IDM Patient Profile September 2014 – Megan

 

IMG_4826

After Weight Gain

This is Megan Christie.  I am not only  your IDM Program Manager, Megan Christie, I’m also a patient!    Alright, not exactly a patient, but I was the program’s very first guinea pig, and the patient profile for the month of September.

I recently turned 30 last month, stand at 5’2” and weigh-in at 115 lbs.   When I first counsel new patients about how easy the program is, they always roll their eyes at me. “Easy for you to say,” “Only because you are young,” and “You do not have any health problems.” are typical responses.  While fairly slim and healthy now, that wasn’t always the case. Like most patients, I have struggled with my weight and health over the years.

I would like to take this blog post to tell the readers and our patients a little bit more about myself and my history with the program.

My Story

 

Before Weight Gain

Before Weight Gain

 

When I was younger I could eat my weight in Mc Nuggets every day without gaining a pound. At 23-years-old I only weighed 97 pounds and ate more than a frat boy.   One of my friends made me a scrapbook for my birthday that year. On one of the pages she placed photos of me eating my biggest dietary vice, Mc Nuggets. The caption said “I hate you for being able to eat so much junk food and not gaining any weight.” I didn’t have problems maintaining my weight or staying healthy, but my mother always warned me things would go downhill at 35. Or maybe even sooner.

Before

After Weight Gain

 

I suddenly gained 53 pounds over a period of four or five months shortly after my 26th birthday. This amount of weight gain just devastated me. I knew I had not been eating great, but I could always eat the same foods and maintain my weight without difficulty. I immediately stopped eating all of the junk and started following a strict low fat diet where I counted calories meticulously. I would eat about 800 calories and limited myself to less than 15 grams of fat per day. I took the advice of one of my friends, who had been following weight watchers, and ate five or six times throughout the day. I also worked out for an hour five times a week. The first two weeks I lost about six pounds a week. The following four weeks I lost roughly a pound a week. I was down 10 lbs and was pleased, however, the weight loss stopped after that despite my efforts. In fact, I started to gain back some of the weight I had lost.

During this time I was eating all of these “low fat,” “no fat,” “fat free,” and “no sugar added” foods, and I was gaining weight. I felt defeated. I went to my physician and she tested my thyroid. I saw another specialist and he tested my thyroid. As ridiculous as this sounds I even tested my thyroid too. After 15 times over a three-month period, I concluded my thyroid function was normal.

My physician recommended I see a dietician, so I went to see a very prominent dietician in Toronto. It cost $1250 for six 30-minute appointments with this woman. She reviewed my food list. She said I had been making excellent choices. She told me I must have a very low metabolism and need to exercise more. Exercise more? Five hours of exercise a week was not enough? I went to the gym every morning and evening for the next two weeks. My weight had not changed. I went back to see the dietician. She rolled her eyes at me. I knew she thought I was lying to her. Her advice – try harder. That was the last time I went to see her despite having four more appointments I had already paid for.

 

I was beyond frustrated. I was also starving despite eating 6 small meals a day. I never felt full consuming all of these so-called “healthy” foods. I was constantly obsessing over foods. I did not know what to do next, but then I came across this article about one of my favourite celebrities, Beyoncé. She had just given birth and was able to lose all of her baby weight by following this “Master Cleanse” for 40 days. It is essentially just water, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and some pure maple syrup all mixed together. The Cleanse requires you to consume nothing but this concoction and water for at least a week. The next day I started my Master Cleanse and after about 8 hours I was a mess. I picked a slow day at work to start the cleanse because I thought I would have to do my best to conserve my energy since I wasn’t “fueling up” on food. All I could think about was how I could not eat all day long. After work I went home and ate my weight in pasta. That was the first and last day of my Master Cleanse.   At the time I remember thinking this was just more evidence to conclude the amazing Beyoncé is not entirely human!

 

Not long after my failed Master Cleanse attempt I was diagnosed with a treatable heart condition and an early stage of a rare cancer some specialist believed to be related to my aspartame intake – I am a reformed diet soda-a-holic.  Shortly afterwards, my physician informed me that my HbA1c had climbed up to 6.2%. She gave me the whole speech about diabetes and how it is a chronic progressive illness that would just lead to more and more medical complications down the road. I did not need this speech. I have been working in clinical research in nephrology since I was 18-years-old.   Most of my research has focused on the progression of kidney disease, and almost every one of my study subjects had kidney disease secondary to type 2 diabetes. I literally watched diabetes destroy people’s health every day.   What really got me was that most of my patients developed diabetes in their 40’s and 50’s, and they had developed numerous diabetic related illnesses within 10 years of their initial diagnosis. I was developing diabetes in my 20’s! What did this mean for me 10 years down the road?  To say I was petrified is an understatement.  I wouldn’t have wished diabetes on my worst enemy.

