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  • Welcome to this DECEMBER 2021 CHALLENGE – LAST ONE FOR 2021!

    I’m delighted to be your host as this month is my 5th anniversary of reaching maintenance 😇 I wish everyone good luck and a successful month in every way.

    It’s hard to believe that @coda started this series of monthly challenges way back in May 2016 and so many of us have had amazing support to start and continue on our 5:2 journey.

    So, here’s how this works (same as it has always been):

    1. Start your daily post with the day of the month, where you are from, and if you’re on a fast day (FD); a non-fast day (NFD) or a controlled day (CD) (e.g. for 1st of December it would go something like “Day 1 – UK – FD”).

    2. Give a quick intro about yourself in the very first post – mostly for the benefit of the newbies. A brief blurb about your journey so far and what you aim get from this way of life (WOL). Also if you wish, your starting weight and any other measurements (waist, hip, bust etc) you aim to keep track of throughout the month. You can record this on the spread sheet or if you are unable to I’m happy to fill it in for you!

    3. You can add any comments/questions/moans/whinges/triumphs… or anything you feel like you want to share with the rest of the forum. We all have good days and bad days, days we fall off the wagon and days when we hang in there for dear life………so if you want to share it – post it.

    Recipes, tips, tricks and questions can also be shared – most of us are logged on at one time or another and can clarify things, offer advise, support etc when needed – this is the great thing about this international forum, there’s always someone online!!!!

    Over the course of these monthly challenges, there have been small groups doing their own mini-challenges – called ‘pocket fasters’ or ‘pocketeers’ – they set a target and support each other through it. Anyone can join one of these groups or start a mini pocket fast – it’s entirely optional and flexible.

    5:2 basics – answers to many FAQs plus top tips:

    ABBREVIATION LIST – useful for those new to the challenges

    Common abbreviations used throughout this challenge and added to on an ongoing basis:
    16:8 – 16 hours fast 8 hours non fast
    5:2 – 5 days NFD:2 days IF
    ADF – Alternate Day Fasting (FD – NFD – FD – etc. etc. etc.…….)
    B2B – Back to Back (consecutive FDs)
    BMR – Basal metabolic Rate
    CFD – Controlled Fast Day (a FD below your goal weight TDEE, whatever that is!!!)
    DH,DD, DS – Darling Husband Daughter, Son
    DTF – Dry ‘Til Fri (for those limiting the booze to weekend only ………….. & aiming for sainthood!!!!)
    EE – Emotional Eating (reflex grazing out of a need for instant comfort instead of satisfying hunger)
    EFS – Epic Face Stuffing (we’ve all had one of those days……………. Definitely due to a faulty OFF button!)
    FD – Fast Day (500 cals)
    HUNGER DRAGON – that dreadful psychological beast that sometimes cannot be satisfied. Some people even name theirs (e.g. @i-hate-lettuce has an inner warthog!)
    IF – Intermittent Fasting
    Keto – way of eating that generates Ketones
    K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid!!!………………or Sexy!!!
    LC – Low Carb way of eating
    LCHF – Low Carb High Fat way of eating
    LFD – Liquid Fast Day (incl. tea, coffee, miso, bone broth & water)
    LOL – Laughing Out Loud
    M/WOAM – Man/Woman on a Mission (courtesy of @i-hate-lettuce)
    MFD – Modified Fast Day (800 cals) on the new Fast800, it’s a FD
    NFD – Non Fast Day
    OH – Other Half (eg spouse/partner)
    OMAD – One Meal A Day
    PFDS – Post FD Smugness (courtesy of @penz)
    TDEE – Total Daily Energy Expenditure (see the ‘how it works’ link on the home page to work out yours)
    TRE – Time Restricted Eating
    WFD – Water Fast Day (Water only)
    WFH – Working From Home ……………….. Covid-19 enforced!!!
    WOL – Way of Life
    WOCA – Women Of a Certain Age
    ZBC – Zero Breakfast Club

    Here is the link for the December spreadsheet for those who want to use it – hopefully I have given access to all to input as they wish:

    My personal motto for this WOL is:-
    “If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now”

    Day 0 – USA/GA – I’m in for December!

    I am a 47 y/o male in northeast Georgia in the US, and have lost 68 lbs since January 2020. My goal is to lose an additional 57 lbs to get to a mid-range healthy weight (although truthfully, if I get to the high end of “healthy”, I’ll be thrilled). I am also hoping to no longer be categorized as “obese” before the end of winter next March. This month, encouraged by my “moving off the plateau” over the past few months, my month’s target will drop reasonably to 209 lbs. I plan to do this, and hopefully surpass this goal, by sticking to a basic 5:2 WOL with a rare 4:3, converting most if not all of those FDs from 500 kCal to WFDs, exhibiting mindful eating on most NFDs, AND by considering the factors mentioned by Jason Fung in his book “The Obesity Code.”

    Day 0 – Rural Nebraska, USA – I’m also in for December!

    I’m a woman just over a week away from my 63rd birthday, and am finally down to ~140 lbs. I was 165 for quite awhile, lost it in 2015, then slowly gained it all back. I started again 2/26/20 and it’s been slow going, but I seem to have found some momentum by incorporating water fasts and avoiding refined carbs. Back when I was still 5’4″, this weight would have had me much thinner, but now that I’ve shrunk to 5’2″, I need to lose more. My ultimate goal is at least 132 (which is what I weighed almost without effort in my 30s and 40s), and perhaps even 125. In the meantime, I at least feel much happier in my body at this weight than I have at any point between here and the 165 I was for so long; the challenge is not to become complacent at the improvement so that I quit striving for excellence.

    My goal for December is to do a WF on every Tuesday and Wednesday until Christmas, when we travel to California to gather with my family.

