I have no idea if I’ve learnt 11 things. This is a very specific number of learnings but it’s what I typed, so let’s go…
1. My happiness depends almost entirely on food (immediate access to, or the impending approach of).
I really like food. Now that I can’t eat very much of it, I’ve realised just how happy food makes me. The thought of my bowl of porridge spurs me on when I’m sitting in traffic on the way to work in the morning. All week I look forward to Kettle chips and a few glasses of red wine on Friday evening. The idea of a Chinese take-away or a pub lunch on the weekend puts me up at a good 9/10 on the happy scale (I’m easily pleased).
Right now I am living in a black cloud. Nothing is good any more. I hate you, I hate me, I hate the world. Go away.
2. English breakfast tea with semi skimmed milk is absolutely, exquisitely delicious.
I’ve always liked tea but since starting this fast, it’s become extra delicious and I’ve even stopped leaving that little bit at the end that usually gets cold. I drain it. All of it. Sometimes I consider chewing the tea bag. Sadly I can only afford to have 2 cups a day (calorie wise).
3. People who don’t eat breakfast are another breed of human.
You know who you are. You exist. I’m doing the 16:8 fast, which means I eat my 800 calories within an 8 hour window so I have to skip breakfast. All morning I’m just fantasising about lunch. How does anyone do this on a regular basis, happily, by choice?
4. I feel a lot skinnier than I am.
These days I wake up with an empty, rumbling stomach, so I feel excited, like I might have developed washboard abs overnight, but then I look in the mirror and weigh myself and discover that I am not yet ready to wear a crop top.
5. It’s perfectly fine to exercise while fasting.
I thought I might pass out or be really weak but actually I’ve felt fine and haven’t reduced my exercise regime at all. Running was a little harder maybe, but it might have been psychological.
6. I need to ‘manage my expectations’.
This is a phrase our solicitor used the other day and it’s horrible and annoying but what it means is I need to lower my expectations. I’ll be honest. I thought by now I’d be looking noticeably thinner. I’m not at all. I’ve lost just over 3lbs in 9 days. That’s probably just a good poo. I already know my body likes to cling to fat, so I shouldn’t expect to come out of this looking like a super model. I still don’t know why it takes 4 months to buy a house though.
7. Fruit tea can keep a hungry woman from killing someone.
I mean, it’s not English breakfast tea. But it’s warm, and it has flavour, and it fills my growling tummy and potentially keeps me less murderous.
8. The voice inside my head who wants to sabotage this endeavour with 24 custard creams in quick succession is very convincing. She should be a politician.
It’s amazing how convincing she is because I’m not a very convincing person at all, on the outside. Even if I know something to be absolutely 100% right, I’ll still say things like ‘I think so’, or ‘I guess so’, or ‘apparently’ because I’m a bit afraid of sounding up myself.
If I accidentally look at our biscuit jar, the cloying little voice pipes up instantly saying something like: ‘go on, you can have one. They’re only 62 calories each, why don’t you just have one? You’ll feel so much better and then you can get back to your diet after that and life will be wonderful’.
She’s a bit of a bellend.
9. Life goes very slowly when you’re fasting.
It’s been at least six years since I started this diet last Wednesday.
10. Everything becomes delicious. Even experimental home-made vegan quiche which tasted like mashed potato that’s been left out on the side for three days.
I ate it. Every last bit of it.
11. Other people’s lunch becomes absolutely fascinating.
I have to make a conscious effort not to watch people eat.
Turns out I have learnt 11 things after all! Nice.