The FastDay Forum

Inspirational Weight Loss Stories

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As part of the FastDay Forum and site expansion we have included a new section dedicated to our users’ success stories to encourage and inspire new fasters. So many of us have done so well, but sometimes the idea of writing it all up can be quite daunting, especially when it’s been a long journey - it can be hard to know how to go about summing it up.

http://www.fastday.com/how-it-works/success-stories/


If you’d like to have your success story (as well as before & after photos if possible please!) included on the site please feel free to use the guidelines below to help you put it together. I’ve tried to break the journey down into some kind of sensible order and prompted with questions which I hope will aid you in penning your inspirational tale!


You can post your story and photos in this thread, by PM to @Moogie or @carorees or email it to moogie@fastday.com


Thanks!

______________________________

Your Background

How you got to where you were at weight/health-wise

What you have tried in the past to lose weight/get healthy? Why didn't it work for you?


Discovering Fasting

How did you find out about fasting?

What appealed to you about it and made you decide to start it?


Your Goals

What did you want to achieve?

Did you have a particular timescale in mind or other motivations (eg forthcoming events, a health scare etc)?


Starting Out

How were your early fasting experiences?

What were your early results like?


Your Fasting Journey

What did you do which made fasting sustainable for you?

What do you like/dislike about it?

How did the loss/health benefits progress?

When did people start to notice the changes in you?


Your Success

When did you reach your goal?

How did you feel about reaching your goal?

Did you find it easy/hard, fast/slow?


Your Fasting Future

Have you considered how you plan to maintain? (or are you currently maintaining, and if so, how?)

Will you keep fasting in some form or have your eating habits changed in other ways to help you maintain?

Have you hit any bumps in the road while maintaining - ie continued unwanted weight loss, unexpected gains etc?


Your Top Tip!

If you could give a new faster just one piece of advice based on your experience, what would it be?


Fasting in a Nutshell

Sum your experience up & 'big-up' fasting in around 25 words! (we may use this as a snappy headline to link to your full story)



Photos

Please share before and after photos with us*. The community finds it inspiring to see people who have succeeded - and the photos make it so real. We hope you are proud of yourself!

*You can share your photos by attaching them to the email with your story or by attaching them to your post/PM here at the forum. Below the posting box you should see some tabs which say 'Options', 'Upload attachment', 'Poll Creation'. Click on 'Upload attachment' and from here you can click to browse to the file on your computer/device to upload it. Please note that if the photo is too big to attach (1MB maximum) you can use a free online service like http://www.picresize.com to make your photo :like: smaller!
Thanks Moogie..there are so so many success stories on here and its a wonderful time,as lots peeps have just had or just coming up to their fastiversaries!
What a great thing you did starting off this forum..what a great community you birthed! :like:
Hope youre feeling well and don't go overdoing things x slow and steady ( like 5:2)! X
I thought we had an Inspirational Stories thread somewhere as I seem to remember posting mine some centuries ago,

Ballerina x :heart:
I think it's a great idea to get people to write up their stories in a set format and if the topic can be made sticky even better. I love reading success stories but can't always find them, unless someone has recently commented and it's 'revived' on the Active Topics thread.

Like @Ballerina I've posted some stuff in the past but as I'm coming up to my Fastiversary it's a good time to have a bit of a recap/sum up with some new pics. So will post something here in a couple of weeks.

Thanks @Moogie. I'm looking forward to reading people's stories! :smile:
Thanks ladies :) This is hopefully going to be a new section of the FastDay site (which will have lots of content in addition to the forum itself!) so they'll be easy to find and prominently placed for newbies to be inspired in particular. Yes, we do currently have a thread and forum for inspirational stories, but we'd like to have a number of them in a similar format/structure to place on the new site itself and by having members post them here or PM/email them direct to me at least I know they're happy for their story to be included on the new site. Looking forward to reading your tales of success!
Seeing as no-one has been brave enough yet to post in this thread, I though I had better get the ball rolling!

