This is how you bring in a New Year. Not one, but two challenges. I’m doing both to improve my health. Following my cancer diagnosis back in June, I’ve been on a six-month pity party, and that resulted in a lot of unhealthy behaviors creeping back into my life.
It’s time for a reset.
Challenge #1: 7 Days, No Food
Yesterday I started a 7-Day Fasting Challenge. That’s right, no food for a week. I’m allowed water, tea, and coffee. Period.
I’ve tried this before but failed by the middle of day three. But this time around, something is different. I’m actually looking forward to the fast. The last time, my heart wasn’t in it. Now I’m raring to go, having planned for it over the previous week.
I plan to do daily posts to document how things are going (Day 1 post coming shortly). From my understanding, the worst hunger feelings happen between days two and three. After that, the hunger feeling melts away.
Clearly this should knock me back into ketosis, and I expect to lose some pounds I gained since surgery. But the real reason I’m doing this is to fight cancer by purging any damaged cells that can go rogue.
Challenge #2: Alcohol-free For 31 Days
If there is one area that I went overboard for six, sad months, it was my alcoholic intake. When I was losing weight, I allowed for two nights a month where I could have up to two glasses of wine. Now it seems like a daily occurrence, and I don’t like it. And neither does my body.
My Hypothesis: Wine & Menopause Don’t Mix.
A few weeks ago, I started tracking my menopause symptoms. My hormones are way out of wack. I’ve done some reading on the subject, and there’s great indication that my diet can help. It always comes down to food, right? What’s become clear is that, if I indulge in a glass or two of wine a day, my symptoms are more intense. The worst are the hot flashes — and not just any old hot flashes. These feel more like being doused with jet fuel and set on fire.
The quantity of wine seems to determine the intensity and duration of these hot flashes. A single glass of wine and I need to turn on our ceiling fan before climbing into bed. Two glasses and I’m throwing the covers on and off all night.
But it’s not just the hot flashes. My insomnia is back with abandon. Worse: I ALWAYS become an emotional powder keg the next day. Either the rage monkey rampages, or I’m sobbing uncontrollably. Also, I’m noticing heart palpitations about an hour or so after my last glass. Hmm, what else? Cant seem to … hmm …. Oh yeah: my memory scatters to the winds after one glass. But if I don’t drink alcohol, I’m sharp as a tack. All this, and weight gain too — like a cherry on top. Ugh!
When I don’t have wine, I can easily get in my eight hours a night. The hot flashes and heart palpitations disappear, my mind seems sharp, the emotional highs and lows are more middle of the road, and the weight drops.
At the end of the month, I’ll need to decide if wine is severely restricted to one glass for special occasions or if I permanently give it the boot.
2017 continues my march for better health and dropping those final 50 pounds.