February Challenge

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  • Here it is…the February Challenge!
    Maybe you’ve been following us during January and already know what to do, or maybe you’re new to this.
    We are a friendly, supportive, international group of people following (or, in my case, trying to…) the 5:2 way of life, as set out by Dr Mosley on this site, in his book and on his 2012 BBC Horizon TV documentary, still to be found on the web.
    @coda first set up these monthly challenges in May 2016 and many of us owe her a great debt.

    On Day 1 (Saturday the 1st) tell us a bit about yourselves. Try to post every day if possible, which will help you stay focused, as follows:

    “Day 1: Gloucestershire, UK, NFD” for example, in my case.

    It’s good to know where you come from and whether that day is a FD (fast-day) or NFD (Non Fast-Day) for you. The day is always the same as the date, regardless of where you are, and when you, personally, started the plan.

    On fast days we usually create a “POCKET LIST” of fellow
    fasters for that day…for motivation, knowing you are not alone.

    So, sign up below and join us….

    Count me in please. February has a few temptations for me so I need to be strong.

    Count me in please. Thanks. H

    I’m in! Thank you v much @ciren2 for hosting 🙂

    Haven’t missed one yet. I’m there! 🙂

    Count me in! Thank you v much for hosting @ciren2 💐

    I’m in ! Thanks @ciren2

    Count me in please , Thanks @ Ciren2

    Count me in please, @ciren2. And enjoy your week off!

    The list of acronyms & abbreviations from previous Challenges. Updated!

    IF Intermittent Fasting
    WOL Way of Life
    FD Fast Day (500 cals)
    MFD Modified Fast Day (800 cals) on the new Fast800, it’s a FD
    WFD Water Fast Day (Water only)
    CFD Controlled Fast Day (1200 cals)
    NFD Non Fast Day
    EFS Epic Face Stuffing (we’ve all had one of those days!)
    5:2 5 days NFD:2 days IF
    ADF Alternate Day Fast, FD, NFD
    16:8 16 hours fast 8 hours non fast
    B2B Back 2 Back (days of FD or WFD)
    Hunger Dragon – that dreadful psychological beast that sometimes cannot be satisfied
    DD, DS Darling Daughter, Son
    OH, Other Half
    LOL Laughing Out Loud
    Keto, way of eating that generates Ketones
    LC, Low Carb way of eating
    LCHF, Low Carb High Fat way of eating
    TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditure (see the ‘how it works’ link on the home page to work out yours)
    TRE: Time Restricted Eating
    OMAD: One Meal a Day
    M/WOAM: Man/Woman on a Mission (courtesy of @i-hate-lettuce)
    PFDS: post FD smugness (courtesy of @penz)

    Count me in @ciren2, you’re a star!!

    New to this, but count me in

    New to this too, please count me in.

    Hello to all of you…I make it twelve so far….
    @jacquie-b: @cavanya: good decision! Newbies very welcome.

    Thank you for hosting the February Challenge @ciren2 💐 I’m in for February too!

    “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”

    Here is the link for the spreadsheet for those who like to use it


    I have copied the names from the January Challenge and added those new to the challenge who have joined so far – names will be changed from black to red as folks sign up for the challenge – hope you can all access it!

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for hosting February Ciren2 I’ll be here in the morning …. and for the Month!

    ‘See’ you all tomorrow.

    @ciren2 thanks for hosting! After one of the best months in my life I’m in for the next challenge.

    No idea what I’m signing up for really but here goes, count me in. Thanks for hosting @ciren2

    And thanks @funshipfreddie for the list clears a few thing up

    I’m down for February!!

    I’m in for February. Lost 2 pounds in January. Yay! Thanks for hosting @ciren2. I look forward to the Spreadsheet- that’s what keeps me honest.

    Thank you

    Wild horses couldn’t keep me away, I am in! thanks for hosting @ciren2


    Thanks, Ciren, for again be our leader! 🙂

    @at: Thanks for providing the spreadsheet…..where would I be without you?
    So, for anyone who likes to record their progress day by day on the spreadsheet…..just click on the link and fill it in.


    Not compulsary, I will add! Sorry about my spelling…not sure what’s wrong there!

