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The Inspirational 5:2 Thread

(151 Posts)
eatriskier Mon 11-Nov-13 13:08:41


It has been suggested by the wonderful betsybell that a thread be started with some inspiring stories for us all.

I feel that there should be some disclaimers - we are all different, we gain weight in different ways and will lose differently. Similarly with health issues. Some stories here mine to start with may be extreme.

Umm, that's about it I think...

Southeastdweller Tue 17-Dec-13 15:40:35

Up until summer of this year I’d been overweight for as long as I could remember. Yo-yo dieting started quite early on in my life with a few different ways of calorie control diets and nothing could get the weight off permanently. I’d had some success in my late 20’s with Weightwatchers (when I reached obese status) and shifted five stones but put three stones back on, then lost some then put back on. I then hovered around the 13 stones mark for years, the weight I was from 18-26. 13 stones on a small-ish framed chap is quite a lot, which I realised deep-down but pushed the thought to the back of my mind mostly. I think one reason I stayed this weight for so long was because I thought being ‘only’ chubby was OK compared to being obese; I think that, when you’ve been overweight for a long time, you lie to yourself about all kinds of things. Looking back, though I was doing plenty of cardio at the gym, the weight stuck because I was snacking almost constantly and eating processed carbs in abundance.

Post-Christmas 2012, I was feeling porky and wondering yet again what I could do to shift weight. I didn’t watch the Horizon program that was broadcast four months previously but read the publicity about 5:2 in the media in the New Year and though I was sceptical about it, thinking it could be another faddy diet, I figured it was worth a shot. So, immediately after finishing the book by Dr M and Mimi Spencer, I started at the end of January and went on to lose 2.7 stones in six months, going from a BMI of 26 to one of 21, and have kept it off with little effort since the end of July. This was mostly on 5:2, with two months on 4:3, and four or five gym sessions a week. Taking the advice in the book, early on I joined the 5:2 threads on MN and the advice and support from the fabulous people on here has been hugely valuable.

I estimate to have saved almost £300 in food bills since January, my energy levels have increased dramatically, and I look much better. I don’t feel at all deprived - I still eat and drink the stuff I used to but in smaller amounts (most of the time) and I’m now snacking very rarely . I’m also more aware of calories in foods. But I still have the odd day when I over-indulge and yet I’m maintaining fine by doing a true fast of 600 cals or less one day a week as well as a mini-fast of around 1000 cals on another day of the week. I’m not thinking about food so much now and I’m enjoying what I do eat in a more meaningful way. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d go to the supermarket after work and genuinely not fancy eating a cupcake or doughnut but there’s been plenty of days like that this year. Another bonus is that I’m actively seeking healthier options now, especially vegetables, which is great because as a non-meat eater with a tendency for laziness I used to rely on starchy foods to fill me up; there’s definitely been a mental shift in how I think about food. I love how this way of life fits in with my lifestyle which is partly why it feels sustainable and I’m much happier generally, as if the real me has finally emerged after too many years hiding.

TalkinPeace Tue 17-Dec-13 21:31:46

pictures needed from you inspirational people fwink

Wingedharpy Mon 23-Dec-13 17:23:21

This time last year I was a size 22/24 and, though not miserable about my weight, I knew this was not a healthy size for me and that wishing myself slimmer was not going to make the excess weight go away.
I had to take action.
I decided to enjoy Christmas and New Year but made myself a promise that in January I was going to make a determined effort to take control.
I started with small but effective changes - portion sizes, healthy eating etc.
I also led a very sedentary life so decided that any sort of movement/exercise just had to be better for me than none at all.
I started off just walking once round the block - approx 5 - 10 minutes brisk walk.
This was in January so the streets were in darkness at about 3.30pm which suited me fine as no-one could see me huffing and puffing my way up the hill by my house.
I frequently didn't want to go out in the cold, wind, rain and dark but I made myself persevere and, without fail, I always felt better for doing it.
Gradually I started to increase my time out walking until I got to 30 - 40 minutes brisk walk daily which I'm still doing - with no huffing and puffing now!
I also read a newspaper article about 5:2 and decided to add that into my regime as well - every little helps was my way of thinking.
That addition has made a huge difference.
I stick to my healthy eating/moderate portion sizes on eating days and have 2 days of 500 cals intake.
The result is I have lost 4.5 stone in 11 months.
I feel fabulous - so much more energy and get up and go and that in itself is a confidence boost. Once you start to see and feel the results from your efforts, the confidence follows.
To anyone considering this way of eating I would say go for it.
What have you got to lose - other than some excess weight.

