From Famine to Feast on FASTer Way to Fat LossOct 11, 2020
I always thought I was fat
Today I want to talk about all things food! I have a long and complicated relationship with food, which left me in starvation mode starting at the age of 13.
My mother always battled her weight, and unfortunately went through that when the only options were strict old-school Weight Watchers and Atkins. She was also bipolar, and would project a lot of her crap on me, including calling me fat.
She took me to Weight Watchers, where they played along and gave me a diet plan. She also tried to take me shopping in Lane Bryant (plus size only), where they laughed at her because I was not plus size.
So basically, I thought I was overweight when I wasn’t. This led me to have no idea of what healthy should look like (apparently it looked like me, but who knew?) and to a place where I just ate 600 calories a day and weight 103 pounds (that is 60 pounds less than I weigh now, and I am at a healthy weight).
I starved myself for decades
From then on, I either ate whatever I wanted and overexercised (I remember doing hundreds of situps in my room at 3am when I couldn’t sleep), or starved and overexercised. After I started endometriosis treatment, and especially after my hysterectomy, I found it impossible to lose weight or fat at all.
I remember carrying lots of snacks and eating little tiny portions every few hours. Stuffing snacks in between Pilates clients was never fun! Then there was the plan that had me counting bites of food (nothing overly controlling about that ;)), the no carb diets (Atkins, South Beach, and Keto - they all ended in a pile of mashed potatoes with bread), and the general calorie cutting plans.
For exercise, I would push myself to do tons of long-form cardio (which I HATED) as well as strength training (low weight/high rep for fat burning, remember?) and Pilates. This took at least an hour every single day. Plus teaching and running around. Why rest?
I was hungry all the time
As you might imagine, I was hungry all the time! All the time!
And I just couldn’t lose weight. I was stressed out, seriously overweight (I went up to 208 at one point), and totally frustrated.
Finally, my thyroid and adrenals went. I started a low dose of levothyroxin, and as I started to feel better I searched for solutions.
This is me at 208# -
Enter the FASTer Way to Fat Loss
My friend Amanda Tress started talking about this program she had developed, and I watched her gain muscle and lose fat before my eyes, as she was literally eating donuts! I tried some pieces, like intermittent fasting and adding two rest days per week, and immediately started to drop weight and fat.
I almost can’t believe how much I eat and don’t gain fat!
I eat full calories for an active woman
Having always lived on around 600-1400 calories per day, I had no idea how much I am actually supposed to eat. When I calculated that on My Fitness Pal, I was amazed to see that I could eat closer to 1600 calories every day! I am never hungry anymore.
Did I say “fasting”? How is that a feast?
Intermittent fasting as I practice it and teach it, simply involves eating within a time window. For me that is 8-12 hours a day, which means that I am fasting 12-16 hours per day (a chunk of which is sleep time).
Because I fit a full 1600 calories into that window, I eat a lot! I just ate a giant chicken cobb salad with avocado and bacon for lunch, after breaking my fast a few hours ago with a protein shake. No deprivation here!
Me at 163# -
Did I mention donuts?
I also carb cycle, which means that two days per week I intentionally eat very low carb. Not every day, just two days per week (matched with HIIT cardio). The other days I either rest or lift weights, and eat balanced macronutrients (50% carbs).
Because I never want to feel deprived, on a heavy weight training day I will enjoy a treat. Donuts, cookies, pastries, ice cream, and even fried chicken or a burger and fries may show up as my treat in any given week.
Life without treats is not a life I wish to live. That is another reason why I love FASTer Way!
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