    Day 0 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – NFD

    Count me in please @at & thank you for hosting the December 2021 Challenge 🤗

    About me:- David, 59. Originally from Manchester in the UK, living in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, on the east coast of South Africa. I started fasting in 2014 after seeing Michael Mosley’s ‘Eat, Fast & Live Longer’ documentary & reading his ‘Fast Diet’ book. I got serious with fasting after I retired in 2018 & realised I was gaining weight. I wasn’t exactly overweight but at one point my BMI was hovering around 25. I now follow TRE, seldom eating before noon. I do mostly 5:2, I don’t eat before 6 pm on fast days & I’m currently maintaining at around 70.5 kgs.

    Day 0 – USA (Illinois) NFD

    I’m in! Haven’t missed a challenge since @coda in May 2016 having begun 5:2 in mid-March at nearly 200 pounds (90kg) at 5’6″ BMI nearly obese. By the end of that year, I lost 40 pounds, down to 72.5kg that I have pretty much maintained for nearly 5 years. I’m content at this weight at 73 years old to help the wrinkles from showing up too much!

    I am Gwynne, married women in Illinois, 4 children, 5 granddaughters, retired school music teacher. I still do a few private piano lessons, some church music, and community choir. I’m an avid University of Illinois fan, now into basketball.

    @at – you’re the best to take us on! I look forward to seeing long-time pals here and meeting newbies.

    Onward and downward.

    Day 1, NFD, Aus

    Pinch and a punch for the first of the month! Or “rabbits!”.

    Thank you @northgeorgia for hosting last month – may your trajectory south continue. And thank you @at for guiding us through to the end of the year.

    @mariaelena – I love shortbread and we have a HUGE rosemary bush at home. Would you mind sharing your rosemary shortbread recipe?

    Have a great start to December, everyone.

    @penz see My husband’s favourite YouTube chef

    He is quite entertaining to watch, so I recommend the video.

    These shortbread cookies have become our favourite

    Day 1 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – NFD

    Sober October & No Booze November over. Dry December? Maybe. I’m sure I mentioned this before, but I’m still amazed by how much more I can eat without gaining weight since I stopped drinking. It almost feels like cheating. And I wasn’t exactly getting plastered every night. There has to be more to it than ‘calories in, calories out’.

    Wishing everyone a successful December Challenge! 🔥

    Day 0 – AUS – 16:8

    Thank you AT for hosting the December 2021 Challenge! Hello everyone!

    About me:- Garfy 55kg. In sydney australia. Lost 10kg in last 5 years by stress due to job problems, exploring whole food plant based, slight intermittent fasting. A bit of yo-yo with pandemic and busy work. Keen to lose 5kg steadily within 12 mths to reduce muscle pain and circulation problem. Busy at work today, too much coffee and sugar… 😅
    Start: 55kg
    Today: 55kg

    Day 1 – Ireland – FD 🚫✅
    162 lbs

    Thanks for hosting @at 🌟 !

    Welcome to the newcomers and hello to anyone lurking out there… missing those regulars who are not posting at the moment 💕

    The first challenge I joined was October 2017…and I’ve been intermittently fasting in all senses of that phrase 😂 since. Sometimes it’s hard to do but you fall off and you just climb back on again… 🧗‍♂️ I’m posting my starting weight here so that I can refer back on January 1.

    My name is a little play on words as I am a french speaker so “J’ai faim” means “I’m hungry” but also stands for Just Another Intermittent Fast And I’ll Maintain…it makes me smile 😊

    I’ve touched on my ideal weight (160 lbs) once or twice but never stayed there… one day soon I will 💪. Ideally I’d like to get to a little below and then bob between that and target.

    I’m very active, very muscular but carry weight in my hips and tummy.. unfortunately weight comes off my face first…
    I love being outdoors even in our lovely Irish weather and cycle, walk, swim and now do a short early morning workout on weekdays.

    I’m pretty much staying away from alcohol 🚫 so “on the dry” and have reduced added sugars ✅ as much as I can 😂 but I do love beer and tasting new gins etc so so have a tipple from time to time…

    I have two auto immune conditions and the above definitely cause flare ups… along with hormone deficiencies now due to my age. My little icons help me to stick to clean nutrition.
    But….. life is for living and like others I tend to have one blowout (EFS) day a week where I eat crisps, a little chocolate etc – it has to be done 😊

    Go gently this month – we all have a lot on our plates right now but remember that one thing WE can control is how much we eat from that plate!

    Onward and downward ⬇️
    We rise by lifting others 💕

    Pocket List Day 1 🎄

    Day 1 UK FD

    Thank you for guiding us @at 🌟

    A little about me – lifelong “struggling with my weight “ person, lost and put back the same 20lbs all my adult life Joined coda on the first ever challenge and found 5:2 hit a chord and when I do it right it’s great , for health and so much more But sticking to it is my challenge I’m currently mid – way that is 10lb above my goal , realistically if I can get a small drop in December I’ll be happy , like everyone else I have a lot of family gatherings, parties, get togethers on so I’m aiming to squeeze in 5:2 days when I can and hope to balance things out

    Looking forward to the journey with fellow fasting friends old and new 💪

    Pocket list Day 1 🌲

    Day 1 Melb Aust NFD

    @at I’m in for December. Actually lost 0.2 of a kg last month, which is way better than a gain. Aiming for a 4 kg loss this month, but hey! – any loss is a win.

    About me – 72 year old single female with a household ruled by ginger tabby Wilbur. Former ESL teacher and medical lab. scientist, currently doing some retirement study that keeps me busy. Love reading and gardening at home, plus my church involvement.

    Day 1 – USA/GA – NFD

    Weigh-in: 214 lbs. I’ll do another FD tomorrow and then a change in strategy. I’m going to switch completely to 5:2 and hang up 4:3 for the month. This happened before — I drifted into 4:3 as the “norm” and after a couple of months of spectacular results, it flatlined. I suspect the extra day has subconsciously made me think I’m a lot hungrier than normal and after the holiday feast, the NFD food intake quantity and choices likely changed for the worst. I haven’t hit the 212 or lower number since Thanksgiving (ranging 214-218 now). Going back to 5:2 will make me re-evaluate food decisions (Fung-mindedness) and should put me on track.

