In this episode of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, host Gin Stephens speaks to Donna Arcara, who works in her family’s real estate business in Helena, Alabama. Donna states that obesity crept up in her 40’s and 50’s – but it isn’t what led her to intermittent fasting. Caring for a relative with dementia motivated her to learn about prevention, and finding videos about IF led to a “Google tornado”, including finding Delay, Don’t Deny. Her previous pattern with diets had been to quickly sabotage, bail out, and start gaining again, but she decided to commit to IF for six months. Immediately on day one, she knew fasting was different. She admits that it can be frustrating for others to hear, but adopting the lifestyle has been “virtually effortless.” In a year of fasting, she cannot identify a single bad day.
Donna did not create any restrictions for herself, but ate what she liked within her window, focusing on the clean fast. She views each daily fast as healing time. It has taught her to eat intuitively, something she’d long wanted. Prior to fasting, she describes her eating pattern as “like a caterpillar” – eating relatively healthy food, but munching constantly throughout the day. She now feels her appetite is fully corrected, other than occasionally when she eats too much sugar. Her high blood pressure has normalized, and numerous skin tags cleared up. The brain fog that made her fear dementia is gone.
Another ingredient in her success formula was staying off the scale. Because of her doctor’s records, she knows she lost 60 lbs by the 9-month mark, but isn’t sure of milestones along the way. Staying off the scale was an important part of trusting the process, and it kept her from obsessing on sizes. She has ultimately gone from a tight size 18 down to a size 4. A recent triumph is fitting into her “Donny Osmond pants”, a special pair she wore 20 years ago when she met her childhood idol.
Before finding fasting, Donna describes her mind as “toxic soup of negativity,” waking each day with dread. She now feels unbelievably free, happy, and centered. She sees fasting as a totally sustainable and permanent lifestyle, and encourages others not to let the scale steal their joy. She reminds us that after years of believing lack of willpower causes obesity, we have to be mindful not to judge others who are overweight.
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