Saturday, June 15, 2019

How to Lose Weight — No More Fat

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Crazy as it seems, being fat is not really that fun. You would think by the amount of us who walk around with excess baggage, we really enjoyed it or something. The amount of fast food restaurants, and junk foods in stores, it’s like we’re all begging “PLEASE FOOD INDUSTRY MAKE ME FATTER!’. And for the most part we not only comply to this, we allow ourselves to dive into it and let the waist lines grow, and the flabbiness expand.

I learned a long time ago that if you are serious enough about something it will show in your actions. The truth is that if you are hitting up McDonalds at all, like ever it tells me that you really aren’t that interested in your waist line. I’m not judging you, I’m just saying let’s just be totally honest with the entire thing. If you want to be fat, the food industry has made it so easy, and guess who fuels the food industry? We do. If we stopped wanting to be fat and having diseases the food industry would fail and fail fast. But I don’t know that we care enough about ourselves, or that we (as a society) really want to be healthy or of a decent weight. A diet section in a book store tells me one thing, IT IS TOO DAMN hard to lose weight. There are about 1000 ways to lose weight and to work out, all claiming to be better than the next. And most of these ways still want you to shop the same way, think the same way, eat at the same places, and they lie to us saying we can continue eating all the same things – just less of them. Because that’s worked in the past, maybe on some other planet?

I was recently at the grocery store a normal national chain one, and this is when it all struck me that the food industry really just loves that we apparently all want to be and remain fat. There was an aisle labeled “Beer, Cheese, Bacon”. I kid you not. And I realized that that sign was not there because some marketing person just thought what the heck? Those things are all in this aisle. They labeled that sign because people, enough people are looking for bacon, cheese and beer.

The irony to all of this? The pharmacy was right behind this section, which really, if you think about it, if you are shopping in that aisle you probably don’t have the energy to make it to another section of the store to get your cholesterol lowering drugs.

I say all of this as a former morbidly obese woman, and as a currently obese woman. At my highest weight I was over 400 pounds. I do not even know how to make that real to anyone else. I hated my life, absolutely and completely hated it. I couldn’t move around, I felt miserable, and I was depressed about the way I looked all the time. I went to diet groups, weight loss support groups, I went to doctors, nutritionists, and surgeons. And they all told me the same thing “Just eat less and work out more” as if this thought had never occurred to me. But they weren’t there when I was going through some really horrible depression, when food was my only comfort, and they could not possibly help in what I really needed help with – thinking that I could actually lose weight and that it was possible, and that I’d have to make a lot of inner changes before that could happen.

So much has changed in the inside of me in order to be where I am, and in order to get where I am going, that I can’t just say change a few things about the way you live, I’m here to tell you that you need to change EVERY THING. Every step you have taken up till this point has lead you to the body and the mindset and the health that you currently have, and something, somewhere along the line needs to be undone. Maybe it’s one thing, maybe it’s a 1000 things, but the best way to get to that point? Clean slate. So right now, if you are reading along and thinking that you are tired of the way you feel, the way you look, you are scared what the future of your health could hold, you feel depressed most of the time, or simply that things are just not the way you want them to be, you should know that you can change all of that, and you can make that choice right now, with out much drama.

okay, maybe a little drama.

Step 1: Change the way you eat.

I know I mentioned that there are a million diet books telling you how to eat. What I’m telling you is not a diet, in fact don’t ever again use the word diet. EVER. My weight loss coach told me that she hates the word because the word “DIE” is in it. If you want to die, go on a diet. That’s what I had been doing for years – dieting, and it was killing me.