Mary1972 Thu 26-Dec-13 06:30:36

Wow, You have all done so well. The avergae UK height is 5 foot 5 by the way as so many of you are (and is my height too) and for me weight at age 14 9 stone and I regard that as fine although I think I look better at 8 stone12 and even 8 stone 7 when we moved house (lots of moving, not much eating) or 8 stone 2 (new boyfriend) looks better on me.

For me eating "clean" and for the last 5 or 6 years mostly paleo/primal and being 100% off sugar and processed foods is much more important than losing weight so keeping up this way of eating for life is my goal in particular it reduces risks of diabetes, obesity, dementia and depression which are the four killers for which I largely blame sugar. Even if I never lost another pound that would be fine.

I think I am now about 10 stone so want to lose a stone at least. Highest weight 12 stone but I was 40 weeks pregnant with twins!! (twins rarely stay in that long)

I like IF as it is consistent with paleo/primal principles and was how our ancestors often were (as food was short at times). It also sits well with keto eating which is used for reduce epilepsy in children and indeed seems pretty much to improve lots of medical conditions . When I eat like this I am not so hungy so skipping the occasional meal works well.

I use websites like reddit keto and paleohacks and Mark's daily apple.

MelanieCheeks Thu 02-Jan-14 16:53:26

Just bumping this thread up for the New Year rush smile

I loved the fact that I was celebrating New Year at a lower weight than I'd started in January.

Eatriskier Thu 09-Jan-14 08:09:41

Thank you everyone who has put their tale up so far. thanks and congrats to us all!

lucyintheskywithdinos Fri 10-Jan-14 10:44:03

I discovered fasting in June last year. I've been obese for 10 years, since I was 19 and had tried all kinds of diets, none of which I could stick to. Finally, I started 16:8 which eased me into fasting and weight just fell off me!

Weigh ins looked like this...

July 1 13.8
August 1 12.7
September 3 12.0
October 4 11.7
November 19 10.10
December 18 10.6

I'm 5'3 and still have a last stone to lose, but I have gone from a size 20 to a 12 and have stupid amounts of energy. I'm aiming for a BMI of 23 as I have a medium frame size.

My only struggle has been to not get obsessive and eat too little on NFDs, if I do that I can't manage FDs...stick to your TDEE - ish!

EarSlaps Fri 10-Jan-14 22:51:46

Lucy, that's amazing! I'm still maintaining nicely (I posted above as Wrigglebum) and managed Christmas without any extra pounds gained. I've been mixing up what I do and just keeping a careful eye on my weight and measurements . Some weeks I do 6:1, sometimes a couple of c800 cal days. It's nice to be flexible.

wildwater Thu 16-Jan-14 15:51:39

Hola todos! I have been asked to post my story here, so here goes. Will try to stick to my weight-loss story...

I describe myself as 63 years YOUNG, which has been backed up by several health professionals who have told me that my body-age is a good ten years younger than my chronological age - and that was before I began doing 5:2.

I do not have children of my own, but am stepmother to my husband's 15 year old son, Aunty to many nieces & nephews, and enjoy good relationships with the children of many of my friends. Thank you to all the Mumsnet crew for welcoming me here. smile

My 'statistics' are this:

5'2" (157cm)
Heaviest weight ever: 14 stone
Before starting 5:2: 83 kilos
After just over a year on 5:2: 9 stone 1lb (58 kilos)

My initial goal was to reach ten stone, then after that to drop under 60kg. (I still get confused converting.) Now, I want to gradually drop the final four kilos to reach eight and a half stone, which is considered the ideal weight for my height.

I was not an overweight child or teenager. Around 20, back at the turn of the 60s into the 70s, I created a difficult situation for myself that resulted in an ongoing life imbalance for many years. I became a human yo-yo, bouncing back & forth from fat to thin so many times that my friends sometimes would not recognise me.

I was a star dieter, and also a star binger! I would lose all my weight through various means - WW, JC, starving myself - but as soon as I was at my goal I would forget everything and start overeating again. It does not take long to put weight back on, especially when you are at that delicate stage of just having lost it.

