Intermittent Fasting Before and After: 5 Years Later
I’ve been intermittent fasting for 5 years off and on now. It seemed like an appropriate time for my to give an update to how IF has worked out for me long term.
My Journey to Intermittent Fasting
In high school, I was never the “skinny” girl (although i was always skinnier than I thought I was at the time, if you know what I mean. LOL). I naturally have curves. So, I was stayed around a size 9 or 11 and weighed around 145-165.
In college, I struggled temporarily with eating disorders which included binge eating, exercise bulimia, and bulimia. My weight was around 150 in college. At 5’9, this took me to around a size 7. I was on the rowing team, and worked out intensely with the team and then sometimes on my own as well.
When I went through difficult transitions in life, I fall back into food addiction and overeating. Here are some pictures during times that I struggled with weight gain:
I found intermittent fasting after I had moved across the country sort of on a adventurous whim. My weight had gone up to close to 190 lbs. I decided to start running twice a day. Since I’m not a morning person, I decided to run during my lunch break. Many days I would miss breakfast in the rush to get to work. Around 2 pm, I would eat during my afternoon break. I dropped down to 160 lbs within a few months.
Surprisingly, I also found there were many of the other benefits of eating this way. I started craving healthier foods. I didn’t think about food as much. At first this was difficult, but then it just happened naturally. I had more energy and creativity. I began to research the benefits of intermittent fasting, and learned that there was even more going on below the surface including strengthening my immune system, balancing hormones and brain chemistry, lengthening my life, disease/cancer-prevention. I was sold. Intermittent fasting was for me. al
Then as I’ve blogged about here. After love and marriage came babies: pregnancy and breastfeeding. This led me on a journey of discovering how intermittent fasting could work within these new eras of my life. I gained 30-40 lbs with each pregnancy, then lost the weight with intermittent fasting while breastfeeding.
Intermittent Fasting Now
These days, I am still breastfeeding my last baby girl who is almost 2 years old. I practice intermittent fasting without really thinking about it 4-5 days a week. Sometimes I will eat a couple bites of my daughters’ breakfasts then not eat again until 2 or 3 pm (sometimes not until after they go to bed at 7pm). Sometimes I eat nothing. There is nothing rigid about it. When I first started, I would use apps to track my fasting window. I would wait for the clock to change and then STUFF MY FACE. Now fasting and eating periods just happen organically.
Somewhere along the way, I also discovered plant-based eating. A plant-based diet and intermittent fasting was a power-combination in all of my research. I watched Hungry for Change, a documentary I found on Amazon. I had been eating unhealthy foods with intermittent fasting like fast food, pizza, sweets because I found with IF I could do this and still lose weight. But I felt my taste buds and cravings changing. This documentary led
me to a book called Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition . This book changed the way I viewed food completely.
So now… I practice plant-based mostly vegan intermittent fasting. I look younger than I did 7 years ago. I’ve had people tell me that I am aging backwards! I weigh the same as I did in college and wear the same size. I would love to work out, but hardly ever get the chance.
I still struggle at times with red wine and cookies/sweets, but I have faith that staying consistent and persistent on this intermittent fasting journey will help me overcome these obstacles as it has all the others. My weight has fluctuated over the past 5 years, but always gone down over time. Intermittent fasting has been the path to health and freedom in so many ways. It just works in my life, with my schedule, and the requirements of each day. I’m thankful Wisdom led me to intermittent fasting. I am happy, healthy, balanced, strong, and free.
Here are some before and after pictures:
I also love the community that I’ve found with other women who have found intermittent fasting. I love being able to help and share about IF and breastfeeding, pregnancy, and experiencing intermittent fasting uniquely as women. Thank you for your comments, support, and friendship!
Grace & Peace,