FIRE Diabetes

“Persistence pays: Gerda’s success story”

A new life, a new space, a new me.

Yes, that is what the FIRE Diabetes journey enabled me to achieve.

But where did it all start?

I have been struggling with overweight and fatigue for many years.  My “professional dieting career” started as a teenager when “being thin” means “skeleton thin”.  My relationship with food was one of guilt and torture, never of enjoyment and pleasure.

But alas, despite all the diets, I kept on gaining weight. My BMI increased from a healthy 21 at the age of 24 to a staggering 37 at the age of 50. As the weight went up, my energy levels went down.  At first, I thought it was normal for a young mother trying to balance family life with a career to be constantly tired, but it only became worse over time.

I tried to exercise more, but where exercise gave other people a boost of energy, I will crash.  I realized something was wrong, but no doctor visits, no blood test, nothing could help me figure out what was wrong.

Looking back, and knowing what I know now, this constant obsession with diets and trying to function in a near-starvation mode most of the time paved the way to serious weight and fatigue problems. My body was desperately trying to survive, and over years of abuse, I developed insulin resistance.  I only learned about insulin resistance when joining the FIRE Diabetes journey.

Suddenly everything made sense! There was a reason for my fatigue, there was a reason for the uncontrollable weight gain, and there was a reason for the exercise exhaustion.

In 2020, I was in trouble.  I could not function anymore.  Brain fog and tiredness were sabotaging my life and my career.  I did not care about the weight gain anymore, as I was too tired to try and change that.

And then Doc Stef and his F.I.R.E. Diabetes programme crossed my path. At first, I was a bit sceptic, as I was not diabetic, but the words fatigue and brain fog caught my attention.  I made the best decision ever – trust Doc Stef and join the journey.

So the end of July 2020 I took the first step toward my new life.  And wow, what a journey.  I had to unlearn a lot of things about nutrition and health and re-learn new science and facts.  I met new people, and became part of a special family talking the same language, struggling with the same problems.  I felt safe and motivated, knowing there was a team of experts behind every step of this journey.

The support and encouragement were on another level, enabling me to persevere in what sometimes felt like an impossible situation.

It is now nearly two years later.  I am a totally new person.  My fatigue is gone.  My brain fog disappeared.  I lost 27kg!

How do I manage to keep to the FIRE lifestyle?   Knowledge motivated behaviour.  Knowing why I struggled with my health, understanding the link between carbohydrates, insulin resistance, and health problems, and then experiencing the amazing results from following the FIRE guidelines is the best motivation ever. Experiencing the joy and gratitude with other FIRE members as they also reach their milestones on their own journeys is just so fulfilling.

A mindset of “I have to do it, I need to do it, I will do it” strengthened my commitment and resolve.  Yes, there were times when it was difficult, times when I struggled to keep to the Green list, but for every one step back, I took three steps forward again.

My FIRE journey is not over.  This is a lifelong commitment.  I still need to lose weight; I still have insulin resistance (although much less).

My motto: Embrace the Journey. I am very excited to see who I will be and where I will be in another year’s time.