My first breakthrough came after I had been seriously ill (a misdiagnosed appendicitis that 'leaked) and I found myself ravenous. I was not overweight at that time, but realised that if I didn't do something about my eating I would be back in the weight-gain elevator.

What happened was: I found Overeaters Anonymous. This was a revelation for me. Suddenly there were people around me who understood where I was at, and we all listened to each other without interrupting. I had never come across such honesty before. The focus was not on food or dieting. What I learned was: it's not what you're eating that's the problem, it's what's eating you. Remembering that has been extremely useful in subsequent years. The emotional aspect of overeating cannot be underestimated, in my humble opinion.

At the beginning of December 2012 I read an article about 5:2 in the NZ. Listener. It made a lot of sense to me so I researched online and began doing 5:2 shortly after. I was running and cooking for our takeaway business at the time, prone to snacking ( a chip here and a mouthful of cheese there). Although I was definitely overweight I fooled myself I wasn't REALLY that fat, because I had previously been so much bigger!

Those first few weeks the weight dropped off so fast that my beloved LL (for Latin Lover) noticed what I was doing and joined me doing 5:2.

I had given up almost completely on the idea of ever being slim. However I was pre-diabetic, and my blood pressure was high for the first time in my life. I was in fact 'inspired' to lose weight by the negative example of several relations, who remain seriously obese. (They do not know this...the reaction to my new shape when they last saw me was "gosh you are looking gaunt". Comparatively yes, but no!)

Just over a year later I have changed my life almost completely. LL & I have shifted countries to live in his native Argentina. We are building a house in the Lake District of Patagonia, high up in the mountains just across the border from Chile. I am learning to speak Castellano, doing lots of exercise - walking probably at least ten hours a week, plus doing yoga three times a week - and have never felt fitter or healthier in my entire life.

I am cooking huge l meals for our extended household - nine people at the moment - from the fresh local produce that abounds here. At the moment it's all cherries & berries, so the old refrain 'life is just a bowl of cherries' is apt.

What I am enjoying most is the feel of my body now that it's not submerged beneath all that extra flab. I can actually RUN, and not get puffed. Yoga is giving me back my flexibility. I have no trouble staying in a headstand for thirty breaths.

So, if I can do it, anybody can! The joy of 5:2 is that you really CAN eat what you LIKE. It does help if you avoid traps like processed food, sugar and too much alcohol. I used to drink a fair bit, but now I am smaller I can't handle more than a couple of glasses, which is hard to get used to but is really a bonus.

LL & I have come to the point where we actively look forward to and enjoy our FDs. At the start it was lonely, disorienting and boring...until I learned to fill those times when I would be eating with something else. That you can always say 'I'll eat that tomorrow' is one of the keys to success on 5:2. You can have that huge slice of cake if you really want it...and when it comes to it you may well not.

To round off, one of the things I have noticed is that my appetite is much less than it used to be. I have to remember to serve myself half of what I used to eat. I am perfectly happy eating smaller portions. I have also flagged eating breakfast ( once my favourite meal) which makes it far easier to get through the day.

Apologies for being so long-winded but it is hard to put such a scattered history into a few paragraphs. I wish everybody who cares to read this the very best results from following 5:2 (or whatever combination works for them).

Salut & cheers to you all flowers grin

MelanieCheeks Thu 16-Jan-14 16:55:45

I don't think I'm terribly inspirational, but 5:2 has definitely changed the way I eat.

I started out by eating 3 meals a day and snacks on FDs - tricky, but doable. I learned that salad and veg were good, so much can be had for very few calories.
Then I dropped the snacks.
Then I reduced the lunches to very light soup.
And then I dropped breakfast - I never thought I'd be able to do that!

I've got my bmi down to under 25 - just. I'd like it a little lower, but this isn't a quick mehtod, and I'm happy to continue for benefits other than just weight loss. I'm delighted that I persuaded my sister and husband to try it - they've both done brilliantly - and even my mother is having the odd fast day.

I recognise how different foods will make me feel, especially sugars and carbs.
I'm less tolerant of alcohol.
I can say no to temptation...well, most of the time.

BetsyBell Thu 16-Jan-14 18:20:00

Betsy's 1 year in review - started 15th January 2013:

I have spent most of the year doing 5:2 with 2 meals on fast days - a small lunch at 12.15 plus small dinner at 6pm. Sometimes just one meal in the evening. I usually have the 500 calories, occasionally more on my second fast of the week.

