These two photos were taken almost exactly 1 year apart. October 28, 2020 (right) and October 21, 2021 (left).
I’ve always struggled with my weight, ever since high school. I’m kinda tall for girl at 5’9, but I graduated college in 2013 around 190 pounds, which was the biggest I had been at the time. I lost a lot of it backpacking on the AT, but as soon as I got home, the weight crept back on.
When my now-husband and I moved to Florida in 2015, I spent five years slowly packing on more pounds without paying much attention to it. Realization hit me in August 2020 when my company hosted our work retreat, glamping at a river ranch resort.
A bunch of us girls wanted to do the horseback riding, which had a weight limit of 225 lbs, for insurance reasons. ‘No problem,’ I thought. I’ve never weighted that much in my life. Well, I was about to get hit with the humiliation card when they weighed us on the spot and I was denied! If you’ve ever been denied something due to your weight, you understand how terrible this feels (side note: my colleagues were super amazing and said if one of us can’t ride, then no one does! We did the airboat instead, but still. My girls even took me horseback riding for my birthday later that year to make up for it.)
Anyway, I had hit a whopping 233 pounds. The largest I’ve ever been! I felt just awful and immediately wanted to change.
I’ve tried fad diets, work out routines, all the usual, but never found something I could stick with longterm. That was always my problem. Well, in October 2020, a family friend had posted her weight loss journey, and she credited it to Intermittent Fasting (IF), citing a book by Gin Stephens called “Fast, Feast, Repeat”. I’d heard of fasting before, but never looked much into it, or had a guidebook.
Well, that book changed my life! On October 28, 2020, I started the book’s 28 day fast start, and never looked back.
IF, if done right, is a slow process. And rightly so. I spent five years packing on extra weight, so I knew that the only way to keep it off permanently would be to lose it slowly too. And so I was patient and stuck it out, even in the beginning when it was hard.
But here’s the thing: IF gets REALLY easy once your body adjusts. Seriously. And it’s super flexible! IF is not a diet, it’s not a fad: it’s a lifestyle and one that supports a healthy all around system. As Gin Stephens says, ‘it’s a health plan, with the side effect of weight loss.’
With IF, what you change is WHEN you eat, not what you eat (although you may slowly watch your appetite change and find yourself craving healthier foods). I still eat sweets and desserts. I eat all the carbs I feel like. I drink alcohol when I want. But I also eat tons of veggies, fruits, and proteins. I pretty much love all food, and love to eat well, but I also love my snacks. I also don’t work out or exercise much more than doing yoga, playing paintball, and the occasional run, which is exactly how I like it.
1 year later, I’m down 42 lbs (weighed at 191 on October 30, 2021), dropped 4 pants sizes, and still hope to lose another 20-30 lbs.
Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle I can live with, and I’m so thankful I found it. I have tons of energy, my mind is sharper, and I feel stronger and more capable than ever before.
If you’ve struggled with a longterm weight loss plan, IF might be right for you. Everyone is different, and everyone struggles with different aspects of their body and self-image, but whatever plan you choose, whether IF or not, if you put in the work, you can succeed.
If I can do it, so can you!