Good morning! I received a great question by way of Facebook this morning and I thought I would share it and my response with everyone here on the blogosphere.
i am in the middle of eat to live and jon and i are starting it tomorrow. i have been avidly reading your blog and luuuurve it!!! i had a question. did you start with dr. f’s 6 week plan? how much did you lose in those initial 6 weeks? did you start with a diff. diet? do you mind answering my terribly nosy questions? thanks.”
I actually started the old fashioned way . . . with my umpteenth trip to Weight Watchers. It was at a Weight Watchers meeting that a fellow member mentioned a website called Peer Trainer. The PeerTrainer site was instrumental in the transformation of the way that I eat. There is a lot going on at that website that I won’t go into here, but that is where a lot of people were talking about Dr. Fuhrman and Eat to Live. Now a days, you can just walk into any Whole Foods Market and discover him, but this was before all of that.
So I got a copy of Eat to Live and read it. I was going to Weight Watchers and counting points and recording what I ate and losing weight at a nice rate. But my experience with the Weight Watchers program in the past has always been that I lose the weight, end up feeling extremely deprived and out of control, then I go off the diet because I just can’t stand it anymore, and gain all of the weight back plus more. Pretty typical (the statistics on this are horrifying).
At about the same time that I picked up a copy of Eat to Live I was also introduced to a book called Volumetrics. The authors of both of these books ascribe to the same philosophy that in order to lose weight and keep it off in the long run you must consume a large volume of healthy, low calorie food. It’s pretty simple actually. Fill your plate with lots and lots of vegetables, fruits, beans and real whole grains, a little bit of nuts, seeds and avocado and let nature do the rest. Low fat dairy, low fat animal protein and oils may be consumed sparingly, if at all. The rest of the food that’s out there–all of the processed garbage that fills every supermarket shelf–just leave it there. It doesn’t belong in the human body.
Pretty big shift from how I had been eating, even how I had been eating on Weight Watchers. But I was intrigued by all of this because I absolutely knew where following the Weight Watchers plan had ended me in the past. Not that I don’t think that Weight Watchers has many amazing things to offer, it’s just far from perfect.
So I started incorporating the principles of Eat to Live and Volumetrics while counting Weight Watchers points and I lost all of the weight that I needed to relatively quickly and without much fuss. It took me about a year and I lost 50 pounds. That’s about one pound per week. To expect more than that is to set yourself up for failure. A long term solution to this problem is what I know we are all after. Not a quick fix that will never withstand the test of time. Now you and your husband may lose a lot of weight at first following the Eat to Live plan–consider it a bonus, but that was not my experience. It was all a rather uneventful slow and steady loss.
About a year into this, I reached my “goal” weight with Weight Watchers. I was thinner than I had been since I was 15 years old. This new low didn’t last but a moment. I had trouble continuing to count points, something that I struggle with to this day. I wish I could get back to that place of religiously tracking what I eat, but I haven’t been able to. What I have not struggled with FOR A SECOND is continuing to eat a no-added-fat, vegan diet that is high in vegetables, fruit and beans. It is this that is the lasting change with food that I have been searching for my entire life. My new relationship with food is unrecognizable to my old one. I am a new person. I’m not nearly as thin as I was six months ago, but I am a healthy and happy version of myself, free of food addiction and hating my body. I feel confident and strong, finally!