My Intermittent Fasting Experiment… Good idea?

CEO Founder & Creator of the REACH© Technique, Endo Empowered & the REACH beyond Endo program.

Never thought I would try intermittent fasting. Here is the back story…

That nasty pain I have described in the past, which seems to settle on the left bottom side of my abdomen had reappeared. It was intense and I also noticed that it was worse after the festive season. Fears started to run through me… what if endo was back? what if it’s a burst cyst? what if I have to have surgery? My mind was racing and I knew that I just had to get it looked at. Trouble was… who do I trust with this kind of thing and how do I find real answers?

Initially I went to a Naturopath. Her immediate reaction was that it wasn’t endometriosis and that it sounded more like digestive issues. I did agree with her, once I reviewed the symptoms. I wasn’t experiencing pain with my period or around my monthly but rather it was when I ate certain foods (particularly, the not so good ones) that things would flare up. It also seemed to get worse with drinking alcohol and my favourite of all.. eating chocolate! How annoying!

She wanted to run a series of tests to see how my digestion was going but I already knew that it wasn’t a path I wanted to go down. Something told me to keep searching and so I waited patiently to see what else would cross my path.

A week later, I began reading the book my Dr. Weil, called Spontaneous Healing. In the book he talks about a type of healing where an osteopath can feel the cranial area of the body and determine imbalances and then easily correct them. It sounded fascinating and also somewhat thrilling to explore this whole new territory of healing. I would say, that on paper it sounds silly and somewhat woo woo but hey, I thought I would explore it.

So, I googled the type of healing and found a fantastic Osteopath in Hamilton who practices this type of work. You can read more about their work here.

Of course I was curious on what this could do for my digestion and a little unsure on whether this would actually work.

As I stood there, with the Osteopath Damian and him holding my head in his hands, it just felt strange and to be honest, a little unsatisfying. I didn’t get to share my story and he certainly didn’t ask a heap of questions – the Naturopath spent at least 30 minutes of the consult asking all about me and my story. There is something consoling about this process…

He then proceeded to lightly touch areas of my body and lifting my head and feeling my back. Nothing hurt and to be honest I wondered what he was actually doing.

After all of this, he told me in great detail on what was going on within my body. He expressed that the pain I was experiencing was certainly related to my digestive health but that it’s root trigger was coming from my liver. He described my liver as being restricted. That it was struggling to do it’s work and that this was also why my right shoulder would feel tight and why my posture might be more inward. He didn’t see any sign of endometriosis but was concerned about my digestion and expressed that I definitely needed to get back on track with my stress reduction techniques through Yoga and deep breathing – hence why I started the Wellness Wagon Challenge for everyone this last week. Join in and follow along here. He expressed that stress had massively impacted my digestion and that I needed to focus on dramatically reducing this to truly get well again.

Then… after all of this, he suggested that I needed to practice intermittent fasting and that this would shift my liver in a bigger way than anything I had done before. He didn’t suggest supplements or a liver flush or anything dramatic. He simply suggested intermittent fasting.

Here is an outline of what intermittent fasting involves:

Here is what it looks like in my daily routine:

I wake up and basically don’t eat until about 3pm. Then I eat what I would normally eat for lunch, wait a few hours and then eat again for dinner. The goal is to shorten the eating time, within 24hrs to as low a window as you can. So, typically people follow a 16:8 principle: don’t eat for 16hrs within 24hrs and eat for 8hrs. However, you can shorten this to 20:4 – if you can. Some people also prefer to do full 24hr fasts, instead of doing daily fasting.

Honest truth of how it has been going:

I have been fasting for about 3 weeks now, using the “less hours of eating in 24hrs” method. The first two days were honestly transformative. I felt alive, awake and truly energised from not eating anything for breakfast and giving my body a break from digesting all the time. My left abdominal pain decreased significantly and I found energy in areas of the day I hadn’t done previously.

As I have progressed with the fasting however, I have felt more irritable with not being able to eat. I can get through it but there is a burning feeling of “lack” in my psyche which I have to work through. Sometimes I find this mindset starts to infiltrate into other areas of my life – which is really not a good feeling at all! I start to have thoughts around not having enough time, money, reputation etc. etc. Luckily, I am fully aware of where it is coming from.

