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Six years ago today, I got laid off, becoming just another stat in the initial wave of layoffs during the Great Crash of 2008. I’d actually found out right before I was leaving for the night the day before but my bosses wanted me to come in one more day to clean out my desk. Having been there over four years – and being quite the pack rat – I’d accumulated a lot of junk along the way.
That morning I got up early so I could get into the office before anyone else and start the process of purging my work life. I’d just got up, showered, dressed and caught the bus and L to my office in the Loop, arriving just before 7:00 A.M. No one was there yet so I wandered around and took pictures to remember the place since I had enjoyed working there.
People started shuffling in around 8:00 and no one really paid any attention to my cleaning binge since I sat in the back corner of our office. It was fine by me as I didn’t really want to say anything until I was done and ready to get out of there. A few others had been laid off over the past few days but I knew my being let go was going to be a surprise.
I answered a few emails and made a few phone calls in between cleaning and packing so it took a while.
Yeah, I wasn’t in a hurry but did I mention I had a lot of junk?
I finally told my co-workers that I was saying good-bye and that it had been real, and fun, but was it all real fun? Sorry, Green Day moment there. Anyway, they were shocked and wanted me to try to stick around so they could take me out for drinks after work. Just then I realized that I hadn’t eaten yet – at all. And it was 1:00 in the afternoon. It had totally slipped my mind but surprisingly I wasn’t starving or light-headed or a big green Hulk of rage. I was fine.
I’d been doing CrossFit for a few weeks and eating the goofy Zone Diet it peddled at the time so maybe that helped. I’d done some reading about Intermittent Fasting (IF) but didn’t really know much about it. With my new found freedom and pending life of leisure I headed out west to see my girlfriend (now wife) in San Francisco where she’d been working all summer. The trip had been planned for weeks but it somehow worked out that I’d have plenty of time to look for a job and research more about this fasting I’d accidentally tried.
There are a million ways to skin a cat and so it also seems with IF. Leangains is one of the most famous along with the Warrior Diet and Eat, Stop, Eat. And various religions do it as part of their beliefs. I just do it because it works with my schedule. I usually don’t eat until Noon or 1:00 and finish up eating around 8:00 or 9:00 at night. I still do it to this day, six years after I fell into it by being preoccupied with losing my job.
For me and a lot of other people, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. It’s just a clever marketing phrase. Just do it. Or not.