Ana Sofia’s story
by Ana Sofia
How you got to where you were at weight/health-wise
I’ve always loved food and cooking, and it had been a safe place to go all my life. Also I’ve been asthmatic since birth so I didn’t do much exercise most of my life and some of my meds make me gain some weight.
What you have tried in the past to lose weight/get healthy? Why didn’t it work for you?
I’ve tried to make exercise dance classes and some “normal” diets, they worked for a while but I never seem to keep them for much time, I’d lose some weight and then I gained it all back, my schedules didn’t help since I was working and studying in college.
How did you find out about fasting?
There was an article in a magazine in Portugal about The Fast Diet and an interview with Dr. Michael Mosley, I found it appealing because I’ve already experienced some sort of fasting when I skipped lunch or dinner and not feeling hungry at all.
What appealed to you about it and made you decide to start it?
I had read a lot of other articles, joined the forum and Facebook groups and studied this diet in a deep way so I understand it before I started anything. It took me about a month to gain the guts to try and fast the first time, but by that time my mind was set in my ultimate goals, to not became diabetic like my mom and dad. I was my heaviest at 102kg and knew I was obese and not feeling good about my body image. The day I first fasted was May 27th of 2013, I had to make home-made pizza for some friends that came over to dinner and I still managed to fast and eat eggs and a tomato. From that day I used that story for me so cannot have an excuse to not do something! If you really want it you can make it!
What did you want to achieve?
I wanted to lose 20kg so could be at my “normal” weight. I ended up losing more than 35kg and becoming slimmer that I’ve ever been.
Did you have a particular timescale in mind or other motivations (eg forthcoming events, a health scare etc)?
I set myself to fit in a dress I hadn’t used for about 4/5 years that was a size 14/16, so I could use it it at a friends wedding.
How were your early fasting experiences?
In the first few months I had 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner, but as time went by I waited to spend my 500cals at night. At the start I had lots of headaches and felt a little light headed but as I got used to fast the headaches stopped.
What were your early results like?
The first week I lost 2kg, that was really encouraging, the next weeks I lost about 700g to 1kg per week.
Your Fasting Journey
What did you do which made fasting sustainable for you?
I did mostly 5:2 on Mondays and Thursdays, I like to binge a little on the weekends and the Monday fast always feels like detox. I love the fact that I don’t want to fast on a day I can change it to the next, so it fits like a glove with my daily life and surprise events.
What do you like/dislike about it?
What I like the most is the feeling of power over what you eat, its you that is in control, food does not control me any more. I dislike the cold that I always feel when I fast, in the winter was terrible.
How did the loss/health benefits progress?
I feel much lighter, I can run or sprint to catch the bus without fainting, my asthma has improved a lot and I have less meds to take. My skin looks amazing and mostly I feel healthy from within.
When did people start to notice the changes in you?
After the first 10kg, when my pants started to fall and clothes became loose.
When did you reach your goal?
I reached my first big goal at my birthday in September, when I fitted in the dress to wear for the wedding. My final weight that was about 32kg less was in April of 2014, since then I’ve been maintaining but I’ve lost a little more.
How did you feel about reaching your goal?
I felt great but it took me about a month or two to truly absorb the weight I had lost and that my image was different in the mirror.
Did you find it easy/hard, fast/slow?
I found it very easy and a little bit to fast, I have some loose skin because I lost the weight very quickly.
Your Fasting Future
Have you considered how you plan to maintain? (or are you currently maintaining, and if so, how?)
I now maintain and am loving it, I do 6:1 normally every Monday. These past 2 weeks I haven’t been fasting because I continued to lose weight and I was trying to gain 1kg back, but if I binge in the vacations and gain weight I will surely return to 5:2 until I get the weight I want, I’m in control now.
Will you keep fasting in some form or have your eating habits changed in other ways to help you maintain?
I intend to fast for most of my life, but there will be times when I cannot fast because I plan to have kids in the next 3 years but I will surely resume fasting to recover my body and health benefits.
Have you hit any bumps in the road while maintaining – i.e. continued unwanted weight loss, unexpected gains etc?
I had some periods I didn’t seem to lose weight but the weeks after that I always ended losing more weight, so I don’t think I had many problems, it was a steady loss.
Your Top Tip!
If you could give a new faster just one piece of advice based on your experience, what would it be?
Plan ahead and try to fill your fast days with activities for you, I normally get myself a manicure or take a long bubble bath, it fills the day and makes you forget about food.
Fasting in a Nutshell
Control for me and my weight, health benefits for a lifetime.