#IDMsuccess Story: “I no longer feel that I’m at war with my body.”

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.

2019-07-30T14:25:52-04:0033 Comments

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Jen D.
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Jen D.

Your story will resonate with so many who struggle with hereditary obesity–a subgroup that fasting helps more than any other, I think. Well done on your progress! You ARE a success already because we are never “done” on this journey. We stay on the path and keep walking forward. The numbers are just signs along the way.

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thank you so much!

Carina
Guest
Carina

Wow, what an amazing read! I am so proud of you and all the progress you’ve made!! It gives me hope that my last 30 years of weight fluctuations and frustration will improve. I have been eating LCHF for a few years but it hasn’t been enough. Now I have started to incorporate regular 24 hour fasts but have been scared to fast for more than a day at a time. Reading that your first fast was 10 WHOLE DAYS !!?? AMAZING!! I will now plan for a longer fast and see how it goes. Thank you for the inspiration!!… Read more »

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thank you, Carina! I get a TON of inspiration from this group!

Barbara Robinson
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Barbara Robinson

Thank you for sharing your story. So much of it resonates. Your pure joy comes through your words. A program without blame, what a concept!!!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

I know, right! I am so grateful for the “judgement-free zone” that is IDM!

Deseret
Guest
Deseret

You should be so proud of yourself! I have begun to believe that this is the only hope for me, as well. I think I need to sign up for the monthly support – surely one’s life, health, and happiness are worth $39/month! I think what you’ve done is remarkable, and you should be *so proud*!!!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thanks, Deseret…It has certainly been worth it for me!

Tom M
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Tom M

Thanks for sharing your remarkable story. As you have said, you are digging out from decades of self abuse. Your progress has been fantastic and becoming healthier doesn’t happen overnight. But you have reversed much of the disease and made important gains. I still find it amazing that your regular doctor doesn’t have much of a clue. As long as you have the support you need, I am sure you will continue to make progress. Many of us are more than happy we stumbled onto Dr. Fung and his advice for reversing disease and losing weight.

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Huge thanks!

Staci Dreger
Guest
Staci Dreger

Thank you for sharing your progress. I felt truly hopeful reading it! I’m six weeks into my second attempt at IF but this time with Keto added. I understand how you felt when reading Dr. Fung’s work – it truly seems like a miracle that diabetes can be reversed, and my doctor also seems unclear on this process. I hope to become the person who can show her that this does work, and that she will be able to point other patients in this direction because of that!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

It felt good to share. It’s also nice to hear that I’m not the only one with more than one “attempt!”

Dolly
Guest
Dolly

Wow! Bravo!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thanks, Dolly 🙂

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thanks, Dolly!

Flora Lim
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Flora Lim

Way to go, Maria! What a wonderful story of hope this is. What a stroke of luck that all the digging you did finally found you the right information from Dr Fung. More people need to know that the low-fat / low-calorie advice we’ve been bombarded with for decades is so wrong and devastatingly harmful to us as a society. Thanks so much for sharing

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thank you! These days, I’m trying to *gently* share my story as much as I can. So many of my friends and family are still getting the old advice and information.

Wanda Rose
Guest
Wanda Rose

What a wonderful success story!! Congratulations. Hoping for success with this approach as well.

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thanks, Wanda – I’m so grateful to have found something that truly works.

Lisa Marsh
Member
Lisa Marsh

Fantastic story! I love the term “Post-Diabetic”! Wonderful writing and very inspiring, thank you for sharing your journey!!! You’re beautiful!!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thank you, Lisa! I can’t wait to add a few more “post-whatever’s” in the future. 😉

Viksynn
Guest
Viksynn

Amazing transformation!! Congratulations!!! Now, remember to look in that mirror and know that it only gets better from here. Look back at the road you have already traveled and see how far you’ve already come. You are on the right path and I, as someone who is right in your shoes, am so proud of you!!! Great job!!! Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration!!!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thank you – writing that story really gave me a boost!

Giova Gallagher
Guest
Giova Gallagher

Way to go Maria! You look fabulous!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thank you, Giova!

LisaChance
Member
LisaChance

Congrats, Maria! Thank you so much for sharing. Really love the term “post-diabetic.” Using that term would keep me grounded.

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thanks, Lisa! It’s a good reminder — and incentive — for me!

Catherine McKown
Guest
Catherine McKown

Amazing, inspirational, but most importantly, HOPEFUL. thank you for sharing!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thank you, Catherine!

Alexis
Guest
Alexis

Maria, I love what you wrote! You’re very articulate and I can really relate to the emotional aspects of your journey. You should be really proud of yourself. You inspired me today. Thank you!

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thanks, Alexis – I’m glad I can pay forward some of the inspiration I get from everyone else!

Barbara Young
Guest
Barbara Young

Well done. Your story is brilliant. So much of it resonates with me although my metabolism had not yet reached the stage of DM2. I really resonate with the idea of no longer being at war with your body – because I also have had this experience. I have gone form a ‘sugar addicted, binged eating, obsessed with food and weight basket case to someone who follows an eating plan that works for me – am losing weight steadily (if quite slowly) and effortlessly. I have found that what works for me is no added sugar – took months to… Read more »

maria_barnet
Member
maria_barnet

Thanks, Barbara. I know what you mean…it’s great to find something that works and is WAY more comfortable than being hungry and cranky all the time. (Well, I still get cranky, but I can’t blame that on hunger so much 😉 )