So let’s start this with I’m really weird. I like to challenge myself in different ways to see what I’m mentally capable of. I find it fascinating what one can do to their body and mind. This is my journey in understanding how my mind and body react to intermittent fasting and a ketosis style eating habit.
I’ve always been athletic. Played nearly every sport possible through high school. Went to college, got lazy and kinda fat.
I moved out to Arizona and found Crossfit in 2013. Crossfit was what I needed. It brought back the competitiveness of sports while getting in a great workout. I went hard, probably too hard. I was in the gym 6-7 days a week with several of those days being two a days. It wasn’t always what most the world thinks of when they hear Crossfit, crazy pull-ups, running around like crazy etc. I spent a lot of time working on pure strength movements, squats, deadlifts as well as core strength. I also ate like a damn saint. I considered a tortilla at Chipotle as a huge cheat meal.
It put me int he best shape of my life. I’m 5’11 and I was sitting at 180lbs with 6% body fat.
Then all hell broke loose in 2014. I got really sick. My pancreas began to fail, putting mine in a long battle against pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is when your pancreas starts releasing too many enzymes into your body (these enzymes are used to break down food). The best way to explain the feeling is someone sticking a knife into your abdomen along with mass amounts of bloating. When all these enzymes are being released, your body no longer has the ability to break down food.
There’s no treatment for pancreatitis. The best solution is to stop eating to give your pancreas some time to rest. I didn’t eat food for 2 weeks. I mean literally nothing. I woke up, went to work, came home and went to bed. Fuck my life.
Slowly I was able to introduce chicken broth, honey, white bread and white rice. This was my diet for another 2 months. These foods were picked because they are easily digestible but now thinking about it, they are full of sugar which is horrible for the pancreas and the body. I’m thinking my doctors had no fucking idea what to do.
I lost every ounce of muscle on my body. I got down to 165 with no muscle mass. I started to work out again, put some good size back on and bam, another attack of pancreatitis. Lost the muscle again and I was destroyed.
Fast forward a couple years, through on pancreatic cancer scare, and I’ve been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. This is when your GI track essentially sees nutrients in food as the enemy. My body has a really tough time absorbing nutrients leading to fatigue, vitamin deficiencies, and internal bleeding. I essentially have no immune system in my gut which can lead to an insane amount of health issues.
The Mayo Clinics solution is a low dose of steroids for the rest of my life. Not really my cup of tea, so I’ve been controlling it with diet and experimentation.
I still workout 3-4 days a week and eat a predominately healthy diet. I now sit at 193lbs, roughly 17% body fat.
What is intermittent fasting?
I truly don’t know much about this fasting technique. What I do know is you pick a set number of hours each day, 8,6,4, that is your eating window. The rest of the day there is no eating. You can drink water, coffee, tea, but try not to consume any calories. I’m making a slight modification. Once I drink my first cup of coffee, that’s when my fasting 8 hour window begins.
I understand there can be a ton of health benefits, you can find a strong list here. What I’m primarily hoping for is reduced inflammation (a common problem with ulcerative colitis).
What is Ketosis?
Again, no expert on Ketosis. I keep hearing in thrown around so I thought I would check it out.
From what I’ve gathered, it’s a way of eating in which you essentially remove all carbs from your diet. This includes rice and potatoes which are primarily the only carbs you are supposed to eat in any healthy diet.
Your diet will consist of proteins, fats, and carbs from veggies. It should look something like 25% protein, 70% fats and 5% carbs.
The fats are coming from nuts, cheeses, oils and avocados. You can see the full breakdown here.
My Journey beginning 2/3/17
My plan is to have 8 hours of eating, with a major cheat day every Saturday. My window is going to be 11am-7pm. I’m not a big eater at night so I don’t need the window to extend too late.
For Ketosis, I am by no means measuring my food. It’s just not me and I feel like it ruins the fun out of everything. I’m going to focus really hard on no carbs other than veggies and try to get as much fat into my body as I can.
This will be extremely hard as I travel a lot for work. But I welcome the challenge and the additional challenge to myself.
My plan is to run this for 30 days and see what the results are and how I feel. My goal is to cut down to about 180. Now I rarely weigh myself, today was the first time in a while. I believe much more in the way you look at feel than by numbers on a scale. I’m only weighing myself of this as a unit to measure.
Also, I don’t intend to change any of my exercise habits. Maybe introduce some yoga, but nothing out the ordinary.
I’ll keep you posted on my journey, my struggles and if I survive 🙂