Results are typical on a Protective DietMy journey on the Protective Diet has been so eye-opening. I remember finding Protective Diet when I did a search for vegan recipes. I had been on another well-known plant-based diet off and on for over a decade, but my weight was still up and down. It took me a year and a half to lose 60 lbs, which was not going to work for me as I was 240 lbs. Even though I was down from 310 lbs, I had health issues I was trying to hide from. I needed more structure and better-tasting foods. Finding PD was that greatest blessing of my life. Julie’s classes fed me never-ending knowledge and the support that I so needed. To this day they are like sitting down to a huge Thanksgiving meal for my mind, body, and soul. Staying true to the PD way of eating including balanced plates of 50% veggies and 50% starch, and eating when I was hungry and stopping when I was full were the key to my 100 lb weight loss in 10 short months.
Then I got lazy. I began eating way too many muffins, pies, and frosty and eating way too little of the green non-starchy veggies. Even though all of the food I was eating was 100% PD, over the next 6 months I lost and gained the same five pounds. At the end of February 2015 I felt as though my pants seemed tighter, but figured I was bloated. Then I realized that I felt sluggish, moody, and really not inspired to cook much except muffins, pies, and frostys. I stepped on the scale February 28 weighing 153.8. I had gained nearly 9 lbs. I was in a shocked state that this couldn’t be true since I had never wavered from PD foods, and I was in denial for a brief moment. It was then that my months of eating PD food, but not following the full program of balanced eating, hit me like a brick. This has to stop! I have been overweight for most of my adult life and gaining 5 or 10 lbs was no big deal. I wondered how such a small weight gain could be that big of a deal. I kept thinking back to my 310 lb beginning, realizing that I was not born 310 lbs. The weight crept on and I accepted it like a long lost friend or family member that I never wanted to lose touch with again. I can tell you now that the nearly 9 lbs of weight gain had a huge impact on me. I felt so burdened, fat, heavy, and weighed down both in mind and body with failure.
I began my balanced plate challenge the next day, March 1, 2015. For the past 43 days I have learned so much about true hunger, that balanced plates equal a balanced happy life, that I can do it, and my taste buds have once again come alive. These past 43 days brought me down to a number I never thought I would see again. Now at 136.8, which is nearly my wedding weight, I realize it is not about the numbers. It is about health for my mind and body.
I dug a little deeper and realized that even after 100 lbs of weight, loss I was still struggling with that self-image of being sick and fat and not accepting the health and weight loss I had achieved. I could not see that healthier thin person, but with that weight gain and the impact it had on me both physically and mentally, it began to click! During this 43-day journey back to balance, I’ve really seen that healthy, thin person for the first time. Walking across a parking lot against the wind was eye opening. I was being blown over. Everyone was probably looking at me as though I was crazy, but I was smiling and in tears at how I felt. I was finally feeling the health of happiness and weight loss. As I lay in bed that night, I remembered what Julie said to imagine in your mind. “Picture the blood flowing through your healthy body, your endothelium getting stronger and stronger,” and Jerry’s encouragement of positive affirmation “I can do this, and love myself.” I will never again fall into the trap that “I am eating PD foods so I can’t gain weight” mode. I have learned that there is a balance in every aspect of our human adventure. If we get out of balance in any area, our life will begin to live in chaos.