My stats feature earlier in this thread so this post is about changes in my attitude to food, hunger and appetite that have occurred thanks to a year of 5:2 fasting.


No fear of hunger
Smaller appetite and fill up very quickly
Eating is more mindful
More likely to make healthier choices and rarely buy or have junk in the house
Prefer healthier food
Can barely tolerate over-salted food
Far less enjoyment of highly sugary foods
Unlikely to eat lower quality chocolate if offered and never buy it
Less tolerant of alcohol
More moderate with alcohol
No longer dependant on hi-carb foods
Less enjoyment of most hi carb foods (except bread)
Still love bread but eat less of it less often and can usually eat it in moderation

I now acknowledge that my TDEE is quite low and I don't need an extra piece/slice of anything
Acknowledged to myself that actually my DH and DSs should eat more than me and follow their lead/let them eat the biscuits (should there be any)
Acknowledged that I am now a slim person (that took a surprisingly long time to do)

I am very happily maintaining around a weight that suits me. I will continue to 5:2 in the same way for life. If I stop I know my appetite (and therefore weight) will incrementally increase if there are no fast days to punctuate my eating and reset my appetite. Christmas and holidays when I pause the 5:2 have shown me this. I prefer how I feel when I fast twice a week.

graceholl Thu 16-Jan-14 19:54:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frenchfancy Sat 18-Jan-14 13:31:06

I hope no one minds me linking to a thread in another forum but I feel it belongs in this inspiration section.

This amazing lady has lost 105lbs doing 5:2 !

Check out the before photo on the first page and the now photo on page 4.

Breadandwine Sat 18-Jan-14 14:22:49

Not at all, FF! The 52fastdiet forum and these threads should be read in conjunction with each other, IMO!

Thanks for posting this, she truly is an inspiration and certainly belongs here! smile

headintheclouds Fri 31-Jan-14 19:19:35

it's my 1st 5:2 Anniversary so thought I'd add my annual report !
Started 5:2 Jan 29 th 2013 ,
5 ft 3 , age 49 weighing in at 11 st 5 lbs , had been 11 st 9 at my heaviest and being a shortie it didn't look good ! I DID NOT want to be fat at 50 ..hell I didn't actually want to be 50 ..
My stats were 42 chest
38 waist
40 hips. dress size 16 ,nudging 18.

I ve had my WI today , I'm now 9st 12 lbs
Chest 38
Waist 31
hips 38. Dress size 12/14.

I'm NOT fat at fifty which was my main motivator! I've done 5:2 all along and 6:1 at Christmas time (but put a couple of pounds on over the holidays.) and just eat my 500 cals in the evening ,drinking lots of tea / coffee during my fast.
I've not had a dramatic weight loss like some and it's been very slow, but I'm 21 lbs lighter and feel great ,am less bothered about the weight loss being slow because it'll come off when it's ready. I was very happy in my size 12 Christmas party dress which is on my profile page.
I'd like to lose a little more .( goal is 9st 7lbs)
And I'd like to end by thanking everyone who inspired and supported me especially in the early days when all I did was moan about the slow weight loss TIP Bsshh * B&W et al...

Megrim Sun 02-Feb-14 11:15:24

Wow*headintheclouds*, you're looking fab!

DorisAllTheDay Sun 02-Feb-14 14:45:51

Wow, just read through this thread. Fantastic stories, folks. Hello headintheclouds from another 49-er hoping not to be fat at fifty.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 02-Feb-14 15:51:00

Well done, HeadInTheClouds You look great, sophisticated and swish leading up to your 50th. Happy 5:2 anniversary !
Slow & steady weight loss is healthy, sustainable and avoids loose skin problems.

headintheclouds Fri 07-Feb-14 00:02:13

Thanks for all your lovely comments ,doris megrim and bcf

I am actually 50 now * Big Choc*.

Tiredemma Sun 16-Feb-14 10:12:12

amazing inspirations

Cant wait for the day I can post mine on here

BsshBossh Sun 16-Feb-14 16:16:30

Just to update my post up-thread: I've reached (actually gone past) goal and am now 122 lbs (BMI 20). So that's me done smile 6:1 to maintain, now; 5:2 as and when needed. What a journey!

jenniferlawrence Fri 28-Feb-14 10:31:48

My journey so far isn't all that inspiring as I've only been doing it for 6 weeks but I thought it might be helpful for anyone who has a history of eating disorders, a tendency to binge or a starting BMI within the healthy range. These are all reasons that I wasn't sure 5:2 would work for me but after 6 weeks I love it and have no plans to stop.

