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    “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up ends up being the biggest step of your life”

    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 it’s a privilege to be leading this March challenge ☺️

    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 March it would go something like “Day 1 – UK – NFD” for me).

    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 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 any thing you feel like you want to share with the rest of the forum. We’ll 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 global 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.

    Any questions or anything unclear – please ask.

    Hopefully the attached link works – I have put the people who have participated in the February Challenge in and will edit the list as you join in over the month – I have given you all access to add yourself or edit your line as you wish – let me know if it doesn’t work!!!

    I can’t believe I’m the first to sign up @at. Count me in please! A big thank you for starting this thread, and see you in a couple of days.

    And the link works perfectly. Thanks for your hard work @at.

    Hi @at

    Please put me down for the March challenge!

    I’m only going to be participating 2/3 of the month as I’m going on holiday on 22nd March!

    A BIG incentive to fit in 2-3 FDs per week up until that point!

    Thanks 🙂

    Hi @at

    Just thought I should let you know that the google sheet is currently not set up as anonymous

    I can see the real name of the last person to edit the document, so I haven’t edited it yet!

    Thanks 🙂

    Thanks @at – I’m in for March please.

    Day 0 Stevensville Maryland LFD

    @at thank you please add me to the March 2018 Monthly Challenge.

    Go be Love, the world needs you.

    Hi @at thanks for hosting! I will be joining the March Challenge, started when you were hosting last year, your encouraging posts and wisdom were so helpful to me.

    Hi, AT….thanks for hosting again! This will be my 13th month of 5:2. I’m a tortoise, but happy to see that after a full year, I lost 28.2 lbs. and 24.5 inches overall. Please count me in for March. I still have 15 lbs. to go to reach my goal and then maintenance, woo hoo!

    Welcome to everyone who has posted their intentions to join the challenge here @debster251 @fivetwofan5252 @Strawberriesandcream @diana123 @snowflake56 @metatauta and on the February challenge @bert1802 @borealis @coda @daffodil2010 @michelinme @mjrbcd44 @onedayordayone @redrockgirl302 @shinything @suresh3101 @toddybear

    @fivetwofan5252 – Oops 🤭so sorry for that – hope I have now corrected it – can you check and let me know please x

    Hi AT, I’d like to join the March 18 challenge! I’ll add my info to the spreadsheet.

    Day 43 UK FD
    Thank you @at for setting this up. It helps to know that I can track progress with the community and be part of a large challenge!
    The past 2 weeks have been more challenging than the first 3, but today wasn’t too difficult and I even managed to do a pilates class at the end of my fasting day!

    Good luck to all!

    ccco USA NFD

    Just saw that AT has put this up! Just want to say I am all in for March! Thanks again, AT! 🙂

    Hi AT, Please add me for the March challenge! Thank you!

    I`m in too, hoping March goes more smoothly than February 😎

    Thanks @at. Count me in. Will be maintaining.

    Thanks @at for hosting , please count me in for March

    Thanks @at for hosting March, I am in.

    Hi @at and all familiar names

    Count me in! I might even do the spreadsheet – for the first time ever! – as I realised I need the public accountability to keep me on track. I might as well put it out there – I would love to lose 5kg in March, but I’ll be happy with 3.

    Good morning from a snowy Cumbria

    Just back from a lovely 8km/5mile hike with some friends – we had bright sunshine, very wintry dark sky with snow flurries and ended up in bright sunshine at the end – how wonderful is life!

    Lovely to have more joining this challenge so a big welcome to @anna6 @kerryn73 @jaifaim @keetseel @fffrancesca @ccco @dsk @vtenks @molij @lilymartin @penz

    I have marked the names in red on the spreadsheet as people sign up for the challenge.
    Can someone let me know if the privacy setting is OK as @fivetwofan5252 mentioned that the google sheet as originally set up was not set up as anonymous – I have corrected this I think????

    Looking forward to a good March Challenge

    @at thank you for hosting March, count me in please.

