A New Journey Begins
The journey to a healthy lifestyle is life-long. It’s learning how to take better care of ourselves while finding a balance to achieve health and wellness. It’s not about being a particular size, or weighing a certain number on the scale, but it’s about finding a sustainable lifestyle that gives you freedom.
If you have been one of our faithful followers, you know Todd and I have struggled with our weight for years. I have been that typical yo-yo dieter, gaining and losing the same 30-40lbs for over 25-years. I’ve gone from a size 10 to a size 14 and briefly a size 16. Todd has struggled with weight issues, especially when he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes over 10-years ago. October of 2017 was a pivotal time in our lives that has proven be the single, biggest life-changing moment we could have imagined. Here is how my story began a little over a year ago.
How Was She Losing Weight?
For months I watched my friend Kim Smith post about her weight loss on Facebook. Over time the changes were becoming more and more noticeable. I watched her go from a size 22W to roughly a size 14 or 16 and I’d ask myself, “What’s her secret? How was she managing to lose all this weight?” She posted delicious photos of her snacks and dinners, drinking iced coffees with lots of cream, and eating Gelato for dessert. Needless to say, I was inspired watching her progress.
Curiosity Finally Got the Best of Me.
When I asked Kim what the secret to her success was, it was simply: she delayed when she ate, but didn’t deny herself foods she loved and enjoyed… “Delay? What do you mean, delay? Like starve? Not eat ALL DAY? No way, I don’t think I can do that!” She went on to explain that she follows an intermittent fasting lifestyle. “Intermittent Fasting? That sounds intimidating.” … But I was curious to learn more.
Kim encouraged me to read, Delay Don’t Deny – Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, by Gin Stephen’s… After I bombarded her with questions about what she eats, when she eats, what she struggles with, and how long she had been following this lifestyle, I ordered the book through Amazon without delay. (Ha! Like how I slipped that pun in there?) I didn’t wait for the book to arrive, I jumped in feet first and decided to try IF the very next day. For a few days, while waiting for the book to arrive, I began delaying breakfast from 8am till 10:30am. That part seemed easy!
It Begins to Make Sense
The book arrives and I immediately begin reading. I’d hear myself say: “That makes perfect sense!” “YES! I can relate to that!” “Todd! Doesn’t that make sense?” I vividly remember Todd cooking dinner that night while I sat on the couch engrossed in the book. I knew he wasn’t completely sold on this fasting idea and he thought this was another fad diet, but he listened just the same.
Intermittent fasting isn’t a new concept or a new fad diet; it’s been practiced for thousands of years, and many do so for religious beliefs. I’ll admit, at first, the concept sounded scary and even unhealthy, but it’s actually just a way of eating (WOE) where you don’t eat for certain periods of time, generally longer than 12 hours, then eat within a specific “eating window”, like 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The flexibility of this lifestyle is being able to choose an eating window that works best for you and your family. There is no right or wrong way to go about this. You can experiment, change or alter your fasting periods around special occasions, work events, holiday’s etc. It’s completely up to you! The freedom is yours to tailor it to you and YOUR body.
What Can You Have While Fasting?
During the fasting period, the time when you are not eating, it’s best to consume unsweetened plain or sparkling water, black coffee, black or green tea. Nothing with natural flavors or artificial ingredients. Why is this important? It’s important because sweetened beverages, even those zero-calorie drinks, spike our insulin, which signals the body to store fat. Remember, we want to burn fat, not store it! We want our body to tap into our fat storage, so we can fuel our bodies. When we spike our insulin, our blood sugar goes down, which sends a signal to our brains that it’s time to eat, thus feeling hungry. Gin goes into great detail about this in chapter 10 and is probably considered the most important thing to read if you want to learn how successfully fast.
Could it Really be This Simple?
Yes, it really is this simple. You delay WHEN you eat, but don’t deny yourself WHAT you eat. Sounds easy, right? As I continued reading, I had that light-bulb moment, like someone had slapped me upside the head and said “Wake up!” Everything I had learned up until this point now made perfect sense. Chapter 13, We don’t cheat –we PLAN, particularly struck home for me. Every diet I had been on felt like I was cheating when I strayed from the strict rules of the DIET. There is a negative connotation to the word cheat.
