plenty of dissertation left!

Secondly, much like addiction recovery programs, I am focused on the "one day at a time" mindset. While I have goals I wish to complete by extended fasting, there is simply no way to get there without a focus to take each day and make it the best I can.

Rest, treating myself with care, being patient.... one day at a time. :-)

Onto Day 7!!!!!

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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21 Apr 2014 22:17 #21495 by danielle
danielle replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Excellent. Thank you !

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21 Apr 2014 22:18 #21496 by Ockeghem
Ockeghem replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Acmaragh506,

It's great that you can fast while working on your Ph.D. When I was earning two master's degrees and a Ph.D., I put on the most weight of my life. I wasn't active at all, as I was involved with my coursework, taking tests, and preparing for my comps. And during the writing of my dissertation, I was even busier. So, hats off to you for fasting at this time.

Areas of specialty and interests: Canon and Fugue; Greek and Latin language and literature; Marathoning and Ultramarathoning; Martial Arts (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Shotokan {Kissaki-Kai} Karate); Medieval and Renaissance music notation; Television series (All In the Family; Charmed, Dark Shadows, Lost, The Outer Limits, Roswell, Star Trek); Theology; Twelfth- and thirteenth-century conductus,...

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21 Apr 2014 23:00 #21497 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Thank you, Ockeghem! I COMPLETELY relate (as I have spent the last ten years in school between my BS, MPH, and now PhD). It is very much the reason for my weight struggles.

I am hoping, as you mention, that I can begin working more activity into my schedule as the dissertation winds down, and graduation nears. I'll have closer to a 9 to 5 job at that point.

In the meantime, fasting is my best health tool. And when it works, it WORKS! :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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23 Apr 2014 23:39 #21508 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
The last couple days have been ok. I find myself getting winded when walking up hills, and not wanting to hydrate much.

However, I have slept soundly and have had no trouble concentrating on my work. I have consciously decided not to count the days of my fast. I find that doing so makes me too focused on achieving a goal number of days.

Instead, in keeping with my one day at a time approach, there is no number of days I wish to go. I feel better about this mindset. Therefore, onto tomorrow. :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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24 Apr 2014 01:34 #21510 by Elizabeth C
Elizabeth C replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
acmar, that makes so much sense. Similarly, I do not want to focus on weight loss as I'm not weighing. Also, I believe its reasonable to read about fasting once a day whether its this board or videos or books. I'm trying to not be so focused on fasting because after all, we have a life right?? :)

Thanks for being here and sharing with us.

Take good care!

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29 Apr 2014 16:04 #21543 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Thank you so much for your supportive words, Elizabeth C. It is more helpful than you know!!!

Last few days have been a little frustrating, though I have recovered. My doctor insisted that I complete a gastric emptying evaluation; thus I was required to eat. It's been months; frankly she and my mother wore me down. Hehe :-)

I have since restarted fasting, and have been for two days now. Because I do not wish to be hung up on the amount of fasting days, I have worked through the frustration of not completely having a choice in breaking the fast.

So far I have dry fasted since yesterday, and other than a slight headache I feel ok!

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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05 May 2014 04:12 #21602 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
I believe I am now into week 2 of my fast, though I am not counting exactly.

I have begun feeling winded very easily, and must sit often. I think this may be because I am deeply into the fast as a result of several recent short fasts. So, healing may be taking place more rapidly!

I have had to push myself to hydrate, but I still only consume roughly 30-40 oz a day. Also, I have been sleeping well and notice small physical changes, namely my face has thinned and my tummy and thighs are a touch smaller. Works for me.

Note to self yet AGAIN: standing up quickly = lightheadedness. I never learn. :-)

On to tomorrow!

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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05 May 2014 22:30 - 05 May 2014 22:30 #21612 by Elizabeth C
Elizabeth C replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Glad to hear things are going well Acmar! Thanks for checking in.

Take care.

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13 May 2014 01:55 #21645 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
I am now somewhere into week 3 (I think day 15 or so). I have experienced an exciting surge in energy the last few days! I have felt less fatigue, less cravings, and have been able to go to school and work without feeling as exhausted afterward.

I have even found that when I get up too fast, the lightheadedness is not as severe. I am unsure as to where exactly this energy has come from. It is times like this that I am reminded that every fast really is different. Normally, as I get deeper into a fast I get more fatigued... this time, it seems to be the reverse!

