In this episode of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, host Gin Stephens speaks to Marie of Connecticut, who is Director of Library Services at a medical school. She is also a moderator in the Delay, Don’t Deny support group on Facebook. Marie’s backstory growing up did not involve much weight struggle: she grew up “skinny” and knobby-kneed, very active as a swimmer. Her first round of excess weight gain was in college, when the Freshman 15 became the Freshman 25, and then with pregnancy in her 30s. She confesses being a food lover who used having twins as an excuse to eat everything in sight, gaining 70 pounds in the process.
Food is central to Marie’s life as an avid cook who also runs a cooking group with friends, sharing recipes and ingredients. This fact made dieting unappealing, but in an effort to lose the weight, she did various diets over the years including Weight Watchers, seeing her weight go up and down. A few years back, she was in a successful weight loss mode that included intense exercise – running, swimming, P90X workouts – and all was going well until a medical crisis set her back for a couple years. Later she was involved in a Biggest Loser contest when she was introduced to DDD, the book and the FB group. She described the incorporation of intermittent fasting as “winning in the short term and long term” as she won the contest and continued to lose weight steadily.
Her IF regimen started 16:8 and moved quickly through 18:6 to 20:4 to 22:2, where she stayed for a long period. She admits that she experiences appetite correction and can “eat right through it”, so a shorter window helped set boundaries. She has lost weight while still eating all the foods she loves, including pizzas and Philly cheesesteaks, and most recently has started doing alternate day fasting (ADF). She finds a low calorie down day is a tease and does better not eating at all, lest she “open the floodgates” of her appetite. At this point, she is dabbling with the idea of maintenance, while staying open to what her body will do over time.
Marie is a librarian and self-proclaimed data person, so she encourages taking pictures and measurements of all kinds for later comparison. She is frustrated by the myth that fasting has to be hard, and her advice for new fasters is to change their mindset. She often prefers the term time-restricted eating and encourages a focus on the fact that you can eat well and have the foods you love, which is a unique aspect of this lifestyle compared to traditional dieting.
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