I grew up on the SAD (Standard American Diet). My mother was not a fan of fast food, she keeps a kosher household, but made a lot of boxed mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, burgers, tuna casserole, broccoli covered in yellow cheese slices, salad with thousand island dressing. My overweight father has had heart disease for the past 25 years and now is having similar back issues to my experience. My thin mother, who counted calories for us as children, restricts. My brother who is one year older than me is overweight with diabetes. I hope the light will turn on for them.
Currently, I don’t have a scale however measured my waist at 44in when I started PD, Im sure my weight was at least 195+ and my dress size most of my life has been 14-16. As a kid, my pants were always tight and uncomfortable. I never wore a belt or tucked in my shirt. I’ve always had a big tummy pooch. In 2005, at age 30 I wanted to get in shape so I hired a personal trainer, learned how to work out and use the machines and free weights at the gym. I was there 5 days a week and lost weight. I saw 159 once on the scale and was happy to be a size 12. Due to bad allergies, I stopped working out so heavily and gained it back slowly. At that time I had entered a relationship with an abusive alcoholic which was more stressful than I had realized. We ate a lot of vegan deep dish pizza, veggie burgers, and tater tots. And drank a lot. This ended in Spring 2012. In September 2012 my back hurt so badly that I sought medical help. The MRI revealed 2 of my lower disks were degenerating. After not being able to walk for 4 months I knew I needed to make big life changes for my mental, physical, and financial well being. A dark downward spiral took over me and it was hard to see any light in my life. Pain meds messed up my body with weight gain, bloating, and digestive issues. I had no hope of fitting into any of my nice clothes again. I was minutes away from back surgery and was looking into a wheelchair so I could manage the 2 block walk to work.
The first photo was taken in March 2013 when I 1st started PD and the current photo was taken in August 2018. I am in the best health and shape of my life (wearing a solid M and size 6-8, currently my size 8 skirts are too big) at age 44.
In August 2013, I weighed in at 164 which was at least a 25lb loss in 3 months. I’m not sure now of my weight now but I have lost 15in around my waist, moved my belt over 11 loops and clothes I never thought I’d ever wear again are too big. I’m 5’ 7” and chesty. As I’m dropping weight I feel taller. I have always been top heavy with thin legs which are now even thinner, boots I had to zip I can slip out of. It’s amazing that for the first time in my life I didn’t gain weight over winter, but continued to lose it. Walking outside with my dog in nice weather 3-5 miles 2-4 days a week is the best form of exercise for me, along with 5lb arm weights and stretching for my back 2-4 days a week for about 15 min. I’m doing planks and average 2:10 min. I recently got a new job and walk 1.3 miles each way to work 3-4 days a week. The last time I weighed myself, was summer 2014, and I was at 145lbs. I still haven’t weighed myself, however, the belt I wear was in hole #4 at the start of my PD journey, then went to hole #8-9 and now is at #12-13. I’m thinking I might weigh in at the low 130s and have also maintained a normal BMI for the past 4 years.
Staying on the Protective Diet plan has gotten me thru some recent difficult and stressful times in my life. I feel grounded by PD because I know it is the best thing I can do for myself and will keep me from falling into the downward spiral of back pain issues:
The last toxic abusive romantic relationship I will ever have ended in August 2016. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and eating oil loaded chips and other “comfort” foods thru a breakup, I stayed on track with my new comfort foods such as the PD nacho waffle. It saved me.
Stoli my best friend and fur baby died on February 25, 2017. I am forever changed from this loss and am working on my grief. I miss you every second of everyday baby pup.
I quit my relationship with booze on July 9, 2017, and have not had a drink since. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it’d be. I was, however, eating more snacks to compensate but didn’t gain weight. I have thoughts about booze from time to time but they don’t last long and the benefits outweigh the consequences.
I closed Framing Mode & Gallery, my gallery frame/shop of 15 years on February 28, 2018. There were many moments I wanted a drink but kept on my PD plan and got thru it.
