Season 1

Episode 73: Joan Bish

In this episode of Intermittent Fasting Stories, Gin talks to Joan Bish of Phoenix Arizona. Joan has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and explains how this has affected her life since childhood.

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Joan is a Regional Sales Support Manager, and a “Jack of All Trades.” She first learned about IF from her massage therapist in the Spring of 2018, but wasn’t quite ready to do it. A few months passed, and when she saw her massage therapist again, her transformation was remarkable. “She had a glow, and I wanted whatever magic syrup she was taking,” remarked Joan. Little did she know, she was about to embark a journey of medical answers and self awareness.

Joan got the book, Delay, Don’t Deny, and read it in two days. She also joined the DDD Facebook group. She began IF in August of 2018 with 16:8, but had to abruptly end her IF journey due to a herniated disk a month later. To deal with her excruciating pain, she was prescribed steroids, anti-inflammatory meds, and muscle relaxers. This caused nerve issues. She began physical therapy to help with the numbness, and her physical therapist mentioned that her lifelong symptoms seemed to look like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This began the the road to answering the health issues Joan had her entire life.

As a child and a teen, Joan experienced constant injuries, but never understood why. In 2000, she entered the Marine Corps. Due to how physically demanding it was, she broke both her hip and foot. She was discharged from the Marines, and returned home within nine months. Once healed, Joan became a Corrections Officer. But this career was also cut short due to yet another injury. This time, a major dislocation of her arm. Several surgeries followed.

Finally in December 2018, she was officially diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a disorder affecting connective tissue, primarily the skin, joints and blood vessels.

In January 2019, she no longer needed pain medication for her herniated disk, so Joan went back to IF. She went on to lose 65lbs. Joan’s painful EDS flare-ups are far less. She says that IF has also helped her to better cope with her EDS.

Joan’s advice to new IFers: “Be honest with yourself as to what brought you to IF. Shine a light on your triggers. There will always be a million excuses, but what you really need is one reason. And that one reason will get you through! Find what does and does not work for you. Understand the reason behind your choices. There is a difference: I’m eating this because it makes me feel good. I’m eating this because I feel bad.”


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