BEFORE (early November 2012) / AFTER (late March 2013)
5.5 years ago I moved to Chicago… and put on a good 50 pounds over those years. Every year I would tell myself I was going to make an effort to get my health back in gear because let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. That and my doctor was on my case about it too! I went on a business trip to Vegas in September last year and after some over-indulgence, I decided I was really going to do it this time. Then I read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s ‘Eat To Live’ and was inspired to completely change my diet in an effort to overcome most of my food addictions.
At the start of October, I went full-on nutritarian for the whole month. The basic idea of the diet is to maximize your nutrient intake when consuming calories. Daily diet suggestions are as follows:
- at least 4 servings of fruit
- 1 lb. (16 oz.) raw veggies
- 1 lb. (16 oz.) steamed veggies
- at least 1 cup of beans
- no more than 1 cup of brown rice, quinoa or rolled oats
The thought of eating like an extreme gluten-free vegan concerned me because of my past lack of willpower and self-discipline, but I was intrigued by the idea of boosting my immune system and overall health by what I put in my mouth. So I went for it.
I went through withdrawals as I starved my body of the fat, salt and sugar it was used to. Once overcoming the withdrawals I started noticing how much better I felt in general. Indigestion and stomach problems ceased to exist, I slept better, my skin significantly improved, just to name a few positives. Cutting out salt and olive oil proved to be too difficult for me though, so I eventually just cut down on those two things. By Thanksgiving I was down 12 pounds and an entire pants size.
In November I had my annual checkup with my doctor. Some test results came back not so great. I’m not going to go into details about it right now because there is still a lot of unknown… but let’s just say it was an unfortunate reality that gave me some extra motivation. Healthier eating will only help boost my immune system and at the recommendation of my doctor (after discussing my diet) I was encouraged to continue these eating habits as they could only help.
Then came the holidays, which were definitely a challenge. I ate as close to GF-vegan when I could, strayed during work dinners & parties, then went on vacation for 10 days. But as soon as I was back from my trip - I was right back at it.
So far, I have lost a total of 22 pounds in the last 5 months of some back-and-forth dieting. Other than clothes fitting differently, I really hadn’t noticed a drastic visual change in my body. But while on a business trip this week in Vegas, I had 4 people ask me if I had been dieting because I looked significantly thinner. Keep in mind, I just saw all of these people the week before Thanksgiving so I was shocked at their awe. Then I took the picture on the right in my hotel room. My dear friend Sam took the liberty of framing these two together to show me the noticeable difference in my body. I was just as shocked as all those people that pointed out my slimmer figure!! (thanks S! ♥)
Since February I’ve been traveling for work, a trip every week for the last 6 weeks. It has been hard to eat so restrictively, especially when I’m traveling to places like Iowa and Nebraska. I did my best to not get crazy, I’ve maintained and gradually lost some more weight, just not as rapidly as I had been prior to all my trips. Next week is my last trip until September. Then 5.5 weeks until our vacation in the Dominican Republic… I’m shooting for another 5-10 pounds down in that time frame (a healthy 1-2 pound loss per week).
This photo will be my inspiration. I’ve come this far, I can keep it up. According to my doctor I have another 20-30 pounds to lose to get back in my healthy weight range. My long-term goal is to do so by October this year. A full year of hard work paying off to get back to where I was over 5 years ago. A healthier, in lieu of skinnier, version of me.