By: Becca Bailey, as told to Emily Shiffer
My name is Becca Bailey, and I am 36 years-old. I am from Dallas, Texas, and I am a stay at home mom and former Elementary Art Educator.
My weight loss journey has been just that—a journey! I had weight loss surgery back in 2009. I lost a lot of weight, but gained the majority back over time because I did not change my lifestyle. It wasn’t until I was nearly 9 months pregnant with my third child that I knew I wanted to make a change. I found myself out of breath just sitting on the couch, and there was no way I’d be able to keep up with my three kiddos the way I wanted to if I didn’t change things. So about two weeks after he was born, I started WW and it was a perfect fit for my lifestyle and personality.
I was on a journey to get to my ideal goal weight when I was introduced to fasting. At my heaviest weight, I weighed 337 pounds. I had weight loss surgery back in 2009 and lost a lot but gained the majority back over time because I did not change my lifestyle. I first learned about it after my husband started fasting regularly on his weight loss journey a couple years ago. Initially I wanted to fast for the fat burning and cellular regeneration benefits after my weight loss slowed towards the end of my journey to hit my goal. So I started looking into fasting schedules, and tried a variety of ones before landing on what I enjoy now.
I am currently following a 16:8 daily schedule as a minimum. Sometimes I’ll break a little longer if it makes sense. It fits great into my schedule as a mom. It actually makes my mornings and evenings much less hectic, which as a mom of four littles (5 years old and under) is ALWAYS welcomed!
At first, I was skeptical of fasting. I wondered if I would notice a difference or even enjoy it. And truthfully, I was expecting to just feel ‘hangry’ all the time. But I didn’t struggle too much. It was an adjustment to get myself out of the habits of eating because of the clock, proximity to food, or boredom.
The biggest benefit I feel when fasting is control. I love how I don’t feel the need to eat simply because it’s “breakfast” time or because something is being offered to me. I also love how connected to my body I feel while fasting. And Zero has been such a great tool. I have been using it as long as I have been fasting. My husband actually used it before I did and had nothing but positive things to say, so when I began fasting I thought I would give it a shot. Zero is a LIFESAVER! I cannot tell you how often I forget the exact time I started my fast since it is tied to dinner, which is never at the same time for us. It’s so nice to know that the next day Zero will alert me that my fast has been completed. It’s one less thing I have to worry about tracking in my day to day because they do it for me. All I have to do is start the timer! I also love to look back on my history and see all my fasts stacked up!
Here’s what I typically eat in a day now:
Lunch: My favorite right now is chicken flavored cauliflower rice with sweet peas and blackened chicken tenders. Super filling and flavorful!
Dinner: Any type of casserole! As a mom, the dinner time rush can be chaotic. So I’m on board with any meal I can prep earlier in the day, pop in the fridge and just toss in the oven at dinner time. Tonight we’re having Chicken & Broccoli Spaghetti Squash Bake. https://www.instagram.com/p/CEaaUILhTnc/
Snacks: I am recently addicted to Nuts’n More protein spreads. My favorite is the White Chocolate Pretzel. It’s high protein, delicious and so satisfying! Dessert: I’m actually not huge on dessert (unless it’s in the form of cookie dough), but I do enjoy strawberries with chocolate hummus.
Here’s how I exercise:
I actually had a pretty regular exercise schedule before I started fasting, and continued to do that after beginning my fasting journey. Before COVID-19, I was a 5 a.m. gym person! I would go and do some cardio, weights, and stretching. I also love a yoga class and all things aerial yoga. Now, with COVID-19 ongoing in my area, I’m still not comfortable going to the gym. So I have a small workout area I’ve set up in our house with a Jumpsport trampoline, weights, bands, exercise ball, etc.
I workout in the mornings in my living room, which is towards the end of my daily fast, and my body feels extra alert when being active while fasting! Logistically, it’s just easier to not have to worry about making myself breakfast in the chaos of the mornings with four children. I’m also lucky enough to have a family Cargo Electric Assist Bike that can hold all four children, so we’ll go on bike rides around town to get a little fresh air.
These three changes have also made a huge impact on my overall weight loss.
Change 1: I valued myself and put routines in place to show that.
These include working out regularly, making healthier eating choices, and taking time for myself. For a long time I felt guilty having “me” time because it meant time away from my kids and that my husband had to do more of the heavy lifting than if I had been there. Now I realize that taking that time to focus on my health (physical, mental, and emotional) benefits everyone! If mom is good, then I’m a better wife, mother, etc.
Change 2: I changed my mindset on what I’m ‘supposed’ to do.
I grew up hearing and believing that I needed to eat three meals a day, clean my plate, etc. Now I trust my body. If I’m hungry, then I eat. But if I’m not, then I don’t. It sounds simple enough, but trusting your own journey and what works for you can prove to be hard if it’s not mainstream or what you grew up believing.
Change 3: I gave myself permission to break a fast.
My one rule when it comes to fasting is that I do not want to have a negative association with fasting. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into building a healthy relationship with food, and I want to keep that strong. What that means is if I find myself in the middle of a fast and feeling hungry or resentful, I break the fast early without guilt and remind myself that I can try again later.
I have lost a total of 169 pounds.
Fasting has helped me gain a healthy perspective on food and my relationship with it. As someone who has literally lost half their body weight, it can seem daunting to start the quest of getting healthy, and it can be hard along the way. But YOU ARE WORTH IT! You’re worth every hard choice you have to make, every fall you have, and every ‘pick yourself up’ moment. When you find a healthy, balanced lifestyle, you won’t even remember those moments. You’ll be too busy enjoying the life you deserve!