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26 Feb 20
Welcome to the March 2020 Monthly Challenge! I’m delighted to be hosting this month’s challenge. It’s a friendly space to share support and encouragement on the journey to healthier lives.
The first monthly challenge was started by @coda in May 2016, since when so many of us have enjoyed the amazing support on our 5:2 journey. Here’s how it works:
1. Brief introduction – helps us to get to know each other. Please use your very first post of the month to introduce yourself – perhaps say something about your beginning, journey so far, what you’re aiming for or how you are benefiting from this Way of Life (WOL). You might like to include your starting weight, or other measurements (waist, hip, bust etc) you’ll be tracking this month and your goal(s) for March.
2. Spreadsheet – I’ll link below to this month’s spreadsheet. It’s in alphabetical order by username. You can record & track your progress – add monthly targets, mark your fast days (FD) or daily weights, as well as keeping track of how others are doing. It can help with perspective, accountability or planning. Any problems with the spreadsheet please ask – there’s always someone happy to help out.
3. Format – Start each day’s post with the date, where you are, and if you’re on a fast day (FD), non-fast day (NFD) or controlled day (CD). We live all over the world and in different time zones so It’s helpful to know which day we’re talking about, who else is fasting etc. For example, I’m in the UK and don’t fast on Sundays, so on Sunday 1 March I’ll begin my post Day 1 UK NFD
4. Frequency – Some people post daily, others check in every few days. Some are brief, others are long & chatty. There can be 40 people around the world taking part in a challenge so we mostly post once a day. If you‘re posting for a second time that day, please head your post eg Day 1 second post.
5. Content – Comments or questions, complaints or celebration – anything you’d like to share with the forum. Recipes, tips, tricks ideas are welcome too. Remember – we all have good days and bad days, days we fall off the wagon or days when we are hanging on by our fingernails. Whatever it is, you are not alone!
6. Community – This is a worldwide forum is there’s almost always someone online. We all do our best to offer advice, support or solidarity.
7. Pocket lists – Over the course of these monthly challenges, small groups have added their own mini-challenges. A ‘pocket list’ is a group who’ve set themeselves a target and are supporting each other through it, mostly by knowing we’re not alone. Anyone can join one a pocket list or start a pocket list for a FD– it’s entirely optional and flexible.
8. 5:2 basics – answers to many FAQs plus top tips:
As host of Springing Up – March 2020 Challenge I’ll aim to read the posts & respond each day. Please forgive me if I miss something. Here’s to a helpful and hopeful month together…
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
USA Day 26
Thank you, michelinme, for hosting March! I can’t believe another month has passed!
Count me in please. Thx @michelinme for hosting.
Day 26 – USA – NFD
Hello, newbies and vets! Please count me in, dear @michelinme, for spring. I am still in maintenance and doing very well, although I am not too good at continuing intermittent fasting anymore. Most days are CDs and I’m spotty when it comes to MFP logging lately…I’m chalking it all up to my weird hours (2nd shift). Anyway, looking forward to maintaining and improving logging and exercise habits this month!
Thanks @michelinme for hosting and count me in please
Welcome back @ccco @suki2 @metatauta @emerald32
@metatuata well done on maintaining 🙂
27 Feb 20
HI Michelinme please count me in for March
I’ll be in it too, thank you michelinme 🙂
I’m in for March, thanks @michelinme
I’m in for March. Thanks for hosting @ michelinme.
Count me in please, @michelinme; thanks for hosting March!
The list of acronyms & abbreviations from previous Challenges:-
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)
I’m in for March @michelinme, thanks for hosting.
I’m hoping this month’s challenge & Lent will keep me on track!!
Welcome to March @lilymartin @cateaus @betsylee @emma-taylor @funshipfreddie @flourbaby
It’s great to have so many experienced fasters 🙂
28 Feb 20
Hi @michelinme of course I am in for March and thank you for hosting! See you on the 1st!
Hello @michelinme – thank you for hosting this March Challenge – Please count me in!
I’m joining for sure for March. Thanks @michelinme to taking the helm!
@daffodil2010 (I keep mistyping you as 2020!) and @songbirdme – welcome! We are a teeny challenge of 13 thus far – plenty more room on the waggon 🙂
((((((@at))))) holding you in the light
29 Feb 20
@michelinme. I have never learned how to do spreadsheets & have been meaning to do a course to learn, but just had a crack at doing one for March. I have not entered any names, but see how this looks please. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OX-hjOHElBCj5XEIskmMrZu1XwjTYHUH5xTUPfl8jb0/edit#gid=0
I kept editing & have added names now. This may be totally wrong!