    Good luck to all for December and thanks to @at for hosting.

    Day 1 – UK – ?FD800?CD

    Not sure what today will bring – have just completed FD500-FD800…….feeling in a good place at the start of this December Challenge ☺️

    Welcome to everyone who has joined so far @northgeorgia @stitchincarol @funshipfreddie @songbirdme @penz @mariaelena @garfy (a newbie to these challenges 🤗) @jaifaim @brightonbelle @betsylee

    December is a tough month but together we can motivate and support each other 🤗

    @mariaelena – that rosemary shortbread sounds and looks delicious!
    FUNSHIPFREDDIE – well done on your sober October, November and ?December – I think that the problem with alcohol is not just the empty calories but it stimulates us to nibble hence we eat more without often realising …….
    @garfy – welcome to the December challenge – we are an International group who offer support, advice with no judgement – there is no right or wrong way but it’s about finding a way that works for you – looking forward to getting to know you

    Forgot to weigh this morning so will now wait until the end of the week with the aim of getting another couple of FDs under my belt as I seem to be in the mood and right mental approach at the moment 💪

    Did a bit of shopping then met with friends for a coffee sitting outside in a protected and heated outdoor space – volunteering this afternoon should keep me busy and away from food so planning on a OMAD FD800 today 🤞 will add myself to the pocket list for motivation and RESOLVE

    Pocket List Day 1 🎄
    @at ?FD800

    Day 1 – Rural Nebraska, USA – WFD2/2

    Yesterday’s WF was uncomfortable; given how many carbs I’d been eating, I was hungry all day. But between my piano lessons and my errands, I was busy enough that I ignored those grumblings. Today will be tougher as I’m finally mixing up cookie dough and scooping it, so that face mask will be firmly in place!

    I finally found suet yesterday; I called several butchers and got “Sure, tomorrow” and “Sure, end of next week” and finally got “Sure, come on by and pick it up.” It was straight off the cow however (that’s probably not how a butcher would phrase it…), so I had to put it in the crockpot overnight until it melted; in a little bit, I’ll pour it through a sieve and then into a mini loaf pan and cool it until it’s hardened, and then I’ll have suet ready to grate and bake with! I sure hope my family actually likes the Christmas Pudding I’m working so diligently to accurately bake, LOL!

    @at Is it common in the UK still to have two taps, rather than a mixer tap? I was suspecting that’s what you meant, but it’s very rare to still find two taps at a sink in the US; generally they’re in a bathroom sink–a very OLD bathroom sink in an old house.

    @songbirdme Is that bit of a headache as bad as you got after your booster? I pray so!

    @basyjames Such a delight to have you back, and such a giggle to read how little interested you are in baking. Every time I send the menu and grocery list to my eldest sister, who always hosts the big family gatherings in California every other year, she asks me if I’d like to move to California and ALWAYS cook, LOL. She assures me she’d be happy to do the dishes if I did the cooking! DH and I have actually considered that, when he’s finally fully retired, we actually could go spend January with her since she has a large home with plenty of room. Winter in Monterey, California? Yes, please! 😂❄🌨⛄

    @mariaelena The reason I worked so hard to source some baking suet is because the melting point is higher than Crisco, lard, or butter, making the pudding lighter. Plus, it adds a flavor you don’t get with the others, or so I read. It sure smells as if I’m cooking a pot roast, a strange smell for 6am! Oh, and DS25 and I also love Chef John with his delightful intonations; thanks for sharing the link to the recipe! And how did your body react to your booster? Are you mostly okay?

    @babs_b I watched several YouTube videos last night about making Christmas Pudding, and one gal said she’s actually made her pudding on Christmas Eve and served it on Christmas Day and it was perfectly lovely. So that assured me that, while making it ahead of time probably does make it lovelier, that doesn’t mean it won’t be lovely making it on the 1st of December; I was much comforted by her assurances.

    @funshipfreddie Were you drinking carb-heavy alcohol? After all the beer I’d been drinking over the past week, I’d gained 6 pounds; after Monday’s FD and yesterday’s WF, I’m down five of them. I’m always astonished at how carbs make my weight shoot up, but also at how easily the weight shoots back down when I cease and desist.

    @garfy Welcome! This is a wonderful group, full of help and kindness and wisdom on the 5:2 life, and we’re all glad to have you!

    @jaifaim I too am a beer lover, and to have gone all of September and October with less than one total beer was nothing short of astonishing…that behavior was matched only during my three pregnancies! 😂

    @northgeorgia Thanks again for hosting November, and I love your “Fung-mindedness”!!

    I used to always lose a couple pounds in early December because, as a church musician, I was so busy I didn’t eat as much and didn’t nibble at all. Then I hit my 50s and that no longer happened. That memory popped up yesterday, and I realized that, instead of dreading December as a tough month–a sure-fire way of sabotaging any efforts I make, to be so mentally discouraged before I begin–I need to welcome December as the busy month it is. Important mind-switch, right? Plus, tomorrow I start teaching three more piano lessons in Omaha in the late afternoon. That means I could, if I felt the urge, rather easily do a WF starting after supper on Monday and not break it until some time on Friday. That actually feels a bit obsessive, so I think I’ll eat something on Thursday afternoon before I leave, and then be done until supper on Friday. Or maybe I’ll actually do it; who knows. Then, if I can find sufficient resolve to have CDs on Friday through Sunday, and a 500 calorie FD on Monday, I should see serious weight loss. That’s the plan, anyway.

    Plus, on NYE (while in California) some of the family is dressing up in suits and blingy little black dresses and going out; the only thing I don’t like about how mine looks is my little belly pooch, so I’m going to plank every morning in December. It’s time to be physical! Anyone want to join me in that commitment?