 

However, Dr. Fung believed there was a way he could help people reverse their diabetes. This concept was contrary to everything I had ever learned about diabetes, but Dr. Fung has been a colleague of mine for over a decade. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him both as a physician and a person. Although certain there was no way he could reverse diabetes, I decided to listen one of his presentations. Everything made sense. Something clicked and I understood why I had gained the weight, why I couldn’t lose the weight, and why I had developed borderline diabetes.

 

I still had a hard time wrapping my mind around his theories, since they were the total opposite I had ever learned in university or through my work experience. As a clinical researcher I am trained to question everything, but why hadn’t I questioned this? The way diabetes is managed never made sense. The way we educate people on weight loss never made sense. I had just accepted everything I had been told about diabetes and obesity without asking why do we treat these conditions

Fasting

 

Slide2I won’t lie to you.  I really thought I would fail at intermittent fasting just like I did at the Master Cleanse, which is essentially a fasting cleanse. This time I was determined to achieve a healthier lifestyle. I was scared.  I had tried to do the Master Cleanse before on my slowest day of the week, which just gave me a lot of time to think about food.  This time I decided to fast on my busiest days of the week. I decided to fast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 24 hours.

 

 

Slide1The first day was very difficult. I see so many patients now who can fast for weeks on end without struggling very much at all, but I did struggle with it a bit for the first couple of weeks.  On my very first attempt to do a 24 hour fast  I could only last for 22 hours.  I decided going into this to be very positive.  I had to do this or face a life of chronic illness.  I told myself that 22 hours was still a great success.  That was 22 hours longer than I had ever fasted before.  I wasn’t even hungry by the end of the 22 hours.  I just wanted to eat.  I didn’t need to eat.  This is when I truly knew that fasting was all mind over matter.

 

Slide2I was able to reach the 24 hour mark successfully on my second fasting day.  Since I had determined fasting was purely a state of mind, I decided the best way to achieve the full 24 hours of fasting was to keep busy.  I decided to go to the gym before I got home to occupy my time. Before I walked into the gym that evening I thought I was going to fall off of the spin bike, but figured there were enough people there to save me if that happened. My spin class was actually a lot easier for me to do while fasting than it was on a regular day!

 

Slide2Each fasting day got better.  At first I did experience daily headaches, but some good homemade bone broth with sea salt did the trick. I drank three cups a day. After a month the headaches were a thing of the past.  My energy levels started to increase after a month too. After two months of fasting I was able to increase the duration of my fast to 36 hours without difficulty. I will also fast for seven days every now and then when I know I haven’t been eating as well as I should on my eating days.  Now I actually feel better on fasting days than I do on eating days.

 

Results

 

I weighed 100 pounds prior to my weight gain. I knew this weight was probably too low for me. My goal was to get to 120 pounds. I was able to lose 33 pounds and reach my target weight within 3 months. I have been able to keep this weight off for over a year and a half without difficulty. In fact, I lost another 15 pounds of unhealthy fat without trying to lose any more weight, and then I put on 10 pounds of lean muscle tissue.  My HbA1c was checked last week and it is now 4.8%!  I have never felt so good or have been in better shape.  Also, I used to have to take medication for ADHD while attempting certain tasks too, but now I don’t need to take anything.  I have never been able to focus so well in my life!

 

After Weight Loss - August 2014

After Weight Loss – August 2014

 

It has been such a honour to watch even greater transformations as my patients progress.  For the first time in my career I get to watch people get better.  Almost every time a patient comes to see us they are a little bit better than the time before.  It is the most incredible feeling to witness firsthand.  I am so proud and grateful to work with such an amazing group of patients, who work so hard and are so dedicated towards achieving a healthier lifestyle.  

2017-09-02T11:54:15-04:0050 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Fung is a Toronto based kidney specialist, having graduated from the University of Toronto and finishing his medical specialty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. He is the author of the bestsellers ‘The Obesity Code’ and ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’. He has pioneered the use of therapeutic fasting for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal in his IDM clinic.

50
Leave a Reply

avatar
37 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
41 Comment authors
rachelPushpa RaoJodie bochicchioEvelyn Van de Stouweeverest dsouza Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Doug Meagher
Guest
Doug Meagher

Thanks for sharing your story Megan and thanks for your work with Dr Fung, helping so many people.

