Semi-fasted as a way of life

Our bodies are amazing. They’re like those new-fangled cars where we don’t really understand how they work but we’re glad they get us from A to B. It’s only when something goes wrong that we need some help. That help is available for your fancy car at a nearby garage. But fixing your body is a different story, and the “easy” fix of popping a pill may only mask an ongoing problem.

  • The point of this post isn’t to persuade you to do anything, nor am I coming at this from a place of defensiveness. It’s up to you if you want to Google any info and verify/vilify what I present here.

I discovered fasting a few years ago, when I realized I had no other option to lose weight. Psychologically, it’s a concept that’s difficult to wrap your mind around, that this idea that not eating for awhile is even possible. But if insulin use is piling on the weight no matter how healthily you eat and how much you exercise, then it becomes more feasible.

The photo of me is from 2017, taken by my personal trainer. I worked out for years at gyms, and when my last gym closed I kept my trainer and continued my workouts outdoors. These workouts did nothing to reduce my glucose, and for a long time I had glucose spikes during exercise. I was frustrated by the extra weight and was desperate for an answer. I didn’t truly appreciate that it wasn’t my fault, that the insulin I injected was responsible.

Somehow I stumbled onto Dr. Jason Fung’s fasting program. He’s a Toronto nephrologist (kidney) doctor who developed a fasting program to help diabetic patients (and others) lose weight and put Type 2 diabetes into remission. Fung was the first person I heard say “If you’re on insulin, you won’t lose weight.” Fasting does however allow you to reduce the insulin and give your body a chance to shed some fat.

Type 2 is a lifestyle illness, characterized by a lack of exercise and an excess of carbohydrates. At the time, I was diagnosed with T2, but I didn’t fit the profile because I exercised and followed a healthy diet.

This is me in 2018, after a couple 7-day fasts and many shorter ones. It wasn’t the first time in my life I lost 20-30 pounds, but it was the first done through fasting. The loss brought down the amount of insulin I needed, which in turn reduced the amount of weight insulin tried to put back on my body. It takes vigilance to keep the weight off and as we all know, there’s a common pattern of regaining lost weight.

I have a difficult time with shame and blame and am constantly reassuring myself that this problem with weight is not my fault, it’s due to insulin. Still, it is what it is, and I find myself again looking at long-term fasting in order to bring my weight and insulin requirements down.

I recently completed a 7-day fast and lost 8 lbs. Over two days of tiny vegan meals, I regained 3.5 lbs. I just fasted 36 hours and have lost that 3.5 lbs. Now I’m faced with the quandry of whether I fast through today.

On the “yes” side, my body feels good and I want to push that loss further. On the “no” side, well, I want to eat. That leftover vegan stirfry in the fridge is calling to me.

If you want to know more about fasting, do your research, as I did. Remember, fasting is not starving. It’s a natural process our bodies are used to, and provides many health benefits.

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