    Pocket List Day 1 🎄
    @at ?FD800
    @stitchincarol WF 2of2

    Day 1 – recovery

    Unfortunately the booster shot has left me feeling pretty ill, in bed with chills, exhaustion, low fever, muscle aches, stuffy head and headache. Typical flu-like symptoms. I prepared well with everything I need at bedside. And I must say, I am better off than I was 6 mos ago after 2nd shot. Still I’m mostly sleeping with my feline companions. They, at least, consider it a treat day to stay in bed and cuddle with me.

    Don’t have the energy to write up an introduction post today, but wanted to stop by for accountability- no appetite means I’ll probably have soup and salad later today so it may even turn into a FD 500, but I’ll do whatever seems best for recovery.

    No worries, I typically have strong reactions to flu shots and vaccines 🤷‍♀️

    Have a great day to all! And if anyone tries the rosemary shortbread recipe, let me know if you like it as much as DH and I!

    2nd post

    @stitchincarol “little belly pooch”! Yup, I got that too. I’m trying to attack it with hula hooping for 20 minutes a day. So starting tomorrow -I’ll join you in spirit. A different exercise but same goal 😀

    Day 1 Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 FD

    Hello, I’m back! I need the daily login here this month to help me to stay focused during the build up to the festive season and to provide daily discipline to stop me falling into the daily Irish cream and mince pies habit just because it’s December.

    Bit about me: 62 F discovered these challenges in summer 2017 and by summer 2018 I had lost 30 pounds doing basic 5:2. Since then I have more or less maintained by continuing to do two FDs a week, if I don’t stick with it the weight creeps upwards scarily quickly. My usual FDs are Monday and Thursday but I feel in the mood today and want to start the month strong so today is a FD and tomorrow will be a CD.

    @at thank you for hosting this crazy most challenging month of the year and so good to see old friends still here.

    My plan for the month is to resist festive feasting until 21st when DH and I have a special at home solstice dinner planned.

    Have a good day/evening everyone, together we are stronger 😊

    Day 1 North Canton OH FD
    I so love day 1, so new so fresh, so chockful of possibilities. I have been fasting for the last 6 years and it has become a way of life for me now. I have met my goal a few times, maintained, gained and lost and it is all now par for the course. Lately I have been seeking and reading books on health maintenance. I just finished the Circadian Code and now I am reading The Complete Guide to Fasting, also by Jason Fung.
    I weighed in this morning which I rarely ever do on day 1 and I plan to weigh in every morning this month because silly season! I am starting the month at 170 pounds, like @jaifam I am posting here to refer to it on December 31st.
    I will be turning 47 on January 5th 2023; most of the time I don’t feel older but I can tell that things are just not the way they used to be. Time-creep, meno-creep, everything-creep. In addition, weight loss is way more difficult, and maintenance requires more diligence than I ever needed before. However, we press on because what are the options? I am just glad that I found this WOL because it works. Nothing else does.
    @stitchincarol giggling right along with you- LOL and I will join you in the planking challenge!
    @at thank you for hosting us during this difficult month, you always have just the right words to encourage
    @funshipfreddie I agree, there is definitely more to it than CICO. I just read a study that gut bacteria is affected by alcohol consumption and gut bacteria plays a bigger role in weight loss than many realize
    @garfy welcome to this warm and welcoming group. We are so happy to have you with us
    @mariaelena feel better soon

    Pocket List Day 1 🎄
    @at ?FD800
    @stitchincarol WF 2of2

    Day 1 USA – NFD

    Rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit (I need lots of “luck” or good fortune…) so I say that on the 1st of the month with our family. Today is also the day I put away all the fall decorations, clothes, and other orange-ish items. Don’t have time today to decorate for Christmas, but I will get to it soon.

    Just a quick post – had Silver Sneakers this morning but didn’t move the jabbed arm all that well.

    @mariaelena – sure do hope your side effects don’t last long!

    @stitchincarol – yes, just a very mild headache from booster jab (Moderna) but then arm started hurting as I was going to bed. Should have thought to have her do the right arm as I generally sleep on my left side.

    I am playing piano for a Taiza (meditative) Advent Service tonight at a local church. Will let you know how it goes. Right now we are off to the local theater where on the first Monday of the month, they have an “old” movie screened and talked about by two of our local retired history teachers. Very fascinating. Today is “When Harry Met Sally” but then they will have 2 more this month “White Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

    Catch up tomorrow I hope! Onward and downward.

    Second post

    @songbirdme I’m also in the middle of decorations: got the fall stuff down and put away on Monday, but haven’t managed to get out any Christmas. All in due time, right? Glad your arm wasn’t too painful. Your Taize service sounds lovely…and isn’t today the first WEDNESDAY of the month, not Monday?? 😉

    I’ve managed two batches, mixed, scooped, and on cookie sheets in the freezer. The first about killed me, and the second was worse for the first ten minutes–and then my mind shifted, and I’m doing okay. I’m sure moving slowly, however, so must hustle if I’m to finish two more batches within two hours. My head is aching, however, and I’m thinking food would fix it…hard to know just what the answer is, sometimes, huh?

    I keep thinking of Christmas Eve, and our trip to California, and how lovely it will be to be another few pounds down by then, so I’m trying to power through. We’ll see what some Excedrin does before I try food.

    @stitchincarol – duh, was I awake yet when I was posting that it was Monday?? Thanks for keeping me in touch. Glad you’re able to do your cookie fixing without too much trouble.

    The next show our theater historians will do is Chevy Chase “Christmas Vacation.” They always have such interesting tidbits about each show.

    Our own head church musician is now working for a local Catholic church as well. He was unable to play tonight, so asked if I could do it. I have only played at a couple Catholic weddings there, but this is different, but still somewhat liturgical.