Doug

kfacwpup
Guest

Thanks, Doug! We missed you last month! Hopefully we will see you soon!

John Collyer
Guest
John Collyer

Thanks for this inspiring post. It is such compelling evidence to support the message that you and Dr Fung are striving to get across.

Kirk Kidman
Guest
Kirk Kidman

Wow,Meagan! It was inspiring to read about your journey,it means a lot to people like myself.Without the support of yourself,Dr.Fung,family & friends I don’t know where I would be today.The program has made an incredible difference in my quality of living. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

kfacwpup
Guest

Thanks, Kirk! Being able to watch you along your journey is extremely inspiring to me as well. It’s you guys who keep me motivated!

Karen Boudreau
Guest
Karen Boudreau

Great post…very inspirational! On my next trip I will pass on the breakfast croissants 🙂

Emory
Guest
Emory

What a great story and experience using Dr. Fung’s protocol! I do have a question or two for you.

Regarding IF, it seems that fasting would significantly raise cortisol levels and raise the level even more post exercise. How did you address that?
Do you have a macronutrient level that you recommend?
Dr. Fung recommends high complex carbs….including beans and legumes. What has your research shown concerning lectins and the adverse effects of beans/legumes on the body?

Congratulations of your fat loss.

Dr. Sergio Castorena
Guest
Dr. Sergio Castorena

Hi Emory.
Actually lectins are mainly found in wheat, particurlay gluten, not in the proteins from beans and legumes, which makes them quite healthy.
Greetings.

Virginia
Guest
Virginia

Love it. I am curious about IDM and fasting. How it works, frequency of fasting, non fasting day meals, what you do consume on fasting days etc? Does Dr.Fung offer this via phone consult for those not near you?

kfacwpup
Guest

Hi Virginia – Yes, Megan offers phone consultation. Look under the tab “Join” for more information

Tamar
Guest
Tamar

Hi Megan!

Thank you for sharing your insights and experience. I am fairly new (6 weeks) to Dr Fung’s YouTube lectures and have lost 7 pounds thus far even with traveling for 2 weeks. Now I am back home and suddenly find that I am having difficulty fasting for my typical 22-23 hours that I had set for myself. I want to ask you IF you are drinking your Bone Soup even on your Fasting Days? And how do you make “Bone Soup” please? You look terrific! All the best, Tamar

Tamar
Guest
Tamar

No reply to my questions?

kfacwpup
Guest

Hi Tamar – Sorry. I missed your message. Yes, I drink the bone broth on both fasting and non-fasting days. Here is a link to the recipe I use for my broth: https://thefastingmethod.com/bone-broth-broth-can-cure-cold-idm-6-2/.

Megan

Barry Justice
Guest
Barry Justice

This is proof that one bit of information can change your life! Great gobs of dogma fuel the economic engine we live in, and more importantly we believe it. If diabetes is a puzzle, it has remained so , because no one has looked at the picture on the box. Dr. Fung has presented the picture and the box of pieces. They fit! The only problem T2D patients have now, is their long held belief systems that haven’t worked! How could snacking and processed food be more important than your life? All the people associated with this site have made… Read more »

kfacwpup
Guest

Thank you. The chance to make a difference to people’s lives is what drives us. To hear that you have benefited is very gratifying.

John Raymond
Guest
John Raymond

Awesome! Thanks for sharing your unique insight!

jamila
Guest
jamila

HI there. I heard about this and was not be able to commit. This is a new beginning I have enough of being diabetic and 35 pounds overweight. What is a day plan menu for non fasting days. Can I have oatmeal and whole grains. Thank you for responding.

kfacwpup
Guest

You can browse more material under the tab “Patient Resources” or for more individualized advice, look under the “Join” tab.

P K Mohanty
Guest
P K Mohanty

Dear Mr.Fung,I have been suffering from diabetes for 2 years.I have not yet taken any medicine yet.My other medical reports are normal except slight blurred vision i.e -0.5.But my fasting blood sugar never goes below 200.kindly Suggest me the ways for treating this.My age is 29.

A quick reply would be very helpful.

RICHARD & Jeanette
Guest
RICHARD & Jeanette

Megan/Dr. Fung
Jeanette and Richard would like to thank you for helping us to regain our health,
feeling fantastic and able to live a better life free from the ill effects pf Diabetics
Total weight loss for me (Richard) todate is approx. 80 lbs and no meds.

