Coffee Talk & IF Update

Good morning! We are over halfway through April, can you believe it?

For today’s Coffee Talk I’ve got a newsy life update, some things we’re doing to keep ourselves distracted while on quarantine, as well as the latest on my IF journey for those who were asking.

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It’s funny, when our lockdowns started back on March 13th, I was thinking it wouldn’t be too bad at all to be “stuck” at home. We were headed into warmer weather, our pool was about to open, and I’m a self-proclaimed homebody even when I’m free to go wherever I want.

Well, the pool is pretty to look at, but we’re still waiting for that warmer weather to arrive, so we won’t be swimming in it anytime soon. And while I’m generally pretty content to be at home, I’m really starting to miss everyday interactions with people.

Zoom group chats are nice, but they just aren’t the same as in-person get togethers. Maybe I’m not such an introvert after all!

I’m thankful not to be struggling with the emotions a lot of people are talking about dealing with right now, and I know better days are around the corner, so I’m trying to keep my sights set on that and not get bogged down in the monotony of the day to day.

In the meantime, we’re trying to do little things to keep our spirits up, and the latest was joining a wine club.

I’ve always been curious to try one, but I’m pretty picky about my wine, so I typically prefer to pick out my own. Paul is more adventurous than I am, so he was definitely open to it.

Now that our state stores are closed, and we aren’t supposed to be grocery shopping unless we have to, I figured it was a good time to try out a wine club delivery service. We looked at a few and decided to go with First Leaf Wine.

I liked their questionnaire because we were able to choose brands and varieties that we know we like, and they will make their selections for us based on that information.

Some other wine clubs I looked at asked a bunch of loosey-goosey questions about your palette and flavors you like, but that doesn’t really take into account what you like in wine. I also like the price point of the First Leaf wines, so I think this is going to be a good fit.

Our first shipment arrived on Friday, and we’re super excited to start trying them out. Best of all, our new wine rack is almost full!

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I absolutely love having this drink station, and I’m so glad we decided to redesign this space when we did our kitchen makeover.

It would have been a lot easier to leave it as-is, but it’s so much more functional for us this way. The desk situation that we had before didn’t feel like it was really part of the kitchen, although we did use it for drinks when we had big get-togethers.

But with the microwave and coffee maker and all the coffee paraphernalia moved over there, and of course the drink fridge and all of our wine and cocktail glasses, now it feels like an extension of the kitchen.

And once again, I’m so thankful we finished up the kitchen project before we went into lockdown. That was very good timing!

The other thing we’re doing to keep our spirts up while staying home is getting a puppy.

Notice, I didn’t call this one a “little” thing, haha!

I know it’s a far bigger commitment than a wine club, but we are all very excited. We’ve been talking about adding a second dog to our family for some time, and I had summer in mind. But now that we’re all at home for the foreseeable future, we decided to go ahead and expedite the process.

We visited him last week to make sure everything checked out, and it was love at first sight. We get to pick up little Ozzy and bring him home tomorrow afternoon!

I’m curious to see how much he’s grown in the past 10 days, and very interested to see how Savannah takes to him.

I know it may be rough for a few weeks, but I think it’s going to be a nice distraction for our family and hopefully bring everyone out of their respective corners of the house.

Again, not to suggest that we are getting a dog just to keep us entertained for the next few months. I realize this is a longterm commitment, and we’re all very excited about adding a second dog to the family.

Okay, switching gears….

I’ve had a few requests for an IF update.

I’m never sure quite what to say when I get asked for an update, because not much has changed. It’s just what I do now, although I am making some tweaks to my diet along the way.

Please understand, when I say “diet,” I am not referring to intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting refers to how and when I eat; my diet is what I eat.

I answered a bunch of general questions about IF in this post back in January: In Which I Answer All The Intermittent Fasting Questions. And then this IF Update was written in early March, before we went on lockdown due to Coronavirus. Both are worth a re-read for context, as I don’t want to repeat all that here.