    Day 2 CD country west Australia 85.9 kgs ( 189 lbs!!!)
    Day 1 NFD
    Thanks AT for hosting. Count me in for December.
    If I can do 5:2 for December I will put up my hand for January 2022.😲🤞
    I NEED to have a goal to aim for !
    Me – a female 60ish Health professional who SHOULD know better.
    I Started this WOL November 2016.
    Kept to 5:2 fairly strictly and reasonably easily lost 7 kgs in short time, got stuck on the plateau, took up residence on the bloody thing and … fast forward 2 years ,I gained weight in 2018 and I have hovered around 86 -89 kgs ever since. Don’t ask!!!!🙄🙄😳
    Past year or so I have half heartedly done 5:2 except it is more like 30:1 ish.🤔
    I start Day 1 with plenty of resolve and by about Day 3 my get up and go has got up and gone!! 🤨
    SO , since developing rather irritating gut issues this last part of the year am determined to do 5:2 as I first did and see if I can get below 84 kgs by Dec 31st. 🙏
    I find the accountability and support of this group really helps so plan to post daily ( I may have said that many times in the past BUT this is a new month…)
    I weigh daily but record weekly, Saturday morning. The definition of stupidity – doing the same old same old and expecting a different result.
    And yes over all that time I DID watch the scales creep up and up and UP … and didn’t do anything consistently to change things.
    I hate counting calories and didn’t ever do it before starting 5:2 but found I needed to plug the figures to work out how much I was eating – and it was WAY too much after I calculated TDEE.😲😳🙄
    Finding out just how little 500 calories is was a bit of a shock.😢
    800 calories works reasonably well but I get better results with 500 on a ‘ 2’ day so plan to try – in DECEMBER no less – to stick with 500 on FDs.
    We’ll see…
    I also LURVE to cook and have hundreds of cookbooks.🥦🍰🌮🍞🥟🥮
    Have yet to meet a carbohydrate I didn’t love…😔
    So a big HI to everyone and HOPING this month for me will be a better one for sticking with 5:2 and for my health. I like fasting for weight loss ( seriously ????? with those results ? ) but I really like it for the health benefits I got when I was consistently doing 5:2.
    I will TRY to join the plank challenge.
    Have to cut down/out the grog 😔 as it is not doing my gut any favours at the mo.
    Plan on doing more exercise than in the past few months.
    Well, in for a penny in for a pound or a kilogram or 10 in my case!!.
    I also like the sayings people come up with – I plan to use them for motivation.
    Wouldn’t it be good if some of the oldies from 2016 on popped in for a chat . 😁

    Day 2, NFD, Aus

    I usually do FDs on Mondays and Thursdays but I have work drinkies this afternoon. It won’t be a big event, but I’ll probably have a glass of wine. Which of course meant I “had” to have a banh mi for lunch.

    Thanks for the recipe @mariaelena – looks yummy AND easy. Perfect combination.

    @basyjames – I’m assuming reference to your birthday in 2023 was a typo. Or are you just going to ignore 2022 completely! I admit to feeling that way about 2020/21 due to the impact of COVID!

    Welcome, @garfy – nice to have another Aussie around.

    Day 2 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – FD

    @garfy – welcome! & welcome back to @missybear & @betsylee.

    @stitchincarol – no, I wasn’t drinking carb-heavy alcohol. Occasionally cider, but mostly red wine or spirits. And I would use sugar-free mixers if I was drinking spirits. I’m sure it’s something to do with how the alcohol interacts with digestion &, as @basyjames said, gut bacteria. Still, it’s nice not having to track calories on NFDs.

    @lilymartin – “Have yet to meet a carbohydrate I didn’t love…” 😂

    Pocket List – Day 2 🍏

    Day 2 – Ireland 🇮🇪 – NFD

    Sorry I missed the last few days of November and the start of December but I am still here!!! It’s just so madly crazy busy with family lately, full on, thus weekend will have to be a time to breathe before it starts all over again.

    I haven’t done a proper weigh in for December as I know it’s higher than last week…but onwards we go.

    Post properly tomorrow when I have more time. Xx

    Day 2 – AUS – 16:8

    Thank you for the warm welcome! Much appreciated…

    (1) Coffee/milk/1 sugar
    (2) 1 brown toast with avocado
    (3) 1/2 mango
    (4) Roasted eggplant potato carrot, basmatic rice, nutritional yeast sprinkle
    (5) Green tea and water

    Gd part: instead of 3,only 1 coffee.
    Gd part: morning walk 1 hour.
    Bad part: very long work day, stomach swollen from stress, need better sleep

    Start: 55kg
    Today: 54kg

    Day 2 – Lake District UK – FD

    Good morning everyone

    Well that plan went a little wrong! Firstly, sorry for my long absence, many of you on here gave me some fabulous support, particularly between September 2020 and May 2021 when I was having a very hard time with chemo and radiotherapy…. a little explanation …. grab a coffee 😉

    Back at the end of September I had ‘a cunning plan’ ….

    At that time we had decided to have a rest from ‘social media’ for a few weeks, give us time to recover and celebrate the highs and forget the lows of the previous year. Go and see ‘the kids’ and have a good catch up, then throw in some travel as well.
    We did all that, but what I hadn’t reckoned on was the reaction between the ears! I’d sort of lost sight of things, almost forgotten how to enjoy myself. Had concentrated so much on trying to beat cancer and get fit and well, just forgot how to get on with other things. So Mrs IHL and I were determined to ‘break the cycle’ and concentrate on us.
    Good move Maestro, off we went, a couple of holidays, including a fantastic cruise, where we both on the dance floor giving it large to a 70’s live group every night for two weeks, first up on the dance-floor and last off. Spa treatments every day and looked after incredibly well (we’ve cruised with the company a while and know loads of the crew) Other holidays, well we walked miles, we have a few places we like to stay and we were welcomed with open arms and they helped us make up for lost time.
    We then threw ourselves into raising funds for the local Cancer facility, which we have been doing for a number of years as Mrs IHL had treatment there as well a few years ago.

    As happens, time slipped away from us and it was only recently I thought it’s about time I re-joined some of my old routine, ie popping in here each morning, checked last night and saw how long it is since I last posted …. wow and sorry it’s been so long, certainly longer than intended!