Tina Seiler
Guest
Tina Seiler

Just wanted to say how excited I am to be on board! Had a great conversation with Megan and drinking my green tea as I type! Doctor Fung your ability to simplify and give hope is wonderful! Megan your before and after pics are inspiring for a fellow short girl 😉
Tina

Patricia Robertson
Guest
Patricia Robertson

Thank you Megan, for this personal testimony. I feel I cannot wait to meet you.
I have decided to join after all and am so excited and hopeful.
I know nothing about GoToMeeting and may need some help in that regard. A fax is in its way to you and I have already sent you my statistics and history.
Pat

Subra
Guest
Subra

I am surprised at the amount of fasting done through IDM. I have only heard from my Yoga master that Yogis (saints) could live several days without food. Now I see it practice. I fast a maximum of 16-18 hours once a month. I am prediabetic with high PPBS and HbA1c at 5.9. I am under no medication. Have been eating LCHF for 3 months or since I was diagnosed prediabetic. I will try extending my fasting hours to 24 hours.

kfacwpup
Guest

The world record fast was 382 days. Yes – over 1 year without eating.

Pushpa Rao
Guest
Pushpa Rao

Saints in India could live without food for several days, months and maybe even years. Some of friend’s relatives have fasted more than a month for Religious purposes! So far I have only fasted for 24 hrs once or twice. I started IF very recently. Probably about 8 weeks ago. It has been pretty easy to do my own kind of Intermittent Fasting. I do not follow any specific times and days. But mostly 16/8. I was on tour of Iceland last week. In the beginning I did try to do IF. But with scheduled three meals a day with… Read more »

rachel
Guest

I would suggest you join our membership community. We have plenty of options for help there including focus groups, group fasts, courses and our forum where you can communicate with others! https://thefastingmethod.com/how-it-works/

Christine
Guest
Christine

Hey Megan Your story is very motivating! I’ve been interested in IF for some time and in fact attempted the 5:2 program for about 6 weeks a couple years ago. It was easy enough to do, but I saw no weight loss. Shortly after I read several articles that suggested IF is not really good for women, and they tend to have less than optimal results. Obviously this is not the case for you, but have you heard these things?

Evelyn Van de Stouwe
Guest

I have tried the 5:2 IF but find the 500cal very difficult as once I start eating it is very hard to stop eating

Sandy
Guest

Megan, I enjoyed your article… Thanks for sharing with us.

Elena
Guest
Elena

Hi Megan,
When not fasting, do you follow LCHF diet? And any tips for water intake during fast and non fast days.
Thank you for your story

Helene
Guest
Helene

Hi there,
I was just wondering if this programme is still a good idea for a type 2 diabetic that is already at a healthy weight? I have never been overweight, from what I understand from my doctor it is caused for me by PCOS.

Would this programme still help me beat the insulin resistance?

Many thanks,
Helene

Liz
Guest
Liz

Hi Meagan,
I’ve heard that it is much harder for women to put on muscle while fasting than it is for men (though it is easier for them to do endurance training). I am still relatively new to fasting, and I am finding that my treadmill workouts are surprisingly unchanged, but I feel less energetic when lifting weights. Was this your experience at all? Did you find any way to work around it? Like lifting on non-fasting days?
Thanks!

Alyssa
Guest
Alyssa

Hi Meagan,

Do you follow any particular diet when you are not fasting? Are you LCHF? Or just lower-carb?

Thanks!

Barbs
Guest
Barbs

I loved reading your story Megan especially about the Beyonce Master Cleanse as I did that too a few years ago and lasted 4 and a half days!!! I even had to get the grade A maple syrup imported from the USA, how crazy is that!! I just have to get my head around this whole way of life now, I started last Sunday following the Diet Doctor, so it’s been a week now but no weight loss though I’ve done 20:4 on alternate days so 1 meal and on the other days had 2 meals. I think my metabolism… Read more »

trackback

[…] Please check out my own patient profile if you would like to read more about my own journey as a patient in the IDM Program by clicking here. […]

Bernard Bel
Guest

Thanks for this extremely motivating report of your experience! Indeed we should take personal stories as ‘anecdotical’ and avoid quick generalisations… It remains that the contrast between your initial attempts to restore a proper metabolism and the success of IF as a lifestyle is an incentive to take distance with the old discourse on weight regulation and diabetes. My personal experience (and that of relatives and friends inspired by the same sources) is a little bit different because it took place at an older age. You are still at an age when the Human Growth Hormone is produced in such… Read more »

Maura
Guest

Yes, we react differently when we are older, but I recall that fasting may increase human graowth hormone secretion.