@cateaus – I just tried to open the spreadsheet, but it’s saying ‘access denied’, or ‘permission needed’..?
I’ll check on my laptop in a couple of hours.
@michelinme – thanks for hosting the March challenge, I’ll be joining you all you all here tomorrow, Cheers.
I’m in for March!!!
How about now?
Hi @michelinme I’ll be there tomorrow x
@cateaus, the spreadsheet seem fine, opened there now for me. Your great for doing it thanks
Welcome to the March Challenge @ihatelettuce @therealwil78 @brightonbelle
@cateaus thanks very much for setting up the spreadsheet! Great to have a fresh start and plenty of room for more. Are you OK to add people as they sign up?
Looking forward to a fresh start this month. Whether the sun is beginning to shine and buds appearing or the leaves are beginning to change, the turning of the year encourages us to make new beginnings. Small simple things make a difference.
Do introduce yourself – it’s helpful to be reminded who’s who, where we’ve been and what we are here for. What simple things are you doing this month towards your goals?
Day -1 UK NFD
About me. I’m F55 5’6” living in London, UK. I put on weight in 3 chunks: longterm illness restricting energy & mobility, when I stopped smoking – tho best decision ever! – and finally with menopause. I found I’d lost myself inside my inflating birthday suit until a crossroads moment Nov 2017 at 178lb /81kg, UK size 18, BMI 29.8 & borderline obese.
I joined the Dec 2017 challenge and lost 38lb over 18 months -faster at the beginning, a very long plateau when the scales stuck but my shape shifted – went down 3 clothes sizes and lost 6″/15cm all over! Last year I bounced around 140-145lbs while still hoping to get down to 133-140lb range. But I fell off the waggon after close friend died in September 2019 and have been on & off ever since, with weigh creeping up.
I’m Springing Up for March weighing 158lbs, clothes not fitting and feeling generally puffy. I’m going back to 5:2 basics and giving up sugar for Lent. i’ll be drinking plenty of water, getting to bed early and beginning each day with adapted yoga & meditation. These are all things that make me feel well and make daily life much easier – yet I let them slip!
Here’s to new beginnings… start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. Looking forward to springing up together 🙂
Spreadsheet all good; thank you @cateaus 👍
Thanks so much for hosting @michelinme I am in for sure!
Hi @michelinme thank you so much for hosting! I’ll be
with you for March. See you tomorrow! 👍
Day 1, Tas, Aus NFD
@michelinme- I should be fine to add people, but just not today as I’m playing golf all day & will be leaving soon.
Happy March, folks.
1 Mar 20
I’m really not sure that I am up to adding people *blush* I just had a go & failed. If anyone else can that would be great, otherwise I’ll have another crack tomorrow.
Day 1 UK NFD SW 147lbs
Hello Everyone & thank you to @michelinme for hosting March.
I’m re-posting what I shared last week as nothing much has changed (except up another 2lbs!) and it’s still relevant. Hope no one minds.
‘I’ve yo-yoed for a year and that needs to change. Profile:- I’m petite in stature, low activity due to spine problems (do what I can), thyroid problems (medicated), coeliac (avoid gluten) and mid 50s. I have previously visited these forums but have been inactive for some time.
I’ve been actively trying to lose weight since October 2017. In under a year I lost 20lbs doing a mashup of Mediterranean Diet/5:2/Blood Sugar diet. Never going over 1200 calories a day. Then I stalled for about 6 months before losing another 6lbs over another year by incorporating Fast800. I was unable to sustain Fast800 so reverted to calorie counting and not eating over 1200 but mainly sticking to 1000.
I track everything I eat or drink via the MFP app. I weigh my foods to ensure accurate portion control. I favour low carb Mediterranean type foods. Rarely drink alcohol. Don’t smoke.
I’ve lost a firm total of 26lbs and brought my BMI down to 27.9 from a high of 33.2. To achieve a healthy BMI I need to lose another 20lbs. Which given my experience seems an impossible task.
The past 12 months I’ve just yo-yoed the same 4 to 5lbs. Despite all my efforts, its very disheartening to realise I weight exactly the same as this time last year. I just cannot seem to lose weight on 1000 – 1200 calories. On the other hand without my efforts I am quite sure I’d be much heavier than I am!’
