December 1, 2017 the day I started my latest journey to get healthy. I was scared, desperate and skeptical that I was embarking on yet another journey that would lead to failure. The story of my life…a long story of 50+ yrs of yo-yo dieting from a very young age. My journey to Fungster land is a pretty long one. My before picture is from 2010 the year I retired. I was if not, very close to 400 lbs. I had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, PCOS, Hypothyroid disease, Metabolic Syndrome to name a few. I had a truly messed up metabolism. My Endocrinologist calls me the poster child for Insulin Resistance! I have lost and gained hundreds of pounds over the years, literally. On 5 different diets at different times during my life I’d lost over 100 lbs only to regain it all and then some. The most recent in 2011 I’d lost 150 lbs on Weight Watchers only to put most of it back on again.
In September of 2017, I noticed my brother had lost a significant amount of weight. Although he’s never been obese, he’s always struggled with 20-25 lbs. I asked him what he was doing and he told me about fasting. Like most of us, I was shocked, skeptical, thought he was harming himself etc. He kept talking to me about it, and I started to do some research and on that day 11/29/17 after we were coming back from a trip to Ireland, I thought to myself. “What do I have to lose”
The second picture, was me on 11/28/2017. 100 lbs heavier then when I’d lost my WW weight. I was now back to 350 lbs . My brother belonged to another FB group which he added me to and they’re mostly local individuals fasting, but many were very radical fasters. Although what some were doing was scary, they linked me to some great videos and I found Dr. Fung’s books. I read them all and watched as many videos as I could get my hands on and one lead me to TFM. That’s when everything changed for me.
When I started, I did a 16:8 protocol, built up to 24 hrs, but because of my Diabetes I couldn’t push past 24 hrs. My blood glucose would go too low. I wasn’t losing much weight either but I knew it was working as my blood glucose was coming down. Starting FBS was over 160 and by January was down to 112. At that time I had appointments with my Endocrinologist and Primary. I told them what I was doing, and neither was very happy about it. That wasn’t going to stop me, so I continued without their support. I wasn’t on insulin, but Metformin and Victoza so I knew eventually I would need medical support for medicine changes. By a random posting on my FB page from a friend, I discovered she too was fasting and she belonged to another FB group, that was connected to a local clinic here run by doctors that were Dr. Fung trained. I jumped on it, made a consultation appointment and have been a client of the clinic since April 2018.
I reversed my diabetes in the first 3 months. It was about then that I was being supported by the clinic and they encouraged me to do longer fasts. I was still struggling with roller coaster blood glucose. I decreased Metformin, and then came off it because it was causing the low readings. Since doing that, my bg has stabilized allowing me to do longer fasts. Now I vary my weekly fasting. I was doing 4-5 day fasts on a regular basis but then hit a wall and struggling with fasting of any length. The dr. at the clinic recognized that I wasn’t eating enough between fasts and insisted I take a break. Which I did and couldn’t resume a longer fast for almost a month afterward. This is what Megan Ramos refers to as fasting burnout. It isn’t pretty! Now I’m finding that I don’t gain anymore benefit from a 5 day fast then I do from a 3-4 day fast. Actually my sweet spot is 84 hrs. So I do a variation of a 3 day a week fast every week. I’m consistently losing about 1 lb a week and haven’t hit a stall by doing that.
I follow a Ketogenic diet. I keep my carbs under 20 gr. I’m extremely carb sensitive, more than likely due to my chronic insulin resistance. I actually average about 10 gr a day. I swim for exercise.
I hit a wall last fall after finding I had a tumor on my parathyroid gland. My insulin levels went back up and surgery was scheduled. At that time because I wasn’t able to fast I started putting weight back on again. My insulin resistance was rearing it’s ugly head! I then started working with Nadia Pateguana, one of the TFM Educators. I’ve been working with her since my surgery and working at getting the insulin back down again. Weight is coming back off.
This lifestyle is now just that. It’s my routine. I never vary from it. I’m consistent week to week, day to day. It’s the first time in my life I see me doing this forever. There’s nothing I can’t eat or do. Life is about celebrating as Dr. Fung says and I do that when opportunity presents itself. The key for me now is having the fasting tool to add to my arsenal. I am, however, very picky about my indulgences. It has to be really worth it.
My motivation comes from my “WHY”. I do this for my health. The weight loss is the added benefit, but seeing the medical numbers change is my focus. I’ve reversed the diabetes. My A1C is down to 5.2, My insulin is coming down, slowly, and I know that will take a very long time to reverse. That’s what keeps me going. Now knowing the insulin resistance is the cause of so many disease, gives me the motivation to keep on going. With my family history of heart disease I have to be mindful of that.
If I were to give one piece of advice to those beginning this woe, it would be first and foremost educate yourself on how this works. You have to have a real understanding so you don’t get discouraged or set high expectations. Figure out before you start, the why you’re doing it. Healing takes time. Make a commitment to stick to this for the long-haul. Make a commitment to do whatever it takes to get to your goals. You’re going to be faced with tough choices. You have to decide what you’re willing to do to get what you want. Take control of the food. Don’t let it control you.
Finally, the last pictures is from 11/18/18. Almost a year from starting. I’m officially down 90 lbs. I’ve never felt better in my life. I’m so grateful to my team…Dr. Fung, Megan Ramos, Nadia Pateguana and all the other TFM Educators I’ve been fortunate to work with, my doctors at the Metabolic Dietary Solutions Clinic and the TFM group for literally changing my life. I still have a long way to go in my journey but I know with the continued support of my team I will get there!
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.
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.