When I started my “diet” almost seven years ago, it wasn’t about the weight but about my health. That was the difference between this weight loss attempt and all the other diets I did previously. I never made a serious attempt that stuck until the lifestyle change I made.
When I think of how bad I ate over 7 years ago, I think in amazement how far I came since them. I would think nothing of chowing down on several Egg McMuffins or several burgers at McDonald’s. Today... I have no cravings for such foods.
I feel so far removed from my obese days and yet, there’s always a reminder of my journey. It might be some skin that’s loose here and there (I did have a tummy tuck 3 months ago, but no one can ever be perfect). I might see a photo of myself and think back to how unhealthy I was at my highest weight.
One of my friends on Facebook suggested that I reclaimed my life, and I do feel I’ve done just that. I mean, I could barely climb my stairs at work when I started my job in 2011. I used to sit at my desk for hours and never get up to even stretch. I recall how my legs felt like they wanted to collapse when I would stand up at the end of the day.
I was most likely pre-diabetic along with my confirmed diagnosis of being pre-hypertensive back then. When I would drive back then, I would feel like my foot was asleep, or get severe pain in my foot while driving. It was most likely neuropathy, but I was never diagnosed. This was just based on the symptoms I looked up. Thankfully, that went away when I lost the weight.
This last attempt to lose the weight, the one that stuck, became all about getting and staying healthy. As I said many times, I did not want to become my parents or other members of my family, who rely on meds that cause side effects, then take more meds to cover the side effects of the other meds.
I credit doctors like Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. T. Colin Campbell for educating me about plant based eating. Dr. Fuhrman was probably the biggest influence initially, as he was the first doctor I heard of that talked about the health consequences of meat. I’ll never forget tuning into him on Dr. Oz one day. After I saw his segment, I bought his book “End of Diabetes” (I think that was the first book I bought of his). It changed my life. I may not have become completely plant based right away... that didn’t happen until Sept. of 2016, but I was mostly plant based. I think the plants overcrowded any of the “bad foods” I was still consuming in small quantities.
I realize after six years of sustained weight loss, I don’t think I will ever be in that danger of being obese ever again. Dr. Mondo (of “The Biggest Loser” fame... the shirt I’m wearing in the after picture is courtesy of Dr. Mondo) once asked me what I would tell my former self. I think I would have told him things will get much better... but put down those cheeseburgers, they’re destroying your health! He wouldn’t have believed me though as he would need to hear it from the doctor himself.