Your Background

How you got to where you were at weight/health-wise
My weight just kept creeping up over a long period, though it may have accelerated somewhat during my pregnancy with DS when I definitely over-ate, and then continued to do so afterwards. I made some half-hearted attempts to get it under control but could not stick to anything and had resigned myself to ever-increasing girth and an early grave as I had developed high blood pressure and joint and muscle problems, and what I think was signs of trigeminal neuralgia. By October 2012 I was around 105kg (over 16 stone; 230lbs)

What you have tried in the past to lose weight/get healthy? Why didn't it work for you?
Over the years since middle-age onwards I tried a variety of diets including calorie counting, low fat, the 'F' plan diet, Rosemary Conley's hip and thigh diet, Atkins. What happened with all of these was that I just gradually slipped out of the habit of sticking to them. Atkins was the most successful and if I had had found a solution to the breakfast problem (I can't stomach eggs for breakfast or any meat-based breakfast) I might have been able to continue with it. I guess that all the diets I tried were too inflexible and restrictive to be sustainable.


Discovering Fasting

How did you find out about fasting?
I found out about the 5:2 diet from one of the other Mums at my son's football team who, while standing on the sidelines watching a match one day, mentioned that she had lost a fair bit of weight from fasting and but that she hadn't yet noticed any improvement in memory which fasting was supposed to help. As I was worried at the time not only about my weight but also about my OH's memory, my attention was caught immediately and I asked her about it. She told me about Michael Mosley's Horizon documentary, which I had missed as I had been on holiday at the time, and as soon as I got home after the match I found the video online and watched it.

What appealed to you about it and made you decide to start it?
I found the documentary very compelling. The science spoke to me as being plausible but the fact that only two diet days a week were called for was very appealing. I started out doing the 5:2 diet the day after I watched the documentary.

Your Goals

What did you want to achieve?
At first, all I wanted to achieve was to lose some weight...even a 5% loss would have been a benefit. I had no idea at the start what I would be able to achieve. I thought I would give it 6 weeks and see what happened before deciding whether to continue.

Did you have a particular timescale in mind or other motivations (eg forthcoming events, a health scare etc)?
I hoped that by losing some weight I could bring my blood pressure under control and also relieve some of the joint pain.

Starting Out

How were your early fasting experiences?
My first fast was terrible. I felt awful, developed a splitting headache and did not sleep at all that night. The second one was 100% better and by the time I had done 4 fasts, I had no problems at all.

What were your early results like?
I did not weigh myself at the start (due to fear of what the scales would say) but after two weeks I felt I needed to know what was going on, so I weighed in (at 105kg) on 5th November 2012, about two weeks into the fasting journey. For the first 5 months I was losing about 1kg a week, which was amazing! When the first 6 weeks of my 'trial period' were up, there was no doubt in my mind that I would continue.


Your Fasting Journey

What did you do which made fasting sustainable for you?
From the outset I knew that having mini-meals would be impossible as it would not satisfy me and would be difficult to plan, so I started out fasting for the full 24 hours and then having all my 500 calories in a single evening meal. This meant that I could eat with the rest of the family, pretty much the same things apart from I would replace the potatoes or rice with more vegetables.

When it came to the summer holidays, after I had been following 5:2 for around 8 months I thought how I might be able to cope with them and keep on fasting. I decided that it would be convenient for me to skip breakfast and follow the 16:8 fasting pattern. That way I could join everyone in a normal lunch and dinner without causing any problems socially. It worked spectacularly well and I lost a further 1kg over my 3-week holiday which would normally have resulted in a 2kg or so gain! I was so happy with the 16:8 fasting style, I decided to continue with it and I now intend to carry on for the foreseeable future.

What do you like/dislike about it?
I love fasting as a way of controlling my weight. It is so flexible that it can be fitted around whatever my week holds. If I overeat at a party or whatever, I can easily just increase the amount of fasting I do in the week following, or even in advance of an evening event. I never need to feel, while fasting, that I am depriving myself as I know that I can have whatever I fancy when I am not fasting.

The only disadvantages I found was that when I was doing 5:2 fasting, I could not sleep on the evening of a fast day. I sleep badly anyway and the fast days were very bad for my insomnia. Happily this is not a problem with 16:8 and so that problem is solved. The second disadvantage is a slight tendency to constipation, but since I started taking a magnesium supplement to help my sleep and blood pressure, it also has helped with the constipation and so I now feel I have arrived at a really sustainable lifestyle which will enable me to maintain my new healthy weight indefinitely.