I’m going all out for March. I intend to do 2 FDs a week of 400 cals. My other days I will still need to monitor calories as going over my tdee would be disastrous for me. All food based on lower carb Mediterranean style foods and I will be implementing 18:6 and no added sugars, little to no alcohol.
I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you all. Good luck everyone!
Thank you @cateaus for the spreadsheet… I’ve added myself. I hope that’s ok. Enjoy your game of golf!
Day 1 – Lake District Cumbria – CFD
Good morning everyone,
First of all thanks to @michelinme for ‘driving the wagon’ this month, let’s hope for a decent Spring!
About me, 64 year old bloke, who needed to sort myself out weightwise. I certainly couldn’t join a club or go to meetings etc. Bit of a lone wolf in many respects, but having my breakfast coffee and calling in here every morning really works for me.
Started this WOL end of July last year, set myself what I thought was an achievable target. Despite leaping off the wagon with holidays, loving a BBQ, Christmas and family celebrations etc almost at my first target, in fact with a bit of effort, some decent walks and gardening, should get there this month!
Started with BMI of 38 /weight 18 stone 13 lb /265 lbs /120.2 kg
Current BMI is 34.4 /weight 17 stone 2 lb /240 lbs /108.8 kg
Target set in July BMI 34 /weight 16 stone 13 lb/ 237 lbs /107.5 kg
At the moment since July I’ve lost 25 lbs or 12.7kg and feel a whole lot better, blood pressure and a whole load of things were much improved at my last medical review! It’s a long game to play, with ups and downs, but it works. Especially with the help from my friends (ie everybody) on here who knowingly or otherwise, makes a huge difference, so thank you.
Take care all.
Day 1 – Ireland 🇮🇪 – NFD
Looking forward to the March challenge and shifting some of the extra pounds southwards.
Thank you @cateaus for setting up the spreadsheet, I will tidy it up later when I get out of bed (lazy Sunday morning for me ☺️), but I do appreciate you getting the ball rolling.
That’s why I love the forum, everyone is so helpful 😀
I am Female, 52, petite at 5’2″,married 10 years this month to DH, no children of my own but 4 step-children and a gorgeous step-granddaughter. I love travelling, motorbikes and our newly self converted camper van. The world is our oyster!!
I was slim my whole life until I stopped smoking 18 years ago and slowly the weight crept up. Stopping smoking is the BEST health decision I have made, but taking control of my weight is the next best thing…but ongoing. At my highest I was 12 and a half stone. Myself and my DH went on the Dukan Diet in 2013 and we both lost about 50lbs each. I had put back on 30 of those pounds by 2017, found this WOL, and lost that 30lbs over the following months.
I changed jobs in 2018 from an active physical job in a Glasshouse growing herbs and flower commercially to a much more sedentary (but nicer) job in financial services. It’s been a struggle to get back to goal and over the past couple of years I am 16-20lbs higher than summer 2018.
So, basic 5:2, Dry till Fri….lets see how we go.
Day 1 – NFD – Ireland
Thank you @michelinme for hosting us this month!
So..a little about me… I’m in my very late forties and the first challenge I joined was October 2017…and I’ve been intermittently fasting in all senses of that phrase since then 😂 … my name J’aifaim is french for I’m Hungry but also stands for “Just Another Intermittent Fast And I’ll Maintain” a little play on words but the joke is on me as I’ve never actually maintained at my ideal weight since I joined but I will … one day 🤞 it makes me smile anyway…
I am committed to check in regularly for 2020 and to log all calories in MFP/ i do find it hard sometimes to keep on top of this as I seem to have lots of lists, rotas etc at the moment but it does make a difference.
I have a busy life with my man, full time work, elderly/ terminally ill parents and my family and friends.
I have two diagnosed auto immune conditions and high BP and a few other bits n bobs but I try not to let these define me – sometimes that can be hard 😂… like some others on the forum, and maybe because of these conditions, I am often struck with virally symptoms which make things a little more difficult… but again I just try to get on with things..
I bob around 12 stone and ideally this year would like to get to 11 – 11 1/2 stone if I can.. 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 lots, walk, hike and play tennis although I should incorporate yoga as I need to find more zen time in my life…
I’m pretty much staying away from alcohol and sugar as much as I can… but I dont think I will ever be off either completely. I love tasting new food/beer etc 😋 this year
I lost 9 lbs in January which was mostly Christmas weight but February was not great for me 😂 Must be strong for March💪
I try to do standard 5:2 with fast days generally Monday & Wednesday although the second day is often switched to Thursday depending on how the week pans out…
I wish you all the best for this month, particularly the newcomers and anyone who has made their way back for March…
Hello to all those who have stepped away or are lurking.. @coda are you out there I wonder? I hope all is well with you and your family and all those who have been and gone – so many now… wishing you all well!
