One year ago I turned 40! The “I’m getting old” thing didn’t strike me as depressing… but being 40 and fat did! Last year, on October 19th, I weighed ……..182 pounds!!! It’s true! I was wearing solid 16’s and felt like crap.
I decided I needed to do something major; a one year goal that I would devote myself to until my 41st birthday. My CLEAN EATING QUEST.
*My immediate objectives were:
· *Eliminate all processed food!
· *Eliminate sugar in all its forms (except raw or frozen fruit)
· Read something every day that would teach me how to care for this body of mine
Then, in order to increase my chances of success, I told everyone. Most people said “good for you!”. Some said “that’s a pretty big goal. Maybe you should just try moderation so that it’s actually achievable”. And I’m sure many (myself included) thought.. “here she goes again.”
I am SO PROUD to report that I STUCK WITH MY QUEST for the full year! I now weigh 140 (a 42 pound loss!) and I comfortably wear a size 8/10.
I have some pretty hideous “before” pictures of me in my underwear last October. (My poor daughter, having been forced to take my photo, is still in counseling). You’d be amazed at those before and after pictures! But I’m just not bold enough to show them to the world. Instead, I’ve included a picture of me at Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island) in my birthday crown last year and another picture of me at Grand Hotel last week.
I immediately conquered my first three objectives. I cut out sugar and processed foods cold turkey! It wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d imagined. I focused on eating foods in their most natural form. I really focused on getting my mind trained for this QUEST. I knew I wouldn’t be happy munching on celery and carrots for a year! I needed to learn what else was out there that was good for me, that I could learn how to prepare. (As a result, I now regularly consume hemp seed, quinoa, coconut oil, bee pollen.) I hoped that the more I learned, the less desire I’d have to eat crap. Friends, THAT was the key to my success! Not only did I make it through my year long quest – I have gone far beyond where I imagined I would, and can’t imagine every going back! You truly don’t know what you don’t know!!
As I studied and soaked up information, I’d make decisions to test various philosophies to determine if they were true for me. For example, I read a lot about wheat and gluten and their negative effects on the body. I was tested a few years ago for celiac disease. It came back negative. But after reading so much about this, I decided to eliminate all wheat, bread, pasta, crackers, etc.. from my diet. I continued this for 2 months. After two months, I reintroduced some whole grain pasta into my diet. The negative results were immediate! I was in pain! So clearly my body prefers to abstain from those things.
The other major change that I made was to eliminate animal products from my diet. The research is overwhelming! Animal products are killing us “BUT WHAT ABOUT PROTEIN?!?” I don’t believe our bodies need NEAR the amount of protein that we hear about. But even if we did, do you have any idea how much protein is in leafy greens? MORE THAN ENOUGH! I also eat nuts and seeds daily – but in moderation.
I’m not perfect! Every once in a while I’ll indulge in a little cheat. But my diet is now completely plant based, free of sugar and processed foods, and 80% raw. I feel great! This is no longer a “diet” for me – it’s truly a lifestyle!
While the year has come to an end, and my QUEST has been accomplished, I feel that I’m really just beginning. I had so much fun on my QUEST, I’ve decided to do it again. This year, I’ll focus on fitness. I don’t know exactly what that will look like yet – but I have decided it will include a half marathon in April! (My son thinks a marathon next October. We’ll see… J)
To those of you who have been a constant support for me this year, THANK YOU! I think my children have been my greatest cheerleaders! They’ve joined me on this journey, along with my husband, and have endured much! As a family, we now have green smoothies every morning! They try every new vegan recipe that I make, and generally find positive things to say about them! I’m so grateful for the support!!
More Before & After Pix...