How did the loss/health benefits progress?
As might be expected, the weight loss did slow slightly and so now at the end of the weight-loss phase, my average rate of loss has been about 500g per week. After about 6 months my blood pressure had decreased enough that I could come off the medications. I also found that the signs of trigeminal neuralgia had disappeared (although this might be a coincidence as it is known to come and go).

When did people start to notice the changes in you?
It took quite a while before anyone noticed that I had lost any weight, probably because when you have a 40" waist, a 2" decrease in the waist is hardly noticeable. However, I remember that in about April (that was after 6 months) I needed to buy new clothes as my old trousers were falling down. When I went out in the new outfits, people started to notice, so I think that the better fitting clothes made the change in shape more obvious. Now people who have not seen me since I started losing weight are really astonished at the change. Even I am still constantly surprised by my reflection in the mirror!


Your Success

When did you reach your goal?
I reached my goal weight, almost exactly 18 months after starting my first fast. I have lost 40kg (6 stone; 88lbs) in weight and reduced my waist size by at least 30 cm (12") - I didn't measure my waist for the first 3 months so I am not exactly sure how much I have lost there. In fact, my measurements are back to what they were in my 20s (38-28-38). My BMI has gone from morbidly obese (38.6) to normal (23.9). My blood pressure has reduced from 160/110 to 125/85 and I have come off all medications.

How did you feel about reaching your goal?
I feel ecstatic about the success I have had and feel that I have been given a new lease of life. I can't express how happy I am to have discovered this way of eating and my aim is to help as many other people gain this kind of success as I possibly can.

Did you find it easy/hard, fast/slow?
I feel very lucky that, for me, the journey has been astonishingly easy.

Your Fasting Future

Have you considered how you plan to maintain? (or are you currently maintaining, and if so, how?)
My plan for maintenance is to continue 16:8 and to monitor my weight daily. I have in mind a maximum and minimum weight. If I go over the maximum I'll increase the fasting or if I go below the minimum I will decrease the fasting. Easy.

Will you keep fasting in some form or have your eating habits changed in other ways to help you maintain?
As I believe that there are other benefits to fasting apart from just the weight loss I will certainly keep fasting.

Have you hit any bumps in the road while maintaining - ie continued unwanted weight loss, unexpected gains etc?
So far, so good...

Your Top Tip!

If you could give a new faster just one piece of advice based on your experience, what would it be?
Play with different ways of using fasting to create a system that suits you personally. This will mean that it will be sustainable for you and fit into your lifestyle.


Fasting in a Nutshell

Sum your experience up & 'big-up' fasting in around 25 words! (we may use this as a snappy headline to link to your full story)
Simply not eating for a period a few days a week can give you the tools to create the healthy body you have always wanted.


Photos
Before.jpg
August 2012, 2 months before starting

DSC_6204web.jpg
After 18 months
Wonderful idea, Moogie, and TERRIFIC post, Caroline. Just phenomenal. You look stunning and I know you feel even better.

Here is my story:

Your Background

How you got to where you were at weight/health-wise
Last year, at 47, I had a wake-up call. One hot, humid night I was playing tennis and I started to feel funny in my throat. This was the same feeling my mother had reported 10 years ago just before having to have a triple heart bypass. So I was scared and got a doctor's appointment right away. It turns out my heart was fine (whew), but I viewed the whole episode as a come-to-Jesus moment. I weighed in at 151 lbs. I told my doctor I was going to lose 20 pounds. He countered with 25.

I joined Weight Watchers the next day (for the fourth time in my life--never having made goal). In three weeks, after following the plan faithfully and tracking every morsel, I had lost .6/lb. When I expressed concern, shock, and dismay, my WW leader asked me if I had been exercising that week. I answered "yes," and she replied that it was probably muscle mass. I called (can I use a bad word here?) BS on that right then and there and knew there was NO WAY that was the issue.

The next day, my sister told me about MM and the fasting "diet," which she had heard about on National Public Radio. We both started the very next day. The day of my next WW meeting, I weighed myself on my home scale and had dropped 4.4 lbs. I never went back to WW and quit on the spot. BTW--we both bought the book and watched the program on the Internet and were both sold instantly.


Discovering Fasting

How did you find out about fasting?
As mentioned above, my sister heard a segment on NPR and then we both bought the book and watched the Horizon program. It was compelling and intriguing.


