In this episode of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, host Gin Stephens speaks to Kevin Sheridan, a professional painter and Jiu Jitsu teacher from New Jersey. Kevin’s journey began with a diagnosis of heavy metal toxicity, which he understood resulted from decades of exposure to painting materials. A functional medicine protocol including cilantro smoothies helped with detox, and this triggered a new interest in health and wellness. Working with his functional medicine doctor led to research on several topics, including intermittent fasting.
Kevin shares a family history of addiction and addictive patterns, and in retrospect, he sees similar behaviors in himself. He was raised by a single mom and remembers a comforting ritual of buying junk food for Friday night TV. This became an adult pattern of seeking out sugar and junk food frequently. After learning the benefits of IF through books and podcasts, he remembered how well he felt not eating until noon on regular trips to Costa Rica, and decided to try an afternoon/evening eating window. He was quickly amazed at his energy levels, which were previously erratic including afternoon slumps of exhaustion. Now, he describes himself as “zoomin’’ during the day, filled with steady levels of high energy during each fast. He mostly sticks with a 20:4 pattern and has thrown in some 48 hour fasts as well.
At this point, Kevin believes intermittent fasting has freed him from being like “Pavlov’s dog,” responding mindlessly to food triggers in his environment. Preoccupation with food used to make him feel perpetually future-focused, but now he feels mindfully engaged in the present. This has been wonderful for his work and life with his family. Though he never considered himself obese, he technically was by weight charts, and he’s gratefully lost weight to get out of that category. His advice to those new to IF: “feed yourself” during your fasts with a stream of positive information and inspirational stories. Knowing how and why what you’re doing is good for your body will keep you focused and motivated toward your goals.
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