I sustainably lost 70 lbs with intermittent fasting through understanding the science, finding the right fasting schedule for me, and listening to my body

A comparison image of the author at age 24 in 2012 at approximately 240 lbs, with an image of her now at age 33 in 2021 at approximately 170 lbs. She looks noticeably happier now.
A comparison image of the author at age 24 in 2012 at approximately 240 lbs, with an image of her now at age 33 in 2021 at approximately 170 lbs. She looks noticeably happier now.
Photo courtesy of the author (author in 2012 on the left versus in 2021 on right)

It’s likely you have already heard about intermittent fasting (IF). The topic seems to proliferate the media and internet on a regular basis. Even back in 2012 when I set out to lose weight at the age of 24, I had heard bits and pieces about it. Yet, every attempt to research and learn more about it felt more overwhelming than the last try.

It would take me years to finally not only discover intermittent fasting but to also figure out how to apply it to my life in a way that was effective and sustainable for me. I began…


To help a colleague prepare for public speaking, I put my own experience to work. Here’s a plan that you, too, can use

Image of male speaking publicly
Image of male speaking publicly
Image by Roché Oosthuizen from Pixabay

My colleague, Kate, paced back and forth, worry and a mild sweat all over her face. She was breathing deeply, and saying, “I can’t do it.”

I just told her the presentation our company had booked to give to 500 college students conflicted with my schedule, and I couldn't give the speech. She would need to do it. It was two weeks away, and I could see her anxiety building already.

It will be OK; you can do this,” I reassured her. Kate had a marketing background and was smart and confident in meetings. Give her a Powerpoint and a…


Can “nudge vs. sludge” give us insight into helping ourselves reach our goals?

Writer Wanita Isaacs introduced me to a new concept in behavior design last week: sludge. In her article, How I Became Intoxicated on Water, she describes how she lost sight…


Realistic ways you can get your independence fast — yet give yourself enough runway to fly

Young professionals working together in an open office setting.
Young professionals working together in an open office setting.
Image credit: Vasyl Dolmatov.

Becoming a freelancer may have crossed your mind. You’d like to create something of your own and have the freedom and autonomy you can only get from self-reliance.

But how do you build a successful freelance career? And is it even possible for someone like you?

You’ve probably been fed this idea that you have to slave away at a job for years to become an “expert” before you can even think about going out on your own.

While that’s sometimes a smart way to do it (more on that later) — I’m here to tell you it’s not true.


As a doctor, I knew I needed to drink more water. What happened became a study in behavior change.

Woman looking through a glass of waters with eyes crossed.
Woman looking through a glass of waters with eyes crossed.
Image credit: lekcej

It was dry skin that finally made me crack. I’d been feeling headachey, irritable, and tired for a while. As an ex-medical doctor, I knew the symptoms of dehydration. But as the head of the investor behaviour team at a large investment company, I didn’t have time to do anything about it, and in any case, being tired and irritable is normal in corporate, right?

When my skin lost its shine and telltale lines appeared, I started worrying that my childhood psoriasis would come back. Every morning, I’d dutifully fill the largest glass in the office kitchen. …


It seems like everywhere we look, the word “toxic” can all too easily be used to describe many of our spaces. When one of those is at work—and you need…


Rituals for finding serenity and structuring your day

A woman in a white shirt sitting by a lake.
A woman in a white shirt sitting by a lake.
Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

I’ve always liked the idea of religious disciplines and practices — reading scripture each morning, praying, attending church. However, I don’t really resonate with religion. I like the idea of nourishing the soul and having spiritual practices but have always struggled to find such practices or to follow someone, a philosophy, or a school of thought that’d provide these practices and daily guidance.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve actively sought out nonreligious spiritual practices to include in my daily routines. …


Productivity Tips

I get paid for what I produce, not how many hours it takes. So it’s crucial for me to find ways to stay positive and productive.

A laptop placed on a desk with a notepad, pen, and glasses.
A laptop placed on a desk with a notepad, pen, and glasses.
Image credit: Poike.

Your brain goes through a remarkable transformation during the day.

In the morning, once you’re fired up by coffee, breakfast, and your favorite morning routine, you’re a mental Arnold Schwarzenegger, ready to uproot mental trees. During the day, you expend cognitive energy on a bunch of complicated tasks and exhausting meetings. By late afternoon, your grey matter turns into a bowl of stale goulash, barely capable of remembering your own name.

Your productivity plummets when you work more than 55 hours per week and a recent Stanford study even found very little difference in output between a 56-hour workweek and…


Understanding Humans

Who’s running this joint anyway?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Valiphotos from Pexels

It was late winter. A blustery morning. I was mountain biking. Raindrops pattered high branches. But below the canopy, the world was still dry. A sudden wind bent the redwoods. And then I saw it. To my left. Now behind me. I skidded to a stop.

I was surprised I saw it — because I never do notice trees and branches and leaves when I’m moving quickly. But I did.

Oh god, I thought.

I flipped my bike around and pedaled slowly, quietly, for I might frighten away magic.

Oh, she would have loved this.

I rolled closer. Twigs snapped…


I have been in pain, every day, all day, for decades. But it is no longer my identity.

Human head within a colorful abstract image.
Human head within a colorful abstract image.
Image credit: agsandrew.

I am in pain. I have been in pain, every day, all day, since I was a teen.

I have psoriatic arthritis. Or is it Ankylosing Spondylitis? The diagnosis keeps changing. In my youth, it was identified as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. And before that, it was “growing pains.”

My current rheumatologist once described what I have as a “miserable, recalcitrant disease.” That sums it up nicely. While the diagnosis and treatment may have shifted over the years, the pain has remained. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, always present. It has been my “dark passenger” since I was 16 years old.

I…

Better Humans

The world’s most trustworthy advice on self-improvement by those who have done it themselves.

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