Health: Intermittent Fasting for 9 Weeks Challenge

Image credit: Pexels.com

This post will be updated weekly through 9/6/2020.

If you know me or read my blog at all, you probably know that Jacky and I love food. Not just a little, but really loooove food, so dieting was really never going to happen for us. However, we both independently heard about intermittent fasting (IF) and the health benefits it supposedly provides whilst not restricting one’s diet in any way whatsoever.

It only required us to eat all our meals and snacks mindfully between certain hours of the day, which actually sounded doable for us. Our physician friends have confirmed that it’s perfectly healthy and normal to do, so Jacky and I decided that we would start it together after July 4th, so here we are!

We’ve been guilty of getting hungry late at night and snacking on baked goods or instant noodles or even having a full-blown meal just before bed. Often times, one of us will get peckish and start eating and then the other will follow, even if we’d resolved to not eat any more that day. We know that’s not good for us, so now that we’re both in this together hopefully we’ll be able to overcome these bad habits.

I know we’re taking on a lot of challenges at the moment (sleeping/waking early, exercising and now this), but we consider them less to be short-term challenges and more lifestyle changes that should provide long-term health benefits.

Please note: we are only taking on this challenge as neither of us have ever experienced eating disorders or exhibited signs of an unhealthy relationship with food. If you have a history of disordered eating or are triggered by such topics, it may be wise for you to stop reading now.

I am also not using this post to recommend IF – every body is different and every person’s history with food is different, please be kind to yourself as you are already beautiful in your own right. Especially as we’re all stuck indoors these days, please take every opportunity to love yourself more.

I am, however, trying to document this journey on my blog to keep myself accountable since I tend to have problems with perseverance and tend to give up easily. If you are considering starting IF, I hope my experience can provide some interesting insights for you. If not, I hope you’ll find it somewhat entertaining haha.

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Wellness: Sleep By 11pm For June Challenge

Image credit: Unsplash

This post was updated daily and completed on 7/1/2020.
Jump to final thoughts & results.

Hello, now that I have your attention with the adorable kitten image, thanks for joining me on this challenge. Mwahahaha.

As you may be aware, the last challenge I gave myself was to cut out excess sugar from my diet. That one, I had no idea how long I’d track it for and also no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t even realise it was a challenge to myself until the last day. Needless to say, it was a spectacular fail!

This time though, I’m actually setting myself a challenge. Why? Because it’s hard. And I want to do it. And I want to be kept accountable.

I’ve been sleeping late recently and it’s just wrecking my health. I nursed the worst headache I’ve had for a while today after sleeping at 3am last night. I then took a 3hr nap in the afternoon and my head still hurts. It wasn’t even like I was doing anything important. I was just watching anime. Clearly I lack self-control and it’s a problem.

Challenge Details & Goals

Through 30th June, my challenge will be this:

> Turn off all electronics by 10:30pm to prepare for bed
> Be in bed by 11pm
> Wake up by 9am by the end of the first week, 8am by the end of the second week and 7am by the end of the final week.
> Note sleep time (night before) and wake time (day of) etc. using a sleep tracker app to track data. I am using SleepWatch.

I aim see how sleeping earlier affects my fatigue/lethargy, headaches and will also do a weigh-in every 7 days. Also, Jacky will eventually have to go back into the office for his job (maybe as early as next month?) so I want to be able to wake up early to make us breakfast and pack a lunchbox for him like this woman does for her husband — I’ve been inspired!

This means changing my wake up time from 10am to 7am in the next few weeks. I’ll be setting alarms to begin with, but ideally by the end of the 3 weeks I’ll be waking up naturally around 7ish. I need a good 8-9hrs sleep/night so that means going to sleep around 11pm. They say it takes 21 days to build up a new habit, and I have exactly 21 days of this challenge.

Please do check back in to see how I get on and keep me accountable. I’ll be updating this daily and will do my best.