I used to comfort eat as a child which lead to being a bit chubby and feeling ashamed and self conscious. This led to strict dieting as a teenager which led to 10 years starving, binging and purging. I recovered from bulimia 10 years ago but in order to do so I had to stop trying to lose weight, stop weighing myself and just eat what I wanted. I now have a much healthier relationship with food and a healthy body image. However, when I eat what I want without being careful my BMI is around 23-24 which, as someone with a small frame, is not ideal. After having a baby I decided to try Slimming World to see if I could get back to a comfortable weight. Although I think SW is a great healthy eating plan, trying to stick to a strict diet every day set me up for failure and I ended up getting stuck back in a cycle of dieting, failing and binging. Over 4 months of this I'd lost 8 pounds but found it really hard work and felt miserable about the lack of control I felt about food and my eating habits.

At the start of January this year I tried to get back to following SW and exercising but I was really fed up of planning my life around low syn foods so couldn't get back in to it. That's when I thought I should try the 5:2 diet. When I first heard about it I thought it sounded faddy and unhealthy and that starving myself 2 days a week would lead to binging on NFDs. However, this turned out to not be the case at all. I am good at following a strict diet 2 or 3 days a week, I just can't do it every day and if I am 'allowed' to eat what I want some days a week then I shouldn't get the feelings of failure and the urge to overeat after having a bit of chocolate or eating out.

I set myself a target of sticking to 2 sub 500 calorie days a week for 6 weeks and not weighing myself during this time. I also decided not to count at all on NFDs and just eat my normal diet. My only aim for NFDs was not binge.

I have now finished the 6 week trial and I was pleased to find today that I have lost 4 pounds. Now I know that doesn't sound like a lot but bear in mind that I only want to lose up to 11 pounds in total and I have been drinking wine, eating out, eating chocolate and baking with the kids at weekends. Most importantly I have felt in control and have had no feelings of guilt for eating what I want on NFDs. I am thrilled that I have found a WOE that fits in with my lifestyle and enables me to gradually lose weight. For the first 4 weeks I did feel ravenous on NFDs and did eat more than normal but that has really settled down now so I think I will be able to be a bit more sensibly on NFDs from now on.

Other things that I like about the 5:2 WOE:

1 - No special foods to buy. On fast days I can eat a ready meal if I'm feeling lazy or some protein and veg and on NFDs I can eat whatever meals the rest of the family want. Therefore:
2 - Food bills are reduced.
2 - Fast days are a relief after a weekend of seeing friends and family and eating out. It feels like 2 little detoxes a week.
3 - Fast days are empowering. I can go without quite easily.
4 - I'm sleeping much better than before I started. I have no idea why.
5 - I do my fast days on work days so I don't have to prepare any food for work on those days or spend money in the canteen.
6 - I can follow this WOE without anyone noticing. For example, I don't want the kids to hear about dieting and restricting calories and it's easy to follow this WOE discreetly.
7 - I feel really positive generally since finding this WOE.

Sorry that was epic. I'm just really thrilled with finding this WOE and plan on carrying on long term.

Breadandwine Sat 01-Mar-14 11:42:53

Great stuff, Jennifer - you cover some really important points in your post! We're at opposite ends of the spectrum, in a way. You're just beginning, and I've just completed two years on this WOL.

I began 5:2ing exactly 2 years ago, dropping a day to 6:1 in October 2012 and maintaining - and I have to say, I've never felt so good, or so much in control - of my weight, and of my life!

This is not all down to IF, since I began a regime of weight-bearing exercises three months ago, which are obviously benefitting me - but I felt pretty damned good before I started those!!

I've put my story on my blog (still a work in progress):

Eatriskier Wed 05-Mar-14 16:59:48

Bumpety bumping

A quick update with me: I'm now at 8st 13lb, a whole 6 stone away from where I started. I am struggling to continue to fast twice a week and not lose weight, so am going to bite the bullet and throw some 6:1 weeks in and hope the positive effect still happens on my pernicious anaemia.

MazzleDazzle Thu 06-Mar-14 21:14:16

thanks reading this thread (again!) has stopped me over eating tonight, especially the pics.

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