Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nearly 3 Years Later: 3 Broken Bones & 200+ Pounds - The Long-Term Effects of Juice Fasting

Two and a Half Years Later...

I hope that this blog has helped you learn along with me both the good - AND the bad - regarding long-term fasting.  Therefore, please allow me update you on how it has been since the last 40-day fast.

I've had THREE broken leg bones since my last juice fast.  First, my ankle, which broke when my foot slipped off of the side of the pavement whilst walking the dog.  The second was during a mud run: I jumped straight down off of one - yes ONE - hay bale, and the impact cracked my tibia.  Then last spring, I twisted the same ankle on a tree root during a jog in the woods and re-broke the ankle.

Growing up as a tomboy, I endured some hard hits in sports and never had one issue with my bones.  According to my doctor, the last few 40-day juice fasts simply depleted my bones as my body attempted to feed itself.  A good, high-level explanation of malnutrition and the depletion of bone density can be found in the Season 2/Episode 1 of Supersize vs. Superskinny (Credit: U.K.'s Channel 4).  Please refer to section 22:15 - 24:30 as well as the doctor's solution at 38:40 - 39:25.  And do NOT watch this show while at work, because there is nudity!

In addition to breaking my leg bones three times, I severely mucked up my metabolism.  A doctor explained that it would take about three years for my metabolism to recover from the fasting and to realize that there is no longer a famine threat.  He explained that until then, my body would hoard fat in preparation for the next "fast".  Therefore, I committed to eat well and healthy for the following few years knowing that I would most likely gain weight while attempting to convince my body that everything was okay.

As of November of 2014, I was 210 pounds (15 stones).

I am Trying Something Different Now...

November 2014 marked nearly two and a half years since the last day of my last juice fast, and I decided to apply what I learned from reading The New Rules of Lifting for Women as well as the episode of Supersize and Superskinny (referred above): I hired a personal trainer and started to lift heavy weights in an attempt to get healthy as well as rebuild my bone density.

Within eight weeks, I have lost 10 pounds and 4 inches (10.16cm) from my waist all the while building muscle and bones!  My trainer has designed a nutrition plan that includes healthy carbs, proteins, and fats.  I even get to eat an ice cream sandwich after each lifting session. Yum! I lift four days a week for about 35 minutes a day, and they recently added two days of cardio - neither exceeding 30 minutes each.

My lifting regime includes deadlifts, squats, bench presses, etc.  My hubby has commented that in just 10 weeks, my derrière is more round rather than droopy.  The other day I was able to put my 45 pound plates onto the barbell and deadlift 135 pounds.  And last, but not least, my menstrual cycles are normal for the first time in years.

I don't regret the path I took to get to this point, because I've learned a lot about myself and my body. In addition, I would have never listened to anyone who tried to give me information if they had only read it in a book rather than experienced it or witnessed it themselves.  However, I am excited to be getting stronger and healthier all the while EATING.  I am trying to be realistic about my aesthetic goals time-lines, so I'm looking at the process taking about three years to get where I'd like to be.  If it's less than that, then great!

I hope to update this site in about six months or so.  My goal is to have a 150-pound (10.7 stone)-after-fasting-picture next to a 150-pound-after-lifting-heavy-and-eating picture.  The idea of comparing the two makes me smile.  

Stay well and stay healthy!


  1. Thank you for the update. I initially posted as "50 year old male" in the hair loss post.

    My experience has been similar without the broken bones. Similar in that my juice fast (60 day) was detrimental to me. I had quite a bit of muscle loss and have gained back more fat than I initially had to lose.

    Funny thing, Joe Cross came out with a sequel to Fat Sick and nearly Dead and he ALSO gained weight between the two films. I know its for money but I can't believe he's promoting this without health warnings.

    Following his juice fast diet is in the top 3 worst things I've done in my life.

    I really glad to see you have a long term view for working out and recovery now. I'm doing the same thing.

    One thing I REALLY miss is doing long bike rides. I used to be able to go for hours but the muscle loss has affected it. Hopefully as I rebuild, I'll get back to that.

    I'll give a more specific update later this year but I'm glad you're on your way back to health as well.

    Take care

    1. Hello! First, I apologize for the delay in my response. Second, it's always great to hear from you! It's always interesting to me to learn how others respond to fasting, too, especially now that fasting has become so popular. I also lost a lot of muscle during my juice fasts - especially my last fast. Can you imagine what it did to my heart!?

      By the way, doing it right (aka the hard way - blerg!) this go around is really paying off! I finally reached the 25 pound weight-loss milestone two weeks ago, and 25lbs is what I lost fasting. However, my body looks SO much better (weighing more) after losing weight by lifting heavy weights than it ever did fasting. Also, I am so much stronger and feel better. Mowing the lawn and doing other things around the lawn is a breeze now.

      I look forward to hearing from you again. Hopefully you will continue to have great updates, too.

  2. Hi Redfizz,

    Thank you for your blog. Can you tell me how many fasts you did, how long were each of the fasts, and over what period of time / how frequently (how much time between the fasts? Thanks again, your blog is invaluable.


    1. Sure. I did my first fast in 2005. It was 40 days. Then I did a 40-day juice fast about every other year until the last one, which was tracked via this blog. I hope that helps!