#IDMsuccess Story: Sandra Bender’s Incredible Weight Loss Journey

On January 15th, 2018, I began reading The Obesity Code, based on the recommendation of my own GP here in Winnipeg, Dr. Rowland Hayward. Dr. Hayward is in his sixties, but fantastic for staying on top of the latest research and he told me about Dr. Fung’s work and suggested that I read The Obesity Code. At the time, I was suffering from an intensely high-stress job, and my doctor wasn’t sure if I was genuinely prediabetic or if my cortisol levels, which were astronomical, had just increased my insulin levels severely. Either way, I weighed 335 lbs, which shocked me to learn. While my health was generally in good condition and I wasn’t experiencing a lot of the typical co-morbidities of obesity (no hypertension, high cholesterol, heart problems, fatty liver, or kidney issues), I was experiencing asthma-like symptoms that lung specialists kept dismissing as anxiety-based, back pack, joint pain, depression, very low energy, and very irregular periods that I now suspect were the beginnings of PCOS.

I had never tried actively losing weight before, long believing that it wasn’t really possible for me. I’d always been fairly active, and thought that exercise was the key to weight loss, and since I exercised and nothing really changed, I just thought that I would continue to balloon indefinitely. I had already started to panic about what was going to happen when I sized out of even plus-sized sections, as I was wearing size 24 jeans at that point. It was a massive source of fear and helplessness. I dubiously set my goal to lose 135 lbs, putting me at 200 lbs, simply because it was a nice, even number. I had doubts that I could even lose 10 lbs. My doctor had suggested that I see what I could do on my own for six months, and that if it wasn’t shifting, then we could discuss bariatric surgery.

Not having read The Obesity Code yet, I decided to start with a 1200-calorie/day version of the Mediterranean way of eating and dropped all added sugars and refined carbs. Within three weeks, I’d read far enough into TOC to adjust my methods, dropped my carb intake even further, shifted to keto/lchf, read Dr. Fung’s excellent article on bariatric surgery, which confirmed my decision to absolutely not pursue it as an option, and committed myself to introduce fasting three months into my new way of life, right after Easter.

I reached my goal of losing 135 lbs exactly one year and 26 days after I started. I’ve had blood work done semi-regularly (about every 3-4 months), and have never been in better health. I no longer experience any sort of asthma, joint/back pain, have energy for days, work out regularly, fast regularly, and feel twenty years younger. I’m 39 now and feel better than I did in my twenties at any point! My go-to fasting protocol is 3×42, but I frequently do longer fasts of 60-72 hours, typically. I’ve lost 23 inches on my waist line now. I don’t measure my ketones and have never had a dexa scan, but I know from my measurements and weight both that I’m losing consistently. Once I had lost about 30 lbs, I added another 50 lbs to my ultimate goal, and I’m confident that I’ll get there. I have a large bone structure and am quite muscular, so I don’t plan to go lower than 150 lbs – I’ve already had people ask why I’m still losing now!

It’s an amazing feeling, and this has been life-changing. I owe you and Dr. Fung and everyone at the IDM program my enduring thanks and gratitude for your work. I was a moderator on the facebook group for IDM for a couple of months and still mentor people in a casual fashion, which helps me reinforce my own commitment to this lifestyle day after day. Thank you so much for what you do. It’s so important!!

2019-04-25T15:18:28-04:0023 Comments

About the Author:

23
Leave a Reply

avatar
17 Comment threads
6 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
cheatronMauricioketodietmaxketopuredietultrarachel Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Lori Ross
Guest

Excellent walking billboard that this plan i is successful !
Congratulations!
I’ve lost 19 pounds and 6 inches in waist.
Reversing Prediabetes with fasting too.
Weight is okay at 130, just bringing glucose numbers down now!
Love the balance between feasting and fasting!
Thank you Dr Jason Fung.

SARAH
Member
SARAH

Hello ! Can you advise on your first attempt at fasting ? How long you did it for ? And, what you found helpful ?

Thanks 🙂

Mauricio
Guest
Mauricio

Hi Sarah, I don’t know how Sandra started, but a good starting point is to skip breakfast and have lunch around noon. That would give you 16 hours + fasting. Try that for a week or more. Then start having lunch later and later until you do the OMAD (one meal a day). Next step would be skip a day, and eat breakfast the next day, and so on. Just don’t rush. Feel your body. And read Dr Fung’s books. You can buy them or even get them from your local library.
Happy fasting!

jacob
Guest
jacob

What does 3×42 mean?

Janice
Guest
Janice

Congratulations Sandra! You must feel so proud. Think of all the benefits of becoming healthier! Not to mention you look fabulous!!!

Sherri
Guest
Sherri

Do you only mentor for friends?

philip sofaer
Guest
philip sofaer

just to want to congratulate you. an inspirational journey

Erin
Guest
Erin

What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing ! What is your fasting schedule? You mentioned 3x 45 ?

Alyona
Guest
Alyona

Sandra, what a great transformation! Do you still count calories, carbs on normal days? Do you have a blog we can follow?

Ron
Guest
Ron

Wow! Great work!

Deann Atkins
Guest
Deann Atkins

Wondering what you mean by 3×42 fasting and how many times you do the 60-72 hour fast per month.

Daniel D
Guest
Daniel D

She probably meant 3 fasts during the week that are 42 hours long.

Robert
Guest
Robert

Congratulations! What an accomplishment.

Tammy Hahn
Guest
Tammy Hahn

So awesome!!
Thanks for sharing your journey.

Casey
Guest
Casey

Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You are absolutely beautiful and I wish you continued great health. Amazing job!!

Joan
Guest
Joan

Thank you for your story. I too relate to feeling hopeless and helpless in trying to loose weight until I found Dr Jason Fung on YouTube and began intermittent fasting. Understanding what happens in my body helped me to take control and responsibilities for myself. I’ve lost 30 lbs and reversed my fatty liver.
You’re looking fabulous! I’m routing for you. Keep going!!

Daniel D
Guest
Daniel D

This is absolutely amazing! I appreciate your authenticity in the beginning about your goals you set out to do, in spite of your thoughts and feelings about them being insurmountable! Your discipline on a daily basis has now brought you into a healthier lifestyle! 100+ pound weight loss is such a testimony. Now I am sure you are going to be a positive influence towards others who are down on themselves, and you can share them your pain and journey towards healthy fasting. Your story is an inspiration to me! It also reminds me of this quote, “There is never… Read more »

ketopuredietultra
Guest

Thank you for sharing.

ketodietmax
Guest

Awesome. Thank you for sharing.

cheatron
Member
cheatron

Hi! I too live in Winnipeg, I have been trepidatiously using IF for a few years now. It does work, but I keep on “falling off the wagon”. Could we grab a coffee or something? I am about 10 lbs. away from my heaviest weight ever, and I’m feeling like this will never happen for me:(. Email me at cheatron@hotmail.com.