Before we hear from Char today, we want to officially welcome her as the newest member to our Engine 2 Team! Char has been a part of our E2 family for a few years (as you will read below). We thought it was the perfect day to welcome her onto our team! Please leave her a plant-strong welcome in the comments!
Seems like aeons ago. Before Engine 2, my life had two speeds…I was either on a diet…or not on a diet. And, I’d go on crazy diets that would socially isolate me. When friends would call, they’d say, “Well, not sure whose diet you are following this week, but do you want to come out to dinner with us?” I’d have to think long and hard before giving a response. The truth of the matter is that, I’d join them for dinner, and as the evening progressed, I slowly ease into eating everything that was on the table. I’d devour a dessert, and in my head, I would tell myself, “You can pick up this diet tomorrow.” By evening’s end, I would have consumed a trillion calories and would have also beaten myself up.
My life really changed on Wednesday, September 23, 2009. I went to a meeting to see the regional president of the world’s healthiest grocery store give a talk to a small group I was with. When this guy walked into the room, I did a double take. He’d lost weight, but, he also carried a new calm and inner light that I had never seen before. He seemed happier, more carefree. I remember thinking, “Where do I sign up?”
As the morning progressed, we all learned about this new book called The Engine 2 Diet. I had an Oprah “ah-ha” moment, because I had remembered seeing this book. Its title had promised me that my life would be saved, and that I would burn away the pounds. But, for me, there was one small obstacle…I’d have to give up eating meat. In my head, I had planned the 28 days of eating plant-strong, but, I gave even more thought to what Day 29 would look like. I remember saying to a colleague, “Well, I think I can do anything for 28 days, but on Day 29, I see a pizza in my future.”
On my way home from the meeting, I stopped at a bookstore (remember those?) and got a copy of The Engine 2 Diet. Next stop was the grocery store. And little did I know that my life would change forever on this day. When I woke up the next morning, I made a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk, and after almost choking, I thought to myself, “I got this, 28 days, I will own you!” Rip always says that everyone has a 28 Day Challenge in them, but what he doesn’t tell you is that you will feel so great, that you will stop counting the days. That’s how it was for me, and on about day five, I popped outta bed, and noticed that my hobbling was gone. A few weeks later, I bumped into someone who’d asked me if I had a facelift because my skin looked so good. Then, I noticed that I was beginning my sentences with, “Hey, have you heard about the Engine 2 Diet?” And, if I had a captive audience, I would get out my soapbox and recite principles of Engine 2.
So, here I am, three years later. I’ve lost ninety pounds in my travels, and continue to “plant” my future weightloss. People will say, still, “Oh, come on Char, you gotta have a burger on July 4th, you got to!” And, I do have a burger on the 4th, but it is a homemade veggie burger that is truly delish. Oh, and you know what is the funniest thing? When people see me eating my veggie burger, they’ll say, “Hey, what’s that? Mind if I take a bite?” What I have learned is this: Always take an arsenal of homemade veggie burgers to any outing!
Reinforcement is the main key for me. When I began, Engine2Extra wasn’t around. So, I had to find my own reinforcements to remain plant-strong, or as I like to say, “plant-strong to thine own self.” Here are a few things that have helped me stay the course for the past three years…
~Everyday, no matter where I am, I randomly pick up my weather-torn copy of Engine 2, and I read something…just a few pages of anything to reinforce my journey to get that “rEinforcement.”
~Go to YOU TUBE, and type in Rip’s name, or Engine 2. Watch a video. My favorite, to this day, is the Tracy Smith interview on CBS SUNDAY MORNING. It features all of the Esselstyns, and clearly just makes me smile. Here’s a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d–E13lhyNw
~Look for an E2 28 Day Challenge at your local Whole Foods Market. Who doesn’t LOVE Whole Foods Market? They’re such a friend to the community. An organized face-to-face challenge is another way to reinforce your journey.
~Watch Forks Over Knives, the brilliant documentary that focuses on the China Study. I’ve seen this film, a dozen times, and I never tire of its content.
And now, with the inception of Engine2Extra, you are purely golden. Here’s a reliable, steadfast network available to you whenever you have a question, idea, etc. There is a swell of wellness in our country, and I believe that Engine 2 is responsible for that surge in achieving better health. We have so many safety nets in our lives…from seatbelts to smoke detectors…and now, Engine 2.
So, I planned a celebration for this event…and what did I do? Headed to a steak house with the carnivores friends in my life. A steak house is the easiest place to eat plant-strong. I got a double order of steamed broccoli, a dry baked potato, and the salad bar. And the reason a steak house? No worry about what’s in the food. And, you don’t ever have to explain anything to the food server. Plain and simple. And more me, fancy.
Happy Anniversary to me. And happy anniversary to you, whenever that maybe!
Power to the Plants!