    Thanks for hosting @at these challenges have been a life save and one of the reasons why I am still following this WOL. I am all in for March!

    Thanks @at. I’m in too. Here’s hoping that the eventual arrival of spring helps the body let go of a little excess padding…

    Thank you @at for doing the March challenge…please count me in!

    @at Oh I am on it! In for March and looking forward to it. I have hit the dreaded plateau in February and so I must take this in my stride and keep on keeping on.

    A little about me. I am 50, female, 5’2″ petite and when I started on this WOL in late July 2017 I weighed in at 11 and a half stone. This is not the heaviest I ever was, I am a veteran of Weight Watchers (many times over the years, extremely slow rate of weekly loss and the inevitable regain) and the Dukan Diet (where I started at 12 and a half stone and successfully lost 50lbs. I kept it off for two years).

    But regain I did.
    As I always say, weight loss is relatively (emphasis on relatively) easy, but keeping it off and maintaining is so difficult. I sincerely believe that I have found a WOL that I can stick to for the rest of my life. By the way, right now I weigh in at 9 stone 11 – So I have lost nearly 2 stone – 28 lbs!!

    I had hoped to get to 9 stone 6 by 1st March, and my goal is hovering around 9 stone with an acceptable weight range (AWR) of 3-4 pounds. …. Maybe March will be kind.

    Thanks to everybody on this forum for being the wonderful supportive group that you all are.

    Hey @at, please add me to the challenge!

    I am 5’2″ female. Started this WOL just last November, had some great success. Now I’m stuck trying to lose those last ten pounds and I’ve hit a plateau that seemingly just won’t budge. March is my birthday month, so I expect it to be extra challenging to keep to this WOL, but I’m up for it.

    Looking forward to learning from you all! Let’s see what we can do together. 🙂

    Hi AT, count me in. I want to lose 6 kg or 13 lbs by summer. Starting again since I had problems with quitting in past. Well I’m trying again.

    Hi @at please include me in the March Challenge many thanks.

    AT, thank you for hosting the March challenge. I see I’m already on the list, so thank you. It’s a good place for maintenance too, to continue to receive inspiration and to hopefully helpful to those that are still in the losing mode.

    Can’t believe we are almost at the end of February already!

    I’m so in 😀
    Thank you for being our host for this month @at

    Whatever sort of month you had in February I hope March is better!

    Welcome @dingping @missybear @basyjames @annach @scribbleartist @annemarilyn @leggit @graciamona @califdreamer to the MARCH 2018 – MONTHLY CHALLENGE

    @hugacow – Welcome to the March Challenge too – I have move you up from the bottom of the spreadsheet as it is arranged in alphabetical order for ease of finding people ☺️

    Looking forward to more joining us – Did you know that this March Challenge sees the countdown to the first day of spring – which is marked in the northern hemisphere by the Vernal Equinox (The word equinox is Latin for “equal night”), which will take place on Tuesday, March 20 and will officially mark the beginning of spring!

    I can very much relate to those who mention being stuck with the weight… After extremely successfully (and to my pleasant surprise) having lost 3kg in the first 4 weeks, I gained 1 (why?) and now seem to be stuck despite being on my 7th week…

    I keep doing it because I’ve read that your body can play tricks, but also because, despite the weight being stubborn, my measures keep going down, although more slowly than the first few weeks. I also don’t want the weight to creep back on and think that overall this is a different way of approaching food – since I started my appetite and ability to control hanger have changed, with the latter being much stronger.

    Hi ff and welcome:

    The average weight loss for a woman on 5:2 is about 3/4 to one pound a week. You have gone six weeks and lost about 4 1/2 pounds so you are right on track. Your initial loss was quite a bit of water weight and as you cannot continue to lose water, and often add some back, that explains your one kg. gain.

    Just keep on doing 5:2 properly and your weight loss will resume. Here are some tips:

    Good Luck!

    Hi @at. Please add me to the March Challenge. Thanks.

