There I was, staring into my old wardrobe.
I say old not because it looks decrepit, but because it remains filled with my old clothes; clothes that belong to a body I’m yet to become reacquainted with.
The evening was cold and, for the first time this year, my husband and I had a free pass to go out. I frantically searched for a jacket that matched my blue jeans and fit. The latter being the most important.
Surely there is a quick, easy weight-loss, health-enabling, get-into-your-old-clothes-quickly option? Like all good people looking to meet their former self, I went out feeling $500,000 rather than $1 million and consumed an inappropriate amount of calories in various forms. It was a great night.
Whether it was my phone eavesdropping or the universe conspiring, for the next week all I heard was the latest buzz words on dieting.
It felt as though everywhere I turned, people were talking about fasting and gut health. Walking past a bookshop, the display in the centre window was about health and fitness. My social media and web browsers ‘coincidentally’ showed me dieting regimes.
This is how I found myself fasting for 16 hours. The first day fasting saw me discover a long black coffee just didn’t cut the mustard.
I didn’t question how the process would relate to or affect my bigger goals.
Throughout the morning I quickly became obsessed with watching the clock until 12pm ticked over. By the weekend, I was more like a human vacuum than a health-conscious woman as I sat in a cinema with 20 children, sucking up cold popcorn.
As I left the cinema, having eaten a slice of birthday cake while telling my girlfriend about this new fasting thing I was doing, I knew I was going about this the wrong way.
As we set the breakfast table on Sunday, with the absence of a setting for me, I wondered what to tell the children when they asked why there wasn’t a place for me.
I didn’t know the theory behind my new regime. I hadn’t asked any questions myself, so I certainly wasn’t ready for theirs.
I had jumped blindly into the process thinking there wasn’t much to fasting and it would be simple.
I was wrong. I gained two kilograms and almost lost my mind in the process.
As I laughed with my work family about my first failed fast, I thought about this column. It wasn’t that fasting doesn’t work; it was that I had no idea what I was doing. I hadn’t done research into the concept.
I didn’t question how the process would relate to or affect my bigger goals. There was no planning. I wanted a quick fix, and there are no quick fixes.
I have no doubt fasting works for some people, and it might even work for me, but I know personalised results require clarity of outcome and purpose, research, reflection, planning and accountable execution.
So my advice to you, whether you’re considering the latest health craze or business trends, is to go in with your research done and your eyes wide open.