Through mindful eating, I have learned what it feels like to have the full receptors go off. Currently, I’m working on eating slower and without distractions. For the 1st time in my life, I am experiencing what true hunger feels like. I do tend to emotionally eat out of sadness or being cold or lonely or tired…
Day fasting and feasting is the next level of the Protective Diet and I was like no way could I fast 20-24 hours. I want my meals and snacks. Because I’m open minded, believe in and trust Julie, I decided to try the day fasting and feasting. My day fasting began at the end of September 2018 and its another life changer. I had the last 10-15lbs to drop and I wanted to see fasting would also help with a few other lingering issues. I’ve had stress related allergies most of my adult life and are they 85% better than they were. I also have been experiencing some premenopausal symptoms such as bloating, skin issues, and cramping. So far fasting seems to be helping, I’m excited to see what develops in the next few months. I’ve dropped the belly fat and the loose skin is starting to tighten up. For the 1st time in my life, I will have a flat belly. I’m seeing and feeling parts of my body that I’d never think I’d experience. I have a leg gap, can feel my ribs, my back thigh puckers are fading, and my triceps are not as flabby. (I have not been doing my arm weights as often as I’d like to be.) Fasting has saved me the time before work when I’d prepare lunch, my grocery bills have dropped again, and it’s freeing to only have to think about one meal per day. I’m blown away by how much food I don’t really need to eat. I drink all different teas during the day and eat a big feast at night. I especially love day fasting at my new job, I don’t have to share the fridge with all the SAD food and the break is only 30 min so I don’t have to rush to eat. I’m hungry but not nearly as hungry as I thought I’d be. I look forward to coming home and taking the time to make and eat my feast and not rush it. Autophagy at work.
Protective Diet is not just a diet, it is a lifestyle for optimum health, where eating amazing food reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. I’ve said many times, “PD is the loophole for foodies”. As an 18+ year vegan and animal rights activist, I embrace this lifestyle that helps the animals, the environment, and my health. I use homemade cleaning products and am transitioning all of my personal products to be chemical free. In August 2017, I adopted B’elanna (a 5 yr old blond Chihuahua mix) who is a PD Pup and loves her food and snacks.
It’s indescribable for me to wake up and not feel like a fat piece of sh*t. I know my clothes fit. The other day I actually felt “skinny”. Its freeing and still taking a bit to get used to. I’ve secured my own mask and learning for real what self-care feels like. I am experiencing BCS, BUS, and BBS (baggy clothes syndrome, baggy undies syndrome, and baggy bra syndrome) again. Two vintage dresses I had altered to fit in 2016 are now falling off of me. My size 8 and Jr size 11 skinny jeans are baggy. I have traveled and stayed on a Protective Diet with success in the USA, Canada, and Europe. The trick is a hotel with at least a fridge, and ideally a small kitchenette. At my last 2 Burning Man Festivals (2014, 2016) I also ate PD.
I Thought I was a good cook, but now I am an expert. When I’m tired from work and the last thing I want to do is cook, I feel energized once I begin preparing a meal. I can also be very lazy and if I can do this anyone can. I have learned to appreciate leftovers, so I usually cook once and eat 2-3 times. When I make a big pot of soup I do freeze portions for future fast meals. My grocery bills have dropped about $40 per week. I spend about $100 per week, including food for B’elanna and my cleaning products. I also eat a lot of organic when possible. Protective Diet is environmentally amazing: no palm oil, much less packaging than processed prepared foods, and cruelty-free. I am so happy to be able to consume as much clean, diverse, energizing, and delicious food without restricting. I eat pizza, soups, nachos, rice, salads, breads, pasta, potatoes, pies, brownies, and lots of fruit until I feel full and satisfied. Bring on the carbs! PD is the next evolution in my vegan journey. I am aspiring to become a personal chef/ PD coach. I am present for the live PD-ED class every week. The class is a priority in my life. The PDL support group is the best therapy I’ve ever had. Many people have been commenting on how great I look, recently I’ve even been described as small and thin, and this coming summer, 2019, will be the 1st time in my life I will wear with confidence a 2 piece swimsuit. If you are interested in a cabinet clean out, food additive free shopping trip and a cooking lesson, message me.
Thank you, Julie, you are love and light!