“Fast,” the Misnomer

Lately I’ve been listening to ladies my age who talk of new habits in response to old-ing up.
Old-ing up stinks, have I said that a million times yet?
Two of my friends — TWO — talked about fasting for eighteen hours a day. EACH day. And EVERY day. FASTING.
Two ladies, slightly older than myself, fasting for good health, including better sleep, less bloating — yes, the conversation took a turn downward — and weight loss.
“What about the air bag?” I asked, repeating it in response to the quizzical looks.
About six months ago, I woke with an airbag around my belly. I can run into countertops with no fear of pain. I bounce off and walk away in whichever direction the airbag commanded.
No bruising, either, which is nice…unless the coloration is below the turn of the fold…not going to look for confirmation.
I meandered off topic, without even encountering a table top or other middle-range surface I could come across.
But give up ten to twelve hours of caloric intake, which is my favorite hobby? I mean, eating is fabulous. All the noshing, and the “what’s next?” aspect of each bite…good stuff.
I firmly shook my head “no” and forgot about my friends’ newly found health and sleep wellness. Because…I need to eat, repeatedly, with zeal and an open ice cream container.
Sometime during a night, asleep and vulnerable, my subconscious took over and that very next morning, I didn’t eat breakfast. Oh, sure, I drank three cups of coffee, but without food. Coffee sans nosh.
Before I realized, I waited until noon to finally eat my pitiful tiny lunch and that night I didn’t eat after 8pm. And though I may have slipped a few times about the noon rule, I forced upon myself the nothing-after-eight thing, no matter what. I was strong! I was strict! And I was up early, about an hour early each morning, invading the refrigerator’s personal space.
I figured ten hours — TEN hours! — of fasting…that’s a lot.
Before I knew it, I skipped breakfast entirely — no calories but coffee creamer until noon! This is a thing I found inconceivable. (Hopefully I used that word appropriately — since “The Princess Bride,” I’ve questioned proper use of the word.)
Quizzically, I realized that once I’d ingested the first bite of lunch, I was full quickly.
Whaaaa…
I’m entirely confused about this stuff.
Because now I actually DO fast for 18 hours. It took a few weeks, but I am an “intermittent faster;” it was a slow process to fast.
Not sure I like it.
No reduction in the air bag, sadly, which encouraged my puerile need to pack as many calories as possible into my six hour window. Five minutes until six o’clock equals three mini Tasty Kake donuts…if you’re counting or want to join me.
Now that I’m a few weeks into this denial and Adulting for Better Digestive Practices, my friend said the next step is to skip every other day — in other words, go along in the world for 24 plus 18 hours without caloric intake…
Blink.
Blink.
Nope. No, thank you.
Plus, I refuse to let my subconscious mull this one over either.
Sigh.
I miss grazing, that’s the truth…but I guess sleep is kind of nice, too.

Hooping, Prairie Style

We prairie librarians are on the cutting edge of fitness, I don’t know if you know that.
We hoop now. Hula hoop. It’s a new thing, never seen before.
Our first class was led by an instructor, an honest to goodness professional hoopist — it’s a word now; just made it up — who walked into the building swaddled in a dozen hoops of varied sizes and colors and asked, “Ready?”
Do you know how hard it is to get grown women to agree to attend a hula hooping class, even when we cloak the fun under the term Ladies’ Night?
Nearly impossible. The fear of embarrassment, trepidation about ability, threat of injury — it could happen, you don’t know — all add up to “uh uh, no thank you, but have fun with that” type responses.
So our small group of risk-takers — we numbered seven in all — trudged to the back acre on a remarkably lovely evening — a gorgeous 70 degrees, the sun at its golden, magically-flattering angle and hue. We followed our cute cute cute instructor who led with the boom box (yeah, I’m old), to ignominious displays of lost agility and old age.
We were comforted to know we would go down in the presence of friends.
But here’s the weird thing: we didn’t stink. We weren’t great, but we were only red-faced by exertion and sweat. Hooping for longer than five minutes is actually taxing, who knew? We had great music by bands I’ve never heard before and couldn’t tell you now, as their names were bizarre and sounded less like rockers than out-of-date food stuffs – Rancid Milk, Pickled Cheese Product, something like that — and we actually had hoops rolling around our middles like they were made to be there.
THEN. The instructor said, “Let’s learn some moves.”
Uh. I thought I was moving. This round piece of plastic is upright; I’m calling it a win.
But before long, we were actually turning within the hoop, and walking around still hooping, and rolling the hoops around our wrists like brightly colored lassos any cowboy would be ashamed of.
Good stuff.
Here’s a fun detail: did you know that on the prairie the weather can change in an instant? One moment we’re blissfully hooping in the twilight, the very next moment we are running from leaves hurtled from trees like organically grown throwing stars — one lady actually caught one in her throat, I kid you not — screaming like we’re being bitten while the temperature dropped twenty degrees.
It was close, but we all survived.
We ran back into the library giggling and sweaty and decided, no more hooping for us!
Because we had snacks. Snacks trump everything.