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Andrea and I met in an online group several years ago. (It is not a health group.) Over the last months she also joined my Intermittent Fasting for Women Facebook Group and started sharing some of her story. It is a very encouraging story as you see how she has accomplished over the past year and on. Andrea is a mom and wife, home most of the time. She struggles with an autoimmune disease, so her real motivation to lose weight, has been to get her health back. And it is happening!!
1) How much weight did you lose and how long did it take you?
138 lbs so far, 14 months
2) What is your age bracket?
I just turned 40
3) How long did you carry the extra weight?
I’m lighter now than I was in high school. Half the weight came from a decade of making six babies in my 30s, and the other half was from unhealthy 20’s.
I went from a size 28 to a size 10 jeans.
4) What did you do to lose weight?
Keto/AIP and IF, occasionally walking with the kids in the neighborhood.
(Ketogenic , autoimmune protocol, intermittent fasting)
5) What was your fasting schedule? Was that hard for you to follow?
I did lots of longer ones, but my normal eating window is between 2pm and 10pm, with a little room to breathe if I need it. When it was hard, it wasn’t because of willpower or ability, but hard because my adrenals were tired and I couldn’t respond to normal stresses (like kids) in a healthy way, so I had to make sure I had myself well nourished so I could be patient with my family’s needs.
Also, my Autoimmune disease’s worst symptom is my mouth is full of sores. So when it’s at its worst, I just don’t even want to eat anything. Sometimes, the hunger is less painful than the mouth sores. (I don’t tell most people that)
6) How did you eat? How strict were you in following this kind of diet?
I have been extremely strict, trying to heal a debilitating autoimmune disease. I started on AIP – Autoimmune protocol- the first week of Sept, then my functional medicine doc put me on the keto diet just a few weeks later. I tried just simply switching to keto, but my body wouldn’t allow it. My symptoms required for me to do strict aip, but with keto macros. I started with a strict 70-75% calories from fat, 20-25% calories from protein, and 5-10 from carbs. It was very very difficult to manage the transition to the two different ways of eating. I felt very much like a pioneer. It was scary and hard and full of blood, sweat and tears, literally.
7) What kind of health benefits or changes have you seen?
My autoimmune symptoms are 80 percent reduced, I have more energy, clearer thinking, and cope better with stress. I am a more patient and engaged mom.
8) Did you have support in the process? If so, what kind? If not, how did you manage?
My husband has been steadfast support, like super hero kind of steadfast. I found a functional medicine doc that’s been tremendously helpful. My kids are sweet and encouraging. And my friends just let me cry when I need to!
9) How long has you kept it off?
So far so good! I’ve had ups and downs and plateaus, but with support and persistence, I’ve been able to work through the hurdles. Lots of prayer has been a consistent help in the process.
10) What are you doing for maintenance?
I’m not there yet. I suspect I’ll introdi\uce a tiny bit more healthy carb veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes.
11) What is the best part about losing weight and fasting?
Feeling better, being able to move my body better, the transformation in my mind and breaking down my own false pretenses of self worth, and realizing that my identity really is in Christ, not healthy or sick, fat or thin, etc.
12) Anything else you want to add to this that is important to the discussion?
My care provider hasn’t stayed the same through the entire journey. One functional medicine doc helped me get started, but he didn’t know what to do with me once I lost a hundred pounds. I needed different support.
A friend who does muscle testing has helped a ton along the way. Lots of friends have given me support and some advice (some good! Some bad!)
A holistic dentist has actually been a treasure chest full of helpful info (I went to him for my autoimmune disease, and he’s been helping me with my system overall!)
I recently heard something that resonated with me on this journey. I get to choose my “hard thing”. I can choose being sick and obese and tired and helpless for the rest of my life, or I can choose to make food sacrifices, and heal myself. I get to choose what my hard thing is. I am not helpless. I have choices to make. And if I had procrastinated the choice, well, the that would be a decision all on its own. But I get to choose.
I did not start this journey with a goal of thinness. I started with a goal of healing myself, reducing inflammation, and nourishing my body and mind.
Congratulations Andrea and thank you for sharing your story. I believe it will encourage many other women to be purposeful with their nutrition and make the choices to be healthy.
And if you want to give intermittent fasting a try, sign up for my next challenge.