In this episode of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, host Gin Stephens has a conversation with Amy Behlke, a middle school teacher and ardent supporter of intermittent fasting. Amy did not struggle with her weight until she was about halfway through her 30s, and then any successful method she used to help her lose weight proved to be unsustainable. Last March, she had a kind of epiphany, realizing that she wanted to enjoy life, and that her health/fitness stood in the way of this desire. Her husband had been toying with IF and seeing results, and though she was at first skeptical, Amy decided over her summer break to give IF a try. The first few days were challenging, but having endured the initial transition in her lifestyle, Amy noticed positive changes. She later learned about clean fasting, and changing to a clean fast helped her to see even greater changes in her body and life.
Though on different schedules, Amy and her husband keep an IF lifestyle together. He has lost about 80 pounds through IF combined with restricting his carb and sugar intake. His blood pressure has also improved, and he is no longer pre-diabetic. Amy did not have quite as much weight to lose as did her husband, but she is down about 40 pounds from her 199-pound starting weight, and has seen exciting change even in small ways as her hair and skin have improved and her feet no longer hurt. She also finds that IF helps her to be more positive and engaged in life. More profoundly, though, Amy was helped by IF to navigate the Camp Fire tragedy that struck her community. She was so focused on the events surrounding the fire that she did not think much about food, and was not distracted by the need for it. Her physical and emotional health, improved by IF, helped her to handle the tragedy well.
Though her daily fasting schedule changed as she went through the experience of the Camp Fire and its aftermath, as well as the holidays, Amy has settled on roughly a 21-3 schedule. She and her husband use food as a means of celebration, and enjoy cooking and eating good food together. Their diets and tastes have been altered by IF, and their healthier food choices have also trickled down to their children’s diets. Amy thinks that she will probably seek to maintain her weight at this point rather than to lose more weight, but she is committed to IF as a lifestyle that she will adhere to permanently. She advises those new to IF to be patient and open-minded. She wants them to know that there is more to IF than weight loss and that IF promises both an overall increase in quality of life and personal control in the realm of eating. She counsels these new-to-IF listeners to believe that IF is truly worthwhile. And as for her, the next step is joining her husband in being a more public representative of and advocate for IF.
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