    I haven’t looked back and read through all the posts, but noticed a lot of familiar names and I hope you and your families are all safe, well and life has been kind. We all know from experience the last bit doesn’t always happen, so we have to do the best we can.

    As for 5:2 WOL … despite not checking in and enjoying far too much good food and a small swimming pool of alcohol, changes over the last 12 month mean I don’t eat as much as I used to, the ‘Inner Warthog’ has obviously turned up on someone else’s doorstep. The exercise, although dropped off a bit, we’re still doing plenty of walks and the weight. Well, it’s exactly where it was just before I started treatment, I quickly lost a lot during that time as I couldn’t eat and the dieticians were encouraging me to try and put weigh ON …. Irony at its best!

    However, here we are, very happy and my head is ready to move on again.

    Take care all and here we go, back to a Thursday FD …..


    Day 2 OMAD London

    Just popping in to say hello. RBS is still going well, and my gut has recovered. Ahem…..thanks for the very useful advice in that department. Eating in a one hour window really suits me. Socially it can be tricky, but I think so long as I don’t try to stop people eating and drinking what they want, they aren’t that interested in what I’m doing. Or if they are, they should get a life….

    Day 2 – USA/GA – WFD

    Weigh-in: 216 lbs. Well, I misbehaved last night. It’s bad when you go back to thinking “I need to help finish up X, Y, and Z before it goes bad.” But come on, three bowls of things (including sugary cereal)?! What the heck was I doing? I tell you what’s wrong. 4:3. It’s warped my brain into thinking I have to chow down hard on NFDs, and it’s created a flat plateau this week. That’s why I’m switching to 5:2. This is my last WFD until Monday. I may try to convert a NFD into a proper filling OMAD on occasion, but doing 5:2 will force me to start being more mindful on day to day NFDs.

    Welcome back @i-hate-lettuce!


    Day 2 – 16:8

    Fever came down last night and I’m very exhausted but otherwise much improved over yesterday.

    We lost Margaret yesterday evening. Several times it seemed she had beat the damn breakthrough Covid but … we are heartbroken.

    Wishes for health and safety to you all.

    Day 2 – Rural Nebraska, USA – OMAD/500 calories

    Yesterday did not entirely succeed: the Mexican Wedding Cakes (butter, sugar, flour, chopped pecans) undid me, and I had five or six balls. I also ate a decent meal, and was right that it made my headache go away. But I didn’t eat anything else the rest of the day, and the scales this morning were down further to 138.4. This morning, I’ve already been racing to finish up my to-do list before I bake tomorrow; I’ll eat a couple eggs this afternoon, then head to Omaha for my three new students and won’t eat the rest of the day.

    @i-hate-lettuce Thrilling to have you back, and that you had such a lovely time with Mrs IHL; welcome, welcome, welcome back!

    @mariaelena I’ve been going to ask about Margaret multiple times, but never remembered when my fingers were on the keyboard; I’m so very sorry for your loss. <<<<<@mariaelena>>>>>

    Okay, I’m off!

    Take me off the pocket list. Pizza at work! Good thing I did my 5:2 already this week lol. I’ll probably eat light or omad today…

    Day 2 Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 CD

    Busy day so just a quick check in for accountability.

    Day 2 – UK – FD800

    Late posting as a busy day – left home at 8am to meet up with DD (1hr drive away) to join her on her dog walking business for the day – 5hrs of paired dog walks later – back home and showered and having a rest before my 6pm Pilates class……should sleep well tonight. It was a cold day with a maximum of 3 degrees but the sun was out so felt good to be out and enjoying the wonderful coastal scenery of where she lives – so different from my village surrounded by fells/mountains!

    Was too busy to stop for lunch so today should end up as OMAD FD800 meaning that I should complete a B2B2B2B FD – Good way to finish the last challenge and start this new one ☺️ Will weigh in tomorrow hoping to be below 58kg 🤞

    @stitchincarol – I know what you mean about that “little belly pouch” – I definitely notice mine is more pronounced when my carbohydrate and alcohol intake is up 🤭🤭 I’ll join in getting physical by increasing my walking commitment for this month – I already do 6 exercise sessions a week but my walking/hiking has been a bit hit and miss this last month
    @mariaelena – sorry to hear that your booster shot left you feeling under par, hope it does not last too long – rest and nurture yourself for now – just read about the loss of Margaret thinking of of you at this sad time 🤗
    @missybear – so lovely to have you join us for the last challenge of 2021 – I know exactly what you mean about needing the accountability of daily logging on here during this most tempting of months……
    @basyjames – Hi to you too – good to have your company and thank you for your kind words x
    @lilymartin – so glad you could join us – of course you can achieve your goal of doing 5:2 for December and YES it would be so good if some of the oldies from 2016 on popped in for a chat!!
    @penz – you had me salivating at the mention of banh mi – have not had one for ages, not easy to find in my neck of the woods….
    @daffodil2010 – I had been missing your posts – welcome to the December Challenge x
    @i-hate-lettuce – I was so glad to see your post appear – wonderful to hear that you and Mrs IHL have been having a fantastic time – your cruise sounds fabulous and I’m sure you needed the break to refocus on life after your trials and tribulations – looking forward to your daily posts 🤗
    @emma-taylor – welcome to you too – so lovely to see the numbers growing for this last challenge

    Hope I haven’t missed anyone new joining but got to go get ready for my Pilates class but adding myself to the pocket list to help maintain my RESOLVE for a light OMAD when I get back home

    @at F800

    Day 2 UK NFD

    Bit late – been out today getting my booster jab and doing a bit of shopping will catch up tomorrow but 👋 Barry – lovely to see you back with us x

    Day 3, NFD, Aus

    The sun is shining, I had a great walk at 0530 with the dogs, and my mood is much improved!! (Tho more rain is forecast. ) So funny last night. We were watching a movie on tv about a ghost who was unable to move on. The ghost witnessed his wife kiss someone and got very angry, causing the house lights to flicker dramatically. It scared our young pup and she hopped off the couch in fright! It always amazes me how much (and how little) they pick up from the tv. (She’s a cattle dog, and cows on tv always interest her.)

