Writing, lockdown, and fasting

I cannot blame Melbourne’s first lockdown for thickening my girth, an uptick in my weight, but it definitely did not help. Over 2016 (my Jogging Big Year, a huge success) and over 2017 (Fitness Big Year, branching into cycling), I averaged 77 kilograms. I was, it turns out, as lean as I’ll ever be. In 2018, I added a kilo, and then in 2019 I added two more, so suddenly I was at 80 kgs! Things got worse over the first quarter of this year, and lockdown saw me reaching for pizza and wine as comfort food.

When our second lockdown struck, five weeks ago, I weighed 83 kgs and jogging was labored. So change was needed and fortunately I did the right thing (not always a given, I can tell you). This week has been my fifth week of undergoing Michael Mosley’s Fast 800 regime. Every Monday and Wednesday I eat only 800 calories, about a third of normal. I’m also trying his version of “time restricted eating,” trying to eat only between a 10 AM breakfast and conclusion of dinner at 7 PM. As you read this, you can immediately see how lockdown, with its unstinting regularity and uniformity, suits my Fast 800 tortures. And it’s working: I’m now below 80 kilograms and hoping to settle somewhere around 79 or 78. I’ll never be lean again but I can, it now seems, avoid fatness.

But Fast 800 penalizes. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I’m grumpy. I keep exercising (otherwise I lose muscle mass, not body fat), which exacerbates grumpiness. So guess what? I give myself leeway to work less strenuously. On those days, I can do some real drafting work but never a full complement; instead it’s down to catch-up crap, research, marketing, etc., etc. And the weirdest thing is, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I feel liberated and readily “take a break.”

So it’s a matter of perspective. I’m slimming down at the expense of work quality, on the grounds that in another few weeks, I’ll possess enhanced innate energy and can power onward. Right now, on this Wednesday, halfway through an afternoon of what seems like privation, that perspective is tough to keep in mind.

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