Recently I spoke to Claire who has lost 20kgs by eating less 2 days per week. Claire agreed to be interviewed in the hopes of educating and inspiring others.
Here is my interview with Claire…
Claire, How did you look and feel before your weight loss journey?
Claire – Whilst I always felt I was well presented, i knew, somewhere, that my clothes weren’t sitting quite right… even the clothes I had bought in bigger sizes. I was lethargic, tired all the time and constantly had a ‘heavy’ feeling.
The weight I was carrying, putting me in the overweight, close to obese category, was effecting my life with my kids as I didn’t want to get up and play, and it was effecting my health. My thyroid was struggling, and between that and my weight, my hormones were all out of whack.
I felt like a mess.
Had you tried to lose weight and get healthier previously?
Claire – I had tried a number of different things to get my weight in check.
Going to the gym hadn’t worked because I just felt I could eat what I wanted because I had worked out. I tried several shake diets. The weight came off, but I couldn’t sustain it. It was expensive, and difficult to simply live on shakes with a family to feed as well.
I tried a combination of clean eating and exercise, but again, I found it difficult to maintain the frequency of exercise around two small kids.
What prompted your decision to try Intermittent Fasting?
Claire – I had been speaking to a work colleague who mentioned this thing called the Fast Diet.
I googled it, thinking ‘fast diet? Yep, quick and easy. Sounds like me.’ Whilst I discovered that that was not what they meant by Fast, the more I read, the more the health benefits aside from the weight loss became difficult to ignore.
My family has a history of heart disease, diabetes and mental illness. Reading about the ways I.F. could help stave off these things, as well as potentially combat Alzheimer’s and help regulate my other body functions that were struggling made it appealing. It also looked like a way of eating I could fit around my life as my children, without having to exclude myself from social events.
Tell us a bit about your IF journey. Did it start hard and get easier?
Claire – At first I found the physical part of fasting difficult, and the mental part easy.
I wanted to get results, and was that helped me put mind over matter. At about the 8 week mark, it became difficult. The weight loss stalled, my hunger that had not bothered me since the second week was back with a vengeance on FD, and I really had to talk myself into continuing.
As I found my fasting groove and worked out what worked for me in terms of what time of day I should eat to make it through the whole day, it became second nature. This was about the 4 month mark. I now really look forward to my fast days and boy do I get cranky if I have to move one! Ha!
What (if any) are the negatives of fasting?
Claire – Personally, I am yet to find a negative in my experience with IF.
Perhaps the only thing I would say is that because others don’t understand it, you sometimes feel the need to defend or explain your way of life, which not everyone is receptive to.
What do you like best about it?
Claire – I love that I feel so much lighter after my fast days. I’m not talking weight lighter, I mean my body doesn’t feel sluggish, I have energy, and I don’t have that bloated feeling all the time.
I like that because I am aware of what calories are in something, only 2 days a week (rather than calorie counting all the time) I make better food choices on my Non Fast Days as I am more educated on how many calories things ‘cost’.
I like that my taste buds have changed. Where I used to turn to chocolate or a soft drink to make it through the 3pm muchies, I’ll now reach for my water and lots of it. My sweet tooth has lessened, and I have found a bunch of quick healthy foods so I don’t have to resort to junky fixes.
I love that I have lost 19.5 kgs, but most of all, I love that my Dr. has been able to lower the dosages of medicines I am taking to regulate my body!
How do you look and feel now?
Claire – I feel amazing! For myself, when I look in the mirror, I’m not scared anymore of what I will see there. Many people have commented on the amount of weight I have lost and say I look great and healthy, and recently, at the park, another young mum asked me how I stay so fit and healthy with two young kids. So I must look ok! I certainly feel more confident.
What advice would you give others wanting to try it?
Claire – Be ready. Just like any change of lifestyle, no matter how easy it is to fit into your life, you have to be in the right frame of mind to commit to it.
Be prepared. Fast days are so much easier if you have your meals planned, or better yet, ready in advance.
Be flexible. If you had planned for a FD, but you’re just not feeling it, don’t get down on yourself and give up, just shuffle it to another day. That’s he beauty of this way of eating!
Be smart. Tell your dr you intend to try this and make good choices.
And drink heaps of water!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Claire – I have had my dosage of Thyroxin, for hypothyroidism halved since losing the weight and changing to this WOL.
I have been switched on to a lower dose OCP; we were using that to help regulate my hormones, which have calmed significantly.
I have also been able to reduce the dose of my anti depressant by 1/3. As all my hormone levels and cortisol levels have evened out, I am able to commence the wind down process for those.
My low blood pressure (yes, the opposite of what a normal overweight person would have) has also normalized.
My father also has a rare disease that causes his fat cells to calcify around his organs. I have told by our specialist that I have greatly reduced my risk for this as well.
All these things are enormous wins for me, my longevity and my life with my family.
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