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I’m Doing a Science Experiment – On Myself
This is the long winded version of why I’m starting a weight loss journey and how I got to this point.
The primary reason is to feel better. Pretty plain and simple. The second, I’m sick of being fat. Let me follow that up by saying fat is fine if you are happy and healthy. Me, I’m neither at the moment and I want to change that.
I’ve been overweight since I was about 9 – I think I started gaining pretty much when the pre-pubescent hormones began to kick in, that and stress and grief over my dad’s passing.
I’ve always had a solid build – literally good bones, but not overweight until that stage. Looking back I know I ate way too much sugar and carbs. This girl loves bread, cake, cookies – you know all the things that you shouldn’t eat in excess.
My Mom still talks about how she used to find empty sugar packets in my bedroom….yeah that bad.
Long story short, my weight really went up once puberty hit. I think the dieting started around 12 – I did all the ‘right’ things, which at that time was your standard low fat, low calorie diet. Trouble was it was loaded with…carbohydrates. So needless to say I never got anywhere.
I did manage to lose quite a bit of weight when I went away to boarding school my freshman year of high school. Primarily because I starved myself. #notthewaytodoit #thecafeteriafoodwasgross
I made my way through the next 10 years ‘pleasantly plump.’ I yo-yo dieted but no matter how hard I tried I was always about 15 kg/30 pounds heavier than I wanted to be.
Then came babies – 5 of them to be exact. After my second I lost a significant amount of weight – around 30 kilos doing a modified Atkins diet. I figured out right then that carbohydrates were not my friend. I was amazed at how quickly the weight came off and how good I felt.
Life happened, there was a lot of stress – I fell off the low carb wagon and the weight piled on with it. I had 3 more babies and with each of them I had gestational diabetes. The first one I was able to control through my diet. The second two I had to have insulin at various stages in the pregnancies.
After my daughter was born (baby #4) I lost around 15 kgs doing a nutritional cleanse which was convenient, but I know the real difference was that I gave up grains when I was doing it. I’ve pretty much maintained the same weight give or take a kilo here and there over the last 8 years.
Piecing together the puzzle
Over the years I did a lot of study in natural medicine, nutrition, and herbal medicine. With those studies and my insatiable research, I was able to piece together that I had done a whole lot of damage to my system over my life time. After I had my daughter I started to dig deeper into why I had the issues I had and what I could do to fix it.
I had/have dermatitis, gut issues, fatigue, candida, insulin resistance, fatty liver and more (yes all the fun stuff).
When I eliminated grains from diet my skin cleared up, I had more energy and my joints didn’t hurt. So I knew then that I was much better off without them in my diet. But boy, is it HARD.
I’ve played around with versions of low carb and keto eating over the last 5 years. Keto is a struggle for me because I end up with a lot of stomach pain and end up not wanting to eat anything at all – my thinking is because of my liver and the extra strain in can put on it with the high fats. (With MTHFR your liver already has some extra challenges).
Low carb and grain free works well for me – still lower in carbohydrates, a good intake of healthy fats, and lots of veggies. My worst enemy in this department is my own willpower and mindset. Not matter what I do, I still really like carbs, especially chocolate chip cookies. Sigh.
Why ‘The Fast 800’
I’ve done a lot, I mean A LOT of research into diets. The science behind them, current studies and modern thought on diet.
Through all of that I have trialled a few things like intermittent fasting, eliminating processed sugars, grains, eating more fat, etc. All of which are part of the Fast 800 plan.
What really convinced me to give it a try was a piece of the research that’s mentioned in the book, “that people who follow a rapid loss diet not only lose a lot of weight, fast, but by doing so also clean fat out of their livers and reverse their type 2 diabetes.”
That little tidbit made my ears prick up big time. I WANT ALL THOSE THINGS!! I like to see results fast, otherwise I get discouraged (my bad totally, but it’s the truth). Clearing fat out of my liver and helping blood sugar levels a major plus in my book.
There is more to the science which you can read about in Chapter 3 of The Fast 800 book. In a nutshell, the science and thought behind the plan resonate with me, my research and my experience.
So here we are – my grand science experiment on myself!
Eating for my genes
Where this aspect fits in is that I won’t be following the diet exactly. The Fast 800 revolves around the Mediterranean Diet idea. Which is a lower carbohydrate diet with lots of lean meats and fish. This is a great diet with lots of research behind it BUT I have a lot of individual issues that mean I’ll need to tweak it a bit.
First of all fish gives me hives…so the seafood portion of the diet is a problem. I also have night shade sensitivities so eating things like tomato and eggplants are also an issue (and I hate olives lol). So I’ll modify things to suit me.
I’m a big proponent of bio-individual nutrition and don’t believe there is ANY one size fits all diet plan out there. That said the format of the Fast 800 is what I’m keen to explore – low carb, intermittent fasting, reduced eating timeframe, and the low calorie consumption.
I’m also taking into account the current advice on diet and nutrition for the genetic variations I have. I’ll be making sure that I eat foods that support my system (and taking plenty of supplements as well).
I have a trip coming up in just under 3 months (and dang it I want to look good!) which fits in perfectly with the suggested time frame of the Fast 800. In the book they recommend a minimum of 2 weeks (and evaluate results and how you feel) up to 12 weeks on the program. That length gives me a convenient deadline that aligns with my trip.
The bonus of this plan is that you can modify it to the 5:2 style diet where you eat a ‘normal’ healthy diet for 5 days a week and fast for 2 days (under 800 calories). This adds in a nice plan B to the program.
So this is my plan – to follow the Fast 800 plan for the next 11 weeks leading up to my trip.
My long term weight loss goal is to lose 33 kilos (which I reserve the right to adjust up or down depending on how I look and feel when I get close to that). For the purpose of the next 11 weeks – 10 kilos would be amazing – but I’m hoping for more!
I’ve been working with a naturopath for the last few months on a number of issues not related to my weight but rather general health (lingering virus, nutrient deficiencies from MTHFR and other genetic variants). Adding in eating like I’m supposed to will help a lot with all of this. The naturopath wants me grain and dairy free – ouch.
Why I’m writing about it
Accountability. That about is sums it up.
I know the science, I know the how. It’s the getting over my own mindset and motivation to stick to it and make the changes stick. If I put it out there and say it out loud – I’m probably a whole heck of a lot more likely to do it.
I’ll use my blog as a place to document my journey, add recipes and any insights into how it all is going (or not going lol).
I’d love for you to follow along if you are interested! I’ll be using my Instagram account to document the daily stuff and writing blog posts for the bigger things.
Where I’m Starting
Boy, talk about confrontational. I mean I’m always take a back when I see photos of myself. The view I see in the mirror is always different than what a photo tells (ugh).
I had a ZoZo suit which was awesome for taking measurements but they went out of business (bummer). I did however discover a fun contraption near my house called an mPort that does a fancy infrared scan of you body and gives you all your measurements and some health stats. I’ll use this to help track my changes over the coming weeks (man it’s a whole lot easier than a tape measure).
As you can see I’m a classic apple shape – I carry all my weight in my torso with skinny legs. This body shape makes me a high candidate for heart disease, diabetes and a whole bunch of other unsavoury things. Bad part is my genetics back that up. I carry a lot of the genes that contribute to the likelihood of developing these diseases as well. That’s a huge motivation for me wanting to lose weight.
So here we go! I’ll share my first week results in my next post! You can follow along with my day to day shenanigans on Instagram.