You can’t count me among those who flock to the fitness centers around New Year’s this year; as of January 1, I have worked out for an hour 323 days in a row. By the time many will falter in pursuit of the New Year’s Resolutions, I expect to complete one-full year of daily exercise. It’s great and I feel much better – more energy, more definition in my arms and legs. But, one dog-gone thing just hasn’t changed.
The problem starts at my waist and extends up, and out, for a bit. And 323 days of workouts hasn’t noticeably changed that. Well, my resolution is to do just that – change my midriff. The change I seek is a reduction.
While I’ve exercised on my own, I believe that, in order to achieve this change, I’ll need some help. But not just any old help – I need someone who can work with me without trying to force me into a diet that has as much chance as teaching me to breathe through my ears.
It was with this in mind that I was recently speaking with someone from the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce who quickly said, “You need to talk with Sally South (of Cornerstone Health Coaching Group).”
It was one of those moments when you realize a potential solution was right there in front of you all along. By ‘potential’ I mean that I think I present quite a challenge for someone in Sally’s line of work. When we met, one of the first things I told her is “I like eating and I don’t want to quit.”
Sally laughed and told me about a made-up word – “bio-individuality.” What that means is that there is no one-size-fits-all diet she’s going to push on me. Still, I was prepared for the worst as we commenced discussing my situation.
To my surprise, instead of talking about my diet, Sally started talking about other aspects of my life and, in particular, how these relate to stress. Those who know me realize that I am about the most stress-free individual they’ll ever meet, at least for a couple minutes each night between nightmares.
We spoke about lifestyle and Sally introduced an interesting idea: “intermittent fasting.”
Some years ago, I tried fasting on my own. I went five days a couple times with nothing but water. Intermittent fasting, I’m glad to say, is quite different. It works like this:
- I set a time when I will start eating during the day – say 11 a.m.
- I determine the time eight hours later (7 p.m.) when I will stop eating.
- And that’s it. Two or three days out of the week, I simply don’t eat beyond eight hours during the day. If I can handle five days with nothing but water, I can handle intermittent fasting.
As Sally explained, “It allows the body to heal. Often, the body doesn’t have time to recover because it’s constantly digesting.”
We spoke a while longer, including discussions about my fears and goals. In terms of the latter, Sally asked me to pick a few that I can commit to now. As she put it, “This is so I can hold your feet to the fire.” I’ve picked the following:
- I will use sea salt (Sally says that sea salt has about 86 good minerals that table salt doesn’t have).
- I’ll strive to eat a vegetable and a fruit each day (At different times in my life, I’ve managed to go for months without eating vegetables).
- I’ll look for nitrate-free sausage at the grocery stores as a substitute for sausage (when asked what my favorite foods are, sausage was on that list).
- I’ll pick up a pro-biotic (not the cheapest one I can find – Darn!).
- And, of course, intermittent fasting.
Clearly, it will take more than this to get me to my goal where the sun can shine on my toes again. But, for now, it’s a start. For those who are interested, I’ll be checking back with updates from time to time.