It’s been about three years since I first read Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live. Approximately six months after that, I began blogging about weight loss, weight loss maintenance, emotional eating, and recipes. I was a member of Weight Watchers at the time, and, believe it or not, Healthy Girl’s Kitchen wasn’t an oil-free, 100% plant-based blog when I started. As time went by and my learning process continued (reading Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and The Engine 2 Diet) I was no longer interested in cooking with oil, nor in food that had a mother or a face.
But my road to peace with food is an extremely bumpy one, not without continuing trials and tribulations to this day. Only recently I learned the right vitamins and supplements my body needs to be healthy. Remember – healthy doesn’t mean weight-free. You can be healthy and still carry some weight, for some people it’s genetic and it’s natural. As long as you’re using something like this multivitamin without iron, or a supplement with added protein, and you’ve chosen it to boost your diet rather than replace it, then you’re on the right path. I for one know that I don’t always get the right amount of protein or calcium with my plant-based diet, so I need a little extra help to boost me. I do know, however, that I get enough iron because I eat plenty of plant-based meals rich in it, so I don’t need extra. All of this contributes to your overall health, you just need to know your own body, rather than follow a fad that isn’t tailored to you. In the last few weeks I have received two letters that have left me with the feeling that I really need to talk about that more. It seems that there is an impression that I have found ultimate success with this and that my struggle with food and my weight is over.
Well, it’s not.
In the words of Ricky Ricardo, I think I have a lot of splainin’ to do.
I stumbled onto your website last night — day 6 of plant-based eating for me — and I’m so glad I did. The primary reason? Because like you, I have obsessions with food. I love to cook, I love to eat, I love love love to bake any kind of chocolate cake recipe I can get my hands on. Thing is, I’m constantly obsessed with my weight and I can’t bring myself to stop asking myself nearly every minute: what am I going to eat next? I’m also a runner so I’ve managed to take my exercise to near unhealthy levels of obsession as well. Terrific.
Anyway, two weeks ago on vacation, I watched Forks Over Knives and then picked up Esselstyn’s book. Thing is, after watching that movie, for the first time ever, I realized that I should be focused more on healthy eating, rather than wondering what tasty, fatty concoction I can bake, sauté or grill. What’s more, it made me think how I’m affecting the way my girls see food. I decided that I had to stop treating them with food and start treating them with something more valuable: having fun and having quality time with me. It’s a lot easier to hand your kid a Tootsie Pop than it is to sit at a hot playground, after all.
So much of your story rings true with me. Thank you for sharing your tips and recipes with everyone. So far, I’ve gone two weeks without weighing myself (a huge step) or counting calories on MyFitnessPal (equally huge for me). I hope to eliminate both for good.
I’ll certainly be following your story.
All the best,
Issue Number 9:
Where I’m falling off the wagon and why:
Restaurants. I go to my fair share of restaurants. I tend to do pretty well in restaurants. I’m not shy ordering food outside of the menu. But where I get into trouble is with actual vegan food on a menu. It’s always loaded with salt and oil. Always. And I eat it anyway, ’cause I don’t want to be a party pooper and I don’t want to not eat at restaurants. It’s part convenience and part just life enjoyment.
Parties/social events. I also go to my fare share of social events. I feel very fortunate in that regard–I have a big social network of wonderful friends and family . . . who are not . . . can you guess it? plant strong. I do my best, but even my best is far from good enough. I avoid food with a mother or a face. But sugar and white flower don’t say moo or baa. They call to me in their very own language and say, “Eat me! Eat me now! F*%# it!” And most of the time, I just give in. Sad, I know.
Night time eating. It seems I can be plant-perfect all day long and completely lose it at night. Tiredness is my #1 emotional eating enemy. Now matter how rational I can be during the day when I am not tired, once I get tired I totally lose my s#!%. And for me, totally losing it means eating food when I shouldn’t be eating.
I am completely convinced that no matter which oil free plant-based doctor’s plan you follow, it will work if you work it. It’s the working it over the long haul that, at least for me, has been challenging.