Onward and downward ⬇️
We rise by lifting others 💕
Ps… @bellyblast I like your idea of reflecting over the past month and setting new intentions for the fresh new month to come… I am with you and am doing the same… 💪
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. In Feb I said I would be happy if I stayed the same due to my social calendar with birthdays, guests, etc. and that’s where I start March.
• to stick more rigidly to FD 500 because I don’t think the CD option is good for me, it’s a license to eat too much.
• to up my exercise.
• to stop the evening snacking on nuts and chocolate.
I’m ever hopeful that this will be the month that I reach goal.
Off to take the dog out before he thinks I’ve forgotten him.
Day 1 UK NFD
Morning all ! I’m 58 living on the South Coast of England with my husband we are occasionally joined by one or both of our sons 22 &25. Joined Codas first challenge lost around 20lbs and was at a happy weight for a few years then whoosh put around 15 back on last year I exercise regularly eat healthily so guess it’s just down to being greedy and drinking too much alcohol Have a trip planned to Rome on Thursday 🤞but after that I’m committing myself fully even contemplating giving up drinking as Summer is looming and I’m not buying any new clothes so getting back into my old ones is the only option .
Day 1, Cheshire UK NFD
Hi all, @michelinme, thanks for hosting this month’s challenge. Bit about me, I’m 57, (58 at the end of the month). Live with DH and 2 dogs. I lost about 59 lbs on this way of life a couple of years ago, then lost my mojo, jumped well and truly off the wagon and gained weight.
I finally resigned from a job I hated In December which was both freeing and stressful. Since then I’m in a much better place mentally and I rejoined these forums last month. Last time they were the best support for me in losing long term and I know that’ll happen again. The poor dogs are having their legs walked off these days while I try to decide next steps.
Since January I’ve dispatched 14 lbs and yesterday I wore a dress that hasn’t fitted in 18 months. Sometimes inches are the best indicator.
My goal for March is to dispatch another 4/5 pounds. It’ll be a challenge with a couple of short breaks away planned. So March may see a couple of b2bs and more controlled days when I try to eat no more than 1200 cals .
Happy Sunday everyone, and here’s to a good March.
Day 1 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – NFD
About me:- David, 58. 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 8 months.
This is my 11th Challenge. Like many people I now find the FDs the easier part of this WOL; the tricky bit is not overindulging on NFDs. I’ve been getting a bit complacent though, falling into the trap of thinking it wasn’t so difficult to get to where I am. So this month I need to reinforce some good habits, eg less alcohol and snacking, & more exercise 🏋️♂️
Thank you @michelinme for hosting the March Challenge, & to @cateaus for setting up the spreadsheet. Wishing everyone success for the month and beyond 🥇
@cateaus, spreadsheet is bang on, nothing for me to do here!! Many thanks. Now I am off to have a “mindful” Sunday
Day 1 USA (Illinois) NFD
Another month, another challenge. I’ve been on all of them since joining @coda – began 5:2 March 15, 2015, and been maintaining pretty well since January 2016. But maintenance is still a tough regimen for me.
I’m a 71-year old retired school music teacher. I direct a community choir, do church music, and have a few piano students. I do Silver Sneakers exercise 3x a week and occasional yoga. Four children live pretty far away, five granddaughters 11-20 years, so mostly it is just DH and me around here in northern, cold Illinois.
I look forward to getting to know the newbies, and keeping up with we oldtimers.
Onward and downward
@cataeus – your spreadsheet is terrific.
@michelinme – thanks for leading us this month!
Day -1 UK NFD
I’m in. I’m F53 5’4” and heavier than I have ever been. Just returned from holiday but know that in recent weeks, I have been feeling fat and flabby – holiday photos weren’t kind and the scales were a shock this morning. 🙁
I know that I am a WOACA (woman of a certain age) but feel that this weight gain has really crept up on me.
Hubby suggested trying IF and I’ve been swotting up today. I’m preparing for my first FD on Tuesday. Any hints or tips welcomed!
Looking forward to being part of the March challenge and hope that there will be less of me by the end of the month.
