I gained 10 pounds while intermittent fasting, because of course I did!
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Given these “new” normal times, this should come as no surprise. It didn’t to me. And, to be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t gain more! I mean, I have not been good these last several months. Like, at all!
While I’m not beating myself up about the 10-pound weight gain, I am a little sad because I was on a very good trajectory with my intermittent fasting and weight loss prior to the COVID stay-at-home order. I had just entered my 140s and was posting pictures of my progress on social media. I felt like I had finally entered the “bragging rights” phase of my intermittent fasting and weight loss results!
And then, of course, COVID.
While I was optimistic about working from home AND helping my children with their distance learning routines (because how hard can it be?), it didn’t take long to figure out what a freaking crazy mess it all was.
And, like ALL of you, I struggled. This “new” normal has not been easy. Especially on my waistline.
IF and COVID.
With a schedule that was forever changing, and cohabitating with children who had a hard time understanding our new normal and our current situation, life got (and still is) super stressful.
Our work lives started to blend with our home lives that started to blend with our distance learning lives, and with no hard lines drawn between them, my brain could not cope. Soon, the challenge of the “unknown” started to take its toll on the entire family and everything started to go to absolute shit.
What will the kids do over summer break while both parents work full time?
Will the kids go back to school?
Can we take a summer vacation with all that’s going on?
How will we manage a full schedule of distance learning and working from home in the fall?
Why are my kids being such assholes?
It wasn’t long until my muffin consumption went up and my consistent fasting routine went way, way down. And, while I was able to camouflage this weight gain over the summer with my “big” shorts and leggings, Fall was approaching, and at some point, I’d have to suck it up and put on a pair of jeans. I can’t wear my shorts all winter (or can I?) so I had to eventually face the music…of my honesty pants.
Last weekend, I attended my parents 50th wedding anniversary. It was a super lovely and super perfect outdoor “driveway get-together” with about 15 people total. I’m so glad I made the trip up north with my daughter for the quick visit!
The weather was a bit chillier in Central NY than Maryland, so in my overnight bag, instead of the usual baggy shorts and leggings I’ve been rockin’ for months, I decided to pack two pairs of jeans instead. One pair was my “perfect-fit” jeans (as seen above), and the other pair was my “baggy-boyfriend” jeans.
I had not put on either pair since March. What could possibly go wrong???
Not much, but enough.
Let’s get honest.
On the day of the event I thought, “Right. Time to get dressed.” and out came my “perfect-fit” jeans. Jeans that, pre-COVID, finally fit perfectly. Jeans that I worked super hard to fit into. While I was reluctant to try them on, I figured, “I didn’t gain THAT much, did I? A pound, maybe? This should be fine. Right?”
Turns out my “perfect fit” jeans, my honesty pants, threw a whole lot of honesty my way.
No longer perfect. OMG, so TIGHT!
Trying the tricks.
Ya’ll. I tried so hard to make them fit. I really did. I stretched this way and that, but sadly, all my tight pant fitting stretch techniques did nothing to provide any sense of comfort in my super-duper “honesty” pants.
I took them off. A little sad, but not completely defeated, and I grabbed my baggy boyfriend jeans. While not the best choice for my top selection, they were now the ONLY choice for my top selection, and I put them on.
You guys. They. Were. Tight.
(Throws head back and looks up, deep UGH.)
No gray areas here.
The evidence laid out before me did not lie. I gained actual, real honest to goodness weight.
This was not bloat, nor was it “muscle mass” due to my workouts. This was weight.
The reality of this whole situation is that I knew. Honestly, I KNEW. I knew I was making bad choices, I knew I wasn’t consistent with my fasting schedule and I knew that I was starting to gain weight. It’s this same reality that I faced when I was about 180 pounds. I knew what I was eating was bad, that my habits were shit, so why was I surprised that I gained 50 pounds?
Read: My Weight Gain Story.
Am I pissed that I let myself gain 10 pounds?
No, not really. I’m kind of sick of being mad at myself all the time for doing all the things that I do to myself. I did it. It’s done. I allowed myself some slack during these past several months and now I’m faced with those consequences. It’s now time to reel in that slack and throw the line in a different direction.
But, here’s the deal. It could have been worse.
For the love of IF.
This is why I LOVE intermittent fasting. During this time, I would consistently follow-up my bad fasting and eating days with a good, long, clean fast. A fast that would be a minimum of 20 hours. And, I truly believe that this saved me from gaining more than my 10-pound weight gain.
Was this a great plan of attack? Probably not, but I love intermittent fasting and love how it makes me feel so I did what worked for me during these last several months.