    Welcome to ALL of you….so we begin tomorrow…Day 1, wherever you are at personally.

    See you then xx

    Hi. New to forum and 5-2. Can I please join the challenge? Thank you!

    Missing in action for January as spent it in Australia and not a day went by without wining and dining so decided to enjoy and join again in February! Please count me in @ciren2. Thanks for taking the reins!

    Day 1, NFD, Aus

    Doesn’t everyone love a day one!!

    Thanks for hosting @ciren2, and hello everyone.

    Day 1 – Japan – NFD

    Thank you Ciren2 for hosting!

    Day 1 Ohio, US — MFD

    Thanks @ciren2 for hosting this month!

    Well, I snacked a lot last night, so decided to fast today. That makes this a 4:3 week. I’ve been pretty low energy all day today and am not sure what the cause is. In fact I feel bad enough now that I’m thinking about breaking the fast this evening and aiming for a CFD.

    @mia139 Welcome back! Sounds as though you had a great time Down Under!

    @dondons1oz Great to have you join the forum!

    Day 1 – USA – NFD

    Hello, all newbies and golden oldies! Glad to be part of the February challenge…I am in maintenance and doing very well….just moved house and am barely functional; everything in boxes…working a lot, but I have been reading all posts daily, just not posting myself. I got down to 131 during the move, but I’m back up to the average 135 since I started making meals again. Here’s hoping you all have the success you are working for in February!

    Day 1, Emden Germany (being Dutch), FD

    Hi everyone!

    I’m a Dutchwoman (from Limburg in the South) living in the North of Germany, married, owner of a lovely cat, 63 y.o, 163 cm/5ft 4in tall. My weight was 56 kg/126.5lbs all my adult life until starting a new job in 2011 where my weight crept up to 72.9 kg. I read the book and joined the challenges from March 2017 on. I lost 20 kg very quickly. I retired in April 2018 and maintenance became a struggle. I lost motivation and gained almost 10 kg, lost it again and last month I gained impressive 8 kg. So time to go back to 5:2 and the internet after a month of absence.

    Pocket list day 1, just copy and paste the list and add your name to it, if you want to join.


    Have a nice day everyone!

    Day 1: Gloucestershire, UK, NFD:

    So, welcome everybody to the February Challenge which we begin today! Lots of familiar names, and quite a few new ones too. @dondons1oz: Yes, join us!

    About me. I’m 66, work for Royal Mail….yes, I deliver the mail! So, an active job, but more than made up for by eating-habits acquired over a lifetime of(mainly) too much sweet stuff. I’m a sugar addict. As diabetes runs strongly on my mother’s side of the family, and also some on my dad’s side….I should reign back…should! I need to be about 9kg less than I am.
    My husband is a retired postman, currently awaiting a new knee, and so rather inactive, through pain.We have one daughter, a research scientist living currently in Melbourne, Australia. We have a small rescue dog, a pomeranian/terrier cross. More lap-dog than terrier!! We live in south-west England in the Cotswolds.

    Have a fantastic day everybody xx

    Day 1 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – NFD

    About me:- David, 57. Originally from the UK, living in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. I started fasting in 2014 halfheartedly after seeing the ‘Eat, Fast…’ documentary. I got serious about my weight in March last year, about a year after I retired when my weight started creeping up. I lost about 8 kilos, and I’ve been maintaining, more or less, for about 7 months.

    This is my 10th Challenge. Like many people I now find the FDs the easier part of this WOL; the tricky bit is not overindulging on NFDs. After I reached maintenance I started using Myfitnesspal to track calories which has been a big help, especially on NFDs.

    Thank you @ciren2 for hosting the February Challenge. Wishing everyone success for the month and beyond 🏆

    So here is my intro. Im 65 years old retired midwife (so I could eat my own body weight in chocolates. I now work part time visiting housebound patients – boy that is a wake up call to appreciating good health and trying never to take it for granted. I am active I swim and run (5km) but over the last 6 months Ive noticed I snack more, bread is almost becoming a daily fix, my clothes are tighter. Time for action, so thank you for hosting this challenge and accepting me onboard. Good luck everyone.

