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Adventures with Ami: How It’s Done

For the past thirteen months, we have been traveling.  We’ve spent a few weekends at home, and a week at Christmas.  Otherwise, we have been on the road, spending most of our time in Kansas City.  We’ve lost over a hundred pounds between us.  We’ve each dropped 4 sizes.  We bought new clothes along the way as the last set became too big, we would cart them home to Minnesota for storage.

This weekend, our goal: bag up all the clothes that are too big for us and donate them.


Twenty-six garbage bags full later…All of it was bagged up and carted out to the truck to head to Goodwill.  It was an interesting chore.  Some things were tough to give up at first.  Until I reminded myself of how I felt the last time I wore it.  Uncomfortable, tired and out of breath.  We each had two or three sets of things.  The ‘few pounds’ overweight set, the ‘nothing fits me’ so I buy a bigger…set.  And finally the ‘wow I can’t believe I got this big’ set. You know…the stuff you cut the tags out of so you don’t have to see the size?  Yeah…those.

We got here, to a house full of clothes that were way too big, by following the plan.  Engine 2 is really simple to follow.  The guidelines are clear.  No oil, no dairy, no meat, 2 tablespoons or less of sweetener per day, low sodium, not processed.  Eat lots of vegetables, follow the calorie density scale. Keep it simple. Follow the guidelines.  We picked a plan (E2) and learned all about it, learned how to implement it and we stick to it. Period.

What we did not do…We did not argue or bargain.  We didn’t try to pick and choose the parts of E2 we liked and parts of other plans that suited us better.  We didn’t try to justify high fat plant foods.  We don’t ever feel like we ‘deserve’ a treat.  We don’t treat ourselves with food.  When I went to Farms 2 Forks and heard Dr. Esselstyn say: no coffee, no salt, we put those things out of our reach too.  We didn’t try to have our cake and eat it too.  We follow the rules.  We don’t fudge the rules when we go out to eat.  We ask for what we need.  We don’t bake treats that we know we will overeat.  We don’t  drink our calories.  We eat at least as many vegetables as we do other foods.

Remembering things like: nuts, avocados, dried fruit, crackers, pretzels, are allowed, but will slow you down on the way to your goal.  Knowing what foods are triggers for overeating for us was really helpful.  Being honest with ourselves about what we could and could not moderate has been key.  Knowing that we can overeat on high calorie density foods even though they are ‘legal’. Being honest about our health before Engine 2, and what it takes realistically for us to maintain our weight and our low cholesterol is integral.  We know that this lifestyle is just that, for the rest of our days we will enjoy our Engine 2 life.  As time progresses, even when down with the flu, we crave healthy foods now.  Things do change.

Give this plan the best chance to work for you by following the guidelines. Be honest about what you are doing and why.  Be realistic about what you are willing to give.  100% effort = 100% results.  How much effort are you willing to give?  We packed up the last of our old things.  All that is left of our former life is the photos.  We have lots of them!  Every now and then it’s fun to look back…for a minute :)

This one was taken a month before we started E2.


About the author

Engine 2 Team
The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

11 Responses to “Adventures with Ami: How It’s Done”

  1. Kirsten says:

    So proud of your journey…thank you for sharing your story, and congrats on the great success of your weight loss and healthier way of living! GO PLANTS!!!

  2. GO BILL AND AMI!! What a superstar plant-strong team :) Congratulations on all of the success you’ve had, and will continue to have in your future plant-based adventures :)

  3. Ruth says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. It was what I needed to continue to improve on what I am doing.

  4. Jodi says:

    Your story is awesome motivation! The honesty you give to yourselves is amazing, congratulations. I have been on my E2 journey for a year now and have never felt better.

    I recognize the logo on your name badge, I used to work for HealthEast also!

  5. Kathy G says:

    Great article, as always, Ami! You should put your “after” photo next to the old one. You have made a remarkable transformation! Yea plants!

  6. Barb says:

    Fabulous! So well said – especially the part about bargaining and picking & choosing. And also getting ‘the rules’. I think that happens a lot and then folks don’t understand why they didn’t get the results they expected. I have a work friend with familial cholesterol problems. She said ‘well, my cholesterol went UP on E2″. After a bit of gentle questioning, turns out lots of processed food and high fat snack stuff was involved. It’s vegan after all. Right.

  7. John Sudduth says:

    you are an inspiration!

  8. KL says:

    I cleaned out a bunch of clothes recently, too. There were several sizes including the cut the tags out kind. But…they belonged to my mother in law. She died of cancer and had alzheimer’s, but she really enjoyed her SAD food. It was heartbreaking to see such a beautiful, elegant woman die without dignity and in such agony. I don’t ever want to go there. It’s my hope that eating better will allow me to die in my sleep of old age.

  9. Steve says:


  10. Steve says:

    I’m very new to the E2 Diet, and am retired. Taking trips is a major part of my life. Trying to assemble a strategic plan for maintaining the diet while traveling. Had a veggie whopper the other day. Tasty, but who wants the white bread?? Yes, Wendy’s and Mac have salads. I want real food. Any ideas or links?

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