I tried intermittent fasting (and discovered an app that reminds me to «drink» and breathe») –

This article is part of issue #340 of the Futura newsletter, which arrives every week in subscribers’ inboxes. Information here

Antonella Viola and her husband, in the end, they convinced me: I decided to try intermittent fasting too. But, I immediately asked myself, where do I start? I don’t know anything about it, I risk ending up in the emergency room for a faint. The last fast I remember goes back to a hunger strike that I started many years ago, when, at the age of fifteen, my father refused to let me go to the cinema with friends in the late afternoon (understand me: I was a country girl, “going to town” was always an adventure fraught with nameless dangers).

So I started reading books and scientific publications and I discovered that there are forms of fasting that are all in all acceptable, for example the formula that I finally chose: 14/10 (after having consulted the doctor, of course). That is, you can eat in ten hours but in the remaining fourteen you must fast. Of course it is useful – as well as wise – to start the fast at seven or eight in the evening and to have breakfast at nine or ten the next morning. It can be done, I told myself.

But that wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to know more, to know the reasons why this “window” without food, never drastic or risky, but slightly longer than usual, was so healthy. So I downloaded an app a friend told me about. Easy to use, with elegant and essential graphics. Small windows opened explaining to me that, during the night or in any case in the «window without food» the organism cleanses by putting into practice a sort of «autophagy» of cellular waste and keeps the insulin level low. I have decided to practice it once or twice a week, continuing my daily habits, which are an hour of yoga or pilates exercises and ten or fifteen minutes of meditation. Every day, as a secular prayer.

I finally decide to start, defying predictability, on a Monday. I organize myself, I try to have lunch a little earlier in order to anticipate the last meal and I set up the app. I get to work and, after a few minutes, the phone squeaks: the app is reminding me to «breathe, because breathing is good». I resist the urge to smile, which comes naturally to me in front of such a blatant display of stupidity, but I remember that I am a practitioner of the “here and now”, that detachment is our salvation, in short, that I must ignore that I notify.

Two hours go by and the squeak comes back: this time the app reminds me to “drink water, because drinking is essential to your health”. I smile again and let it go. What nonsense, I tell myself. After two hours, here’s another warning: «Roberta, remember that you can become a better person simply by cultivating good habits». What a discovery, I laugh to myself, but meanwhile I’m waiting for this bloody app to remind me that I have to drink water, because damn, I always forget. And in fact, when the hydrophilic warning arrives, two hours later, I immediately reach for my desk flask, the one that has the inscription «Reading changes everything» on the back.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s it. Hours go by and I realize I need those gentle reminders. Remember you have to drink, remember you have to breathe, remember you have to live. I know, I know, laugh and I understand you. But it’s as if sometimes we need a friendly voice to remind us, without haste, without anxiety. So, like a pat on the head. However, the time has come to fast. Precisely as a calculation by Carlo Rovelli I put the last bite of chickpea hummus in my mouth (you’re not thinking of eating roast pork ribs if you’re about to fast, eh) at seven in the evening.

And then more work, evening reading, a piece of “The Diplomat” and sleep. I wake up as usual at six in the morning, fresh and without omnivorous nightmares. My app reminds me that “it’s healthy to drink jasmine tea” as soon as I wake up but this time I kindly send it to hell because no one takes my black coffee from me. Gymnastics, meditation (this time concentrated on the belly and stomach) and then, solemnly, as if I were approaching the paschal mystery, I break my fast at nine. No big deal, milk and some wholemeal biscuits, but with «calm and awareness», the two cornerstones of chewing according to my friend the app. Needless to deny it, I felt like a better person, a member of the «14/10 club», part of an elite of healthy body and clear mind. Shower, brush and two drops of perfume.

I go out and walk with royalty, as befits a conscious person, embodied in the present, rooted like a mountain. And, as always, I dial my mother’s numberfor the first of the four daily phone calls I make to her.
«Mom hello, do you know that there is something new? I started intermittent fasting.
“And what would that be?”
‘Well, I eat at seven in the evening and I have breakfast at nine in the morning.’
«Robè, I’ve been doing it for eighty years».
«Um, it’s true mom and in fact you’re fine. But you know, it’s different here. I even downloaded an app.”
“And what does the app do?”
“Every now and then it reminds me that I have to drink water.”
«….” (my mum says nothing, maybe she thinks I need a good one).

And I continue, in a lower voice: «And every now and then it reminds me to breathe…». My mother is silent. Maybe embarrassed, maybe worried, maybe both. Change of subject. Maybe it’s better.

Thus, quoting the greatest writer of all, he decided that it was “a funny thing that I will never do again”.

#intermittent #fasting #discovered #app #reminds #drink #breathe
2023-06-03 09:43:10