Intermittent beginnings

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Akhila Shaha : Our health is something that is always taken for granted but good health, in fact, is very rare. We are often greeted with wishes for health and happiness, but do we really acknowledge health as part of our happiness?

Along with relationships, our body also needs utmost care to last long.

In my last article “Intermittent Desires,” I wrote about how our health is being compromised by the unhealthy lifestyle and the consumption of sugar and junk food. One way to save ourselves from the vicious cycle of junk is the practice of intermittent fasting.  And I promised the readers I’ll try intermittent fasting for a week and let them know about how it feels. So here it goes.

Changing the way you eat starts with changing the way you think. If you think your eating habits are fine, then obviously you wouldn’t want to change anything about it. Otherwise, you would know you’re filling up your body with ingredients perfect for a disaster, and you’d want to work on your health.

Over the last few years, I tried a few diets to cut down on sugar and my deplorable habit of snacking every hour. Nothing worked. Some diets made my hair start falling and stopped my skin from glowing. Some gave me gas and stomachaches. But this time, it’s different.

This is the 7th day of my intermittent fasting and I am loving it. With enough water and herbal tea throughout the day, I fast for 16 hours and eat for 8. I break my 16 –hour fast with my “break-fast” at 11am and I end it with the last meal of the day, which is dinner, at 7pm. In between I make sure I have 2 eggs, milk, and enough protein to sustain the fast. That’s about it. It is that simple indeed.

Coming from a life full of exotic Bengali cuisine, controlling myself from eating “bhaat-murgi”, “kachchi”, “biriyani”, burgers, ice-cream, cheesecake, “halua”, “roshogolla”, “jilapi” and what-not was a battle itself

What’s life without a challenge, right? In this case, it was to control my sugar cravings. It was exactly how a break-up feels: agonizing, depressing and lost. I won’t lie but I still have some. Living in a world where everything organic is more expensive than artificial products, it’s hard. Daily consumption of saccharine that replaces sugar, can be more harmful in the long run so I have limit myself to honey, brown sugar and natural sugar that’s present mostly in fruits like banana, mango, grapes, pineapple, dates, pomegranate, etc.

Coming from a life full of exotic Bengali cuisine, controlling myself from eating “bhaat-murgi”, “kachchi”, “biriyani”, burgers, ice-cream, cheesecake, “halua”, “roshogolla”, “jilapi” and what-not was a battle itself. Every day, I wanted to cave in badly but that never showed on my face. My husband was sure I would cave in on the second or third day, but he was gladly surprised when I could stick to my commitment throughout. Whatever sugar I had during the day, I made sure to burn it out on my evening walk.

Initially it felt exciting to try out something for the first time. But the cravings rushed in like an obstacle I had to overcome. It surely made dealing with the random life hurdles difficult but at the end of a week, it’s totally rewarding. I don’t know about the changes internally, but I feel a lot lighter, I could work longer without getting tired and I look better than I used to. I don’t get depressed as often as I used to and somehow, I feel proud to be investing in my health without wasting money. I have saved a lot of money by the end of the week.

I have also noticed a change in my ability to deal with failures, my reaction to nonsense and my immunity. They have all changed for the better. This is success, I believe, and the credit goes to the small changes you make daily. No, the credit goes to my beautiful neighbour, Genus (I mentioned her in my last article “Intermittent Desires”) who is more active and physically fit than I ever was in the last 30 years of my life. She’s made me realise I do not want to spend my life dealing with health issues in my 60s. Do you?

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