Sometimes things stop working. It’s simply a fact of life. I find people, myself included, struggle when this happens with our lifestyle choices.
Fasting is a great example. As you all know I’ve been a fan of fasting for years! I love the ease of only eating twice a day. I love how it makes me feel. But, after going off birth control and my hormones needing to rebalance, fasting had to go.
We need to recognize that fasting is a stress on the body. It’s a hormetic stress, much like exercise. These acute stressors force hormonal changes making our bodies adapt for the better. Exercise forces stronger muscles, stronger bones, increased lung capacity, and much more. Fasting forces our body to tap into our fat, more effectively use calories and go deeper into autophagy (cellular cleaning).
As with anything though more isn’t always better. More exercise takes you into the realm of chronic stress where injuries happen and you’re not reaping the benefits. Same with fasting! Unfortunately, women are a lot more sensitive to the stressors of fasting. Hormones. It seems hella unfair 😂
Women’s bodies create and grow babies. In order for us to be doing that we can’t be in a state that the body thinks is unsafe. Even if having a baby isn’t something you want you need to have balanced hormones and a regular cycle as a part of overall health. Not having a regular cycle highlights an imbalance somewhere.
As I’ve spent the past 7 months trying to find hormonal balance fasting has not helped. It took me a while to admit that I should stop doing it. Trying to eat over a 12 hour window was challenging. Things got better and I dove back into fasting. I’m sure you can guess what happened.
Things started to feel off again. I was also diving into more reading on women and fasting realizing that it really needed to go.
If I’m being honest I definitely had fears around eating three meals a day which is why I dove back into it as soon as I could. Eat less is still programmed into my brain as the best way to lose weight (keep in mind I have gained weight due to these hormones over the past year so do have a few lbs to lose). And yes, the fasting method of eating less does work – very well for males. A lot of women struggle with it. When we don’t see the results the advice is usually to fast longer!
So, once something stops working it can feel like you’re not doing it enough. Need to workout more. Need to fast longer.
I think it’s more important to accept that things work until they don’t. Once they stop working it’s time to look at why and readjust.
This can be any way of working out or eating. If keto feels hard and isn’t working stop. Same with vegan or anything. If it doesn’t feel good in your body and you’re not getting results, stop. Your body is trying to send you the message that what you’re doing isn’t right for you right now. It’s important to take the time to listen to those messages.
I often think of this quote about yoga:
Our bodies don’t fit the poses, the poses fit our body.
We don’t force our body into a shape, we rearrange that shape to fit our body. Same with eating. If a way of eating feels forced modify it so that it feels better. There are no rules.
Well, actually, I’d say the only rule when it comes to nutrition is to make sure that it’s real food. Avoid packaged/processed food. Once you’re eating real foods the details are completely to you.