Laura Joan Day
Guest
Laura Joan Day

Thank you so much for posting your story, and all that you do Megan. I am hoping and praying I can get into the program . I have been working on this since reading the Article in the Toronto Star near the end of January. I love the Fung Shweigh group and the wonderful people I have met there. One member is bringing me some much needed test strip so I can continue to follow my bg readings. [it is a crime the price we have to pay here] I would be a great guinea pig as well–i started around… Read more »

JOhn Irving
Guest

Thank you for sharing Megan – your testimony is an inspiration to us all. Truly you are helping a lot of people including myself. Blood sugar is now in the normal range and meds and weight down as well. Again blessings and thanks to you and Dr Fung.

Maura
Guest

Megan, thank you for sharing your story. In all the patients you and Dr Fung have seen, have you come across a few who develop high LDL on LCHF and intermittent fasting? And what do you recommend for that 1-2% of the population that develops this type of dyslipedemia? I saw a drastic change in mine with the combination of lCHF and fasting. I think I increased the amount of fat in the diet, so I am going back to my more normal eating pattern and will recheck blood work later, before embarking on pharmacologic intervention.

Anne M. Muasya
Guest
Anne M. Muasya

Hi Megan. My name is Anne. I come from Kenya and I am 62 years old. I have been diabetic since 2010. I weigh 66kg and this year I ave done Hb1c test twice and they were 5.6 and 5.7. I follow Dr. Jason’s blog but I am not fully into low carb diet. I take very little carb in my diet . I eat natural unprocessed carbs like sweet potatoes,cassava and green maize and beans. I have tried fasting but I manage about 8 hours then I can feel signs of low sugar so I eat something. My most… Read more »

Bob
Guest
Bob

Hi Megan. Long time reader of Dr Fung’s posts, here because of your email. Have you worked with patients on Warfarin/Coumadin? I’m getting mixed messages about trying to lose weight, fasting, and eating green vegetables while on it, and it looks very much as if I’ll be on some kind of anticoagulant for life due to DVT. I started lowering my carbs in January of 2013, and only started fasting in, I think, 2015. I started to put off eating until lunch, and eventually was putting off eating every day, and fasting more-or-less completely one day per week. But there’s… Read more »

Pamela
Guest
Pamela

I have a question. It is ok to use fresh lemon juice in the water when on the water fast? I find it keeps my stomach settled.

Elle
Guest
Elle

WOW Megan… You’re SO inspiring!! Your my height but I have some more to lose. The weight came on just like yours too. I bought Dr Fung’s fasting book and had no trouble jumping into a 22-24 hr fast, eating once a day. I’ve never desired breakfast normally so that helped. But after a week I stopped losing. My hard time was eating enough calories. I wasn’t that hungry. Getting enough calories was like force feeding; I felt sick. Then I messed up and had a couple days of Mexican food/chips. After that, no matter what I did the scale… Read more »

Brenda
Guest
Brenda

Thank you Megan for sharing your story.
I will follow along and continue to learn as much as I can, and to better understand this way of eating/living. So far so good.
Thank you and Dr Fung…

Vivian Napier
Guest
Vivian Napier

Megan im 61, I’ve been low carb for 18 months and have lost 45 lbs. I’ve gotten rid of Type II, Fibromyalgia, CPAP and high blood pressure. But I’m still 175 lbs. I’m 5’8”. I’d like to get to 155. I have a hard time eating lower than 35 carbs per day. I’m very proud of your results. I get head aches daily.

Denise Blaize
Guest
Denise Blaize

Thank you for sharing your story I actually heard your podcast interview with Leahann on the keto diet and it was great! I live in Brampton but work in Scarborough (shout out to the east-side) and wondering how I can get connected with your clinic? DO I need a referral from my family doctor?

Denise

Alison
Guest
Alison

thank you Megan for your story. It is encouraging and I hope to achieve results also. I am in the process of reading Dr. Fung’s book on fasting.

everest dsouza
Guest
everest dsouza

Wow! Megan,
very inspiring story. Please advise how i could personalize it.
thanks

Jodie bochicchio
Guest
Jodie bochicchio

I have tried so many thingsI will never give up I been telling my doctors that insulin is not the answer it just making me gain weight and my glucose readings are still high I want to try this intermittent fasting with a low carb diet I just need a doctor to help me I take insulin and pills since age 27 I’m now 54 and getting worse and worse I’m inspired by Dr Fung and Megan