    SOOOOO good to see you back @IHL!!! You have been missed.

    I was ill a few weeks ago and I didn’t eat for about 4 days in a row. Since then, I’ve not done a FD but I’ve found my appetite is lower and I am almost automatically having smaller servings or being confident in telling OH I’m skipping dinner. A different kind of mojo has returned but I’m happy to keep it around.

    Aww @mariaelena, so sorry to hear about your lovely friend Margaret. My thoughts are with you, friends and family.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    Day 2 USA – NFD

    Had some leftover pork chop and veggies for lunch, just about 200 calories, but are having pizza for supper with salad. Bought Papa Murphy’s for a friend’s women’s auxiliary fundraiser, so we had to. DH also saw that they sell chocolate chip cookie dough! Disaster! Well, for him more than me – only had one this afternoon.

    @i-hate-lettuce – great to see you back in the fold! Your time away sounds like it was well worth every day.

    @emma-taylor – so wonderful to see you too! You are SO right – others who complain or worry about our eating ought to get a life!!

    @mariaelena – so sorry to hear you have lost Margaret. Sympathies and hugs to you. Glad you are feeling better, and my arm isn’t as sore today as it was yesterday.

    @stitchincarol – oh, those Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies do me in as well. Something about the powdered sugar coating probably. No, all of them.

    @at – isn’t it funny how appetite often leaves us as we are ill? Glad you’re better, and maybe glad the smaller servings are a good thing?

    @northgeorgia – I had to chuckle as you are so conscientious to remove yourself from the pocket list just knowing you’re having pizza! You ROCK!

    Onward and downward.

    Day 3 – AUS – 16:8

    (1) Coffee/milk/1 sugar, 1 biscuit
    (2) 1 brown toast with avocado
    (3) 1 homemade grapefruit orange juice
    (4) Roasted eggplant potato carrot, basmatic rice
    (5) Dinner out of control:
    Bought vietnamese wonton noodles, some takeaway restaurant seafood dumplings
    (6) Green tea and water

    Gd part: walk for 40mins
    Bad part: very long work day, going back to do more work after dinner 😅😅

    Start: 55kg
    Today: 54kg

    Day 3 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – NFD

    Good to have the first December FD out of the way. Last week’s postponed Jewel of India lunch happening today, I hope, & then on to play some 🎰

    Omnicron cases here have increased by 370% in the last 7 days.

    @i-hate-lettuce aka Barry – welcome back!

    Day 3 – Ireland 🇮🇪 – NFD

    I have the day off work and just about to head to town to get a start on the Christmas present shopping. Looking forward to a day to myself mooching about, and DH and I have declared this weekend to be lazy and do nothing and see nobody, so really looking forward to that.

    Then it all starts again until the New Year n

    Welcome back @i-hate-lettuce, it was so good to see your post Barry, you have been an inspiration to us all here and I am so happy to hear of the great times you and Mrs IHL have had in the past few months.

    Hey, I will be up in yours and @at‘s neck of the woods over Christmas…we are going to the Lake District to spend time with DH’s sister and mother and family. Never been there, should be great.

    @funshipfreddie…this omicron has the public health officials muttering darkly again, yet nobody knows how it will play out. Fed up with it. Enjoy your day out.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    Day 3 – Lake district UK – NFD

    Good morning everyone

    Thank you for the welcome back greetings, very much appreciated 🙂

    The break has really worked wonders for us, it has been the right thing to do, I don’t just mean from this forum group. There’s so much been going on in this last couple of years, not just for us, so deciding to focus on ‘getting my head on straight’ again was very much needed.

    Feel incredibly different, never slept as well for years, very much relaxed, focus has changed and moved along. The 5:2 WOL has also helped, despite (as I mentioned in my return post yesterday) eating far too much good food and consuming a small swimming pool (well maybe a paddling pool) of alcohol this last couple of months, I’ve not put on any weight over my target weight pre treatment!
    Although I feel as though the consumption has gone up, thinking about it, the ‘Inner Warthog’ has gone, so a MFS hasn’t happened, eating and drinking more than recently … nowhere near the days when the @Inner Warthog’ was in charge, if that makes sense.
    The excesses are a lot less than they used to be and even then not every day! So either way mind and body have almost gone into automatic pilot. We went to a large Christmas market recently, that would’ve seen us at several outlets, 3 or 4 glasses of Gluhwein with a similar amount of food as well, but no. Only one glass and 3 plates of food which we shared, much better! Plus 20 k steps on the Fitbit, no damage done. Hmmm, prattling along, happy to be back.

    @funshipfreddie … hope you’re keeping safe amongst the rapid rise in cases around you, similarly everyone else and your families around the group.

    @daffodil2010 … Brilliant to hear you’re visiting our area, especially as you’ve not been before, hope the weathers kind.

    Take care all.

    Day 3 – Ireland – NFD ✅ 🚫

    Hi everyone!
    I missed posting yesterday.. so busy here today it’s work, family and friends… all good just busy.

    Doing well food- choices wise… little added sugar ✅ and no alcohol 🚫. Lots of exercise and some Christmas shopping just to get started…

    I’ll join you for the daily plank @stitchincarol as did quite well a couple of years ago when someone challenged us to plank 🤸🏻‍♀️. It is great for our core stability.

    @mariaelena I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend Margaret. Thinking of you here.. oh.. meant to say… I know Gormanstown although have never been in to the college/castle.. I cycle up (from north Dublin) and around that area quite a lot. Some of my male friends were in school there… what a fab place to be educated! 🏰
    And it’s so lovely to hear your fond memories of the area 💕 @daffodil2010 may not be far from there also 🤔
    I’m from the south of our island where hurling is our main sport… it’s amazingly skilful and so fast isn’t it! My brother and nephews are fabulous hurlers👍

    Great to see you back @i-hate-lettuce and to hear you’ve had a fantastic few months! Help to everyone else back for the last few weeks of 2021 💪. We can do this!

