Robyn lost 65 pounds and is able to exercise again; her hair, skin and nails are in the best shape they have ever been; her husband lost 40 pounds and stopped his cholesterol meds
My story is a likely representation of many overweight Americans. I grew up as a thin child, but in college and as an adult, I began eating more and more convenient and pre-packaged meals, whatever was easy. By the time I gave birth to my second son, both my husband and I had 50 extra pounds creep up on us. We exercised off and on, but for every 10 pounds we lost we would eventually gain 20.
I tried to understand and research the best way to eat, but felt like I was hearing more and more contradictory and confusing information. I never really dieted, knowing that diets don't work, but ate low-fat dairy, lean skinless chicken breast and turkey, non-fat dressings, diet drinks, etc. I thought I was doing everything I could do to lose weight, but it kept steadily climbing. Then I decided to get back into exercise, five days a week, but within three months had gained ten more pounds. At the age of 38, I tipped the scales at about 210 pounds, and felt like something must be wrong with my metabolism. I was ready to give up and accept that this was my fate in life.
A breakthrough came when my sister Colleen came to visit me in May of 2005l She was 30 pounds less in just the three months since I had last seen her. Colleen told me about the book, Eat to Live that she had learned about on a mothering website. When I first saw Colleen so much thinner I thought that she must be doing something extreme, like starving herself, but that couldn't have been further from the truth.
Eat to Live opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about food and hunger. I understood why all the low-fat meats and grains fed my drive to overeat and why I was always fighting off a desire to consume more food a few hours later. I followed Dr. Fuhrman’s advice to eat for nutrient density and to eat more to fill the body with anti-cancer nutrients. The first week I lost 11 pounds and I wasn’t hungry anymore. It was a bit of an adjustment at first, but the results were so quick and amazing, that I was motivated to push through it. I actually ate much more food that I had eaten before, and the more I ate, the more weight I'd lose. Looking back, I think my body was just starved of nutrients.
When I learned about the concept of food addiction and toxic hunger I realized that described me. After my bagel and low-fat yogurt in the morning I could not make it to lunch without a cup of coffee, and a little bit of chocolate as a pick-me-up to help deal with the mild headache or listlessness I felt. I realize now I was in a viscous cycle of shakes and feeling low unless I ate regularly and kept my blood sugar up.
Now my headaches are gone, I don't feel hungry between meals, and rarely have food cravings, and when I do, it's for leafy greens! It is so much more pleasurable to eat when you are really hungry, which now occurs much less frequently.
Eight months later, I was 65 pounds lighter. I am content eating pleasurably and healthfully and just feel so much better. I now have the energy to exercise again and enjoy it. Not only do I feel better, but my hair, skin and nails are in the best shape ever.
Greg, my husband, changed his diet too. At first he was just eating this way to support me, and thought it may help his cholesterol. Then, within four months, he lost 40 pounds, his eyesight improved so his eyeglass prescription needed to be adjusted, and he no longer needed Lipitor to lower his cholesterol. He had been taking it for the past two and a half years when his levels were over 300. His doctor said to keep doing whatever he was doing because his cholesterol was lower now than it was on Lipitor! My mom also dropped 20 pounds and is no longer taking her cholesterol lowering medication, hormone replacement or anti-depressants. Not to be left out, my father also lost weight eating this way and no longer has his "spare tire" around his middle. Our kids have always been slim, but now see the importance of fueling the body with nutrients and understand the reasons we Eat to Live.