Sunday, July 21, 2019

How to Lose A LOT of Weight?

-

I recently met someone who lost over 200 pounds on a healthy plant based diet. I posted what he told me about losing that much weight on facebook – and got some people who were offended. I won’t repeat exactly what he said (I don’t want to offend anyone)- but he did mention that he just “stopped whining” about eating healthy and he stopped eating dead things, and it just wasn’t that hard in the end.

I’ve been thinking about being fat a lot lately. I mean, I kind of live with being overweight every day of my life right now, (I still have over 100 pounds to lose) but lately it’s been on my mind a lot more.

My husband and I have been talking a lot about if it is ‘easy’ to go healthy/plant based or if it is really hard to get healthy. So that’s one part of it – and the other part of it was watching the show Glee last week.

So let me start with the easy thing. I am part of a very rare club. The morbidly obese club. Sure, you see tons of news programs in which they show the ass of someone very large walking down the street as to point out the obesity epidemic. But the truth is that most people are not morbidly obese, and the bigger truth is, you probably don’t know anyone personally who is morbidly obese. Everyone says they don’t see size, but in general I have a very hard time believing that, I see size, and I am and have been morbidly obese. I don’t get angry at people for seeing how large I am, it is part of our human nature. I don’t even expect everyone to accept and love me ‘just the way I am’. I don’t say this in a self loathing kind of way – just in a very honest and practical sort of way. Being morbidly obese is uncomfortable, not just for the person who walks around with the weight on, but often for the people who are closest to them.

I wish I could say that I have no clue how I got to be morbidly obese, but that would not be very honest. I know exactly how it happened. I am ashamed of how it happened. I hate myself for letting it happen. There is absolutely NOTHING worth being obese over.

It is not something I take lightly, at all, in anyway. It is something that is painful. Obesity means disease, it means your organs work harder than they need to, it means you are on the road or already have type 2 diabetes, it means your heart has to work extra hard to get blood to your body, it means pain in your bones, muscles, joints. It means not fitting in airplane seats, not fitting in the booth at a restaurant, it means not being able to use a stall in a public restroom, it means not being able to tie your shoes. It means a lot of very horrible things. It means early death.

When I look at all that being morbidly obese means, and I look at the answers to stopping obesity, it seems EASY. I can’t tell you how many diets I went on. Seriously, if you name one, I’ve been on it. Recently I put this theory to the test at a conference I spoke at, I had people tell me the diets they had been on – and I had been on ALL of them – some more than once.

And in the end, the answer? Has been FAR easier than anything that I have ever tried in the past, and I can tell you, it is FAR easier than being morbidly obese with out of control type 2 diabetes that almost killed me.

The answer was a healthy plant based diet. I don’t eat animals or things with animals in them – in addition to that I do not eat ANY oil, nuts, avocado, soy or gluten. I stay away from anything with salt in it, and I don’t eat anything that is processed.

Now, I know that might seem hard to anyone who is reading this. But you have to understand that I used to have to get my husband to tie my shoes, I used to be terrified of losing my life when I went to sleep – every single night. To me, eating this way is FAR easier.

This isn’t about it being easy or being hard, this is about me saving my life and about me living a better quality of life. Whether it is ‘easy’ or not went out the window a LONG time ago. For me, the most empowering thing that I did, was to get over myself, get over my hangups and stop all of the excuses, the “whining” if you will. That’s all I did when I was obese, I complained endlessly about how hard it was. And the more I complained, the less empowered I was, excuses were almost the death of me. I couldn’t do it for one reason or another, it was too much, it was too difficult, it was always something, and it landed me in a world of hurt and pain.

I think one of the worst parts about it all was that it didn’t happen over night. Now, yes, I did gain A LOT of weight when I hit puberty. That was kind of the starting point to a lot of years of eating badly and making a lot of excuses of why I was doing so. And, mostly, I knew what I was doing – I hated myself to the point where I would make excuse after excuse after excuse. I had no self empowerment, I kept telling myself how hard it was to lose weight, and after a while of that much self hatred and that many excuses, I started to believe it – I started to believe that I was that worthless, that I really could never make those changes.

