Losing Weight and Gaining Confidence
Mirror, Mirror - Nope. Can't look.
Weight loss has been my cross to bear for many years. Your's too? Well, after trying everything (and some things multiple times), I found "The Plan" by Lyn-Genet Recitas, and I am finally a success story. Sure, I have a ways to go, but I have been shocked and impressed with this new life - and nothing made that more clear than my recent foray into Nordstrom's for a dress for a wedding.
Dress shopping has not been on my agenda since my own wedding. I hate wearing dresses - mostly because nothing ever fit right, I was too short and too round, and when I looked in that mirror, it was not pretty. Until two weeks ago.
Hours before the wedding of a friend's daughter, I decided to see about getting a dress. I took two into the dressing room, convinced I would look frumpy and the fit would be awful, as usual. As I slid the dress over my head, slipping my arms into the sleeves and easing it down the line, I looked in the mirror. And I was speechless. Truly, speechless. For the absolute first time in a long while, I said out loud "I look good!"
When the realization hit me that I actually liked what I saw, I started crying to beat the band. You know, nothing gets you hugs from strangers like crying in a crowded dressing room. Everyone wants to hug you - and you accept because you want to share that moment of celebratory tears!
The dress was perfect. The second dress I tried on? Perfect. What can I say? I just went crazy and both them both - and neither was on sale! I looked great! I still can't believe it!
Me 30 lbs. lighter and in a divine dress!
Okay, I'm Peeking Now. Show Me What You Got!
I owe it all to this incredible program outlined in Lyn-Genet's book. Sold as a program for people over 35, for the most part, this book literally changed my life. As a profound picky eater, and someone who really ate a lot of food as comfort and "reward," this new way of eating has been eyebrow-raising (and size dropping).
The first few days of the program is a type of detox - and I won't say that part was easy. I just don't do kale. I don't do carrot and ginger soup. I don't do beets. But with the support of a few office friends who all started it at the same time, we got through those first days and, by the process of adding a new food each day, we found out which foods each of us "reacted" to in a negative way - by causing inflammation, headache, pains and aches, and/or weight gain. We started the first week of March. It is now the first week of June and I am down 30.4 lbs. I have not had a diet soda (a staple of my life before) in all that time. I have learned that I cannot eat ANY cow cheese or cow milk. If I eat it, my entire head clogs up and my throat gets wonky, and I gain weight. If I eat goat cheese (cheddar, parmesean, etc.), I don't have any problem and I lose weight. That simple.
I have been amazed that the "seasonal allergies" and migraines I have fought all these years have all been cow-inflicted for me. Funny thing is, if I eat steak and a baked potato for dinner, I always lose weight the next day now, but if I eat 1/2 of a porkchop? Not pretty - a 2-lb. gain! The beauty of "The Plan" is the next day you simply have a "rest day" and eat foods you know don't react with your body - and voila, the weight goes away.
My knees don't hurt anymore. I have no headaches (well, I had one in two months, but I used to have 4-5 a week). My biggest change in eating has been this: I drink a lot of water each day and every night I eat dark chocolate and sip a glass of red wine (which I never liked, but am learning to appreciate). Seriously? Chocolate and wine daily? Throw me in that briar patch, son!
It's amazing how much sodium is in cereal, I have also learned. On "The Plan" you watch your intake of sodium - so my morning breakfast is sometimes Cocoa Krispies with Coconut Milk. I tell you, if my grandmother was still alive, she would be shocked to know I am drinking coconut milk and eating goat cheese! I am still shocked myself at times.
"The Plan" has totally changed my life. My doctor told me I was diabetic in January. He said when I came back to see him in late March, I should lose some weight and we would talk about medications. Needless to say, when I went back, I was 20 lbs. lighter and we discussed taking me OFF a medication I was taking for cholesterol - my numbers were that good THAT fast.
As someone who is approaching 60 in a few years, I never expected to find something that really worked - but "The Plan" is truly geared to you as an individual - there are no two people who will have identical results. However, through years of research and study, "The Plan" does outline foods that tend to be more reactive and less reactive to most people. You might be surprised to learn that oatmeal, salmon, tofu, greek yogurt, and asparagus are high on the reactive list! What if you find out that the very thing you are eating is causing the inflammation or headaches or weight gain - and that if you simply stopped eating it, you would feel better? It's a win-win for YOU to find out exactly how your body reacts to the food you are feeding it. YOU are in total control. The sooner you find out, the better - and here's why.
My body, for years, was filled with cow cheese - I just loved cheese on everything. Pizza, burgers, rice - you name it, I loved cheese on it. So eating cheese over the years, every day, built up in my body to where I thought I had all these issues - migraines, sinus congestion, watery eyes, throat congestion. On Day 4 of "The Plan," I woke up with a 100% totally clear head - no congestion, no sneezing every day, no headaches. My rings were twirling on my fingers - honestly, they twirled, where before they barely moved in a circle. I even lost one on Day 9 out the car window - it literally slipped off my finger! The excess inflammation (not all water weight, mind you) was just mind-boggling - and the main culprit was such a simple change. No more cow dairy. I'm not lactose intolerant or allergic - my body simply does not process this in a good way. And another thing on "The Plan?" Your body stops "craving" things because they are out of your system. It's bizarre how it works, but I love it.
For the others in my office group - we have all learned so much from "The Plan." One person found that no store-bought pasta is okay for her, so she makes her own (I know, right! Are you kidding!?) The thing is - after you have all the "stuff" out of your system and you have a true reaction to a new food you introduce, you don't want to go back to the way it was. I don't want the immediate (within about 10 minutes) reaction when I eat cheese (cow). It is awful, so why would I continue to do that to myself? It is not worth it. Even if it is delicious!
Some people can eat chicken with no reaction, but add rice to the meal and they gain weight. It is mind-bloggling to me how this works - but it does, and I love it.
Less of me, and I love it!
So my closet is slowing filling with new clothes in smaller sizes. And my fridge has some organic stuff and green things that I have sworn I would never eat in my life. I don't eat what I don't like - that goes against "The Plan" and your own need for having a life worth living, but I do try new things now. I am still "testing" foods and finding out what works and what doesn't - for me personally.
If you need to lose weight, or just want to become a healthier person by finding out which foods are a benefit to YOU and which are not, give "The Plan" a try. I am three-months-in and can't imagine giving it up - the benefits have been amazing. And, did I mention that I look stunning in that blue dress?