(Glenn has lost over 100 pounds!)
My plant-strong journey began with something as innocuous as a seatbelt. I was headed to Las Vegas for my brother’s wedding via airplane in June 2012. When I sat down in my window seat, I instinctively reached for both ends of my seatbelt and pulled them towards each other. My heart broke when I could not buckle them together. Try as I might (and I did), no matter how much strength I could muster, or how much I sucked in my stomach, I could not fasten my seatbelt.
I’m sure many people decide to take their health seriously when they are confronted with an embarrassing moment like that. I can’t even express how mortified and ashamed I felt when I had to ask the flight attendant for a seatbelt extension. When I returned home from the trip, I dusted off the scale I had bought, but always was too afraid of using and stepped on it. 370. I weighed 370 pounds. I had no idea. Even though I was only 29 years old, did I have high blood pressure? Did I have Type II Diabetes? High cholesterol? How bad was I off physically?
I tried a number of things to lose weight and to try and get healthy, and I had some success initially. But it wasn’t until I saw Forks Over Knives that I finally understood that being healthy AND trying to get a handle on my weight should go hand in hand. You see, on the other diet I was trying, I was allowed to eat processed foods rife with things like meat, cheese, milk, eggs, oil and salt. While the calorie count was somehow low in some of these foods – the food itself was not in the least bit healthy. Sodium levels were high, there was a ton of fat in them, and a lot of the ingredients of these foods were highly processed and refined. Forks Over Knives really opened my eyes to the pros of eating a plant-based whole foods diet. I sought out and read the Engine 2 Diet book. That same day, I decided to take on the 28 day challenge.
Through Engine 2 and Engine 2 Extra (its coaches and community), I have made some significant progress since that fateful plane trip. I now weigh 270 pounds. My total cholesterol is 108. My LDL is in the 50’s. My triglycerides are 114. My resting heart rate is a lot closer to 60 beats per minute (it used to be closer to 90). And finally, my blood pressure, while still a somewhat elevated, is still considered in the “normal” range. I feel healthier, and more importantly, I am a lot wiser about the foods I eat. I even have managed to wean myself off of drinking sweet tea, my beverage of choice for some 20 years.
This is not the end of my journey. I find myself still learning about nutrition and how food affects our mood and our health. I am still a ways off from my ideal weight, too. I also still struggle with getting in the right amount of exercise and have been known to fall into the “pleasure trap” as Doug Lisle has so aptly described. But I will get there. The folks at Engine 2 and E2X have already been invaluable in my pursuit to a healthier lifestyle. And I thank them immensely for it.
Oh and I just got back from my first trip since my brother’s wedding in June. The seatbelt fit with room to spare. How’s that for results?
Engine 2 Extra members, Rip will be interviewing Glenn in May!