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Transformation Journey With DoFasting: Betsy

I am retired, 69 years old, living in Michigan and traveling to warmer climates for parts of winter. Love to cook, write, travel, bike, walk and try new things. I have a son, daughter-in-law, and two fabulous granddaughters. My daughter died of cancer 16 months ago. She sends me joy and inspiration every day.

I have struggled to lose weight my entire adult life. I had a bulimic mom who obsessed about her weight… and mine. I have honestly tried every “diet” that has existed.  My goal is 130 pounds at 5’5” tall; I am just 4 pounds from that goal. I started at 186lb last January (I have weighed up to 196lb many times throughout my life). I encountered intermittent fasting in June. I have not weighed less than 145 pounds since I was in college.

The reason this is so important to me is that I am convinced I can reverse my COPD diagnosis from a decade ago. I will continue to use IF and reduced carb eating to maintain my weight and to feel great. At this point, this all seems amazingly simple… thanks to IF!

I’m convinced that intermittent fasting not only works but keeps working through ups and downs, calamities, occasional slip-ups, and everything life throws at me. I’m breathing exceptionally well, riding my bicycle as much as 50 miles at a stretch, walking hills that used to leave me winded, and feeling fantastic!  I started losing some weight before knowing about IF as a model. I lost about 12 pounds in 5 months from my high of 186lb by eating the Whole 30 diet and drastically reducing my alcohol intake (could be the healthiest thing I’ve done, actually!) I was already exercising and eating a low-carb diet. We follow the Whole 30 lifestyle generally.

Tell us what encouraged YOU to take action and start changing your lifestyle (to try intermittent fasting)?

I have wanted desperately to lose weight for 50 years and have tried every possible method to no avail. However, I had an additional goal this time – to reverse the COPD diagnosis I got in 2008. Doctors say it can’t be stopped, much less reversed. I said, “You haven’t met me yet!”

How was the intermittent fasting journey at first? Did you have any struggles or setbacks that kept you dissatisfied with your results? How did you feel back then?

My husband and I were already eating just 2 meals each day and doing lots of cycling and walking – at least 4 times a week or more. Our walks are usually for 3–5 miles, and bike rides – 25 miles at least. Our diet follows the Whole 30 plan, although we do enjoy our wine about once a week now. In truth, we used to have wine every night. No more.

About 3 weeks ago, so close to my goal, I fell and broke my collarbone. This was my biggest challenge because I could no longer do the daily exercise I was used to. I stopped weighing myself for just a week and gained 4 pounds very quickly. Then, I doubled down, counted calories, and weighed myself every day, and things came back into view again.

Now I’m almost fully healed, and I can say I maintained my weight for those 3 weeks. I think that’s a big deal! We also had lots of company during that time.

Tell us (and our readers) how did the DoFasting app come into the picture?

I was already losing weight when I discovered IF last June, but very slowly. What’s funny is that I felt so good after my colonoscopy in early June I was convinced to try fasting. The app happened to pop up on Facebook, and I clicked to learn more. That was the beginning of a very healthy relationship!

My rate of loss picked up, and I began to change my goals, from 160 to 150 to 140 to 135, and finally to 130 pounds! Quite honestly, it was shocking to me that I hadn’t been introduced to this method before.

How simple. Just narrow your eating window. Really? I’ve never been a snacker, so that part was easy. First, I narrowed it to a 6-hour eating window and ultimately to 4. Now I plan to move back gradually in order to maintain my weight.

Once I have stabilized at my goal, I will add one hour to my eating window and see how that goes.  I weigh myself every day in the morning. That way, I am honest and accountable. If I slip up the day before, I can see the result immediately. If I am doing great, I give myself a pat on the back. Over time, the numbers make sense, and they continue to go down.

I’ve never been obsessive about the diet itself, but I do avoid a lot of carbs (grains, wheat), and I never eat sugar… mostly because I feel much better without them.

How did intermittent fasting help YOU perceive the fasting and feasting windows? Maybe you started planning your weekly meals? Started eating foods you had avoided before? Or changed your diet completely?

I’m definitely eating fewer calories overall. I’m a very healthy eater but have always just eaten way too much. This limits me to one meal or occasionally two a day.  I love the simplicity of the timer. I even tell people who stay with us they are on their own for breakfast and lunch! Keeps things so simple. We generally do a 4 PM to 8 PM eating window.  I admit that COVID helped us a lot… but now we’re habituated. Less eating out, less socializing.

What about exercising? Had you been working out before or just started while doing intermittent fasting?

I have always been very active. The biggest change for me is exercising while fasting. I feel like I have superpowers. I can power up the hills that used to truly challenge me. I feel 15 years younger. I’m not kidding.

What was one piece of advice that you’ve got from fellow fasters (or wish someone said that to you at the beginning of your intermittent fasting journey)?

The old myths are finally falling away, thankfully. “Breakfast is the most important meal.” “Never skip a meal.” “Eat 5–6 small meals spread out during the day.” “Make sure you eat portions from all food groups.” For some people, these may work. Not for me. My all-new life is such a treat that I can’t wait to tell people their struggle is over.

Anything else?

  1. Don’t obsess. If I’m starving on a 45-hour fast, I give myself some delicious bone broth. I also enjoy my diet ginger ale or really good red wine on occasion. I can only be perfect most of the time. LOL.
  2. I love meal prep delivery services. I pick the healthier ones and thoroughly enjoy making them. They actually help me control my portions, and I add a vegetable or a side salad.
  3. Give yourself a break occasionally.
  4. Do the exercises you love. My husband and I bought e-bikes last March, and we are finding our workout numbers are even better because the wind doesn’t keep us from going out… and fast cadence up a hill gets our hearts going as much as the struggle.
  5. Try a longer fast if you get stuck. I have been very successful at 40–45-hour fasts, and it’s really not hard. It kicks the scale into a downward trend again.

I could go on and on. But IF is something I will do for life… because I want to feel really good until it’s my time to leave.  I should add that having a supportive spouse is a huge key to my success. He makes himself simple, low-carb lunches. He is 6’4” and 195lb and has lost about 25 pounds during the year. He’s my biggest cheerleader, and we love biking and walking together!


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