In this episode of Intermittent Fasting Stories, Gin speaks to Stephanie Gish of New Braunfels, Texas, where she does Communication and Design for a private school. As a child, she ate a lot of junk food. She recalls having a sweet tooth, but was fit and active, participating in gymnastics. Between 2000-2003, she competed in Fit Competitions, and this was where the obsession with dieting began. She shares that she counted and tracked every calorie, carb and macro, and it became “mind game” with getting into competition shape. She refers to those years as having both a “warped mindset and warped relationship with food.”
A series of events took place that led Stephanie on a new path: an awareness of the spiral of constant dieting, along with a warped mindset, a broken bone in her foot, and symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, (which would be officially diagnosed in 2006). Stephanie began to experience digestive problems while trying to eat a “competition diet.” She explained that Crohn’s Disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease where the immune system attacks the digestive system. The symptoms are uncomfortable because so many foods create bowel distress.
Stephanie shares that 2004 & 2005 began her “struggle and journey” in gaining control of her digestive problems and her weight. In 2013 & 2014, Stephanie heard that IF would help control her Crohn’s symptoms. She attempted a 5:2 Alternative Day Fasting schedule, but her first day of not eating had her feeling terrible, so she decided for her, IF was impossible. Four years passed until she attempted IF again.
In 2017, Stephanie tried Keto, but actually gained weight. In 2018, she tried the Carnivore Diet, but still gained. Finally, Stephanie simply tried IF with 16:8, but wasn’t clean fasting. But then she came across the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, and then found, Delay, Don’t Deny and read about clean fasting. It was then that she got serious about IF, and saw how easy fasting actually was when she fasted clean.
In August 2019, she felt comfortable with IF, and tried an ADF schedule again. She found the longer she fasted, the better she felt. She feels that in the longer fasts, her body is healing and “resetting” itself. She lost bloat, lost GI issues, and has energy again. She also immediately lost 7lbs once she shortened her window. Stephanie is still “tweaking” her IF schedule, and the foods she eats, to see what works best for her. She is still careful with what she eats, but no longer has flare-ups.
Her advice to new IFers is to start slow, and find a pattern that works best for your body. IF is can adjust with your life. She finally feels free, and no longer stressed about food, calling IF a “powerful tool.”
Stephanie has a Podcast on autoimmune & inflammatory diseases called, “Crohns Fitness Food.” She also has a website: crohnsfitnessfood.com, and on Instagram: @crohnsfitnessfood.
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