I grew up on the standard American diet. Milk, cheese, cereal, meat, etc. I was a very picky eater as a child. Even into adulthood there were foods I refused to eat, even some I had not even given a chance. I was not an overweight child, about average in high school. I think within 2 years after high school, I began gaining weight. Stress and extremely bad choices in foods were the culprit but I really didn’t know it for years.
Throughout the years I have tried diet plan after diet plan. Losing some but gaining it back almost immediately. I think the most weight I had lost was 25-30 lbs going to meetings, which was a blessing to me, I really needed the support system. That being the most I had ever lost, I was elated. Then the weight came right back on…plus more!
In 2006 my weight reached to highest ever the year following the death of my brother. I ate away my feelings of grief. In 2010, I made a conscience decision to lose the weight. I saw the doctor in March of 2010 and although my weight was 10 lbs lighter than in 2006, I still had about 80 lbs to lose. I began tracking the foods I ate on my own, and lost about 15 lbs on my own. I then joined a support group and got weighed every week…the support was amazing but my weight only came down 15 lbs with them.
During this time, my family began a physical fitness regimen. Three of my kids began taking karate classes and my husband and I began taking kickboxing classes. I was excited, I finally found that I enjoyed exercise, who knew I would enjoy kicking and punching something…such a great stress reliever. I didn’t lose much weight but I felt fantastic, I was getting very strong and had some great endurance.
For a couple of years, I have been reading lots of books and learning about vegetarianism. I really never thought it would work for me. I thought it would be extremely difficult to give up some of my favorite foods. I decided I needed to take my health and nutrition to a new level, not just vegetarian but trying a plant based diet. So May 10,2011 was the first day of my eating a plant based diet. I made the decision to cut all animal products out of my diet. At the same time I also took out sugar. Some people called me crazy for cutting all of those products at once but, I felt that was the best for me. Within a week, I was surprised to feel the energy! Within 7 weeks eating a plant based diet, I have lost about 17 lbs. My hair is not as greasy as it was, and I seem to have fewer headaches. My blood pressure was never high, but it has gone down.
At this time, I am just about 50 lbs lighter than I was when I saw the doctor in March 2010. I will continue to eat a plant based diet for the rest of my life. My husband has joined me in this new lifestyle as has 2 of my children. I tell my kids, especially the picky one, to give some of the foods I have been making a chance. One day, I believe she too will begin to see how this lifestyle can make a person feel. With diabetes and heart disease in both my husbands and my families, I feel I owe it to my children to teach them about nutrition.