As Gin explains, “You cheat on a diet; you don’t cheat on a lifestyle.”
Bingo! I needed to a find a lifestyle that allowed me freedom…freedom to make my own decisions and not feel restricted by the rules of a diet. I was tired of feeling guilty about food and the choices I made, even if they were healthier options. After all, I had been in trapped in food prison way too long! If you haven’t read my previous post, Trapped in Food Prison, I encourage to read how I became locked away, constantly seeking food for security and comfort.
Happy One Year Anniversary!
It was a year in October since I started living an intermittent fasting lifestyle. I can’t imagine going back to the way I used to eat, three meals a day, AND snacks? I don’t have a single regret!
How I’ve Benefited From IF
When our bodies are are allowed to heal, amazing things begin to happen that go beyond weight loss. We call these “non-scale” victories. Here are some examples how IF has benefited me:
- Less frequent headaches
- Less aches and pains
- My sleep quality has improved
- Improved mental clarity and ability to focus more
- Improved digestion, less gas and bloating
- My Rosacea has improved
- Appetite correction
- TIME! I have added time back into my day, by not constantly planning and prepping 3 meals a day, plus snacks
I Highly Recommend Reading This Book!
Do you struggled with your weight or simply want to improve your overall health and wellness? Delay Don’t Deny Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, by Gin Stephens is a book I highly recommend to anyone who is curious or wanting to try this lifestyle. She simplifies all the science information in such a way that is easy to follow and understand. This book is insightful and explains how and why our bodies react, or don’t react, when we eat certain foods. I guarantee you will find this short, casual, conversational read a game-changer!
Gin has a second book, Feast Without Fear – Food and The Delay, Don’t Deny Lifestyle. This book was an excellent follow up to Delay Don’t Deny. Not every diet or way of eating works for everyone. This book explains how genetics and our gut microbiome play important roles in optimizing our health. This book is about WHAT we should eat, HOW to fuel our bodies to feel satisfied.
I would also encourage folks to join one of Gin’s Facebook communities to see first hand the thousands of people, both men and women, who have experienced amazing results from living this lifestyle. A picture tells a thousands words and nothing is more powerful than seeing before and after photos of someone’s weight loss.
Delay, Don’t Deny or One Meal A Day IF Lifestyle
I am forever grateful to Gin for sharing her story and knowledge for ALL of us to experience and benefit from. I am also very grateful to my friend Kim Smith, for introducing me to this wonderful, freeing lifestyle… Kim and her husband, Ryan Smith, have recently published their own book, Unbelievable Freedom. They also have their own support group: Fasting, Feasting, FREEDOM with Kim & Ryan
Still a Work in Progress
There are roughly 40-50 lbs I’d like to lose, but I’m am learning how to take better care of myself. I am slowly healing myself from being an emotional eater, changing old habits and developing new ones. This health journey is about setting myself up for success, gaining control over my life and get out of the diet mentality that keeps me locked away in food prison. The body takes time to heal. It has literally taken me a year of practicing this WOE to listen to my body and the cues it gives me, like feeling satisfied. Appetite correction happens when we heal our bodies. Hunger is NOT an emergency! Instead of obsessing when I eat, what I eat, I now can enjoy food, FREE of guilt.
If you are always looking for a way to lose weight, always on some kind of diet, even the crazy sounding ones, why not consider changing your lifestyle? Read the books, join the Facebook communities, learn for yourself how healing our bodies on the inside, positively impacts what’s on the outside. And if you feel this isn’t for you, that’s ok! Whatever you chose, we want to encourage, support and motivate our readers to make healthy eating choices to live happy, healthier lives.
SO, what do you have to lose?
P.S. Please check out our updated “About Page” and some of our other posts…
- 1 Simple Reason
- Trapped in Food Prison!
And our Recommendations Page!