What appealed to you about it and made you decide to start it?
I knew I needed to do something to get my health on track, and WW wasn't working for me. So I decided to give fasting a month to see how it would work for me. I liked the idea of eating normally 5 days a week and fasting 2. That seemed like such an easy-to-maintain lifestyle.

Your Goals

What did you want to achieve?
My main goals were to lose 25 lbs and get healthier. The promise of anti-inflammatory effects, anti-ageing properties, and a possible decrease in dementia down the road were all also right up there with losing the weight.


Did you have a particular timescale in mind or other motivations (eg forthcoming events, a health scare etc)?
I hoped to lose the weight at the 1-lb a week clip. It has been substantially longer than that, but I don't mind. I feel great and look good and know I am doing my body good.

Starting Out

How were your early fasting experiences?
My whole life, I was brainwashed to think I had to eat every 3-4 hours. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with low blood sugar, so I knew that I HAD to eat all the time. So I was a little nervous about fasting. I did clear it with my doctor beforehand, and he told me not to worry about my low blood sugar. He said not eating for a few hours was not going to kill me! Even so, I was very nervous starting out. The first 4 or so fasts, I was very spacey and confused. I think a lot of those feelings were probably due to anxiety and also probably due to my body detoxing. I also used to say, "The hunger is all mental!" After the first 4 or so fasts, that spacey feeling left and I haven't had that feeling since. Also, at first I was very tired during the day and felt like I had little to no energy. That lack of energy also disappeared as I got more experienced with fasting.

I kept a journal for the first three months, tracking everything I ate and how I felt in addition to my weight and measurements. My sister, who got me on this path, was new to fasting, too, so we would email or text each other throughout the fast days, saying, "How are you feeling?" and giving out encouragement (which was great). At first, I was obsessed with food on a fast day. My journal has lots of notes in it like "I'm starving!" and "Only four more hours to go!" I weighed every morsel of food and obsessively checked calorie counts (quickly dismissing MM's count in the back of the book in favor of My Fitness Pal or Google calorie counts). I would document how many calories were in each of my favorite foods for ease in tracking later.

Like many others, I had a hard time sleeping at night at first. My sleep was definitely disrupted.

At first, I did two small meals, a 200-calorie lunch and a 300-calorie dinner. Soon, I found this forum and discovered that it might actually be better and (weirdly) easier to eat only one meal a day, and save my 500 calories for dinner time. So, my sister and I tried it after about a month of fasting, and found, much to our surprise and delight, that it actually WAS easier to wait for 24 hours. Added bonuses were that it made sleeping easier at night because I was no longer hungry in the evening, and it made eating easier because 500 calories can be a lot if you eat well. Soon, I stopped obsessing over calories and just ate "well" on a fast night, knowing if I ate well (lean protein, leafy greens, minimal or NO refined carbs), it would be hard to go over 500 calories.

Additionally, at the same time I read MM's book, I read a 1995 Joel Furhman book about fasting, and I became convinced that longer time periods with few to no calories might give you the most health benefits, which is why I have stuck to 24 hours (on my offical fast days....2 or 3 of the other days of the week I do 16/8's).

What were your early results like?
The first week, I lost 4.4 lbs. The first ten pounds went pretty quickly, averaging .88/lb a week. The second ten have been much slower (now I am averaging .5/lb a week). I have experienced a few plateaus, which are frustrating. I have been in a long one which has lasted 3 months, but that also coincided with me starting perimenopause. Last week, in an effort to get the weight loss started again, I did a 4:3, and I lost weight for the first time in months!

Your Fasting Journey

What did you do which made fasting sustainable for you?
Discovering miso soup has been my biggest savior. I had a few episodes of tingling hands and low heart rate/blood pressure, and it was nerve-wracking. However, once I added electrolytes to my fast days, all of that shakiness has gone away. Now fasting is almost easy! Sure, I get hungry, but if I have a packet of miso soup, I feel better and it sates my hunger for several hours.


[1]What do you like/dislike about it?[/i]
I love how easy it has been to lose weight. But, by far the best thing about it is how easy this lifestyle is to maintain. It has been 9 months and I have missed very, very few fasts. Remarkable. And even those months that I didn't lose weight weren't a total loss, because I maintained my weight! The other thing I love love love is that I eat well the other days and still lose or maintain weight!

