Maria shares her remarkable success story
When I first heard Dr. Fung speak, I found real hope. Since then, my hope has turned into conviction. LCHF (Keto mostly) and fasting (IF/EF) are healing and re-setting my health and metabolism. I’m already enjoying success I didn’t really believe was possible. Best of all, I no longer feel that I’m at war with my body.
I had a “weight problem” long before I was actually fat. In my family, size really mattered. My mom and aunts battled obesity, and constantly discussed weight and dieting. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension all ran in my family. As a result, everyone obsessed over appearance, health and food. I remember being warned (at age 5) that even though I was “skinny,” I needed to be careful when I got older. I did indeed get older… and stopped being “skinny.” At the ripe old age of 10, I went on my first diet.
The following decades were a seesaw of weight loss, weight gain, deprivation, indulgence, guilt, rebellion, despair, blame, hope, worry, shame, denial and disappointment. I had terrible acne, PCOS, joint pain, asthma, allergies, gall bladder disease, restless leg, mood swings, reactive hypoglycemia, fatigue, heartburn, Hashimoto’s, sleep apnea and always… weight gain. I felt so ashamed of my weight that my other health issues seemed insignificant (and I had no clue that they were all connected). I tried all the “diets.” Some were mainstream and some were truly weird. Most were a combination of calorie restriction and low fat. They all worked at first. Then they stopped working. Then… well, you know.
I also addressed my “relationship with food.” I worked at loving my body at any size because I couldn’t seem to change it. This brought me a great deal of peace and self-acceptance. Therapy, spiritual work and self-help improved my life in countless ways (including meeting the love of my life). I’m grateful that these efforts led me to a richer and happier life, but they never led to physical health. My outlook and relationships were transformed, but my body was not. I experienced a new level of joy, gratitude and self-love, but still couldn’t feel truly vibrant.
I was also getting sicker. In 2012, I got the news I’d been dreading my whole life: a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, then T2 diabetes. Peace and gratitude went right out the window and were replaced by fear. (I couldn’t even say the “D-word.”) I had worked to find joy and love, and now I became afraid that my happiness would disappear into debilitating and fatal disease.
I set out in earnest to “get myself under control.” I followed my new dietician’s advice (the diabetic version of “eat less/move more”), but by now, my metabolism had tanked. I couldn’t lose more than a few ounces. I was absolutely terrified. For the next few years, I followed a cycle of following “the plan,” disappointing results, giving up, then desperately starting over. And I kept losing ground. My weight climbed to 354 pounds, my A1C reached 12, and my list of medicines grew longer. At one point, I was on five different medications – and still getting worse!
In October, 2017, my doctor said it was time for insulin. Based on family history, I felt that insulin was the point of no return, and asked my doctor to let me try “lifestyle changes.” I had no idea what I meant, but I knew that the advice and drugs weren’t working. So, I started doing research. “Dr. Google” led me to Paleo. Paleo led to more research and attempts at removing bread and sugar. I still felt desperate, but I was also beginning to see results.
In February, 2018, I heard Dr. Fung on a podcast, and the clouds parted! For the first time, someone clearly explained what was going on, and everything suddenly made sense! Even better… there were numerous accounts of actual reversal! That was what I desperately needed to hear – reversal!
I felt that I finally had information, empowerment and a real strategy! I went down the YouTube/Google/Podcast rabbit hole of fasting and LCHF. I read The Obesity Code (Eureka!). Then I read The Complete Guide to Fasting, prepared my environment, watched more videos and began my first fast on March 20, 2018. I planned to fast for at least three days and, to my utter shock, I was able to fast for 10 days (with lots of training wheels). I know that’s not for everyone; but I needed something extreme. It put my sweet-tooth to sleep, and made going low carb much easier. It also boosted my pride and confidence. Months went by and I saw steady improvement. I also felt better and my bloodwork proved that I was better.
I soon realized that I had a lot of adjustments to make, and I would need more support if I wanted to stay on course. My doctor was thrilled that he could reduce my medication, but didn’t understand what I was doing at all (and kept giving the same old advice). I had more resolve than ever, but I also had a million questions. Even more, I needed community of like-minded people. So, in July of 2018, I joined the IDM Program and have been a client (of Nadia Pateguana) ever since.
Here’s some of the “success” I’ve experienced so far…
I’m physically stronger, healthier, happier and more confident. I have loads of energy, better moods, clear skin, zero heartburn, clear thinking and smaller clothing. I’ve lost well over 70 pounds (I only weigh myself at doctor’s appointments), and my bloodwork/lipid markers range from good to optimal. My C-Reactive (inflammation) marker went from 11.58 to 1.5. Even my thyroid function is improving!
The BIG news is that I now take only one medication (for my thyroid)… and my last A1C was 5.5! This means that I’m no longer diabetic… or even pre-diabetic! (I prefer the term “post-diabetic.”) I can’t wait to see my next bloodwork results!
The IDM environment (especially the coaching) has been a game-changer. This journey is truly miraculous, but it can also be frustrating. Every day, I rely on this community’s wealth of encouragement, ideas and inspiration. I have tremendous motivation (and stubbornness), but I’m digging out from decades of unhealthy beliefs and habits. There have been many slip-ups and challenges, and having support from coaches, groups and the online community helps me learn and improve from setbacks – instead of going off the rails completely.
It’s been 16 months since my first fast, and just over a year since I joined the IDM program. It still feels strange to share a “success story” before meeting all my goals; but this is a big journey and sharing lets me pause to appreciate my progress. I still have a lot of healing to do, but I’ve already experienced miracles. Appreciating my progress reminds me that there are more miracles ahead.