My 5:2 Journey
When I got married at the young age of 20 I was a skinny size 8, I could eat anything and everything and I had a very active job. I changed my career when I got to 24 and that’s when things went downhill, lol. I very slowly started to put on weight and by the time I was 30 I was a size 14, I tried Weight Watchers and also Slimming World but it just didn’t work for me, I knew what I had to do but either I didn’t have the motivation or the inclination to follow it 7 days a week.
We moved to France 10 years ago when I was aged 38 and a hefty size 18 and weighing a tad over 15st, by this time I knew I was carrying an unhealthy amount of weight but still did nothing about it, my self confidence was in a downwards spiral.
Last year we were invited to a friends wedding back in the UK, I tried several outfits as I wanted to look my best and settled on a size 20 Maxi dress from Principles, the whole time I was there I felt uncomfortable and was easily the biggest person there. A few weeks later our newly married friends brought us a framed photograph over…….OMG I looked as bad as I thought I did !!!! Still I did nothing about it but be unhappy.
Last November 2 friends that live here in France asked me to go swimming with them, I agreed to go as could never exercise on my own as couldn’t find the motivation so thought it would be good for me as well as a social thing. My first visit I managed an exhausting 5 lengths in 1 hour !! I slowly, and I mean slowly, built up my stamina and beginning of January 1 could do 20 lengths and felt better about myself.
My one swimming buddy Annie then suggested we all try this new diet she’d heard of called 5:2 intermittent fasting, never heard of it I said but Googled it and read up as much as I could. This appealed hugely to me because I was able to tell myself I’m only dieting for 2 days a week. I really didn’t want to be “Fat & 50” so thought I had better start doing something now at 47. The 3 of us decided to give it a go and PM each other on Facebook to motivate and help each other, we became “The Clanship”.
6th January 2014 is a date I will never forget……The Clanships 1st weekly weigh in !! I weighed in at 15st 13lbs or 102kgs my BMI was 35.2, I was officially OBESE. Telling my buddies was such a huge deal for me, not even my husband knew my weight and now I felt I’d committed myself to doing something about it.
To begin with I wanted to lose 4st or 25kgs then re-access the situation, I knew I had much more to lose than that but needed a realistic milestone. I did a simple weigh in spread sheet with date, weight, weight loss and weight needing to lose and filled it in religiously each Friday after our weigh in.
The weight fell off me to begin with, I decided to do 4:3 from the beginning because I felt I would lose weight more quickly and for the first 5 months I was “careful” with what I ate on my non-fast days as well as my fast days. I swam 3-4 times a week building up to 60 lengths in an hour. My fast days consisted of no breakfast, homemade vegetable soup for late lunch and Fish or Chicken or Turkey and lots of Veg for Dinner around 8pm. I found if I ate breakfast I would feel hungry throughout the day, I find it much easier to save my Calories until as late as possible as once I eat I want to eat more, even if I was stuffed from dinner. An Oxo cube in hot water is always good for keeping the hunger at bay. I always drink plenty fast days or not, usually herbal teas or hot water with a slice of lemon. My parents arrived on the 2nd of June to find their daughter 4st lighter, I’d hit my first target.
Since then I have lost a further 1st 5lbs and have been much easier on myself which is far more sustainable, I still fast 3 days a week but pretty much eat what I want on my non-fast days although my choices are much healthier now and I have smaller portions. I see this a lifetime choice not only because of the weight loss but the health benefits have been incredible. Since starting this I have only had 1 episode with my Colitis and I have not needed any steroid injections for my Rheumatoid Arthritis and rarely take medication now either. I now run too, which is something I thought I would never do !!
My one regret with this journey is that I didn’t measure myself, I would highly recommend it.
I am looking forward to reaching my maintaining goal weight but will still fast 1-2 times a week because of the health benefits. I guess it will be trial and error for a few weeks. My BMI is now 23.5 and my weight is 10st 8lbs and I have just bought my first pair of size 8 jeans (they are very stretchy) in almost 30 years.
The best advice I could give is to do this with a buddy or two and to plan your fast day meals in advance, making batches of meals and freezing them if possible. The right frame of mind certainly helps but this is defiantly a do-able way of life. If I can do it anyone can. If you are thinking of trying this, do it, you have nothing to lose but weight and ailments. Good luck xxx