In any event, I am still struggling with hydrating, because I simply do not have a taste for drinking anything. I have also begun stretching more, and am contemplating adding in the elimination cycles supported by the Fast Doctor, now that I have the energy to do so.

Onto to tomorrow :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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17 May 2014 18:40 #21658 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
I am now nearing the end of week 3, and I feel proud of my progress thus far. By this, I mean that while my inches have not changed much this week, I have focused on the fact that I have overcome some difficult cravings, remained active in school and work, and still have a positive outlook.

As I may have mentioned, I have decided to keep my current and future fasts to 3-4 weeks at most, and shorter if my body requires. So, I suspect I will end this fast next week. In preparation, a fellow faster has asked me some questions that I thought posting answers to here might be useful to others:

**Topic: How did you feel?

After fasting, I feel a mix of anxiety and pride. I am always anxious because breaking the fast is often more crucial than the fast. The pride comes from knowing that I have accomplished something that most people barely understand, and could never do. I also have noticed that my body takes a good week to realize that it is eating again, which brings us to the next point. :-)

**Topic: How did you eat and will you do anything different this time? Are you a vegan?

In my experiences, the first 10 days determine the most of how you well you will recover from your fast. Those are the days that you are slowly waking up your system, and if you go overboard then, there is a good chance that you will after that point too. There is another fasting site that gives good instructions on how to break a fast: www.fitnessthroughfasting.com/breaking-a-fast.html . It is a good starting place for anyone. In my experience, this has worked the best and will be my plan again:

Days 1-2: NOTHING but vegetable broth, in differing amounts all day. I do NOT have good experience breaking with fruit (the sweetness irritates my tongue).

Days 3-5: Vegetable broth with cooked vegetables in it, and as a small dinner. I also begin some light exercise including pushups, situps, and dancing.

Days 6-8: Vegetable broth with cooked vegetables for breakfast and lunch, and salad as dinner (lemon juice, salt, pepper, MAYBE a touch of olive oil as dressing). Same exercise.

Days 9-10: A mixture of all of the above with more exercise (I begin weightlifting again along with cardio).

I am not a vegan nor vegetarian, since I eat dairy, poultry, and seafood. However, I do not introduce any of these until around the end of Week 2. That is an experiment for the end of this fast, actually. :-)

Hope that helps someone! Onto tomorrow.

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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17 May 2014 19:04 #21659 by danielle
danielle replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Way To Go !!!

My favorite line of this post:

The pride comes from knowing that I have accomplished something that most people barely understand, and could never do.

Majorly great. Also love hearing that you dance. My favorite exercise, besides riding my bike.

Thank you very much, you inspiring lady !

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17 May 2014 20:05 #21660 by Elizabeth C
Elizabeth C replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Thank you Acmar for always sharing so generously. It is so helpful to read about others experiences of successful fasts. You are a wonderful mentor whether you know it or not :)
I am pretty certain there are many readers on this site who find your posts helpful.

Have a good weekend! Take care.

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19 May 2014 17:20 - 19 May 2014 17:22 #21684 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Ladies, Danielle and Elizabeth C, you all are a constant source of support, whether YOU all know it or not. Thank you for reminding me how worth it sharing my story is!!!

As an update for all, I have chosen to end this fast today. That makes 3 weeks, give or take. I chose to do this because I began feeling an uncomfortable queasy feeling, that I am no stranger to. Once upon a time, 6 months ago, that turned into nonstop nausea. That will NOT be happening this time around. I take it as a signal that my reserves are low, and I do not question that now!!!!

So, my refeed plan will now be a slightly different take on what I outlined a few days ago. Basically, I will still be using those foods in that order, but I will take a one day break in between transitioning to the next food combination. So, for example, 2 days of broth, one day fast. 3 days of broth and veggies, one day break, and so on. I think this will help combat any excessive water weight fluctuations, and it is a gentle way to get back to exercising on fasting days (which worked WONDERFULLY for me in previous refeed times).

So, one cup of broth has been consumed. Feeling okay, and as always, hydrating is now easier since I'm eating again. Will post daily now, and look forward to seeing how this longer refeed will fare for me. :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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19 May 2014 21:22 #21685 by Elizabeth C
Elizabeth C replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Acmar, congratulations on your 3 week fast. I bet it feels great to have accomplished this. Hope you feel better fairly quick. I look forward to hearing about your changes and how you're doing with refeed. I'm curious about how you exercise on your fast days (in between feed days) and the reasoning behind that.

