Fasting... Again

Editor's note: Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet.

I recently decided to become committed and disciplined to healing my stage 3 hidradenitis suppurativa. I was inspired by Cristina Curp, a creator on TikTok who shows that she put hers into remission with diet and lifestyle changes. This is something that I’ve always known could happen, but I've also had extreme difficulty committing to these lifestyle changes. I want to brunch with friends, drink margaritas, and eat on the go, but the reality is, that that life isn’t meant for me. I needed to become disciplined to healing my gut, eliminating foods that triggered me, and changing my lifestyle habits so they’re stress free and revitalizing. It was also important to remember that right now does not equate to forever.

When you give your body time to clean out the junk and heal itself, then you can slowly add back your favorite foods and expand your plate so you can moderately brunch with friends and eat on the go. But if you never start, then you never get there. I’m 5 years into healing myself and now I realize that had I become committed to this life 5 years ago, many things could have been different. So, I’m starting now so when I look up in 1, 3, or 5 years I will be better than I was today.

So, where do I start?

I am a cold turkey type because moderation doesn’t work for me. So, first, I started watching fasting videos. They spoke about how fasting for 18-36 hours can trigger autophagy which allowed the body to eat the junk and begin healing itself. So basically, if I developed a regular routine of intermittent and long term fasting, I might be able to rebuild my body on a cellular level. This of course is not easy and is not fast.

So I started with a 16:8 fast. I fasted for 16 hours and had a window to eat for 8 hours. The first 2 days were a struggle but eventually my body adjusted and I wasn’t hungry during my fast. I was extremely full during my window of eating. I ate 2 meals about 6 hours apart. After maintaining the 16:8 fast for about a week, I moved on to the 18:6 where I fasted for 18 hours and ate for 6. Once again it took 2 days of adjustment and then it was easy peasy. I, again, ate 2 meals in a smaller window. Full and happy.

Setting a new goal

Lastly, and the hardest to adjust to has been the 20:4 that I started after committing to 18:6 for a week. It took longer to adjust to this one and I actually felt more irritable and lightheaded some days no matter how much water I drank. It took about 4 days to adjust to this one and I still don’t feel like I have a good handle on it. Some days I accidentally pushed it to 21 or 22 hours because I was out, but man was I hungry.

Once I complete a week and some change at 20:4, I will be doing my first 24 hour fast. I will go past 24 hours if my body feels like it, but right now 24 is my goal. Then I will go back to 20:4 with more frequent 24 hour fasts throughout the month so that I can build up to a 36. And I will continue doing this slow build up until I’m able to reach a slow 72 hours. I will not starve myself, but I won't eat unless it's necessary.

Fasting is very much more mental than physical. So we’re training our discipline mentally and around our foods.

What am I eating?

I did AIP for years. I did it terribly, but I did it. I eliminated a lot of things and dabbled in a lot of things that didn’t cause immediate painful flares. But I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted to be in a constant state of healing and stop the pain, swelling, and constant draining. I know it can be done so I’m committing to doing it. So I eliminated all of the foods AIP says to: eggs, nuts, legumes, nightshades, etc., but I also eliminated the things I know my body personally doesn’t like which included: sugars and high starch veggies. So I am eating green veggies and spaghetti squash and at the end of 30 days,I have decided to slowly reintroduce low sugar starchy veggies. Right now we’re reintroducing butternut squash. It has gone well and I’m happy. Learning moderation.

This extreme elimination has shown me that some things I refused to give up previously were actually causing an issue for me, including vegetables. My body doesn’t like pork, cabbage, or vinegar. Things that should be healthy for us. Pork makes me sneeze and itch, cabbage makes me itch and sauerkraut makes me flare below the belt, while vinegar makes my nose run. These are foods I ate regularly in the past and wondered why my flares refused to heal.

I have loved this journey so far and be sure you read the next article to see how things have changed for me in just 30 days!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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