    @missybear – I loved our holiday in Wales so much I’ll be back on my bike next June 👍👍 Hopefully we’ll have as good weather then… 🥰🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

    @daffodil2010 enjoy your day in the city… I cycled in to the city and around the evening lights last night… just beautiful!
    You will love the Lake District! It holds a special place in my heart ♥️ and I think you are just going to love everything about it!

    @funshipfreddie, that’s it…I’m envious again 🍛🤣

    Happy Friyay everyone 😉

    Onward and downward ⬇️
    We rise by lifting others 💕

    Day 3 UK NFD

    Had a lovely day out yesterday visited the Christmas market after having our booster jabs – just wish it had been a bit warmer – 2 degrees yesterday 🥶

    Out again today – not too sure what to call it. Celebration of life , a wake ? Anyway a close friend died a few weeks ago he had a very simple small no fuss funeral and today he wanted it to be a joyous affair , hope all goes well . I’ll catch up tomorrow

    Day 3 OMAD London

    Please can you add me to the list @at? Normally I get the fast diet emails into my inbox, but not this month. I like to read everybody’s stories first thing in the morning ( not as early as you’d think – about 10.30!) Oh, I’ve just noticed the ‘follow up emails ‘ button. Scrub that request, @at.

    Eat Like A Bear ( basically eating low carb salads and hot meals in a one hour window) works very well for me. Once I start cheating, or stretching things, it’s generally a slippery slope, so the discipline of the one hour window means I’ve got less wriggle room. I’m hoping to get down to 10st 10lb, which is in the middle of my BMI. If it’s a bit low, I’ll rethink when I get there. Have a good day all.

    Day 3 – UK – NFD

    Hi all! First post on the December thread, this week’s been a bit bonkers – work is filled with customers needing lots of projects wrapped up (figuratively speaking!) before Christmas. I am yet to manage a FD and not too happy about that.

    Tonight I’m out with a friend, we’re going to listen to some jazz in a lovely hotel. I am so looking forward to it and hope it feels quite festive.

    @EmmaTaylor – I may have missed it, but what kind of hot meals are you doing in your ELAB plan? I’d love to give this a try next week. Are you doing it every day?

    @stitchincarol – Let it be known that I am SUPER impressed with the effort to source suet and I am certain the pudding will be a triumph! I didn’t realise how easy we had it here in the UK by being able to just grab a box of suet off the supermarket shelf. The pudding will be great no matter when you make it. I’m still toying with the idea of re-doing the one I’m planning on gifting this year because I’m just not sure about that one currently maturing away in the cupboard….

    @i-hate-lettuce – Lovely to see you back here. It sounds like a fun-filled couple of months (and very well deserved too!).

    Have a wonderful Friday all 🙂

    Day 3 – USA/GA – NFD planned, but?

    Weigh-in: 217 lbs. I tried to resist the pizza, two or three times, then someone said, “but you were going back to fasting twice a week instead of three! Oh come on, our division (the division we share a suite with) won the Halloween costume contest, and there is so much they are bringing in. It’s one day; live a little.” So, I did — and had some cake. The 5:2 WOL allows for this, but this does create a huge, nearly one week gap between FDs. Fridays are the worst for FDs for me, so I won’t necessarily plan a FD, but I will do a 16:8 at least (ZBC), and hopefully an OMAD. I ate carbs for supper last night again. Noooooo 🙂

    I think I may try “breakfast for dinner” a few days next week; maybe even Saturday. Some fried eggs in butter, maybe a side of some type of ham, turkey, or bacon, and a vegetable. December is starting more fierce than I imagined! I have to get on the defense fast!

    Good luck everyone!

    Day 3. 2nd post

    @babs_b – I’m just following the three day challenge on the Eat Like A Bear YouTube videos. I like things to be super easy, so if I’m cooking, I follow the day 2 idea, which is cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, ( above ground veg as opposed to carby root veg) then some protein and some fat – I like cheese so I melt cheese on the top. I love salads so I usually eat those, but I got some reduced organic minced beef so I’m doing the cooked version for a few days. Amanda Rose has tons of videos on YouTube – I watch them a lot, and have FINALLY signed up to Facebook, ( having resisted for years) in order to join the Eat Like A Bear groups. There are lots of older women ( primarily) on there who have lost 100lbs and more eating like that. Nice supportive groups, like this one.

    Sorry. Yes, I am doing it every day.

    Day 3 – Rural Nebraska – No idea

    There are days when I can be disciplined and use my RESOLVE, and there are days when I have to be realistic. Today, I bake a LOT of cookies, make regular fudge, make an Oreo/white chocolate fudge, get a second Christmas Pudding into the slow cooker to steam, and make cornflake-marshmallow wreaths with red hots. (Here: Can I, in the middle of all that be disciplined? Well, I plan to be. I resolve to be. I hope to be. But I am human, I love sweets, and I’ve caved every day this week. Thankfully, the scale isn’t scolding me (yet?) and I’m planning to wear the mask again to help with the resolve. 😂

    Such a joy to read all your chatter. Some days I can chatter in response to each person, but some days, I’m simply absorbed in all the “prattling” (as @IHL called it) and don’t pull off any responses. Isn’t it fun to be such friends and not even know what we each look like??

    I fretted all day yesterday because the suet really smelled like roast beef. Makes sense, but still…in sweets?? This morning it smells glorious with no hint of roast beef, so I’m very reassured.

    So, I’m off to start unwrapping mini Reese’s cups; one of the recipes is to bake balls of dough in mini muffin pans, then push a Reese’s into each one when it comes out of the oven. It’s easier to unwrap all ninety of them in the morning when I’m less interested in nibbling, than in the evening, when I am certain I’d pop several in my mouth, LOL!

    Have a grand one, everyone!

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