I also like how fasting decreases your appetite and it also seems to give you a desire to eat more healthfully.

There's not too much I don't like, because it's so flexible. And it has proven results.

How did the loss/health benefits progress?
I haven't had my blood work done since starting, but will be very curious to see how my health indicators have changed. My sister saw some remarkable results, however, and the only thing that changed for her is that she is fasting.

When did people start to notice the changes in you?
People started noticing after I had lost about 10-15 lbs, and that makes it even better. Compliments are great motivators!

Your Success

When did you reach your goal?
I have not yet reached my official goal, but am within 4 pounds of it, so I feel pretty darn happy about where I am so far.

Did you find it easy/hard, fast/slow?
While at times the weight loss has been a bit too slow for my liking, I am still pleased at the overall trend. And like I said above, if I wasn't losing, at least I was maintaining (even despite starting perimenopause!), and that is a victory in itself.

Fasting is now pretty easy for me. Yes, some days are harder than others, but it's just one day at a time. And I can always eat tomorrow.

Your Fasting Future

Have you considered how you plan to maintain? (or are you currently maintaining, and if so, how?)
I plan to continue fasting one day a week to reap the health benefits of fasting. I will also throw in 16/8's or an additiona fast day, as necessary.

Have you hit any bumps in the road while maintaining - ie continued unwanted weight loss, unexpected gains etc?
I hit a wall but am doing two weeks in a row of 4:3 to shake up the body.


Your Top Tip!

If you could give a new faster just one piece of advice based on your experience, what would it be?
If I can do it, anyone can! Don't give up. This will absolutely change your life for the better if you can stick with it. And electrolytes/miso soup will make you feel better if you start to feel shaky or lightheaded.



Fasting in a Nutshell

Sum your experience up & 'big-up' fasting in around 25 words! (we may use this as a snappy headline to link to your full story)

I look better than I have since before kids (16 years ago) and feel better than I ever have. I have more energy and feel so empowered by this lifestyle!
Hi thanks for the tip about Miso soup.i tryed some yesterday on my 3rd fast and it helped last me all day . I too think it's. easier to have a bigger meal in the evening
post179497.html#p179497

Mine got put into an individual thread when I saved it as a draft.
Melinda_in_NC wrote: http://www.fastday.com/post179497.html#p179497

Mine got put into an individual thread when I saved it as a draft.


Thanks @Melinda_in_NC, I've merged your topic into this one now :)
How wonderful!!! Melissa and Caroline!!! Inspirational! I promise I'll post my story when I reach my healthy goals Moogie.
Your Background

How you got to where you were at weight/health-wise
I've struggled with my weight all my life. I'm one of those people who can look at food and put on weight! Also I eat when I'm stressed and eat when I'm happy. Basically, I just like to eat.
What you have tried in the past to lose weight/get healthy? Why didn't it work for you?
Mostly I've calorie counted, but a couple of times I tried Slimming World and both times I put on weight doing it. I was always concious of what I was eating and recording it, but I couldn't seem to keep the weight off for any length of time.

Discovering Fasting

How did you find out about fasting?
There was a supplement in the Radio Times in January 2013, as a follow up to the Michael Mosely Horizon programme, which I hadn't seen.
What appealed to you about it and made you decide to start it?
I think it was the thought of only having to deprive myself massively on two days a week. Also it was the health benefits listed that intrigued me, especially as Type 2 diabetes runs in my family. I knew I needed to lose a lot of weight and, after hitting my heaviest weight for a long time 7 months earlier (16 stone 1lb), but in all that time only losing about 8lbs through calorie counting, I knew I needed to do something more drastic. I had thought about trying Weight Watchers, as a couple of my husband's work colleagues had done it during 2012 and lost a lot of weight. However, I was really reluctant to go the 'group' route and also having to pay for something that I felt I should be able to do myself.

Your Goals

What did you want to achieve?
I just wanted to see if it could work, initially. But the main thing I wanted to achieve was weight loss.
Did you have a particular timescale in mind or other motivations (eg forthcoming events, a health scare etc)?
After about 20 years of talking about it, my husband and I had decided that we were going to go to Australia in 2014. Originally we had planned to do at least a 6-8 week tour and I didn't want to be as fat as I was for this trip. As it turned out we were only able to go for just over 2 weeks in February 2014.