    Day 1 – Cumbria UK – NFD

    Good morning everyone, another fresh start! Well it feels like it every month, maybe it helps the bit between the ears to think positively.

    Me – 64 year old guy and retired, love the outdoors and walk a lot, joined the ‘monthly challenge’ group end of last July, it’s been brilliant. Despite various holidays, allowing the inner warthog to escape, my weight is down by 21 lbs and the start February sees me at my lowest weight for a long time.

    Glad to see the group active, it does help remind you why we’re all here.
    Thanks @ciren2 for hosting

    Oh Yes, avid rugby union follower, Six Nations Starts today …. the best bit of winter!.

    Take care all

    Day 1 Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 NFD

    Signing up for February, @ciren2 thank you for hosting.

    After a life time of yo-yo dieting I began 5:2 and these monthly challenges in July 2017, reached goal about a year later and have been practicing maintenance since. I still need to do two FDs weekly to maintain and my weight fluctuates between 130 and 135. I start the month at 132.2 and my aim for February is not to gain, this is birthday month for both DH and I so celebration dinners will be enjoyed. I will be 61 in a few days, retired, enjoy walking and Pilates for daily exercise.

    Wishing us all a happy and successful month 🙂

    Day 1 UK FD

    Planning a “fast” start on day 1 ! Got almost to target weight in November / December and gained an impressive 6 kg back over Christmas and January! So it’s time to buckle down and finally get back to where I was 2-3 years ago!

    Day 1 Oxfordshire, UK NFD
    Hello everyone. I’m a 58 female, retired. 1 DH, 1 DD with partner, 1 DS & 1 cocker spaniel.
    Lost 3 stone with 5:2 2014-15. Gradually put some of that back on.Started the challenges in August last year. I’m now within sight of my goal, 1.6kg to go. I’m hoping Feb will be the month I do this. But I have a few festivities so if I end the month the same weight I won’t be too unhappy.
    Have a great weekend everyone.

    Day 1 Cheshire UK NFD

    Hi all, I’d like to join in this months challenge. I’m 57 yo, recently took early retirement from work and still trying to decide what I do next. I lost 60 lbs on this way of life in 2017/2018, using this forum to motivate and inspire. I then jumped right off the wagon and yes I’m almost back where I was. Thought I could do maintenance all by myself! Big mistake. So it’s back to basics for me 2/3 FDs a week and logging all my food on My Fitness Pal. Thanks to Ciren2 for hosting this month.

    Day 1. Salerno Italy. NFD
    Reading through some of the posts, it seems some of us are similar ages – around 60. Nice age to be – not usually too worried about work and still in pretty good health. I wonder if we will all be here in about 30 years time, having stayed in good health thanks to fasting and supporting each other worldwide. I hope so.
    I have a question for @funshipfreddie. You might have answered this before. How did you end up in South Africa? Interesting journey by the sounds of it. H

    Day 1, London, UK, NFD,

    So, here we are again!!

    Thank you @songbirdme for hosting us through (for me) Dry January, and to you, @ciren2 for taking up the reigns for February.

    I’m a mid-forties ex-Civil engineer, but still working part-time within the construction industry. At my heaviest (heftiest??) I was 195lbs, I started 5:2 in November 2016 and got down at some point to 150lbs. Aiming for 140lbs and I’ll see what that looks like on me, no need to highlight any wrinkles for the sake of the scales!!
    I’m starting this month’s challenge 2lbs lighter than the start of the year, but still 1lb higher than December 1st………………………………….. The plateau is real!!! I’m 18lbs up on that ATL (all time low) of 2018, but still 27lbs lower than where I started in Nov 2016. My 2019 hard lesson to learn was ……………….don’t get complacent, 5:2?…IT works, but you still have to work IT!!!!

    Welcome those who’ve been MIA, @snowflake56 & @mia139 and a warm welcome to all the newbies ………… Best ……………. Decision …………….. Ever!!!

    @saffy420, I remember you from the challenges in 2017 & ‘18, I imagine maintenance is actually the most difficult part of this WOL, every time I think of skipping a challenge I have to give myself a good talking to!!! I think I’m in a place best described by something I read elsewhere – “several years of 5:2 have persuaded me that losing weight is not difficult, so I got too casual. Time to start again!”