    I’m slowly losing weight but never weighed myself and won’t do so. But all my clothes fit better and if I’m on a plateau I don’t care. I don’t know!!! I stopped drinking sometime last year and although I had a drink of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ve been dry since. Which makes me very happy.
    Good luck in March all, and wrap up warm in the northern hemisphere.

    Hi AT, please add me to your challenge. Im a newbie. Have been on keto since January 1st and i havent lost 1 lb. I need to fast.

    Hi @at, I haven’t been part of the challenge for the last couple of months, and my progress has stagnated. So I’ve proven to myself the benefit of checking in every day and staying connected to the community. I’d like to join up for March so I can get back on track. Thanks!

    Please Add me! I am new to the group and excited to be a part of this

    Good morning

    Lots of snow overnight and as a result my Yoga class has been cancelled this morning as the teacher can’t get to us 😞 Snow is great for those that don’t have to get to work but I feel for those who need to travel today.

    Welcome to the challenge @emma-taylor @mp228 @zlwambano @merryapple @arelkade

    @camcd – Welcome back “Together We Are Stronger” I have moved you up on the spreadsheet to keep the names in alphabetical order

    “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – T Roosevelt

    Hi @at!
    I have just jumped back onto the March Google Sheet and it is now anonymous 🙂

    Your Cumbrian walks sounds amazing!!

    Down here in Hampshire we don’t have any snow, although it is mega-cold!

    Looking forward to my March weight loss ‘sprint!’ I need to achieve my goal by 22nd March!

    Lastly soo excited to see a post on here from @simcoeluv – those posts are always so informative. I need to keep the above advice from @simcoeluv in mind when planning my goals – “the average weight loss for a woman on 5:2 is about 3/4 to one pound a week”

    I am definitely at the lower end of that weight loss range!

    Good luck to all on the March challenge…..

    @at Thanks for adding me into March month challenge. Feb was fruitful with 6kgs ripped off ending at 76.1kgs, but dont want to get over confident and set tough targets. March end i want to see myself at 73kgs. Slow and steady we will get there. Good luck everyone for another successful month!!

    I’m in for March @at. Thanks for hosting as I really need these challenges!

    I’ve been doing 5:2 for 8 months at a sort of fast tortoise pace. I started out at 106kgs last year and am now down to 83.9kgs. My next big target is 71kgs when I will be an official ‘healthy weight’, then I’ll assess the next target. I don’t really know what a good weight is for me as I’ve never been there as an adult. This month I’d like to loose another 2kgs and just keep going.

    I also want to get better at cooking the ‘Whole Food Plant Based’ way of eating. I’ve been moving in this direction for a while but only gave up the dairy about a month ago. Its not easy but I think it will get me into good habits for later on so I don’t regain the weight. Explaining to friends and family is proving a bit tricky. Most people don’t think its a good idea. But I feel good on it so will persevere for the moment.

    And continue yoga – I want to try the Water Wheel Pose this month – and will enlist my yoga teacher to get me there in stages.

    And bake my first sourdough loaf – I’ve got the starter going, but am struggling to keep it active as its rather cold at the moment.

    I wrote in the Feb Challenge that we had no snow (about 1 hour ago). It is now blizzarding and my OH has rushed out to the school to collect our child! And they don’t grit the roads round where we live in the styx so actually a bit scary. Hope we don’t lose power.

    Hi! 👋
    Newbie here and would love some support so I’m joining this months challenge pls @at

    I have done 5.2 WOL 3 yrs ago and have had good results. Lost 15kgs. But life got in the way and my 5.2 WOL went out the window 😔 I’ve put on 10kg since then. I know exactly where I went wrong but bad habits are hard to kick (carbs eater and sweet tooth)

    So now I am back on the wagon and hopefully keep and maintain this WOL.

    I am wondering though, when I first did this, I was strict and was counting calories on FD and NFD. It was hard but I stuck to it hence my success. I ate below my TDEE. But now, I’m wondering if I should do the same?
    According to the calculator my BMR is 1459cal and TDEE is 1800cal. I’m only limiting myself to eating 1200cal for the last few days except on my fast day yesterday with 500cal.
    Can anyone pls tell me if I am harming myself in eating too little calories? I want to lose all of the 10kgs plus more. In my head it seems logical to eat as little as possible to attain my goal but if it’s going to be counter intuitive, then I have to do it differently.
    I hope that’s a valid question guys. 😬 thanks in advance!!!