I’m still consistently fasting for 18-20 hours a day, and I’m still 100% committed to the clean fast (I drink only black coffee or water during my fasting window.)

Where I’m struggling right now is with what I’m eating during my eating window.

Now that we’re at home so much, I’m tempted to eat way too much and snack constantly while my eating window is open, and it doesn’t help that I always struggle with controlling my eating this time of year.

I tend to get into a major funk in the springtime because of the weather, and I end up eating more out of boredom and as a way of self-soothing, and now that is compounded by this stupid coronavirus crisis.

In addition to that, I have a 17-year-old daughter who loves to cook and bake, and she often makes high-calorie, high-carb treats that are hard to resist. She’s doing a lot more baking now that she’s not as busy with extra curricular activities.

Add it all up — more time at home, more opportunities to eat calorie-dense foods, the craptastic weather and my tendency to self-soothe with food, and let’s not forget, a nationwide pandemic — and it stands to reason that I’d be struggling a bit.

I’m not upset about it. I understand what is happening, but it means I have to tweak my eating habits a bit if I’m going to maintain this weight loss.

Sometimes you will hear people say that IF means you can eat anything you want during your eating window. Yeah, sort of. But “anything” and “everything” are two very different things.

I am not restricted to certain foods, and I don’t count calories or macros, but I still can’t eat everything under the sun during my 5-hour eating window and expect to lose weight.

Intermittent fasting helps you listen to your body, and you may need to eliminate certain foods that don’t agree with you. (I still don’t do well with gluten, for example.)

IF also helps you be more in tune to your satiety signals so you can stop eating when you’re full (or perhaps choose not to start eating when your window is open, if you aren’t hungry yet.)

But you still have to tweak your diet (what you eat) as you go along, and as you learn what works and doesn’t work for you. And it is entirely possible to ignore those satiety signals and still overeat, or to choose junk that makes you feel crappy over the foods that make you feel good.

And that’s where I am in this whole journey.

I’m still following the IF way of eating (restricting my eating hours to a certain time of day), but I’m struggling a bit with my diet (what and how much I’m eating.)

To put it all in perspective, I’m still maintaining a 6-7 pound weight loss, but my weekly average has actually gone up a pound or two over the past few weeks.

My goal is to lose a few more, for a total of 10, and I think that will happen, but it’s happening verrrrry slowwwwwly. That’s okay, though. It is to be expected.

As I’ve said before, IF is not a quick weight loss plan, and I have yet to see the full results of intermittent fasting on my body. It takes a lot longer than 4 months to see the optimal benefits, especially when I’m not doing longer fasts.

What IF does and what I love about it, is the way it has simplified my life and given me confidence in controlling my weight.

I’m no longer a slave to the scale, and I have the tools I need to lose and maintain a comfortable weight without allowing every fluctuation to make or break my day.

I also love how IF has freed me from decision making all day long. Strangely, I’m not usually tempted to eat before my window opens — not to say that those beignets don’t smell delicious when Caroline pulls them out of the oven, but I know I can have one later, if I decide to.

So I’m not always thinking about food, and about what to eat, and how much to eat, and if I should eat or not. When my window isn’t open, I just don’t eat. Easy.

When my window is open, I need to be more intentional about choosing good-for-me foods, and avoid situations that encourage mindless snacking (bringing a bowl of chips to the computer when 4:00 rolls around.)

It’s a work in progress, and it probably always will be to some extent, but IF makes it a lot simpler. Plus, over time, IF is helping my body process sugars and fats more efficiently and providing other health benefits that will be more evident over time.

For now, I’m just trying to enjoy the extra energy and the simplified lifestyle while I continue to tweak what I eat and how much I eat until I find what works best for me. And I’m giving myself heaping amounts of grace during this crazy time of quarantine/stay-home orders/coronavirus madness.

Q&A Coming Up!

I’m planning my April Q&A post for later this week. I’ll be including some of the questions I’ve been asked a few times lately, but if you’d like to submit any questions for me to address in that post, feel free to email me with Q&A in the subject line. It can be about anything fashion or life related.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Sunday!