The Daily Beet

17 Dec Adventures with Ami: Numbers

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I’m really good at trivia.

I tend to remember all kinds of details and facts.  From things left over from high school Chemistry to dates and numbers.  I’ve got all kinds of data rolling around up there, just in case I ever need it.

Weighty memories…

I weighed 7 pounds  8 ounces when I was born 40 years ago

65 pounds in kindergarten – I always wanted to be a slim…but alas I was a husky.

My first pair of juniors parachute pants were a size 9 when I was 12 in the 6th grade. I remember distinctly going to 5-7-9 with my friends to buy them.  They bought size 0-3.

113 pounds in 9th grade – one of the few times I was not overweight.  Reason: I had taken up smoking cigarettes.

127 pounds at my first prenatal doctors appointment.

169 pounds – delivery day – Corey was born!

153 pounds January 1992 – never got below this number again until 2005.

the scale kept moving upwards…

November 14, 1998 – quit smoking after 14 years…forever.

September 6, 2004 size 18 / 210 pounds – began the Atkins Diet

Christmas 2004, 168 pounds / size 12. Low Carbing rocks!

April 26th, 2005 – reached goal of 145 pounds before my 33rd birthday – woot! it worked! Less than 35g of carbs per day less than 1300 calories per day.

September 2005 – 129 pounds – addicted to the scale – scared to death of carbs/gaining weight back. Looking sickly thin, no muscles, extra skin. This was NOT the body I had envisioned.

November 22, 2005 137 pounds stressed out over moving to a new state/new job

August 25th, 2007 144 pounds – leaving for Burning Man 2007-super fun!

January 1, 2008 – 161 pounds – wine with dinner, over indulging, stress from a break up

May 16th, 2009 – gave up drinking

May 30th, 2009 –161 pounds – started dating my husband

July 4th, 2010 – 163 pounds – wedding day!

January 2011 – 173 pounds – started Dr. Barnard’s 21 day Vegan Jumpstart!

March 10th, 2011 – 160 pounds – yay! 13 pounds lost…left for Chicago weekend adventure…

March 15th, 2011 – 168 pounds after a great weekend in Chicago and the infamous Chicago Pizza Trifecta

Novemeber 2011 – figured out that money doesn’t buy happiness…quit job that I hated.

December 2011 – 180 poundsWatched Forks Over Knives – decided to start it after San Francisco trip

December 27th, 2011 – 187 pounds – returned from San Francisco trip/Day 1 Engine 2 Diet

January 31st, 2012 – 178 pounds – left for work project in Kansas City, MO

February 15, 2012 – started running with the Nike+ program

March 30th, 2012 167 pounds – drove to Austin, TX for Farms 2 Forks Immersion Weekend

April 2, 2012 164 pounds – lost 3 pounds eating amazing food at Farms 2 Forks!

April 16, 2012 – started 3 Plant-Based Nutrition courses at eCornell/T. Colin Campbell Foundation & gave up caffeine

May 3, 2012 – 157 pounds on my 40th birthday – ran 10k on the treadmill first time ever!

August 10th, 2012 – 144 pounds – the last day this number shall REALLY matter to me.

Fitness and health are more important than the driving force of the scale.  I shouldn’t be able to recall all of these numbers.  But I can.  I’ve learned a lot over the years.  Magic pills don’t work.  Low carbing wasn’t what got me to 129 pounds, calorie restriction did.The scale doesn’t tell the whole story.  I was remarkably unhealthy after low carbing for a couple of years.  I was also wildly misinformed about nutrition.  I remember distinctly walking home from the grocery store with my backpack filled to the hilt with beans, rice, quinoa, ezekiel bread and corn tortillas…freaking out in my head as I prepped to start Engine 2.  I kept thinking….I have 30 pounds of carbs in my backpack.  30 pounds of carbs….how is this going to work????  I was 23 pounds shy of my highest weight ever, walking home with what I thought and had conditioned myself to believe, were my biggest addiction…carbs.  Jeff Novick, MS, RD, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Campbell, Rip Esselstyn and the infinitely wise and helpful Dr. Doug Lisle who taught me what my true addictions were: salt, fat and sugar.

I LOVE being whole foods plant-based.  It has made a tremendous difference in my health, my energy level, my relationship with food.  I am focused now on continuing to improve my fitness level with strength training, running, swimming and yoga.  If you have stayed with me this far…thank you for listening!  I hope that I can help someone by telling my story. Focus on eating well, being healthy and getting fit. Your numbers, whether cholesterol, blood pressure or weight will all align.

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Ami Mackey for Engine 2
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is the Curator of Creative Content at Engine 2. She is also a food coach at Engine 2 and has been plant-strong since 2011. When she isn't attending to all things Engine 2, she is the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She has earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • Jeremy Wangler
    Posted at 14:24h, 17 December

    I got up as high as I ever was during the stressful times of my wife’s pregnancy and our son’s first few months going in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals. I’ll always remember 277, that number I reached in February. In May we watched Forks Over Knives and that night we were plant strong E2ers! I’ve lost 60 pounds since then and I haven’t felt starved at all, rather full of all the good things I know I need to be healthy!

  • Peggy Glidden
    Posted at 15:07h, 17 December

    Your numbers look like mine. The best thing I ever did for myself was watch Forks Over Knives on Netflix. Started my plant-based diet on August 26th, 2012 after a visit to my doctor. She wanted me to go on BP meds. I wanted a few weeks to change my diet. As of today, 40 lbs gone without trying, and BP is NORMAL! Thank you to all of the plant-based community!

  • MBE
    Posted at 22:12h, 17 December

    Wow Ami my story could be the same with no smoking but lots of no carb meals and diet pills, back up towards the top and ready to rid myself of the salt, fat & sugar. Thanks for your honesty

  • Kerry
    Posted at 23:19h, 17 December

    Great post Ami! I have been plant strong since June, but am struggling with not eating cheese and sweets. My husband and two young daughters are not plant strong (yet!), and when one of my daughters doesn’t finish her grilled cheese sandwich, well, I have a hard time wasting food and just throwing it out. I try to bake vegan cookies, muffins, etc., but don’t always have time. I was really good when I first went plant strong, but lately I have found myself straying, partly because I am at a healthy body weight for my size. Any advice?

  • JenO
    Posted at 08:36h, 18 December

    Thanks for this great post..helps me remember why I chose the E2 plan and why I need to continue to stay on it!! 🙂

  • E2XAnne
    Posted at 10:06h, 18 December

    Ami, you’re an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story. Many of us can relate to your journey and its helpful just to hear where you’ve been and how far you’ve come with Engine2 and plant-based nutrition. Thank you for all you do!

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