    Thank you @at for including me in the March Challenge, last month was the start for me and it ended pretty pleasing so hope I can maintain my efforts in March with no slipping in the wrong direction.

    Many thanks and good luck to everyone.

    Hello! @at would you please add me to the list? I went into the excel sheet and added myself but am not sure if I did so successfully. If not, if you would provide a little guidance, I would appreciate it greatly! Have read the 5:2 book and already have done 5 FD. I am starting to see the number on the scale going down. I really think I have finally found the WOL that will be sustainable for life. Whoo hooo. One adjustment I made is to only have one 500 cal meal on FD. I am reading Dr. Jason Fung’s book on Fasting which includes references to the 5:2 fasting protocol. What I am getting out of it so far is the longer I can go hours wise the better chance my body has to get to “freezer in the basement where the stored fat resides.” (Dr. Fung’s analogy.) Thank you @at for hosting this.

    @jillybeans – you asked about calorie counting and you’ll get lots of different answers! I think it is helpful on FDs. And to start with on NFDs – but maybe try to find a way of eating healthy that does not need calorie counting all the time. Otherwise you may give up – I would – as it is so tedious counting calories. Perhaps try a new healthy way of eating that you like eg Mediterranean diet and stick with it long term. I told myself the standard Western diet would make me die young and I had to give it up! Some don’t mind calorie counting and some of the calorie apps seem quite good. Maybe try a few different approaches to see what works for you. Good luck!

    Thanks, @at for agreeing to be our host! Onward with another challenge–

    A big warm welcome to all

    Looking forward to our March 2018 – Monthly Challenge starting tomorrow with so many of our previous challengers but also welcoming all those new to this WOL and especially to the monthly challenge – will be lovely to get to know you all and hopefully we can support you into this new way of life you have chosen

    @flourbaby @cornish-jane @songbirdme @ktcaroline @maayyaa @markie99 @steve-toon-taxi-driver I’m so glad you are with us once more x
    @jillybeans @beachgurl62 – Welcome to these challenges – lots of support and advice available here all given willingly 🤗
    @fivetwofan5252 – thank you for letting me the anonymity on the spreadsheet is sorted out 😌

    Some general advice for anyone new to this WOL
    *Stick to the basics for the first month or two and see how you get on, then if you want to you can start tweaking things around but the basic diet works and is sustainable as a permanent way of eating
    *A good trick is to calculate your TDEE for the weight you want to be and not the weight you are and you should therefore lose weight a bit quicker!
    *Increase your water intake to a minimum of 2L/day.
    *Regarding when to weigh I personally usually weigh after my 2nd FD, for consistency, as I assume that this will be my lowest weight and it is motivating!
    *Some people who have a lot to lose have tried the 800cal diet – Link :-
    then switched to 5:2, but the 5:2 way of eating does work!

    The following link by @simcoeluv should prove helpful and answer a lot of your questions:–

    To lose the weight and keep it off we cannot go back to doing what we did before when we gained the weight! “IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT LOSING THE WEIGHT; IT’S ABOUT LOSING THE LIFESTYLE AND MINDSET THAT GOT YOU THERE” Steve Maraboli

    I seem to have missed out on welcoming our @fatfingers to the March Challenge – sorry x

    Also welcome to @hyacinth and @mishty22001 – I have moved you on the spreadsheet as I’m trying to keep it alphabetical so it makes it easier to find everyone x

    @at – Thank you for hosting!

    I think the spreadsheet is working fine (yes it is anonymised now).

    My name is in red which I think means I’m participating – yes please I would like to!

    GOOD LUCK everyone and look forward to hearing your stories!

    Thanks @at for hosting – I have added myself for March, was able to successfully complete 5:2 in February

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