On the days I woke up feeling crappy, because I had a late-night snack, or I just had a really long eating window the day before, I would commit to a 20 hour clean fast as a sort of “reset”. For me, it worked. While the long fast was a bit difficult following a “bad” day, it helped me get back on track.
Now, I don’t want you to think that I didn’t comply with any type of intermittent fasting schedule during this time. I did, but my fasting windows were shorter than usual (14-16 hours) and I ate a lot of coffee cake muffins. Like, too many coffee cake muffins.
We stopped buying coffee cake muffins.
And, once again I found myself staring in the face of the same old, same old reality. It happened again. So now what?
I’ve been brainstorming some ideas over the last week or so about how I’m going shift gears and get back on my intermittent fasting happy train and to kick start my weight loss again. Ideas that will be easy and will keep me accountable.
The idea is that I don’t want to add too much to my happy train, too much is always too much and I don’t want my happy train to get sad. The idea here is to keep it simple, super simple, start small and see where that gets me.
I’m feeling really confident that I’ll see success with my plan. Here are my thoughts.
Stick to my IF schedule.
One of my main issues these last few months has been inconsistency with my intermittent fasting schedule. While my current schedule is 18/6, I found that I very freely swapped this schedule with a shorter fasting window to accommodate my ever-changing stress levels.
For example, one day I would do a 16 hour fast, the next I might do a 14 hour fast, and then, maybe the next day, I wouldn’t really fast at all. Then, of course, I would follow all of this up with a long fast to try to negate all of my shorter or non-existent fasts. It’s like the old “workout longer and harder to burn off that extra piece of cake you had at the birthday party” concept. While it might work in the short term. working out for hours every day to right your wrongs is just not sustainable. It just won’t work. I needed to be proactive.
Right now, my goal is to complete an 18 or 20 hour fast every day for 30 days and see where that gets me. I looking at my fasting schedule as the foundation of my plan. Once I gain consistency with my fasts, I can build on from there.
I plan to continue to use the LIFE App to track my daily fasts.
While I’m not a fan of weighing on a daily basis, I am intrigued by the weekly averages that comes with these daily weigh-ins. I’m going to use the Happy Scale App to do this, but I’m also going to insert the information into a spreadsheet that I created. I’ll talk more about that below.
As we all know, success is not always found on the scale. That being said, I took measurements of my waist, hips, thighs, bust, and arms. I plan to take the same measurements in 30 days to see if my body is making changes that might not be represented in the form of actual weight loss.
Drink more water.
Isn’t water the answer to all of our problems?
Dehydration is a stinker and I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to drink more water. I am one dehydrated girl. So, I plan on keeping my Soda Stream cartridges stocked and I plan to make my Sparkling Mineral Water concoction to help with my hydration.
Eat Real Food/Drink Less Alcohol.
One of my biggest issues is processed food and stress eating during my eating window. I need to eat real food and ditch the processed stuff. I will continue to make my favorite/easy “real food” recipes for dinner and will work to reduce my processed snack consumption during my eating window.
Read More: 5 Super Simple Weeknight Meals for Busy Moms
And, I’ve been indulging in a little more nightly nightcaps that I really need to be. I need to scale back on the alcohol consumption.
Simple Tracking Worksheet.
While I’m still going to use my tracking apps, I decided that I wanted to track other aspects of my day to see how it affects the scale during my daily weigh-ins. For example, does drinking my nightly martini affect my weight the following morning? If so, by how much? Or, how was I feeling on a particular day? Great? OK? Super crappy? I want to know. And, more importantly, I want to see how all of that affects my progress!
In order to accomplish all of this, I made a simple excel worksheet. My goal is to very simply track all of these elements on a daily basis and see where I stand in 30 days.
It’s like I’m performing my own scientific study, but on myself!
Post my results on a monthly basis.
In order to stay accountable, I decided that I would write a blog post that will include my monthly results, thoughts, progress, lack of progress, what I think went right, and what I think went wrong. Basically, sharing where I am and what I learned.
And that should do it!
I don’t want to make this a complicated process, and I guess that’s the beauty of intermittent fasting, it’s not complicated. You stop eating, fast, and then you start eating again. There will be no counting calories, macros, carbs, protein, cardio, nothing. Just a simple process that will (hopefully) have amazing results.
- Want to know more about the easy weeknight dinners I make for my family? Head over to my Pinterest “I tried it, Board”. I pin lots of my favorites there.
- New to intermittent fasting and don’t know where to start? Check out my 5 Steps to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting.
- Check out my How I lost 30 pounds with Intermittent Fasting post to learn how I lost 30 pounds with intermittent fasting!