In this episode of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, host Gin Stephens speaks to Andrea Tollison from Philadelphia. Andrea works as a data systems analyst for a charter school. She describes for Gin the “roundabout” way that she found her way to intermittent fasting in March 2018.
Prior to finding IF, Andrea was following a diet she describes as “crazy restrictive” and finding success in terms of the scale, losing 30 lbs. and achieving her lowest weight since middle school. However, just two months into following that diet’s maintenance plan, she was feeling miserable and it was seeming unsustainable. She was not able to eat sugar, sweeteners, or any kind of flour, and this was to be a permanent restriction. She did not feel she was honoring her hunger by forcing breakfast when not hungry. The rigor felt like the opposite of freedom. These factors led her to research the intuitive eating movement, and it resonated with her.
Around the same time, Andrea’s wife introduced her to Delay, Don’t Deny and the health benefits of fasting, and she decided to try in hopes it would improve her allergy symptoms. She was also interested in the neurocognitive benefits since there is a family history of dementia. Weight loss was not a motivator; in fact, she was technically underweight at the time. As she began combining fasting and principles of intuitive eating, she regained her sense of freedom – and also regained weight! She admits that it was stressful to see the scale go up, but relished becoming stronger, more “solid” and less bony. At six feet tall, she knew intellectually that she should carry more weight, and she gradually relaxed into regaining about 15 pounds.
At this point, Andrea enjoys a balanced relationship with her body and with food. Eating better quality chocolate allows her to feel more satisfied with smaller portions, and she now sees moderation is possible without rules. She gives herself permission to mindfully break a fast when it feels right, even if she is not physically hungry. Most days, she breaks with a snack or series of snack-type foods in the afternoon, then returns home for an evening meal with her family. Her wife continues to live an IF lifestyle, though eating in a smaller window than Andrea does. She weighs herself a couple of times a week as a data point, but worries about “peace over pounds” and encourages listeners to make peace of mind their highest priority. When peace of mind is achieved, the body figures the rest out.
To learn more about Andrea’s work, including her podcast Intuitively Intermittent, visit https://thiswellseasonedlife.com/
For more information on Plated, go to plated.com/IFStories
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