“I love the fact that I control food now and it no longer controls me.”
Hello, my name is Leanne Robinson and I am from North Dakota. I am 58 years old and when I started my health journey, I weighed 315 lbs. I have lost 105 lbs in 11 months following strict keto, Intermittent Fasting and Extended Fasting. I still have 52.5 lbs left to lose. Why 52.5 you ask? If I lose 157.5 lbs I will have lost ½ of my body weight and I know I can do it.
My journey started when I was a child. My mom told me that I never seemed to know when I was full and therefore never had a ‘shut off button’. I was the fat kid in school, I was the outsider, and I was not included with the in-crowd. This hurt, so I decided I wanted to lose weight when I was 14-15 years old. I started Weight Watchers. I lost some weight and became more comfortable in my skin. I kept the weight off for a number of years, but it wasn’t easy being a teen and not being able to eat like others. I still did not have a shut off button and always felt hungry.
At 19 I was still struggling with weight and moved away from home. I slowly started to put it on. Now let me tell you, I was not a thin person ever and it was always a struggle to not eat. I always felt hungry – or so I thought.
After the birth of my first child, my weight was up there again, and I was bigger than I had ever been. I tried to get the weight off, but it wouldn’t budge. So, I turned to a very non-conventional way to control my weight. DRUGS. I would not recommend this way of losing weight. I got skinny. I never ate. I never really knew what I was doing. It didn’t take long for me to realize I couldn’t continue, so I quit using drugs and, you guessed it, I ballooned even bigger. I was now 23 years old.
Once again, I was miserable. I was always hungry and never knew when to stop eating. My portion sizes kept getting bigger and bigger. Then I found Dexatrim. That helped and I lost some weight again. Just to gain it back, and more.
My life continued with every known diet there was to find. I would lose and then gain. I loved to cook and eat the wonderful foods I taught myself to cook. I was feeding a total of 6 people by then and I was not watching what I was eating. After all the kids left the house, I still cooked and ate. I looked into the Sanford Profile program and thought it would work for me, but it would cost $400 a month, plus I had to pay for my own meats and veggies. I didn’t have that kind of money in my budget and I felt defeated once again.
I asked myself if I was destined to be fat the rest of my life. Was I willing to accept that I couldn’t lose weight? I was so upset with how I was feeling and I started searching again for a way to lose weight. I found keto and researched for three months before I made the decision to try. I knew I could no longer eat as I used to because my right knee was hurting and I didn’t have the heart to ask my daughter to help me move yet one more time. You see, I lived in a split-level home and had too many stairs for my bad knee. I had to do something.
This brings me to January 3, 2019. I started the day with no carbs and by the end of the day I was filling my face with every carb I could find. But at the end of the week, I had lost 5 lbs. So, I talked to my daughter and said, “I wonder what would happen if I really did this keto thing the right way?” She asked, “what can I do to help.”
We cleaned out my cupboards of all processed foods. Let me tell you, I didn’t have much left in my pantry. This was scary. But I dug in and it’s now 11 months later and I’m 105 lbs lighter. But there’s more. I needed to find supplements that would work for me and after seeing my physician, I chose to use Young Living supplements to help me, because of no unwanted chemicals.
I found Dr. Jason Fung and Megan Ramos about three months into my journey and it was eye-opening to realize I could fast. I was already experiencing feeling full all the time and not wanting to eat, so it was natural for fasting to become part of my routine. I learned a lot from reading The Obesity Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Fung.
After attempting intermittent fasting, I wanted to fast longer, as I wanted the benefits of autophagy. I am 58 years old and I knew I would not only be fighting aging, but the saggy skin that goes along with losing large amounts of weight.
My usual fasts are 3 x 42 hours every other week. On the off weeks I usually to a 60-72 hour fast or just intermittent fasting of 18:6. Once every two months I do a 5 day fast for the cleansing properties and the benefits of autophagy. Recently while doing one of those 5 day fast I was feeling so good I decided to see if I could complete a 10 day. I took it one day at a time and broke the fast at day 10. I used all the tools I had learned from Dr. Fung to break the fast and was successful with no stomach upset. Let me tell you, the mental clarity one gets when doing long fasts is wonderful. I would like to make it clear here that I do not do long fasts for weight loss, but to help with insulin resistance. At my last doctor appointment, my A1C was 4. The best it has ever been. On feasting days, I am strict keto.
After an 80 lb weight loss, I wanted to start building muscle (I had read about Resting Metabolic Rate), so I started going to the gym. I go to the gym 3-4 days a week and workout. This has slowed the weight loss down, but I am gaining muscle. I workout in a fasted state without any loss of strength. It’s even reported that you gain more muscle if you workout fasted. Maybe I will continue to lift weights and possibly enter an amateur weightlifting contest. Talk about a challenge I never would have considered before the discovery of this wonderful way of eating.
One of the biggest things I needed to address for myself are the reasons I used food for comfort. I am in therapy now to deal with those issues so I will never have to turn to food to feel like I need to hide.
Here are some of the benefits I have gained and sometimes I am in awe over:
I never thought I would walk into a regular bathroom stall, climb a flight of stairs without huffing, wear a medium shirt, cross my legs, go to the gym and lift weights, or look in the mirror and be OK with my own reflection. I never thought I could shovel snow without being out of breath and fearing a heart attack, I never thought I could do this, and I never ever thought fasting would be a part of my life. I love the fact that I control food now and it no longer controls me. I have a ‘shutoff button’ and I control it. That is something to be grateful for.
I’m not at goal yet, but I will be there some day. In the meantime, I love helping others along their journey. I’ve started a Facebook group, Keto, Low Carb, Fasting Healthy Lifestyle – You can do it too. I hope to help others because I was taught you have to give away what you learned so you can keep the gift. I have lived by this way of thinking and will continue to give back what was given to me by Grace.