Know that what you eat could be controlling a lot more than the numbers on your scale. The chemicals, the hormones in the typical American diet, don’t just mess up your physical body it messes up your emotional body as well. All of that extra estrogen that the typical American eats (from things like chicken and eggs) causes our hormones to get way out of balance. Casein in milk causes addictions and effects our central nervous system. Things like fake sugars  cause chemical reactions in our brains which can cause a slew of problems including brain fog, depression and anxiety. If you want to change your mind, and change your emotional state, you must first eliminate the outside factors that could be causing it. The more drugs (chemicals) that you are on, the harder it is going to be for you to really make any changes. I’d candy coat it and tell you to do it slowly, but why?  Change what you are eating right now, decide that you are going to start being serious about your health, your life, and do something about it. No food is worth the way you are feeling right now.

If you have been reading my site for any amount of time, I don’t need to tell you what the eating part means. Changing what you eat is not the hard part, changing your mind is.

2. Decide that you are worth it.

You have to know that you are worth making these changes. In order to do this you have to decide that your life is worth living, and not just living, but thriving. And I can say for myself, this was the hardest part for me. While I would have never admitted it  I did not think my life was not worth living, my actions showed something very different. The foods I put into my body contradicted my desire to live. All of the chemicals, hormones, junk foods, animal products I was sending into my system just was me not really caring that much about my own body, again I would have never admitted that.. How many people do you know that eat whole foods, plants, veggies and fruits that are just completely depressed and hate life? I think that a lot of us (at least I know I did) used food to punish myself in horrible ways. even if I did not consciously  realize what I was doing, by putting those kinds of foods into my body I was hurting myself, and I was doing that because I really did not care about myself at all.

3. Find people who will support you:

This might be the hardest part of it for a lot of people.Chances are the people that surround you right now were people you chose to be in your life when you were not healthy, or they are your family members, and they are not used to wanting to do things like live and be content. Understand that it  is not their fault if they don’t take well to your choices and your changes. They might even make fun of you or put you down, and they might start to bring up every single study they have heard about on the Today show. Again, it’s important not to get mad at them (although I can’t say that I was good at this in the beginning). Know that these people probably do love you, but that by you deciding to get healthy, and to really care about your life, you might be saying something about them and the way they eat and the way they live their life. I think for most people, they do not want to know that it can be done, and so you might run up against some nasty backlash from people you currently know. Which is why I think finding support is so important.

Get on blogs, twitter, meetup groups, and find some new friends and support. Find people that are equally as happy when you make tofu scramble in the morning as you are to have made it. This does so much to the progress you will make. The more people you meet and find that are passionate about all of this, the more you will understand and know, and not feel so lonely. For me twitter has been a really great support system. I can write that I tried something new, or that I’m struggling and almost right away I get responses from people who are doing or going through the same thing.

4. CHOOSE

I’ve said this before, but I think that ownership of choice is the most important things we can do. Start putting the words “I AM CHOOSING” before every thing that you do. “I am choosing to take a long walk” or ‘I am choosing to eat this cheese”. Every single that we do is a choice (well almost every thing that we do) but our bodies, are just that OUR bodies. What we put into them, what we feed them, are all of our choices. Same goes for emotions and feelings. What we put into our brains are our choice. If we choose to be in a bad relationship, or if we choose to not watch television, those are all choices, that have good or bad consequences on our minds. Know that the way you are right now is because of a lot of choices you have made. I am not saying that this is completely your fault – there are a lot of people who do not want you healthy. But in the end, they are your choices, and in order to change, you must decided to choose things that are for your life, for your health, and for your emotional state of being.

5. Picture yourself there.

I am a big fan of visualization. Before you start down a path of thinking every thing is just too hard, or that you could never get to the place you want to go, picture yourself there. Picture yourself eating a nice satisfying meal of all whole plant foods. Picture yourself enjoying walking into a restaurant with some friends and ordering some veggie sushi, or trying a new raw foods place to eat with some new friends. Picture yourself running a few miles, and how great you will feel. Picture yourself walking into a clothing store and picking out something really hot for that date, or concert, or just because you feel like looking hot.

