In this episode of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, host Gin Stephens interviews Donna Dube about her experience with intermittent fasting. Donna is a Rhode Island native who, after retiring from her nursing career, began to work for a non-profit organization that provides vaccinations to underserved populations. She entered the IF lifestyle in 2017 after going on a cruise and being horrified by a picture taken of her. Over the three hundred-pound mark at that point in her life, she wanted to make a change that would be permanent, rather than jumping back into the cycle of unhelpful diets she had already tried during her fifty years of struggling with her weight. The internet led her to resources on intermittent fasting (including Gin’s book!), and she immediately jumped into the lifestyle.
Donna started her fast at a stretch of sixteen hours, with eight hours (including two meals) comprising her window. After a month, she slowly moved to a twenty-three hour fast each day, and then restricted her carb intake. Donna found it necessary to take these measures because, after years of dieting and counting calories, she had developed insulin resistance that needed to be accommodated. Her initial goal was to lose one hundred pounds in two years, but she broke that goal in the first year and is now down one hundred thirty pounds from her starting weight. She has lost twenty inches from her waist, improved in her overall health, and both increased energy levels and altered tastes. She is able to listen to her body effectively, has corrected her insulin resistance, and has even seen a thirty-year-old scar nearly vanish! Though sharing some details of her journey has been challenging for her, she is excited to tell others about her story, and to encourage them to give IF a chance for themselves.
To that end, Donna’s interview is interspersed with insight and advice. She recollects her past feelings of being a failure, and her guilt because she thought her own will was to blame for her lack of lasting dieting results. She and Gin describe the sense of confidence and control that IF brings, as well as the reality of hormonal imbalances that make weight loss incredibly difficult for many people. Donna addresses her hope that medical professionals will be increasingly more open minded about IF and encourages listeners to set realistic goals/objectives and to lean into community on their IF journeys. She advises them to educate themselves about IF, to trust Gin and follow her advice, to push themselves, and to know that success truly is possible (even if it requires patience). Success, she says, starts in your mind. And to further shape listeners’ minds and fuel their motivation, Gin and Donna discuss and recommend Donna’s newly released book, A Timekeeper’s Guide to Weight Loss.
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