Now, here is the flip side to all of this… So I was watching Glee the other night and the character “Mercedes” is put on a diet by the cheer-leading coach. She ends up starving herself and getting sick, and there is this scene in which one of her classmates is telling her how she is so strong for being so confident in herself, no matter what size she is. They end the episode by singing “Beautiful” one of my favorite Christina Aguilera songs. I was watching the show, thinking that it was really amazing that they showed this side of feeling good about yourself. They had people join them in singing who didn’t feel as pretty or popular as everyone else. I totally and completely think it is an outstanding message – especially for teens.

What upset me about it was the being confident in being overweight. Now, please, don’t get me wrong, I think we should feel beautiful and strong no matter what is going on with our outside. But lately (not just on glee) there have been some situations where being overweight or being ‘fat’ has been glorified in a weird way, or has been championed as something to be happy or proud of. I had someone tell me recently that they were just eating whatever they wanted, and they were fat but content with it, because they were “so happy” about eating whatever they wanted.

It’s a weird line for me. I don’t take being fat lightly at all. (no pun intended). It is great to say that you are confident in yourself, or that you love people no matter what their size, that is all nice, but there is a point where being fat is not something that is just something to joke around about or to think of as being something which is not a big deal – being fat is deadly.

Having a few extra pounds is one thing, not being a size 2 is one thing. But being obese is something that I take with as much seriousness as someone having terminal cancer. Obesity IS terminal. It is not a vanity thing, it is not something that we just have to learn to accept better, it is deadly, and it is not just hurting the individual, it is hurting an entire generation of children. When we teach that being obese or getting on the road to obesity is ok, we teach that being sick is ok, we teach that addiction is ok, we teach that getting a preventable disease is ok. It is not ok. It is dangerous, and it hurts. And by ignoring the problem, or by accepting it, it does not make it any better, in fact, it makes it a lot worse.

What they don’t show on Glee was the Mercedes character getting diabetes in a couple of years, and having to cut off a limb. It doesn’t show her not being able to walk up a flight of stairs or trying to figure out how to buckle a seat belt in a car. And I will tell you, that all the confidence and being ok with your body does not do you ONE bit of good when a Doctor tells you that you won’t have your eyesight in a few years, because you could not get your life in control to stop some really horrible addictions.

There is an answer, and to me it is an easy answer. In the end, it’s far easier than having a disease that could have been prevented. Being obese is not something that should be looked at as just some kind of physical hang up – I am not talking about crooked teeth or a tiny nose or a big forehead. I am talking about something that is actually deadly and that is far more pain than most can even imagine.

One of the most empowering things that I ever did was to stop making excuses, it was to stop and take my life in my own hands and stop the endless circles that got me into the very deadly mess that I found myself in. Ending the cycle has been the most beautiful thing I have discovered about myself. I have found a strength that I did not know existed about myself, I found something that took more courage and more hope than I thought were possible. It is the best feeling ever. Maybe to some that looks like me putting myself down, but to me, it is me in a place that is higher than any mountain than I could ever climb, it is me being the strong woman that I am, and not letting any disease ruin and take over my life.

If you are reading this and you are in the same boat as I was in – if you are headed down the path of death and destruction that IS obesity, please know that there is an answer and that you are strong enough and have enough courage to take your life into your hands and change it – forever, but it is up to you in the end. And I can say this with full confidence – I know that you are completely capable of turning it all around, right this very moment.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Kim

    Thank you for writing this Nat. I tried to take my life a few years ago because I was obese. I also went on a plant based diet and have lost a lot of weight, it is easy. VERY EASY compared to the pain I was in.

    You hit the nail on the head, being fat is not cute or something to figure out how to love, it’s something that hurts.
    Good for you!

  2. Mike

    Since you quoted me on facebook, I feel like I should chime in. First, didn’t mean to offend. I’m a fool most of the time, so I generally come off as one sometimes.