    January saw a 2lb loss which I have to be content with although I hoped for more from a dry month! This month I’ll celebrate my birthday with a weekend in Spain, but I’ll try not to go crazy with the vino or imbibe EVERY weekend until then! However, today there will be a couple of glasses of Malbec …………. It HAS been a looong dry month!!

    This month will be 3L water per day, increased protein, limited vino, continued exercise, healthy NFDs, limited sugar/carbs and back to basics with 500cal FDs whether 5:2 or 4:3!

    Good luck everyone, we can do this!!

    Day 1 UK NFD

    Hi all – 58 year old living in Brighton on the South Coast of England for the past 30 odd years but originally from Yorkshire Live with my husband and occasionally one or both of my 2 sons aged 22 & 25.

    I joined Codas original challenge did well and got to a happy weight maintained for a good while then whoosh got complacent , put on 5or 6 lbs thought I’d be able to lose it but my weight kept going up …. so back here to Reset .
    Reasonably happy losing 3 lb in Jan First week of Feb will be challenging as we have a short break in Porto but when I get back Im dedicating myself and I am aiming for a 4lb loss this month

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s ups and downs and continuing to pick up some great tips along the way Thank you @ciren2 for guiding us x

    Day 1, UK, NFD

    For all who don’t know me, here is a bit about myself:
    I am 52 yrs old female, 5.3ft, and way over my desired weight right now. I am a member of our Club Tortoise 🐢 , and a proud one 😎. I believe that the slower I lose weight the more likely is that my body gets used to the “new” weight and accept it as normal.
    My overall goal is 50kg, which was my long time weight before I got sick in 2016 and due to the sickness and lack of exercise I put on over a stone.
    I would feel like my old self if I reach the weight I was before, or at least if I get close to it 🙂

    I wish everyone a easy month ahead, lets do this together ❤

    Day 1 NFD Donegal Ireland 🇮🇪

    Morning all, I live in the west of Ireland on the wild Atlantic way. I’m retired and have two rescued Shih Tsu. I did the 5:2 years ago to loose a stone & found it a fairly manageable diet. I recently joined the group weighing in at 16 stone. Starting February at 15.2 st. Trying to adopt a healthier WOL buying fresh food & veg & avoiding processed foods and getting more exercise. I won’t weigh in again until the end of February as while I want & need to loose weight I don’t want to get too focused on the scales.

    I hadn’t realised that a new challenge started every month so thanks to @ciren2 for hosting February and @songbirdme for January it was a great start to 2020 & hope you DH is doing well,
    Good luck to everyone 🍀

    Day 1 UK CD

    Thank you @ciren2 for hosting Feb! hello again old friends & warm welcome to newbies. This is a great place to share experience and ideas and find encouragement… My top tip – post daily if you can. External accountability really helps and we’re stronger together.

    I’m F55 5’%” living in London. Put on weight in 3 stages: longterm illness restricting energy & mobility, stopping smoking – tho best decision ever! – and menopause. Then lost myself inside my inflating birthday suit until a crossroads moment Nov 2017 at 178lb /81kg, BMI 29.8 & borderline obese.

    Joined Dec 2017 challenge and lost 38lb over 18 months -faster beginning, v long plateau when scales stuck but became a shapeshifter!. Down 3 clothes sizes and lost 6″/15cm all over… Last year I bounced around 140-145lbs, still hoping to get down to 133-140lb range. Fell off waggon after friend died in September and have been on & off ever since.

    Starting this challenge at 155lb after EFS yesterday. Aiming to do plain vanilla 5:2 plus good self-care – for me right now that’s lots of sleep, daily adapted yoga & meditation – 10 mins of each counts! – and taking special care of mental health. Careful pacing for the long haul, drinking 3l water, avoiding carbs & sugar. All of that makes me feel fantastic – that’s what i need to remember!

    Here’s to a good month together. Now Off to enjoy the rugby 🙂

    Day 1 – Cork, IE – NFD

    Thanks @ciren2 for hosting the February challenge.