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Fitness: I Tried Chloe Ting’s 2 Week Ab Challenge

Image screenshot: Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred Challenge

Edit: Click here to read my second Chloe Ting challenge experience – 2020 Summer Shred
Click here to read my third Chloe Ting challenge experience – 2019 Flat Belly

This post was completed on 6/8/2020.
Jump to starting numbers.
Jump to mid challenge check-in.
Jump to end results and final thoughts.

Okay, Chloe. I see you. I see all your recommended videos popping up all over my YouTube. And I’ve just seen so. many. success. story. videos (<—!!) and okay I’m convinced. (If you’re only going to look at one, just watch the last one because, honestly, there are just too many.)

It looks like she has a lot of free workout programs but I think the one I’ve been seeing the success stories for, and the one I think I can actually commit to, is her 2 Weeks Shred Challenge (click here for the program).

I really love that she’s put all the videos together in such a convenient format on the page so all you need to do is literally just bookmark the page and click on the videos each day. Plus you know what you’ve signed up for in total workout time and total workout videos so you can plan your day accordingly.

In addition, she has a bunch of tips in the FAQ’s, meal plans and videos of the before/afters on the page to keep you motivated. This girl has thought of everything! I don’t know why I’ve been avoiding her until now. Thanks, YouTube algorithm, for recommending her to me.

I’ve been eating way too much sugar lately so let’s do this… starting tomorrow. Haha. I’ve already worked out for 25min today and I think that’s about as much as I can handle for now.

Here’s the thing: I was actually working out often and even going to the gym for the first time in a decade back in January/February, in preparation for my wedding. I’m really thankful we were able to have our wedding with our friends and family as it took place just a mere couple of weeks before quarantine began.

Unfortunately shortly after all the gyms shut down for quarantine, I also developed some other health problems so I stopped working out entirely, which in turn has probably made my health worse. It’s been a bit of a downward spiral. So my goal for this is simply to get back into shape. As in, get fit again, and I’m hoping this 2-week journey will be the start of regular workouts again.

I won’t be changing my diet and I don’t think I’ll lose any weight, but I do hope to tone back up and lose a few cm’s if possible. As such, I’ll post up my before and after numbers to see if there’s a difference. Not that there’s anything wrong with how I look now (I literally just posted an Instagram Story about how I liked how I looked haha) but it’d still be nice to know in case it helps to encourage you on your fitness journey.

Please check back on my progress and leave me a message to keep me motivated. That’s another reason I’m posting this online — because it’s very likely I’ll get lazy and give up otherwise. Let’s begin!

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Health: Cutting Excess Sugar From My Diet

Image credit: Unsplash

Edit: This post was completed and last updated on 6/9/2020.
Jump to end results and final thoughts (spoiler alert: I failed).

Back when I was trying to lose weight for my wedding, I cut out sugar and exercised a lot more. I practically lost 2lbs in a week just from cutting out sugar alone. I felt healthy and strong.

Lately I’ve been having anxiety on/off for no good reason recently, as well as bizarre, anxiety-inducing vivid dreams. My husband said he heard me gritting my teeth while sleeping last night, and I’ve had a headache since going to Costco yesterday.

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The Military Diet – Results & Stuff

Whoops! Slightly belated, but I guess not bad for an update. I completed the military diet aaaand… after weighing myself the next morning, I had lost around 2.5kg in total.

Which is pretty good, right? :)

Shortly after, I did put back 1kg, but a final total 1.5kg weight loss that’s kept off is definitely not bad. It’s been almost 2 weeks since and I may have even lost a little more as my appetite’s decreased and I’ve been making sure I don’t overeat. My scales are currently broken though so who knows.

I actually enjoyed some of the meals so much I ate them again outside of the diet plan. I’m trying it again this weekend so we’ll see how it goes!

No ‘after’ photo yet, but here’s a pic from when I was back in Spain, which would be a fairly accurate ‘before’ I guess…

Bobbie in Murcia

I’ll post the rest of my Spain trip pics soon, promise.

Want to give it a go? To make our lives easier, I’ve compiled a list of everything I ate, how I cooked it and a shopping list. I’ve used carefully calculated substitutions based on calorific values of the approved substitute foods.

If you’d like to go for the original diet plan, it’s here. Calorie values here, approved substitutions here.

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