Up until I was in my early 20s I was skinny, really skinny. I ate what I wanted, the cream off the top of the full fat milk was poured onto my daily bowl of cornflakes, dinner money was spent down the chippy most school days, sweets were a daily treat.
When I got to my early 20s the weight started to creep on, nothing had apparently changed in my diet but I suppose it was just one of those things. I then started to look at the diet advice in magazines, utterly ridiculous fad diet ideas which never appealed to me as a fussy eater at the time but I was still only a Size 12 so not really an issue. I had however always decided that if I ever got to a Size 14 that was when I needed to do something.
I was creeping nearer that size when I ventured into a Weight Watchers class, got my diet sheet and advice and set off for my first week of proper calorie controlled eating. I hated measuring food, I hated the restrictions imposed but I did it and the next week I headed back to the class clutching my food diary and ready for the big weigh in. I have no memory of whether that week was successful in weight loss or not I just remember being told off for eating 3 eggs in one meal. So my short foray into the world of Weight Watchers ended there and then, I wasn’t paying good money to be humiliated for making an error.
A few years later Slimming World entered my life, I liked Slimming World, I had the freedom to eat what I liked within a framework of Red and Green days. The first week I lost 5 pounds in weight and I continued to do well on it for a year or so reaching goal, then losing interest and going back to my usual habits. Life moved on and several years later I was edging closer to the dreaded (in my eyes) size 14 again so back to Slimming World I went, their diet had changed a bit, I was less successful but still managed to reach goal. Then I lost interest again.
Yo-yo dieting was becoming a ‘thing’ in my life.
Finally 3 years ago I took the plunge with 5:2 intermittent fasting, I read the book, I read the reviews of those already on 5:2 and I loved the health benefits that this diet offered. As someone in their mid 50s and their body doing what it does as you get older i.e. falling apart, it was time to start focussing on looking after this valuable commodity. And so I started fasting. The first couple of months took some getting used to, finding a pattern of eating 500 calories that suited me was tricky. I’d believed for years that unless I had breakfast I couldn’t function, after getting up one fasting day and having nothing in the house for breakfast I headed off to work convinced I’d faint or something awful would happen. It didn’t, in fact I felt less hungry. I then started to split my calories over lunch then dinner, this worked well but also gave me the flexibility of also just having all the calories for my evening meal on those fasting days when I couldn’t get a lunch break.
The weight dropped off, I felt healthier, I had much more energy and on 5 days of the week I ate whatever I wanted. It suited my lifestyle and it didn’t interfere in my family meals. 3 years on and I still follow the diet, I only take a break when I’m on holiday, or now, as we are permanently on holiday (well not quite but it feels like it most days), when we have family visiting us for holidays.
So 35 years after the weight started creeping on me I finally found a way to control it.