Picture yourself on a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies…(Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

6.  Know that you have all the strength you need to have to do this.

I don’t care if you are 5 pounds overweight or 300 pounds overweight. You have ever bit of strength to do this, right now. You don’t have to wait till tomorrow, or after the weekend, or after a birthday, holiday or some time off from the kids. You can do this now, today, this very moment. Your health and your mind are yours to do with what you want, and all you need is the power of one step to move yourself forward. Do not worry about the months ahead, think about the choices you will make right now, for your next meal, for what you will do with your time later on tonight. If no one has told you this – you are strong. I know this because there was a time in my life when I thought I was powerless and I thought I was not able to do what I am on my way to doing. A few years ago I would have never thought that I would be reaching the goals that I am, nor that I would feel so good about it, or that it would, in the end be so easy. You are strong, you just have to believe it.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Angie

    You are truly an inspiration!! I don’t know you, but congratulations and keep up the great work!!

  2. cassandra

    omg Nat, i could weep just seeing your before and after pictures!!! i’m so proud of you, and you’re such such SUCH an inspiration to SO many people out there. I dont know if you remember me – i’m cassandra, from one of your vegan support groups earlier this year. After the one-month support thing stopped, I had a period where i was kinda depressed and fell back to eating dairy, eggs and lots of sugar-filled stuff. But I’ve cut out the dairy and eggs for two months now, and am cutting back on sugar. Your blog is awesome and you are awesome. You’ll always be my inspiration, natala!!! 🙂 You’re looking GREAT!

  3. Nat

    true – although I would add that MANY diets will help people lose weight. But there are no diets that also reverse cancer cell growth and prevent things like alzheimers.

  4. Liz

    It goes to show that losing weight is not just about cutting calories and exercising, but about finding out what kind of diet suits you. I couldn’t lose weight at all going that route. What worked for me was to go on a low GI, near sugar-less diet. That’s when the pounds fell off for me. I’m mostly semi-vegan now, taking tofu and fish and eggs mostly with the occasional meat.

    Uhm, I’m not sure if I can go completely vegan though, but all power to you folks!

  5. Elaine

    Do’t stop now! You have come so far in your own health/body and helped so many to overcome health problems. Guess you have done some clothes shopping, since your old “rags” just hang on you (too big for you). How are your diabetes stats? Are you totally off insulin, and maybe just taking some other kind of med for diabetes … or totally off all meds for diabetes? I am so proud of you … my offer is still good for helping you if you decide and can ….. Elaine

  6. Gemma

    I’ve often used visualization in my journey of health. I do this most often in the gym, I picture myself as who I want to be in a year from now, and I become that person. The person in a year is a person who can do an extra mile on the treadmill, who can lift 15 pounds more than they are lifting right now, the person who loves going to the gym.

    Maybe the person you want to be eats a healthy plant based diet, maybe they understand what goes into the food they eat. Maybe that person loves eating whole nutrient dense foods and enjoys it.

    Maybe the person you want to be is disease free, is no longer obese, does not have high cholesterol, and is not putting themselves at risk for preventable cancers and other horrible diseases.

    Often, we get stuck in today and we can’t figure out how we will get to be the person we are hoping to be. This thought can sabotage any efforts of learning or getting healthy. We think we need more will power, we are too addicted, we just don’t have what it takes. And then we spiral out of control.

    If you are wanting to get healthy, I highly recommend living like the person you hope to be in a year from now. Ask yourself when you eat “Is this something that future me would eat?” when you work out ask yourself “Is this a work out future me would be proud of?”

    Tomorrow I am launching a month long support group. It will be by invitation only, but I will take ANYONE who is serious about getting healthy and switching to a healthy plant based diet. There will be people there who have already made the switch and who are thriving, there will be people who have never had a salad. My hope is that you will want to join because you want to work on the person you would like to be in a year from now.

    There will be information on the benefits of a plant based diet, meal plans, recipe and food ideas, challenges, workouts and tools to help you get healthy. There will also be community support and people going through the same thing as you.