Starting Out

How were your early fasting experiences?
Right from the start, I found it quite easy. Of course, I felt hungry and at the start I had a snack at about 1pm and then tea with my husband when he got home from work. Gradually I pushed the snack back to about 3.30pm. It probably took me about 10 months to get to the stage where I could go all the way to my evening meal to eat.
What were your early results like?
I lost weight pretty steadily, averaging about 1.8lbs a week over the 1st three months and this dropped to an average of 1.5lbs a week over the 1st 6 months.

Your Fasting Journey

What did you do which made fasting sustainable for you?
Right from the start, I fell into doing 4:3. I found this suited me because it meant I could eat a little bit more on my feed days, which I found really helpful.
What do you like/dislike about it?
I don't think there is anything I dislike about fasting. What I like most about it is the feeling of being in control of my food. Now, I don't worry about social occasions or holidays, because I know what to do if I put on weight.
How did the loss/health benefits progress?
I used to get pains in my legs, around the hips, and these have completely disappeared. Generally I just feel so much better – and my doctor is delighted with me. My BMI is now in the normal range from being obese. Inevitably the weight loss slows down and the last few pounds were/are stubborn.
When did people start to notice the changes in you?
Probably when I'd lost about 2 stone, I started to get some comments.

Your Success

When did you reach your goal?
I originally reached my goal (11 stone) just before Christmas 2013, which was around 11 months after I'd started fasting. Then after Christmas I lost another 5lbs. However, I did put on weight during my holiday in February and it took me a month or so to get back around my target, which is where I am now.
How did you feel about reaching your goal?
It was a great feeling, but having lost such a lot already, I was already feeling great.
Did you find it easy/hard, fast/slow?
I have found the whole fasting experience surprisingly easy. I didn't have any negative side effects. The couple of times I got a bad headache usually coincided with the time of the month, but not every month. I didn't have any problems going shopping on fast days and often went to the coffee shop and watched hubby have coffee and cake, while I sat there virtuously with my peppermint tea!

Your Fasting Future

Have you considered how you plan to maintain? (or are you currently maintaining, and if so, how?)
Although I am back around my target of 11 stone, I would ideally like to lose up to another 7 lbs, so I will continue to do 4:3 till I get there. Then I will go to 5:2 for maintenance. I will carry on with my weekly weigh in and will let my target weight be my 'warning' to take any extra action.
Will you keep fasting in some form or have your eating habits changed in other ways to help you maintain?
I intend to carry on fasting for the rest of my life. I feel it's a completely sustainable way of life for me and finally gives me control over food.
Have you hit any bumps in the road while maintaining - ie continued unwanted weight loss, unexpected gains etc?
When I went on holiday in February, I didn't fast or follow any eating windows as such. I didn't think I'd been that bad, food-wise, but the weight piled on very quickly. However, I didn't panic, just got back on it when I got back and the weight has been coming off again.

Your Top Tip!

If you could give a new faster just one piece of advice based on your experience, what would it be?
Make sure you plan what you are going to eat on your fast days and don't be afraid of feeling hungry.

Fasting in a Nutshell

Sum your experience up & 'big-up' fasting in around 25 words! (we may use this as a snappy headline to link to your full story)
Fasting has given me the control of food and my weight, which I never had before.


Photos
success stories - Chris P - after.jpg
February 2014 @ around 11 stone
success stories - Chris P - before.jpg
Pre-fasting @ around 16 stone
@Chris P, I can hardly believe those two photos are of the same person, you look amazing and have done so well! :like: :like: :grin:
Great story Chris, thanks for posting! Your photo really shows how good you feel and look now. Congratulations on a great achievement! :like: :cool: :grin:
so enjoyed reading your story, @Chris P! Fantastic work and so inspiring! Funny, when I glanced at your photos before I read your story, I assumed you were an Aussie, as I recognise exactly where the second picture is taken! For those of you not in the know, it's at The Rocks in Sydney, a really historic old harbourfront location, almost under the Harbour Bridge, looking north across harbour towards Luna Park.

Hope you get to come over again sometime! And congrats again on your journey!
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