I was always overweight, but by the turn of the 21st century I had ballooned up to well over 400 pounds (my scale was a 300 pounder and after a lap around the numbers, it told me I was 130 – don’t know how accurate that was, but I wasn’t about to share it with my doctor!). I had severe sleep apnea, chronic pain issues, and of course a horrible self-perception. Being that my older brother is in the hospital right now with kidney failure and infection due to adult-onset diabetes, I probably would have been in the same place without changes.
Anyway – after that “before” picture in 2000 I dropped about 100 pounds over the next few years through low-carb dieting and power walking. Keeping the weight off was always a struggle. When my wife left at the beginning of 2006, I embarked on a different relationship with my physical self, joining a gym and educating myself on how the body prioritizes the use of available and stored energy. I stumbled upon the Fast-5 book and used it as a catalyst to further my own knowledge.
One thing I learned about my own appetite control issues is that they are virtually effortless to control when I am fasting. Working out in a fasted state is a bit challenging to adapt to, but the results — especially when a lot of body fat is present — are profound. The “after” picture is from late 2008 when I was at my leanest, and I found the maintenance to be really easy . . . until a setback that was 100% psychological. I spent all of 2011 going through the divorce process on one hand, and losing my 13-year career as a corporate communications writer on the other. I quit fasting, stopped paying attention to my diet, quit going to the gym, was drinking beer daily — and by the middle of 2012 I had gone from an all-time low of about 220 pounds back up to about 330 pounds.
Since October of 2012 I have been back on a fasting regimen and have been re-incorporating weight training back into my life. As of this writing I’m back down to about 275 pounds. I am utterly convinced from my own experience that they key for most overweight people is simple — give your body a reason and opportunity to use the fuel that it has stored. Even when I overeat during my 2-5 hour window, I feel that all my markers of inflammation are still down. Even my plantar fasciitis, which plagued me even when I was leaner than I am today, is virtually nonexistent.
As a long-time fan of you and your efforts, I’d take the opportunity now to thank you for making the information free, because it really sparked a wonderful journey of knowledge for myself and for others. Also, as a writer who has a pretty solid “armchair understanding” of the tenets in the book, I’d love to find ways in which I could contribute to the long-term improvement to public knowledge around the benefits of intermittent fasting.