It has been a year since Scott and I started our intermittent fasting. Inspired by Tim Ferriss and a whole lot of other people talking about this, we set up an eating window for ourselves. We decided that we would eat between 11 and 7 every day and we’d allow ourselves to eat outside of that window on weekends.
Meals in our family have always been precious. By adopting this new plan, our morning ritual of family breakfast would have to end during the week. I’d been kind of pushing for this for a while anyway. Every morning before work I get up at 5 and either bake for my business or work on my school work. With a hard stop of 6:30 for breakfast I often find myself mid-project for school or with a giant mess with baking. Not having to stop for breakfast means I can get into flow and mostly finish up projects.
The kids missed our breakfast time initially and they sad sadly at the table for several months. I felt bad as I watched them slowly shift their day toward a less immediate need for breakfast. It is true that the parents do set the tone for the kids. Neither actually does the intermittent fasting, but both kids have stopped eating breakfast first thing in the morning.
That first snack used to be such a BIG deal. In the spring as Covid was in full swing, my office hours spanned the 11 o’clock hour. I used to write on my digital whiteboard “Ms. Dawson went to get a snack. I’ll be right back” in case a student showed up when I went to get my yogurt with granola or apple with peanut butter or trail mix. Some days Scott would deliver to me and other days I would deliver to him.
As we started school in the fall though I was in my shared space during my prep period right before 11. I started the year taking a quick mask break for my trail mix or apple right at the end of my prep before my next two classes. But, it was weird and I found myself not enjoying my food at all. I either inhaled it or just felt really aware of my crunching and how it could be bugging my colleagues. My lunch was at 12:30 so I just decided to wait to eat at 12:30. You know what - it wasn’t that much of a change. Except for the time between 10:15 and 11 I was teaching anyway so I wasn’t focused on eating. The result: come November I switched to eating between 12:30 and 7 or so. Some evenings Xander works til 7 so we can’t eat until 7:20 or so.
Why do this anyway?
Honestly I started this because Scott started it. Scott started it because he listened to something about it on Tim Ferriss and a bunch of people in his circles had been discussing it.
Ultimately, Tim didn’t really think this was a great idea over time and didn’t stick with it (at least according to his blog posts) . Me. I’m torn. I feel like it has given me the gift of more time. And, I actually like to run on an empty stomach.
What about weight?
This hasn’t really altered my weight much at all the way I see it. I weigh myself most days on my home scale and have a pretty narrow weight range. My typical range is 119 - 123 (see: Weight Chart)
The result. No real weight change this year. I'm at the high end of this right now, but still in the range. Ultimately this experiment for me was more about gaining time, preparing one less meal and to be perfectly honest just joining Scott in his endeavor. He had tried it for a few weeks on his own as the 3 of us sat for family breakfast. It was awkward at best and we were at the point where either he had to give it up or I had to join in.
I have a few coworkers who have started longer bouts of fasting. They are really finding it beneficial. Like days of not eating. One colleague was going to get her Covid vaccine and mentioned she hadn’t eaten in 5 or more days (I can’t remember how many days it was). The other routinely goes several days without eating. Tim Ferriss has endorsed that as well and does several multi-day fasts each year. Here’s where I am on that. I really like eating and I like the predictability of regular meals. That said, I think I could pull something like this off 2-3 times a year. It could help me when I have to do a colonoscopy some day and I’m all about planning ahead to avoid challenging situations.
Right now with both kids home I don’t think I’ll try it. I know how whiny I’d surely be and I don’t want to subject either of them to that. If it were just Scott and me I feel like we could manage the whining together. Plus, my friends who have done this have actually read about it and have bought into the idea. I have not. So, I’m sure that after a day or so I’d get so hungry I’d cave and be done with the experiment!
See the plan Tim Ferriss follows. It looks complicated enough that I’m not ready to even go beyond a skim read right now.
This is a nice little summary of different fasting options. Basically Scott and I fall into the 16:8 category. Seems the easiest to me. And we skip weekends all together. Different Fasting Choices
In fact the weekend skip kind of reminds me of when we were first married. We were really into Men’s Health magazine and something we read in there recommended a cheat day. So we’d use that as our reason to eat a ridiculous amount of junk food one day a week. We were quite a pair at 25! Our Saturday activity back then was to sleep crazy late and then make cookies and later eat Chinese food. Now we get up at 5 EVERY DAY and our activity on a Saturday would be a long run or bike and a relaxing glass of wine by the fire pit.