Day 34. Awakened by the alarm pre-set the night before, I turned towards the sunlight. The day promised to be warm and nice. I felt it by breathing in the light scent of spring and feeling the warm touch of sunshine. But almost imdiately, the buzzing appeared. The utter feeling of alertness and nervousness was building up deep inside my mind and body. I recognized it immediately and cringed at the thought of another day.

Being stuck at home for such a long time was beginning to take a toll. I realized that if I didn’t do something, the impact of the groundhog’s day scenario would keep building and eventually lead to inner destruction and devastation. There was nothing promising ahead for either me or for my beloved family. But what could possibly break this vicious cycle and be effective enough to distract me from the surrounding perfect storm? The answer came to me; it was simple. It was timely and it was convenient. I will be dieting!

I constantly felt the waves of excitement! The same ones I had with all my ten (or was it twenty) previous attempts. But this time it was different. My sanity was at stake and, well, there wasn’t really anything else to do. So, yes, I was seriously determined. I was also curious. Do I really have the strength to commit to something as strict as a simple diet? What results could I expect? Would that change anything…either physically or mentally? And finally, the scariest question, do I have the willpower or not?

With more than enough reasons, I began planning. To make it even more entertaining, I decided to make it a marathon. I had set a one month term where each week would be a different diet. That would help to spice up the challenge and encourage me not to quit prematurely. Moreover, I wasn’t planning to weigh myself throughout the entire diet because it wasn’t about the weight. Well, maybe only partially…

So, after a few hours of Internet research, I ended up with three diets. I made a quick drive to the nearest supermarket and was ready to start.

Let me warn you; I’m an amateur and my interpretation of each diet might have been a little bit miscalculated. I tried my best with all those carbs, proteins, and hardly readable abracadabra. Just keep that in mind.

My first choice was a high-protein diet. I had to eat every two hours, the portions were fairly good sized, and the choice was wide. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the first three days were actually amazing. I felt full, energetic, and happy. But then things got worse.

Despite the large amount of food, which I wasn’t enjoying anymore, I started to run out of energy. It was hard to move, my memory deteriorated, and reality became to feel a bit surreal. But there were also positive effects. I felt totally calm. Online schooling wasn’t stressful anymore and I started to care less about the news. Bingo!

By the end of week one, I was happy that I had decided to go with my marathon plan. There was no way I would have been able to continue that torture. But, thanks to myself, I had something to look forward to – a week of good, old Keto!

Week two started as a breath of fresh air. Fats, sweets, and fats again. The first few days were a blast! But day three brought new surprises. Again. Not that it was much of a surprise. I’ve read about possible side effects; I just didn’t expect all of them. Let’s skip the details, but everything you’ve heard about Keto is true. The smell, the taste in your mouth, flu-kind symptoms. Honestly, it wasn’t cool. But there were some pluses. Again. I was full of energy, my mind was sharp, and I literally felt my body transforming. Week two finished way better than week one, but I still was happy it ended.

For week three, I chose intermittent fasting (IF). I will be honest. I’ve done it before and that’s why it was my choice for the third week. I find it easy and pleasurable. The hardest thing is to get used to intervals, which in my case was 18 hours of fasting and a six-hour window for eating. The first two weeks helped me normalize my sugar levels and tame my cravings.

Week four, I decided to keep practicing IF with slightly different intervals of 16/8. I stopped counting calories and even allowed myself ‘cheat’ meals. I didn’t feel the urge to check my weight; I knew it changed. But that weight wasn’t just off my body; it was also off my mind. For the first time in a while, I felt calm, free, and happy. I was myself again.

Day 64. I woke up to my favorite song. I looked at the curtains trying to catch a glimpse of outside. The morning sky was covered with dramatic strikes of blue ink threatening the earth to break into thousands of tears. The slightly opened window let in the cold breeze that was soaked with a heady mix of dust, moisture, and grass. I anticipated this moment and froze, carefully listening to my inner self. The buzzing was gone. I sent a silent thank you to the outer world and smiled. Everything is going to be all right. From now on, I’ll make sure it will.

By Anna Ivchenko



Olga Garicichina

Russian Time Magazine Assistant Editor

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