#TFMsuccess: A former dialysis nurse turns to fasting when nothing else worked.

By Jason Fung, MD

My name is Judi Campion and 2018 was my 2 year anniversary of starting a low carb lifestyle.

I found Dr Jason Fung through reading about him and hearing him speak on 2KetoDudes. Jason Fung piqued my interest as I am a former dialysis nurse. My career involved looking after many patients with ESRD who were also T2D. His career is also focused on treating CKD/ ESRD clients.

I have always carried excess weight since my second pregnancy. Running the house, working on my career, putting my kids needs ahead of me found me steadily gaining weight until I hit 234lbs in 2004. I saw myself in my daughters wedding photos and I was horrified by what I looked like. I vowed to lose, and I did lose a bit but not enough. Like most people I dieted. I took on any one I could find. Nutrisystem, The Beverley Hills Diet, South Beach, WW so many times I should have bought stock in the company and some really dangerous ones where you ate 750 calories and got weekly B12 shots. I lost about 40lbs over the next 12 years but could not seem to lose more. On December 29th 2016 I found my final diet. I read an old Atkins book and dug in. Then I found TFM. I knew I needed some help as I was not losing as I wanted to.

Enter Nadia Brito Pateguana, my life changed. She introduced me to fasting. I will be honest. I did not feel I could or even would want to fast. Nadia can be very patient and persuasive. I am not diabetic but I am Insulin Resistant and I did have NAFLD. I struggled to fast and I still do! I know it works, this time last year I had to live with my mother. She was very ill and could not cope on her own. I was not in my own environment, I had no kitchen and certainly mum’s pantry was not conducive to a keto diet! I fasted quite a bit and lived on eggs and bacon with some greens and Avocado! The 6 weeks I was there I lost 11lbs, and that got me going, a fat fast got me into a good deep ketosis.

I now fast ADF, aim for 42 hours 3x weekly or I do it in one fast of 72 hours. I still struggle each fast. I’ve learned that the hard ones I get too stressed and I’m better off calling it and then regroup. I am committed to this lifestyle. It is no longer a diet. I eat keto style and focus on meeting my carb and protein macros. I have always kept the thought in my head when I struggle that this is my life now, figure out a new way to make it work. That could be being stricter with my macros, fasting more frequently, trying a longer fast.

Holidays and vacations or special days happen. And I enjoy them. I do choose to indulge but not often. I share a desert with my husband as usually one or two forkfuls are enough. My vice is really well made French fries, thin and cooked in real fat. After holidays or vacations I will revert back to my routine easily. Last February I went on a week vacation to a Mexican all inclusive. I vowed that I would eat and enjoy. I did! 3 meals a day, I chose as close to low carb as I could. I also enjoyed a few indulgences and a daily cocktail along with some wine with dinner! We spent time walking, swimming and just enjoyed. Holy smokes when I got back I had lost 5lbs!!! On vacation! It can be done.

In January of 2018 my labs showed that I no longer have NAFLD, a year on keto with 6 months of fasting. I had lost weight. I weighed 159.8lbs and that was down 33lbs. I lose very slowly and plateaued for 7 months. In that time my calls with Nadia had ended. I was asked to be a moderator. I did my first ModFast of 72 hours and finally busted the plateau. I am learning all the time moderating the page, this is a good thing. We can always learn more. I recently found my Ketones had dropped to 0.3, not really in ketosis. So I finally decided to go back to calls with Nadia. It has really helped me. I have a great recovery plan now. If I over indulge as I did over Christmas I fast for 20 hours. Then I have a fat fast meal, and another and another. I keep on fat fasting until my ketones come up or I just cannot face another slice of bacon! Then I fast as cleanly as possible. Water, tea or coffee, no “crutches” for me now. I don’t need them.

I love my workouts. I lift weights with a trainer twice weekly. She has been a huge support and often shares keto with her other clients. I also enjoy a Dance Fit class, hike trails and I’m going to try snow shoeing this winter!

My biggest motivation is seeing the physical change in my body. I’m now at 140 lbs, I can see my muscles but I can still see some fat. Mainly my lower belly. My original goal was 150, now I’m aiming for 125-130lbs. I’m only 5’1” so I believe it’s a reasonable goal. I am 61 going on 25! Ya! I feel that good.

My best starting tip is read. Learn about why a low carb diet and fasting will work. I’ve read The Obesity Code twice, The Complete Guide To Fasting Twice and The Diabetes Code, once. Yup I’m going to be reading it again. I have used the Diet Doctor website to help me follow a good keto diet. I love the recipes and the menu planning feature on the site. I have watched numerous videos and blogs. It is a great site. I also have the paid community on the TFM site, my favourite feature there are the Q&As by Megan and other members of the TFM educator team. The live Q&As are great too.

Am I at my goal? No I am not but I hope to be. As I mentioned earlier, I have been struggling with plateaus through out my 2 years living this way. I decided that I would sign up again for some coaching. I sat down and made a new list of Whys, I have new goals now compared to the ones I made when I started. Set goals for yourself, ask yourself each day why you are doing this. Be consistent, be honest, never give up. Look for progress, it’s there!

Update: October 2020

Hi all, well I am still working towards my goal but over time those goals have changed and so has my thinking. See back then I truly considered this weight loss, technically it is but ideally our goal should be fat loss! So with that in mind I am working towards that goal. So the weight number on the scale has changed a tiny bit. In 2019 my mum had severe health issues which ultimately led to major changes for me as I became her caregiver and had to spend time living away from my home. While not much actual progress happened, what did happen was amazing, I was able to maintain my weight with just a few fluctuations.  Now I am focusing on my health again. I use measurements (waist to height in inches) and I have a fancy scale that gives me an idea of my fat percentage and lean mass. These are the numbers I focus on. TFM has been a life saver for me.

So tomorrow when I turn 63 I can honestly say I am living a healthy life and I am happier than ever for all the blessings I do have.

By The Fasting Method

For many health reasons, losing weight is important. It can improve your blood sugars, blood pressure and metabolic health, lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. But it’s not easy. That’s where we can help.

Jason Fung, MD

By Jason Fung, MD

Jason Fung, M.D., is a Toronto-based nephrologist (kidney specialist) and a world leading expert in intermittent fasting and low-carb diets.

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