When I started this plant-strong journey I was a mess. Seriously, a mess. I was somewhere around 450 pounds, who knows really, the doctors scale didn’t even go up that high. I was wearing a very stretched out 8X. My T2 diabetes was so out of control, I thought I might as well end my life, because I was that miserable. I could hardly walk a few feet without being in pain, the neuropathy in my legs was so bad that I was getting infections, I was tired all the time, in other words? A mess.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I had been on every diet known to man. Atkins to the Zone, ask me, I’ve been there and tried that. I’ve been on a diet since the age of 10. When I was 13 Richard Simmons sent me a photo of himself, chained to a fork, my dream was to be in a “Sweatin’ to the Oldies Video”.
I’d always get excited when I started a new diet. I’d start planning. I’d lose X amount in one year. By the end of the year, I’d be wearing clothes from The Gap! By the end of the year I’d fit into the normal size gym uniforms! By the end of the year I’d be able to wear Z-Cavaricci! By the end of the year I’d be able to roller blade! By the end of the year I’d get invited to prom by the cute guy in my Social Studies class and wear a dress from JC Penny’s Junior section! By the end of the year I’d run a 10K in my cute little running shorts! By the end of the year I’d fit into a gorgeous wedding gown! By the end of the year I’d be able to have a baby, by the end of the year I’d be able to buy a little black dress… By the end of the year…
You get the point. The “end of the year” just didn’t happen, ever. Instead, I’d go on these diets. I’d go up and down, I’d lose, I’d gain. I’d hate myself.
I was told over and over to just “eat less, move more”. As if I had never once in my life heard that before. I wanted to say back to the doctors “WOW! Thank you! I had never thought of that! I just need to eat less! Perfect!”
It wasn’t until recently that I understood the issues around food, calorie density, genetics and well, a really corrupt health industry. I fell for all of the gimmicks. And over and over it seemed like thin people were telling me how easy it was to lose weight, because obviously, they were thin. The thing is, I tried. I tried as hard as I could. Went to doctors, dietitians, hypnotists, therapists, psychologists, spiritual healers, guru’s. I went to OA, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutri System, TOPS. You name it, I did it. Each time with vigor. Each time with a resolve that THIS would be my year. That I would definitely figure it out, there was no stopping me!
And then I’d fail. And I would hate myself. And society told me that I was a failure, that there was something fundamentally wrong with me. I’d find out later, that there is nothing wrong with me, and there is nothing wrong with you either. Some of us are born with higher fat stores than others. When introduced to higher calorically dense foods, those of us with higher fats stores will gain more weight, opposed to someone with lower fat stores who might gain some weight, but they will not become overweight or obese.
* incidentally on that note., people with low fat stores who are not overweight but still eat poorly, are the people who come to us saying they thought they were healthy and then went and found out their cholesterol was 250. Or worse, they thought they were healthy, were running a 10K and had a heart attack. Just because you have low fat stores, eat junk, and do not gain weight does not mean the food you put into your body is not harming your endothelial lining. In other words? Skinny does not equal healthy.
Enter, plant-strong. When I decided to go plant-strong, it was to save my life. Sure, I wanted to lose weight, but that had become secondary, to be honest. Saving my life was much more important. I was not going to make it much longer, living the way I was, with my T2 diabetes as out of control as it was. So I did it. As you know, if you have read my story before, the plant-strong thing, worked for my T2 diabetes. And my cholesterol, blood pressure, neuropathy, nerve damage, arthritis and hormone issues. And wouldn’t you know, I started to lose weight.
This is not a story about miraculous weight loss. I didn’t get to my goal weight in a year. I’m not even at my goal weight almost 4 years later. I’ve lost about 1 pound per week for almost 4 years straight. Over 200 pounds now, which more than anything has helped me with things like getting control of my T2 diabetes, and the massive health problems I had when I started.
I may not be at my ideal weight. But I don’t care. I’m losing my modest, 1 pound a week still. I am on no medications, I get out and workout everyday, I can jog, I can fit into clothes at Target, I can get on an airplane and buckle a seatbelt. I am alive, and I am proud of the progress I’ve made and the changes that I’ve implemented in my life.
This is a long haul journey for me. This is something that I have committed to 100%, for the rest of my life. Because in all of this, I have realized the most important thing, I’m worth it, and it is not about losing weight or being skinny, this is a journey about health, and becoming the healthiest person I can be.
If you are in this for the long haul, like myself, never lose sight that you are worth it as well. It is not about getting to a certain weight in a year, it’s about deciding how you are going to live for the rest of your years.