I am currently reaching the end of a 24 hour fast. Meaning... I have consumed only water for the past 22 hours... 2 hours left! And I am feeling the urge to go into my kitchen and munch on some macadamia nuts, so I decided to sit here and write instead. I want to be honest with what is going on in my head, how I am feeling, and why I am doing this.
So... to start off, what is intermittent fasting?
It's a diet cycling between regular periods of eating and fasting, that have been proven to be effective in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. There a bunch of different ways you can fast depending on what you want to accomplish. My new fasting goals include incorporating the 16/8 Method (fasting every day for 16 hours, and restricting my daily "eating window" to 8 hours), and incorporating one 24 hour fast once a week.
I know you are thinking...
WHAT?! YOU HAVE TO EAT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? THAT ISN'T HEALTHY! YOU ARE TOO ACTIVE! ARE YOU SURE THIS IS SAFE?!
(These were all of the thoughts that ran though my head when I was first introduced to the idea of fasting.)
Don't freak out. I got this under control. I am fasting to starve my cancer. Fasting is an easy way to decrease glucose levels in my body and elevate ketone levels as fuel for my body.
Less glucose = less fuel for my cancer to grow and spread and do bad things.
Right now, as I approach the end this fast, I have these devilish thoughts pop up in my head. I am thinking to myself:
- Eating just one little olive won't hurt... right?
- I'm alone right now in my apt- no one will know if I just break my fast early!
- I did good enough today... I can just try again next week...
Even just typing these thoughts up, I am feeling the urge more than ever to go grab food. It's true that whatever you give your attention & energy to grows-- and giving energy to these little thoughts right now certainly made them stronger.
I am still practicing with how to move past these thoughts and remain strong- honoring my word to the 24 hours I intended. I try to give energy to my breath, stillness, and silence. But it's difficult. Sometimes, I play a game called "No, Thank You," where I just hold food or pictures of food in front of my face and say, "No, thank you." It's definitely not the most fun game, but it worked getting me off of all processed & sugar/carbohydrate heavy foods!
What gives me the most strength at moments like this, when I feel hungry or I want to eat, I think about the cancer cells in my body. They want to eat, and they are loud and angry with their demand for sugar or carbs. It empowers me to know that I know their weakness. I have the ability to starve them - to NOT give them what they want.
This video by Dr. Thomas Seyfried states it best. The ketogenic diet along with intermittent fasting has been proven as a method to reduce the spread and growth of cancer cells.
I also recently read this article by the brilliant Dr. Jason Fung. There is SO MUCH good stuff in here about diet and cancer and all the things we are doing wrong in our society. (You should also read his book The Complete Guide To Fasting.) For now I'll leave it with this:
"To truly defeat your enemy, you must know them."
I know my cancer was never meant to be aggressive. I know it was the harsh treatments for cancer #1 that made this cancer #2 come about and become so aggressive. I know my mind and body is strong enough to handle the transformation and healing that it needs to achieve.
I know I can do this. (I am gonna put energy into this thought instead.)
Update: After 24 hours, my glucose and ketone levels were the best they've ever been! So proud of myself for honoring my word. Miraculously, I didn't feel hungry or tired by the end of it. For you keto geeks out there, here were my numbers:
Glucose: 81 mg/dL
Ketones: 1.7 mmol/L