As I write this to you, I am sat in my car waiting on my family finishing a session of swimming at Splashdown, Tower Park, Poole.
Everywhere I look there are references to food….. KFC, Burger King, TGI Fridays, Subway, , Georgie Porgies Buffet, Frankie & Bennies……. there is NO Mcdonalds, but there are posters that conveniently tell you how far away you are from the nearest one, just in case you are so much of a junk food connoisseur that you can’t lower yourself to enter any of the plethora of options available right here.
And if all that choice made you thirsty? Why not (over) indulge yourself in some Bulmers.
A veritable feast for the eyes, but not for the waistline!
Today is a ‘fast’ day. I suppose you’d expect that sitting here downwind of a TGI Fridays extractor fan, belching clouds of char-grilling towards my open window, would be difficult. But it’s not…
Alas, today I have turned a corner. A psychological milestone, and it all began with a midday walk to the pub.
That might sound like an odd thing to do when fasting, but actually it was great. I chose a nice pub with a beer garden that was 2.5 miles from my house. I waited until lunchtime and I strapped my 2 youngest kids in the buggy and walked there with my wife. The exercise gave me such a lift, especially as we discovered new routes that took us away from the housing estates and busy roads and followed green lanes and a river. The feel good factor was even better when we arrived at the pub, checked my heart rate monitor, and discovered that I’d burnt 490Kcal walking there! With the walk home ahead of us, the prospect of burning nearly 1000 calories from an enjoyable walk was very gratifying!
I ordered a diet Coke and sat in the beer garden, sun roasting my back, kids running around enjoying themselves, surrounded by plenty of fat people tucking into mountains of carvery that could’ve fed an army!! If you want reminded why you are doing (or have to do) what you’re doing, go and watch fat people making themselves fatter.
[Edit – someone thought that in this section I was judging other people. It’s not meant that way, I am trying to say that by watching them, it made me judge myself]
It was like getting the opportunity to take a glimpse at myself and I didn’t like what I saw. It stiffened my resolve that I will NEVER go back to being like that. If I am gonna have a mountain of carvery it’ll be because I bloody earned it all week by hard work and looking after myself!!
[Edit – this does not imply that I don’t think they deserve it! I know nothing about them. I’m simply observing that at this moment in time I know that I DON’T!]
The revelation that fasting could be combined with having a ‘social’ life, i.e going to a place that you might associate with overindulgence and then realising that you can go there and restrain yourself was powerful.
Today has been the easiest fast that I’ve done. It’s not finished yet, I have around 4 hours or so until dinner. I am feeling slight pangs of hunger right now but they’re bearable. Normal. I haven’t eaten for almost 20 hours, what else would I expect?
Do you know why I think today felt so easy? Because i didn’t adapt my day to the fast. I didn’t avoid anything because I was fasting.
I just tried living a normal day, like anyone else, and it worked!