Back in 2011, I weighed 19 stone with a BMI of just over 40 and a waist size of almost 50 inches, which put me in the morbidly obese category. I was struggling for breathe and I found even the easiest of tasks very tiring. I had tried to take up cycling in order to lose weight, but ended up in an accident which led me to spend 2 weeks in hospital with a broken arm.
A friend then offered to pay for a gym membership for me as she was concerned that I might not live for much longer due to the fact that I was so badly overweight. I went with that, as I had to do something but at this stage, I was just getting into the way of healthier eating and began with the traditional calorie controlled diet.
During 2012, I did a lot of walking and have since gone to do an RPM session (which is a spin class) once a week, along with a bodystep session, an Aquafit session and two gym sessions consisting on a full body workout where I burn over 500 calories in cardio exercises, and also do some strength training. The result of this was that I went on to lose over 7 stones during last year, and had got down to just under 12 stone by Christmas.
During this year, I have struggled to lose any more weight than that and have got increasingly bored with the traditional calorie-controlled diet. Sometimes, I would take a break from that but on one occasion where I did so, I gained a massive 12 pounds in just two weeks, which took a while to shift.
I also got fed up with juggling about with my calorie intake on a weekly basis as I struggled to maintain the weight which I had got down to. Furthermore, the weight which I have been maintaining during this year still gave me a BMI of around 25 which makes me still a borderline case as regards to being overweight, and that is what I want to end.
Later on, the same friend who pays for my gym membership mentioned the 5:2 diet. I discovered that my life kind of follows the 5:2 pattern anyway because of my two rest days away from my fitness activities. On further analysis of my calorie intake during last year, I also discovered that I was usually limiting myself to 1200 calories per day and so, I know that this wasn't too far above the 600 calorie limit on a 5:2 diet fast day.
As the traditional calorie controlled diet felt a bit restrictive, I therefore decided to give the 5:2 diet a try by fasting on my rest days which are Tuesdays and Fridays. I weigh myself once a week on a Monday and that is also when I take a complete break from my diet by consuming most of my special treats and enjoying a few beers at night.
I then eat fairly sensibly during my other non-fasting days. When I started this diet, my weight has crept back up to exactly 12 stone following a failed experiment with my calorie intake over the entire week. I have started every week in the same manner which would previously have resulted in massive weight gains and yet, I ended up losing weight during the first few weeks of this diet, to the point where my BMI was now just below 25, meaning that I was no longer officially overweight.
Fasting wasn't too difficult, but I found that I was walking up at 3am on the morning after the first couple of fasting days, and unable to get back to sleep. That has improved over time and on the week before last, my weight had dropped to its lowest level since the 1980s when I was only a teenager (I'm now middle-aged and approaching 50). My performances at the gym were poor to begin with as my body adjusted to the new regime.
However, those have now become better than ever over time, and I'm already feeling much more alert, sharp and I have a lot of energy which I have never had before. My previous weight loss had also meant that the other health issues had disappeared. At that point, my weight was down to 11 stone 9 pounds, but I got a shock at my last weigh-in when I discovered that I had gained a couple of pounds, to send my BMI back up to just over 25, and make me officially overweight once again.
That was a real bummer because although I don't want to lose much weight, I don't want to be on that borderline of being overweight/normal weight any more. However, that just taught me the harsh lesson that you can't just each as much as you like on the non-fasting days and so, I have reined in my calorie intake by a small bit this week on my non-fasting days, in order to prevent any further weight gain. Despite the shock of that increase in my weight though, I am really excited about what lies ahead for me on this diet and am really looking forward to it.