You have given me the motivation to fast again. I am on Day number 4 today. I AM counting :)

Look forward to hearing from you again.

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20 May 2014 17:16 - 20 May 2014 17:17 #21686 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Good for you Elizabeth C!! How do you feel so far? Have you been able to be active? I hope you have an easier time hydrating than I do! To answer your question, Elizabeth C., the one day rest in between refeed days is to combat water retention primarily.

As I mentioned many posts ago, I have struggled with edema on refeed before, so a sudden shift in water weight is not alarming to me. Today, for example, I feel a bit swollen. So, I have decided to fast today and hydrate with at least 100 ounces before another refeed day. I am thinking perhaps the broth had more sodium than I thought (as all veggies have some in them), and that my body is hypersensitive anyway. High blood pressure is rampant in my family. I am not worried however, as nothing is overly swollen, and my body measurements are exactly the same. No cause for concern.

The second reason for my one-day fasts, Elizabeth C., is to help build back up my muscle (once upon I time I was pretty good at weightlifting :-)). There are several studies that suggest that weightlifting in a short-term fasting state increases levels of human growth hormone, which is essential for muscle building effectively. I have seen the proof as well; after my first 3-week fast about 1.5 years ago I made HUGH strength gains in a matter of 4 weeks by alternate day fasting and exercising on the fast days.

Hope that helps! Onto tomorrow; will be sharing my exercise experiences as well. :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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23 May 2014 16:43 #21726 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
Today marks approximately day 5 of refeed. I have been alternating approximately 16 hour eating and 16 hours fasting windows. This has allowed me to minimize the impact of refeeding and water weight. I have been HYDRATING, I am proud to say, roughly 100 ounces a day!

I am also taking Vitamin E supplements that only make sense to take while eating (since Vitamin E is only fat-soluble). That is not for fasting, mind you, that is doctor recommended for me.

I am also sleeping more soundly, though my body is still not using 8 hours a night (presumably because I am still not eating a normal amount and only do so every other day). Exercising has been light everyday (walking, pilates, yoga). I miss dancing though, so will try a short Zumba class down the street today!

Onto tomorrow. :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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26 May 2014 04:30 - 26 May 2014 04:34 #21754 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
I believe I am now in week 2 of my refeeding. I have re-introduced all of the food groups I care to eat (e.g. seafood, a LITTLE dairy, lentils and beans, raw and cooked vegetables, salads, and sparse grains). I have still been eating soups mostly, but in larger portions to fuel my daily exercise.

I have chosen to introduce food groups more quickly during this refeed, however, because I have been able to do short fasts regularly. Additionally, I will be out of town with family the first week of June (and must be able to eat normally by then).

So far, my exercise has consisted of Zumba, yoga, pilates, and long walks. I hope to begin some weights this week, but I will stick to a 40 minute time limit for all exercise.

To keep any water weight and edema issues in check, I am still alternate day fasting. Since I ate 3 days consecutively (Fri, Sat, Sun), I will be fasting Monday-Wednesday in order to take a break. Per fasting doctor recommendations, my last meal was fairly high in fat, which should aid in fat burning during this short fast.

I am also staying hydrated and taking vitamins. Overall, I am proud to report feeling a lot of energy even during my short fasts, and sound sleep as well. I feel that my fast has given me control over my appetite, and I STILL have no tastes for sugary sweets.

Onto tomorrow :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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11 Jun 2014 14:43 #21973 by acmaragh506
acmaragh506 replied the topic: My Journal: Accountability and Support
After completing roughly 3 weeks of refeeding (after a 3 week water fast), I have begun another fast!

I began the night before last night, so I am in day 2 of dry fasting. I intend for this fast to be a combined water/soft dry fast. So, I will be dry fasting for some days at a time, but still allowing myself to touch water and shower, etc.

I have consistently found it easier to begin a fast if I dry fast, and yesterday was no exception. Despite CRAZY humidity here, I was able to dry fast and go to work all day yesterday with no problems. Today I felt some soreness in my back, (perhaps healing?), so I am working from home today.

Overall, my refeeding went well, but I did find myself going overboard the last few days on my family trip (meaning larger portions and foods I don't really eat often). So, to resume my discipline and get back to my goals, I hope to fast for the next 4 weeks.

If not, as long as I can. Onto tomorrow! :-)

~Life is a song. Find your melody.~

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