    Second, I do think it’s easy to go vegan. I had a heart attack when I was 43 and almost left my kids behind, that was the asshole thing to do. I read the book “Skinny Bastard” and it spoke to me like the fool I was being to myself, my kids and my wife.

    I’ve lost weight, I got my heart working again, and I won’t make my wife a widow or my kids with out a Dad, that is far worse than anything offensive that I could say. I tell guys to stop being jackasses and get over-themselves and stop eating dead food, I am a guy, that is what I needed to hear, I don’t need to feel good about myself, I just want to be a man about my life and treat my family in a way that shows them I love them more than I love a good steak.

    So, if my comment offended it wasn’t meant for you, it was meant for someone else who needed to hear it, another fool like myself.

  3. Nat

    thanks Kim and Mike.

    And Mike – don’t worry about offending, I think you are right, some people just need to hear things in different ways. I’ve had all sorts of hate mail, threats and mean letters saying that I communicated something in the wrong way. I figure someone will connect to what I’m saying – that’s who I am writing for.

    Good job on getting your life turned around. And for what it is worth, I don’t think you are a bad guy 🙂 <3

  4. Nolan

    Loved it. Can’t imagine what the man really had to say. Great insight about you, life, and society.

    We were at a baseball game tonight, and the man in front of me was morbidly obese, profusely sweating, and eating his way through every inning. I knew that physiologically, he was in a tailspin and couldn’t stop. I wanted to go an tap him on the shoulder…

    Between innings, I was re-reading ENGINE 2.

    Nat, you are awesome!

  5. Beth

    Nat,

    I want to thank you for writing this. I am older and have wasted a lot of my life being overweight. I have a heart condition, diabetes and cancer. I can’t play with my nieces and nephews, and I have to rely on everyone else to help me with my life.

    It certainly was not worth being overweight. I used to tell everyone how happy I was being overweight, and it didn’t matter, I was the sassy fat girl. I was wrong, it does matter. I am hoping I can turn it around now, before I end up losing it all because I did not make life changes when I was younger. Being diseased is not something to be cheered on.

    Whatever it takes for people to listen. You got me to listen, and I hope that it is in time to save what life I have left.

    Sincerely,
    Beth

  6. Ben

    Read and loved Skinny Bastard. Sometimes people need tough love with all the emotional stuff.

  7. Liz

    That was really hard for me to read. I want to say that I don’t judge people who are fat, but I do. I’m supposed to be this big champion of human rights, but when I see someone who is fat, I do judge. I used to be about 50 pounds overweight, but nothing like you have gone through. It took someone telling me that I was going to end up like my Mom, dead at 60 because she was fat and had health problems. It was tough love, but it worked.

    Thanks for being honest, you are a strong woman.

  8. Angela

    I loved the book “Skinny Bitch” it was the wake up call I needed, I used to be the girl who thought it was cool to be okay with being a little fat, until I got myself type 2 diabetes, it wasn’t so atractive after that!

    Keep on with writing Natala, you are the voice a lot of us need to hear! PEACE!!!!!!!!

  9. Steve

    I saw what Mike had to say on your Faceboook status, and I for one was encouraged and wanted to thank him. I’ve been making a lot of excuses about why I can’t go vegan or plant based or whatever it is, but it helped me to see the light if you will.

    So thanks for that.

  10. Patti

    Nat,

    You are an amazing woman and truly an inspiration for so many of us. I have never been obese, but have stumbled upon this wonderful life of being vegan. I want to help anyone I can, but I also feel like I don’t want to shove it down peoples throats and need to respect their feelings on what they put into their bodies. I would love to change everyone because I know how powerful eating plant based is. I guess I look at it a lot like religion ~ I don’t want anyone pushing it on me or judging me for what I believe. I once offended someone and felt really bad about it. I will always remember what my husband said to me about it ~ it’s not what you say, but how you say it. I think we look at this differently than those who haven’t been awakened to the information we have read or heard. I just try to keep it all on the positive side. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to meet you and you are doing an awesome job helping other people better their lives. Keep up the good work. Love you.

  11. Laura

    Can I just say that I love what you write and love that you never ever discriminate or hate on people no matter how they say something.

