They say you should do the best that you can with what you know. And when you know better, you do better. That just about sums up my recent revelations about my own health and well-being.
If you’ve read my old posts, you’ll know that I broke some major barriers and made some amazing improvements to my health (lost 15 lbs, dropped cholesterol ___ points, lowered blood pressure ___ points), just from changing my diet. Up until 2011 I ate what I thought was a ‘fairly healthy’ standard American diet. Focused on lean protein (the more the better), veggies and salads with dressing on the side at restaurants, that kind of stuff. It was sort of the ‘everything in moderation’ motto that a lot of people follow. It’s really just a way of saying I’ll eat whatever I feel like, thank you very much.
After reading The China Study and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, I hopped on the plant based bandwagon, with amazing success. I lost excess weight and maintained it easily for almost 2 years. But by the end of my pregnancy and the beginning of life with a newborn, old habits started to creep back in. I started relaxing my rules big time. I had been so ‘successful’ that it no longer seemed challenging. And therefore I stopped thinking about it. A little oil here, lots of bread there, vegan cookies at Christmas? Definitely! I began to justify one bad decision after another with some sorry excuses –
“I’m a new mom, I deserve a treat!” “I haven’t slept, I need a latte” (albeit decaf). “I don’t get to Whole Foods much any more, so I might as well grab one of my favorite vegan cookies!” (And ate the whole jumbo cookie on the way home, even though I intended half of it for my hubby). Baby’s sleeping in the back seat, I’m starving…. If I’m at the Starbucks drive-thru I might as well grab a scone! When that started happening 2-3 times a week, I really had to stop myself. What was I doing? I’m not only eating something I know is unhealthy, I’m consuming something that’s not even vegan which goes against some of my core beliefs. Yet I keep doing it! I had intended to be back to pre-baby weight in a 4-5 months, and I was on track for that until I got completely derailed.
I attempted to reel back my behavior on my own but it wasn’t working. In December 2014 I celebrated my daughter’s 1st birthday and I had to admit my goals and my habits were too far apart for me to close the gap on my own. I reached out to Chef AJ, author of Unprocessed. I had read her book. I started filling my brain with more and more information. I learned about her weekly teleclasses and decided to listen in on one during a walk with the babe in a stroller. Chef AJ was interviewed by Wendy Solganik of Healthy Girl’s Kitchen. Listen here if you’re curious too! It was all about sugar addiction. And it was all about me. I was floored.
I started doing what she suggested. In two weeks I arrived at my pre-baby weight. I did so while eating loads and loads of food, never feeling hungry or deprived. I decided that I should keep listening. I officially joined her 21 day Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge Feb 17th 2015 along with a community of over 400 other people and am excited to share this next phase of my journey!