USA Day 1 WFD
Can’t believe it’s yet another new month! They go by so fast! I will start out the month with another WFD, which will begin at 1 p.m. my time today! Welcome to the new members I see on board this month! I hope everyone is having a good weekend! 🙂
Day 1 – NFD – Donegal Ireland
I live in the North West on the Donegal / Leitrim border. I’m retired and rescued two Shih Tsu in Sept 2018.
I joined the group in January 2020 weighing in or around 16 stone. I had always been fairly slim most of my adult life. In 2015 I had a severe mental health crisis followed closely by the menopause, thyroid problems….& really the biggest thing of all was I just didn’t care anymore and the weight just kept piling on. I had done the 5:2 years ago to loose a stone and just stumbled across this site & decided to give it go. Am just taking it a half stone at a time. Not looking at the bigger picture or else I’ll just get overwhelmed. The doggos really help me get out and about as I have a tendency to self isolate but of course I’d do anything / go anywhere for for them 💖
Started February ’20 at 15.2st & now March ’20 at 14.10st. I try to do from scratch cooking and avoid processed & sweet foods. Read some books & blogs recommended by the group and find them very motivational as is the group itself. Its great to see how members stick with it even if they’re not fasting or the month isn’t going well or whatever, everyone hangs in there. My goal for March is to loose 5/7lbs doing 2 fast days a week, maybe one control day (1200) at the weekend and increase my exercise which was very lacking in Feb. On fast days I don’t eat until 6/7 pm as I find this easier.
Wishing everyone a happy March
Welcome to the first day of Springing Up – March 2020 Challenge! Wonderful to start with so many great introductions and stories of the journey so far. I’m feeling more connected and motivated, and so glad of company and encouragement on the journey.
I’ve had a quiet day at home, late and lazy brunch and heading for an early supper and bed. Practicing good self-care is the foundation of my March goals, and those often begin with sleep! Small things done eah day will yield results.
welcome back @bellyblast @jaifaim @judyjudes @suki2 @saffy420
Warmest of welcomes to newbie @helen285 – great to have you with us.
@cateaus thank you for getting us started with the spring-cleaned spreadsheet! Hope you had a lovely day of golf 🙂
@judyjudes That’s an amazing achievement already! I hope this 5:2 challenge month works really well for you. Fasting does our bodies lots of good, some of which shows up on the scale – benefits also include immune regulation, cell repair… It can be hard to keep with it when we don’t see the results but hold fast and they will come.
@ihatelettuce you’re not alone in not being a ‘joiner’! Staying in daily touch here provides external accountability and a reminder us of our goals, setting us up for the day. Congratulations on your achievements – here’s to reaching your first Big Goal this month!
@daffodil2010 great to have you here again… twinned with the weight gain and desire to get back down 18lb to summer 2018 weight – which I also complained about! We know this WOL works, now to do it! Rooting for you this month…
@jaifaim well done on the January weight loss – amidst all the other issues on your plate, you are doing amazingly well. March is that wonderful transition month where spring appears and air tastes better… hope you can enjoy lots of time outdoors doing what works for you – the rest will follow
@suki2 well done on getting back to almost goal weight! losing evening snacks is a challenge i share! What will you be doing instead?
@brightonbelle well done in reversing gains so far – and deciding not to buy new clothes! Maintenance once we’ve hit goals seems to be a whole other challenge – I’m in awe of @at @songbirdme @missybear @metatauta and others who have hit maintenance and continued strong… It would be great to hear some wisdom from maintainers this month – any top tips?
@saffy420 congratulations on dispatching 14lbs since January!!! Here’s to a balanced month around your trips away. Sometimes not gaining is as much an achievement as losing…
@funshipfreddie you are a great ambassador for getting back into shape after a small slip – and making this a WOL that fits around our choices and celebrations
@songbirdme great to have you with us again. Please do share tips from your long & successful maintenance – falling off the waggon after hitting goals seems to be a common thread here…
@helen285 there are some good tips in the 5:2 basics thread link below. My top tip – Drink plenty of water! You are replacing the water your body usually gets from food so 2litres is a good goal. It is much easier than you think, and gets easier with practice. NFDs are more of a challenge!
@ccco great to have you with us again – and so glad you have found your happy place in 24hr WFD 🙂
@emerald32 congratulations on a great start! Sounds as tho you’ve built some great habits already with cooking from scratch and avoiding processed foods & sugar. Looking forward to hearing your journey with exercise This is WOL rather than a diet and everything you are doing makes for a healthier, happier way to be
Looking forward to a good month together, whatever it brings –
“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.” (John Muir)
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