    Everyone has the right to talk however they want, and you can take it or leave it. You show sides of things that are fair and and from different perspectives. Not all people will agree, but who cares, that is not life!

  12. Doug

    I think it’s simple. Eating meat kills and causes disease, I’m not sure what the hang up is when people tell others that is what it does.
    It is pretty black and white imo.

  13. Hannah

    Your story is moving–thank you for sharing. Best of luck in your journey.

    I’m curious about your diet–you say you don’t eat oil, but many recipes on the PDF you recommended call for olive oil.

  14. Nat

    My general rule is that I don’t eat anything that I can overeat on – which for me takes out things with sugar/oil/salt/nuts/seeds 🙂 I try to be careful about anything that I have addictions to. For myself, personally.

  15. James

    Personally, I loved Mike’s comment! To each his or her own. If you don’t like something, move on, but don’t get in the way, it could save someone’s life!

  16. Karen

    I agree that it is very simple, and it is black and white. I just read China Study, this is not a matter of different opinions, it is simple, eating the way American’s eat causes diabetes, cancer, Alzheimers, and obesity. It simply causes those diseases, there is no question.

    What being overweight means is that for the most part, someone is not taking care of their body. It is not judging the person, it is just the truth. With a few exceptions of course, but when you are obese, it means that you are doing or not doing something in your life.

    I am in the process of losing over 100 pounds myself, and I would always get angry at people who I thought were judging me, but they weren’t, they were just telling me the truth. Much like someone who smokes getting lung cancer, it will happen to them, and mostly, even if people don’t say it in the nicest way, I think people want to help.

    Except, being obese is much more deadly than smoking.

  17. Lori

    I wish everyone could be as honest as you about being obese. I have been obese for several years, most of those years I’ve been vegan, but I eat a lot of shit still. I did lose weight after becoming vegan, but then I started to rationalize that things like cookies and cake were healthy if they were vegan. It was great for the animals, but I was treating myself like crap. So I’ve started to cut out the vegan junk food. No more oreo’s!

    Thanks for being the person you are and for letting it all out, you help a lot of people of different beliefs. We’re not all cookie cutter, thank God!

  18. heather

    I saw the post on Facebook and thought it was AWESOME. I was upset you took it down. It seems that the person, the one I saw anyways that was offended might not know you very well, or for that matter the guy who wrote it.

    I was really encourgaged by it, not every person says things in the best politically correct way that pleases everybody.

    The guy saw himself as being a “Whiny little bitch” if he sees himself that way, it’s up to him, he needed to get to that realization to change, good on him.

  19. Amanda

    I think you are absolutely beautiful and I have no idea what you look like!! You’re words are so inspirational and kind. I hope that you have the opportunity to talk to as many people as possible.

    This post makes me think of the backlash against Michelle Obama for wanting our children to be healthy. People claiming that her campaign is for vanity is really harming people.

  20. Amy

    Thank you for writing this. Your honesty and insights are really helpful. I’ve been vegan for a couple years now, but still the struggle with my weight continues…

  21. Heather

    What an inspiring post. You are a wonderful writer. Keep going, keep going, keep going! You will change a lot of lives.

Nat
I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on [email protected]

Menopause Weight Loss Plan: How to Stop the Weight Gain Fast

0
Most women gain weight during menopause so the idea of losing it while your body changes in this way can be kind...

Manifest Your Desires

0
Would you like to instantly manifest your desires? What holds you back from doing so? The way to connect with manifestation...

Illness and Drug Treatment in Depression

0
For the brain to function well, the body needs to function well. If your body operates at a less-than-optimal level, your brain...

Homestead Exemption: Are You Eligible?

0
Homestead Exemption is a statewide program that offers a reduction in real property and manufactured home taxes to qualifying homeowners in Ohio....

South Beach Meal Replacement Bars: do they work?

0
South beach meal replacement bars were developed as an aid to help people lose weight as part of a program that...

How to Start a Support Group

0
Support groups provide an opportunity to meet other people who share similar experiences. Most often groups provide support and advice on how...