Here's a potted history of my battle with weight. I was slim until the age of 10. In the 1960s there were no snacks in between meals. If I was hungry I could have an apple.
I started putting on weight after a summer camp where I met fresh bread and butter for tea. By the time I came home I was addicted to carbs and comfort eating. Then I found out that there were indeed a stock of snacks at home - I just hadn't noticed them before.
At age 14 I lost weight again through not eating all day and joining the family for supper. OMAD (one meal a day) way before its time.
By 18 and the stress of O'levels and A'levels, I'd got fat again. It wasn't that the work was too hard, it was my chronic procrastination preventing me from doing any of it. I lived with the panic monster permanently in my head. Obviously I tried to appease him with food.
I spent my gap year in Israel. At the beginning of the year I lost weight whilst on an intensive language course at a university near Tel Aviv. It was August. I couldn't bear the heat, I got shouted at in the dining room one day because I only wanted a drink and they thought I was coming back for seconds, I didn't like Israel, I was miserable. However, there was no food with which to comfort eat so I avoided going to the dining room and lost loads of weight.
I arrived at the kibbutz in September, slim and happy. I loved it. But by the end of the year I'd put on weight again. I didn't want to go home fat so for the final month I avoided the dining room again and it worked. I used to pick avocados every day and eat them like apples.
All the weight went back on during college years. I was living with my mother's kitchen again and I'd not resolved the procrastination problem. The panic monster and I ate to survive.
In my mid-twenties I was living in Israel and worked as a tour guide for American teenagers. We spent six weeks touring the country and I made sure I was always busy during mealtimes - the bank, troubleshooting, preparing, listening to someone's problems.... And we were on the go from morning till late at night. I basically fasted for six weeks and lost loads of weight.
The happiness of feeling thin eliminated the need to comfort eat at all. Then my sister got engaged and I had a family wedding coming up. I used to walk everywhere instead of taking the bus. I got a job as tour guide in the summer and spent three months walking around Jerusalem, including hiking up to the Old City and back twice a day. I allowed myself to eat one thing a day. It could be a bag of chips, or a slice of pizza, or a whopping 1500 calorie felafel in pitta with all the trimmings. It didn't matter as long as it was only one meal a day. I was at my slimmest for my sister's wedding. Phew!
At age 34 a boyfriend who I wasn't over, married someone else. I'd order a family pizza and eat it all before going out to supper. That's how much comfort I needed. I put on weight again but managed to get back under control by my 40th birthday with a Slimming World regime. At 46 I had DD and was so happy, the weight just fell off. Then I was a single mother - back it all came and more.
About two years ago, in desperation and after a few false starts with various fads, I started researching a solution. By this time it wasn't only about weight. I knew I was on the brink of serious health issues. Apart from a blood test showing that I was pre-diabetic and high blood pressure for the first time in my life, I have no proof. But believe me, I know. And later down the road I'll write about it in more detail. It had to stop.
Last year I discovered Intermittent Fasting. I bought Dr. Jason Fung's book, The Obesity Code. I devoured the book, I watched all his You Tube videos. I believed he was right because I'd done this exact same method in the past and it always worked.
I played at it for over a year and managed to reverse some of the health issues by intermittent fasting intermittently as well as cutting way down on sugar, trying to limit carbs (not always successfully) and not worrying about natural fats (dairy, olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc...).
However, I couldn't get strictly on the programme. To some extent I was derailed by other theories and noble causes. Veganism and the ketogenic diet being diametrically opposed meant that I kept skipping between them. I believed in them both and I still do to some extent. But you need to choose one diet and stick to it.
Finally I ditched the vegans and the ketogeniuses and concentrated on the fasting. It only took one week of success and I was hooked. Spurred on by the fact that my brother got engaged and there'll be another family wedding in September, I've lost 12 lbs (5.5kg) in five weeks.
Next Sunday I'll spell out exactly how it worked for me last month. Meanwhile I urge you to watch Dr Fung on You Tube.