I can definitely feel more positives than negatives with it.

Here is a brief summary:

  • More clarity in my business and the work I am doing
  • More overall energy
  • Wake up more refreshed
  • Definitely have an improvement with my digestion
  • Feel like I definitely digest my food properly as I am genuinely hungry when I eat
  • Less left abdominal pain
  • Skin is clearer
  • Losing some weight
  • Feel more creative and motivated

 

I won’t lie to you. It isn’t as easy as I thought. Initially, I found it easy and perhaps it was because my body was naturally wanting a break from digestion as it was just sooo bad but 3 weeks in, I do find that I have to keep busy to not feel a strong desire to eat.

I think there is a huge component of food which we largely underestimate – the emotional crutch of food and how we lean on it throughout the day. I feel like food has become an emotional “hug” for me, 3-5 times a day and then when it’s no longer there, it leaves us feeling empty – not so much literally but emotionally…

I share so many more thoughts within my free Wellness Wagon challenge. I would love for you to join in.

Would you like to try Intermittent fasting? Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below…

Feel free to express your comments & thoughts below or share this article with your friends.

Big hugs,

 

  • Katrina Tysinger says:

    What would you recommend as a substitute for this? I am already underweight and cannot fast but would love to give my liver a break too. Do I just eat more liver supporting foods? I already have a pretty good diet, but I know I too indulge in chocolate every day, so I probably should take a break from that.
    Thanks!!

    • Melissa says:

      I will look into it some more as I am considering adding it to my online program. I would imagine that you simply eat more fat rich foods to avoid losing weight.
      Yes, you can eat more living supporting foods. Foods like dark leafy greens, sea vegetables and anything really bitter is a good idea. Certain kinds of chocolate can be okay but not if it’s loaded with sugar and dairy 😉

  • Emma says:

    How do you make sure you get enough calories in with that sort of schedule? I struggle with that and I eat regularly. Wish I could try this but I’m underweight and can’t afford another major diet change right now.

    • Melissa says:

      It is generally designed for people that have a little weight to loose but I will look into what to do if you are already at your ideal weight or underweight some more…

      • Gulnaz Begum says:

        Very good info. I am into intermittent fasting ~14-15 h every day. I noticed I have lost 8-10 lbs of weight past 6 months which is making me worry. I have even removed bread, meat, Dairy and sugar from my diet. I weigh 120 lbs now (BMI, 20). Let me know if this is normal?

        • Melissa says:

          I would look at your overall food intake for the rest of the day. You are not eating enough calories and need to increase the quantity of food you are eating. Hope this helps,

  • Alicja says:

    That’s amazing as I’m just exploring IF. Read many testimonials how much better ladies with endo had felt after being on it for a while. There is a lot of positive evidence that it can be of big benefit for certain health issues. Thanks for your post x

  • Carolyn Cook says:

    have had 8 laparoscopy surgeries to remove endometriosis and adhesions last year I became very sick and had to go to the emergency room adhesions had grown over a part of my intestines and cute needless to say I had to have emergency surgery and they found 10 in of my bowel that was dead from scar tissue that was growing over I ended up with a ileostomy bag for 6 months when they went to put me back together they noticed adhesions recovering a part of my colon and they removed that part of my colon the problem is now I’m back together but my colon is not removing the water from my bells so I have diarrhea all day long I’m just don’t know what to do if you have any suggestions if you know of any way I can keep from getting more adhesions I would love your input thank you so much Carolyn cook

    • Melissa says:

      So sorry hun. My mom had a similar experience. She just drinks psyllium husk with water/juice each day to firm up the bowels. It seems to help her.

  • Anna says:

    I actually like the fact that intermittent fasting has forced me to deal with my emotional eating. It has made it clear that eating doesn’t actually fix my problems and has pushed me to use my “coping skills” far more, as I can’t turn to food to feel better. Plus, my periods are much, much better. Every four weeks like clockwork since I started IF 3 months ago. They are also lighter and less painful.

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