    It’s time to make that decision that you want to be a healthier person, that you are worth it, worth learning, worth changing, worth discovering, it’s time to put down all of the ways you sabotage yourself. Make the decision about the person you want to be a year from now. It takes a step – so make it. Ask yourself what is the worst that could happen? And what is the best that could happen?

  7. Mona

    Love what you’re doing, girl! Way to save your life by going vegan. Rock on!

    I love those raw bars too…the pumpkin seed one especially. Something about the sweetness of it reminds me of strawberry jam on toast. Mmm.

    Excited to be following you on Twitter now.

  8. Bren

    I lost weight too on a plant based diet and it was really interesting the way that my body paced itself. Not all the wieght just came off. I was losing a consistent 1-3 pounds a month. That’s actually very healthy. Somehow our bodies know just how to do it right.

    Don’t worry at all about it taking time. Slow and steady is better.

    If you want to get some advice on losing weight as a vegan, Dr McDougall’s website (www.drmcdougall.com) has excellent information for free.

    Basically he says avoided added oils, no nuts, do not eat sugar, and no coconut milk or oil.

    Best wishes.

  9. Kc

    I am also a very overweight vegan. It sucks! Especially when people ask the “then what DO eat” question. Does it really look like I have a hard time finding food?

    And I’m not the french fry and oreo eating kinda vegan either.

    I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. And I really love reading your blog!

  10. Jemma

    I have very few things from my wardrobe from a year + ago. Mostly they were huge on me and we were simplifying so out with the old and all that jazz. I can stare at pictures of me and really have a hard time seeing a difference. I’m still overweight – like A LOT but I often forget that a year ago I was even more overweight.

  11. Sarah

    You are amazing, and so brave for both making the change yourself AND for putting your journey out there for the world to see! I have never been that brave, maybe one day!

  12. Marika

    Bravo for being so brave and so open – and so generous, sharing your experience with others. You are awesome!

  13. Megan

    Once again my dear you put it so perfectly! I am so proud of you for being so honest, telling it how it is and sharing this with the world.

  14. Linzey

    I am inspired, as always, by your honesty. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world. You always give me a kick in the pants when I need it! You ROCK!!

  15. Deb

    I have a friend who went the surgery route. She’s lost 100lbs (or around that) now, and last time I saw her I told her that she even moved different. She said, “it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

    That about broke my heart. I’m so glad she’s losing the weight, I can see so many positives in her life, in her outlook, all of it.

    At the same time I’m so sad that she felt she had to use the surgery (which has changed her internal organs forever) instead of changing her eating habits. But I don’t think she ever believed in herself that way. (Ironically the way she eats post surgery needs to be unbelievably strict and she has stuck to it extremely well…clearly it was always possible for her to change her eating habits, whether she believed it or not.)

    Great to hear how well you are doing. Very inspiring!

  16. Susan

    What a fabulous post! I agree with everything you said so much that, honestly, I could have written this myself. You’ve most definitely got the knowledge, the determination and the motivation. And you look like a different, older person in your before picture. What a difference! Best wishes for continued success on your healthy journey!

    –Susan

  17. Diane

    Great post. I especially like the part about not using the word “Diet” because it has “DIE” in it. I’ve followed a vegan diet for about 18 months now and you’re so right about how it has improved my mental outlook as well as physical. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Abby

    I just stumbled upon your blog ( I found the link on It Ain’t Meat, Babe) And I read this post and wanted to tell you how beautiful it was. Thank you for re-inspiring me when I had lost my vegan hope. keep letting your light shine.

  19. OKVegan

    What a lovely post! I am so happy for you and your progress. It’s all about lifestyle changes. What an encouragement you are to make the right choices!

  20. tim

    This is just what I was looking for. I’ve lost 45 pounds but have gotten stuck and started cheating. It’s brought up some really negative emotions.

    I really appreciate reading this and it’s gives me hope that I can get back on the “program”.

    Thanks

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]

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