    A bit about me… I am 44 y/o female in Cork in the south of Ireland, the other end of the country from @emerald32 🙂 I read about IF a few years ago but didn’t do much with it at the time. After gaining quite a bit of weight and having some stressful years managing my underactive thyroid from Hashimoto’s and ups and downs with anxiety levels, I was in quite a negative space towards the end of last year. I started to look after my gut health with a 12 week probiotic course which did help the mental fog. On Christmas day 2019, I bought two kindle books which blew me away: The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung and Fast 800 by Dr. Michael Mosley. The science and research in both these books made sense to me and it was definitely an “aha” moment. I began to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. At that stage I was 220lb and I am 5’7”. I suppose I am fortunate in a way that I tend to carry my weight all over so I didn’t necessarily look as heavy as I was but it did impact on my mood, my health and energy levels.

    Through trial and error in the January challenge I have found what is currently working best for me is Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) with TRE of 16:8 on my eating days. I am following a mainly Mediterranean diet but with reduced carbs. Basically it means eating whole food with healthy fats and no processed “food”. This past week I did have carb cravings as it was that female time of the month (TOM) so today I am experimenting with a fat fast which is a great excuse to eat bacon 😀
    The results speak for themselves, I have lost 14lbs and 6 inches so far. I actually lost more inches around my legs and arms but didn’t take measurements at the beginning to figure out how much. This for me is a different WOL and not a diet, it’s me taking back control of my health.

    This forum has been very positive for me in terms of accountability, support network from others with a similar WOE and for learning from others so if it’s your first time, I highly recommend it.

    My benefits are primarily non-scale victories (NSVs)
    – I can wear clothes that haven’t fit me in around 2 years so my wardrobe options have expanded;
    – I am in a better mood and have greater resilience levels in work and personal life – I think it’s because I now feel I have regained control over my body and seen results in a short period of time;
    – My energy levels have increased and I am more inclined to participate in social activities which is important for me as I live alone and can be quite introverted at times;
    – I have gained knowledge and resources from everyone in the forum which helps me in figuring out what works for me or not;
    – My mother who is in her seventies and who has multiple health issues has started TRE recently having seen my benefits and within a week has seen benefits from greater mental clarity, reduced pain levels and is feeling more optimistic than she has done in a long time.
    – My ongoing squat habit is yielding toned legs and bum 😀

    For February I will continue with ADF and focus on being more consistent with the daily plank challenge proposed by @basyjames & @jaifaim in January as this is an opportunity for improvement for me 😀
    “Nothing changes if nothing changes” is my mantra for keeping going when I am tempted to revert back to old habits.

    Links to the fat fast for anyone interested:

    Day 1 USA (Illinois) CD

    Another challenge … I’m an old timer (in all ways!) who has not missed a challenge since @coda began them May 2016. I began 5:2 March 15, 2016, and lost @35 pounds that year. Pretty much been on maintenance since then. Believe me, maintenance still takes very judicious care to what one can eat! I am content to be at 160 pounds (@72 kg) so my wrinkles don’t show so much.

    I’m 71, retired music teacher, still do private piano lessons, direct a townspeople choir, do church music, and work at our fledgling children’s museum. I strive for Silver Sneakers exercise 3x/week and yoga at least once a week. Live in northern (cold!) Illinois with my DH, 4 grown children all far away, 5 granddaughters.

    I appreciate reading about you all and jump in as I am able to support and help. This is one terrific forum – hugs to everyone!

    Onward and downward.

    Thanks everyone, so far, for telling us all your stories….great reading….so much variety.

    Most of us on a NFD today. Probably Monday will see the longest Pocket List.
    Have a successful month, all of you, we’ll support each other all the way xx

    Day 1 Pocket List:


    Add yourself if you’re fasting today for mutual support.

    Day 1 Canada FD

    I’m a 59 year old woman and started 5:2 back in 2017. I’ve had a string of health issues since and ended up having 5 surgeries. Thanks to being generally healthy I’m getting close to full recovery and can genuinely say that life is good. I’m sitting just above 60 kg and would like to get to 58…… maybe this month 🤞

    Welcome back @snowflake56 @mia139 @saffy420
    It’s great to see the regular crew each day and even better to have so many new faces 😊. This is the easiest and most sustainable way to shed weight 🍏

    Pocket list

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